Monday, January 23, 2012

Atlanta Jewish Times publisher who penned 'Obama hit' column resigns (Update)

Posted By on Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 2:59 PM

After attracting worldwide attention by writing a column suggesting Israel consider assassinating President Barack Obama, Atlanta Jewish Times owner and publisher Andrew Adler has reportedly decided to exit the journalism game. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports:

Andrew Adler, in an email obtained by JTA, announced Monday that he is "relinquishing all day-to-day activities effective immediately" following the publishing of his opinion piece saying that Obama's assassination was among Israel's options in heading off a nuclear Iran.

Adler named staff writer John McCurdy as interim managing editor until a replacement can be found. Adler said he would publish an apology in his next edition and that reaction from readers had been overwhelmingly negative.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta said earlier Monday that it would suspend its relationship with the Atlanta Jewish Times until Adler removed himself from the newspaper's operations. The federation also called on Adler to sell the weekly. [ed. JFGA is a fundraising organization and philanthropic group that's advertised in AJT]

"While we acknowledge his public apology and remorse, the damage done to the people of Israel, the global Jewish people, and especially the Jewish Community of Atlanta is irreparable," the Atlanta federation said in a statement issued Monday to constituent groups.

We've called the Jewish Times to confirm the report and comment. Adler, who told CL on Friday he was sorry for penning the column, had been criticized by the Anti-Defamation League and numerous Jewish civic groups.

UPDATE, 3:11 p.m.: Jerry Farkas, the Jewish Times' business manager, tells us in a voice message:

"Yes, Mr. Adler has stepped down and is no longer the managing editor of the paper. We now have a new managing editor whose name is John McCurdy. And that will be until we can sort through this and work with the Federation of Greater Atlanta to get a permanent managing editor."

UPDATE, 3:35 p.m.: Contrary to what was reported earlier, Farkas tells us there are "no plans at this time to sell the paper."

Farkas says the paper, which is privately owned, plans to set up an advisory committee which will include members from the community and the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta to find a new managing editor. The committee will also examine how the paper operates.

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