While there is blowback towards LA Times writer Michael Hiltzik, the paper has not removed the story, but rather, change the title to soften the hatred and bigotry.
UPDATED TO INCLUDE NEWS TALK CLIP
Originally titled: “Why Shouldn’t We Danceon-the Graves of anti-vaxxers,” the column was re-titled to “Column: Mocking anti-vaxxers’ COVID deaths is ghoulish, yes — but may be necessary” when it cited on the Ben Shapiro Show and sparked outrage from right-wing news outlets.
Now the title reads: “Hiltzik: Death and the anti-vaxxer,” but remains intact as he attacks those unvaxxed: “[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.”
After noting remarks on death beds, Hiltzik unpacks his opinion further.
“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 concludes “there may be no other way” to turn these people’s deaths into lessons.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist may just be seeking attention to promote a new book, but the Times seems unwilling to pull back the disparaging column.
Conservative Mike Cernovich responded to a tweet from the Times that featured a link 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.”