Yesterday, the New York Times published a funny (to me) article about Holocaust denier Michael Santomauro. Santamauro accidently sent an e-mail touting a book of Holocaust denying essays to the wrong listserv—the one belonging to his kid’s elementary school, PS 290. A hullabaloo (the technical term, I believe) ensued. Even better: It turns out that this isn’t the first time that Santomauro has made this mistake. The Times reported in 2003 that he sent out similar e-mails to users of a roommate referral service he founded.
Now, Heeb Magazine (and our hats off to them) has performed some old fashioned new school journalism and discovered the cherry on the top of this story.
…it gets better, because once this story was posted on various websites, of course, people began to comment, including one “Steven Goldberg,” who stepped up to defend Santomauro (or “Santamauro” as “Mr. Goldberg” spells it.) If you read the local CBS website, all you see is Goldberg’s post. But what “Mr. Goldberg” didn’t realize is that when he posted on the Fox site through his twitter account, it didn’t just show his post, but the account from which it was posted–which belongs to [drumroll, please] Michael Santomauro.
Michael Santomauro: I salute you. Let us hope all Holocaust deniers can rise to your level.
Now, a not so quick admission. In early December, Mr. Santamauro commented repeatedly on Marc Tracy’s fantastic review of Ruth Franklin’s book of criticism A Thousand Darknesses (If you haven’t read it, go now. It is on my list of the top ten best Tablet articles). Santamauro was peddling his shpiel, but was also thoroughly debunked by Tablet’s readers in an excellent exercise of truth winning out.
Today, the editorial staff removed those comments as violating the magazine’s lenient standards policy. Personally, I am uneasy with this decision—and I should say that I’ve been encouraged to voice that dissent. I disagreed, both because I thought our readers rallied to the occasion without any interference, and because, while I occasionally disagree with Tablet commentary and articles, I never feel like I’ve lost anything from reading them, and often the magazine gains something by allowing them.
In that vein, what do you think? We’ll see if I can take it.
E-Mail About Holocaust Book Questioning The Holocaust Shakes A School [NYT]
Users of Roommate Service Receive Anti-Jewish E-mails [NYT]
Holocaust Denier, Michael Santomauro, Puts The “Twit” in Twitter [Heeb]