Chicago TV Station Makes Terrible Mistake On Air

Brianna Baez, Staff Writer

 

On Wednesday, Sept. 23, an offensive mistake was made on the popular Chicago news station WGN while doing a routine news story about the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur. While the reporter told the story, the news station displayed a symbol that is offensive to the Jewish community behind the reporter.

The image displayed was a picture of a patch with the German word for “Jew” on it superimposed over a striped pattern that resembled a prison uniform. The Nazi Party forced Jewish people to wear this yellow-star patch during World War II. The patch is an offensive reminder of the suffering and persecution that the Jewish people endured at the hands of Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.

The use of these patches was one of many acts made by the German government at the time of War World II to isolate the Jews of Europe. Refusal of the badge would result in a harsh punishment, including death.

According to ReformJudiaism.org, Yom Kippur is the sabbath of sabbaths, the holiest day of the year in Judaism. It falls ten days after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, marking the end of the days of awe, also known as the high holy days. What is so ironic about this incident is that the name Yom Kippur means “day of atonement,” as the faithful seek to repent for their transgressions.

WGN said that a mistake was made by their graphics department in choosing a picture for the story.

WGN failed to mention what lead to the unintentional mistake. Most news stations go through a thorough check when displaying images found of media. If a station neglects to check their sources, a misconception can occur. This job of approving images and sources belongs to mainly the graphics department and the producers.

To their credit, WGN has acknowledged the error and tried to make reparations. They issued the following statement: “We are extremely embarrassed and we deeply apologize to our viewers and to the Jewish community for this mistake. Ignorance is not an excuse.”

WGN announced many apologies concerning their mistake. In addition, the station is sending employees to sensitivity training. WGN also met with Jewish community leaders to discuss ways to prevent such an occurrence from happening again.