The Los Angeles Times is facing criticism from its readers for publishing a controversial article. ColumnThis headline was published Monday “Mocking anti-vaxxers’ COVID deaths is ghoulish, yes — but may be necessary.”
This piece includes a photo of an elected official who succumbed to COVID-19. “disparaging anti-pandemic measures,” Michael Hiltzik argues, “[P]leas for ‘civility’ are a fraud. Their goal is to blunt and enfeeble criticism and distract from its truthfulness. Typically, they’re the work of hypocrites.”
Hiltzik directs readers to websites with featured features “snippets and photographs of anti-vaccine advocates, often taken at their deathbeds”And other words “It may be not a little ghoulish to celebrate or exult in the deaths of vaccine opponents. And it may be proper to express sympathy and solicitude to those they leave behind. But mockery is not necessarily the wrong reaction to those who publicly mocked anti-COVID measures and encouraged others to follow suit, before they perished of the disease the dangers of which they belittled. Nor is it wrong to deny them our sympathy and solicitude, or to make sure it’s known when their deaths are marked that they had stood fast against measures that might have protected themselves and others from the fate they succumbed to.”
He concluded. “there may be no other way” to turn these people’s deaths into lessons.
Some users were not happy with the online reaction. Some users PointedThe URL of the article asked why people were there. “shouldn’t dance on the graves of anti-vaxxers.”
Conservative pundit Mike Cernovich replied to a Times tweet that included a link back to the story. Writing, “This column is having a lot of impact. Not in the way you intended. But it’s working. Don’t cry the next time you’re called the enemy of the people. You admitted as much in that horrific column.”
The Times representatives did not immediately reply to my request for comment about the backlash.