Tabloid apologizes, pulls issue after calling injured officer 'ugly' A tabloid apologized and withdrew its latest issue after being criticized for saying a police officer who suffered disfiguring burns is ugly. The Weekly World News published photos in its Feb. 7 issue of the "top 10 ugliest people." Among the images was one of Jason Schechterle, a Phoenix police officer who suffered fourth-degree burns to his hands and face in an on-duty accident. ...The Phoenix mayor's office called the tabloid's parent company, American Media Inc., to complain on Monday, and the company immediately issued an apology, said company spokesman Stuart Zakim. Boca Raton, Fla.-based American Media also publishes The National Enquirer, the Star and a group of fitness magazines. "We feel terrible about this," Zakim said Thursday. "It was a mistake on the editors' part, which won't happen again." The tabloid, which features stories on UFOs and Elvis Presley being alive, apologized and offered to donate $5,000 to a charity of Schechterle's choice. Schechterle has handed the letter over to his lawyer and is exploring his options, he said. "I don't want them doing this to someone else," he said. Schechterle has undergone dozens of surgeries since the accident and still undergoes a couple a year but returned to work in November 2002. He's now a detective in the department's homicide unit. The photo that appeared in the Weekly World News was one taken by The Associated Press for a series of award-winning stories chronicling Schechterle's accident and fight to recover. He has been candid about the difficulties of his appearance, and the tabloid incident this week is part of the struggle to recover, Schechterle said. "I understand my appearance is going to bring a lot of attention, both positive and negative, but this was over the top," he said.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Thanks to everyone who helped out...
It's good to know that there are still people willing to do the right thing!