Rutgers University President Richard McCormick has condemned the campus satirical rag The Daily Medium for publishing a pro-Hitler opinion piece under the name of a Jewish student without his knowledge, the New Jersey Star Ledger reports.
College officials are investigating the Medium -- a weekly student-run newspaper funded in part by the university -- for the editorial, which was published in its April 4 issue.
In the style of many satirical newspapers, the paper's fake op-eds are usually attributed to fictional columnists or public figures, according to Professor Ronald Miskoff, one of two faculty advisers for the paper.
But the opinion piece in last week's issue, titled "What about the good things Hitler did?," was attributed to Aaron Marcus, a Jewish student and columnist for the independent student paper The Daily Targum who lost family in the Holocaust.
Marcus said he was horrified when he opened the paper last week and found his name and a photoshopped picture of himself accompanying the editorial, above a pull-quote reading "I couldn't help but think that history has given the Third Reich and its leader a bad rap."
"To say anything praiseworthy of someone like Hitler and to have people actually believe it was coming from me, even in a satirical manner, is just really painful for me and my family," Marcus told My9TV.
Full text of the editorial can be seen below.
Marcus said he believes the editors' choice to use his name instead of an alias suggests that the campus is "mainstreaming anti-semitism," an issue he spoke about at length in a December interview with The Blaze.
"Rutgers has perpetually done nothing to protect Jewish students," Marcus told The Blaze in response to the recent incident. "If these types of things happened to other students on campus they would be taken care of immediately, but when they happen to Jewish students and particularly pro-Israeli students — they are ignored."
Miskoff, the paper's adviser, said he hopes university officials will keep in mind that "college is a time in people’s lives when they test boundaries and learn the results of errors" and said he hopes the situation can be used as a learning opportunity.
“I can't explain the humor in the article. I suppose it’s more about the irony of a Jewish activist writing something that is the complete opposite of what he really believes," Miskoff told the New Jersey Star Ledger. "The editors are extremely aware that they have hit a hot-button issue, and I am sure they will learn something valuable from the experience."
That's the same attitude officials at the University of Connecticut expressed earlier this year when students at the student-run television station aired a comedy sketch attempting to poke fun at the ineffectiveness of the school's emergency phone kiosks.
In the sketch, a woman fleeing from a rapist attempts to use the phone stations to call the police, but is thwarted when a robotic voice questions her repeatedly and calls her names like ""cock gobbler," "stinky bitchy," "blonde bitch," and "howler monkey bitch." The woman is strangled at the end of the sketch.
University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst said at the time she hoped the situation could foster discussion and help students learn from the incident.
"It looks like the station has taken the video down and apologized to the students it may have hurt and a healthy discussion is taking place in its wake about the seriousness of sexual assault," Herbst told the Hartford Courant. "That's not a bad outcome."