An Asbury Park Press executive has declined to explain how a photo captain spiked with profanity, misogynism and offensive ethnic slur wound up on their website for more than 14 hours on Sunday before anyone noticed.
The caption under a photo of an Orthodox woman nurse at the Center for Health Education, Medicine and Dentistry in Lakewood said: “A fucking hot nurse, a total JAP, loads a syringe with a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.”
“I’m sorry, I have no comment on that,” said Herb Pinder, who is listed as an accountability coach for the Gannett-owned Asbury Park Press.
Pinder’s job, according to their website, is to work “with news reporters on stories that aim to hold government officials, institutions and communities accountable for their policies, acts and omissions.”
“That means identifying and fixing problems, putting a spotlight on people making a difference in communities, and asking, again and again, why and why not?” Pinder’s profile on the Asbury Park website said.
Photographer Gustavo Martinez Contreras posted 22 photographs he took of New Jerseyans preparing or taking the COVID-19 vaccine as part of a story about helping to improve vaccination rates among communities of color.
The caption was changed on the photo after the New Jersey Globe reported it. Later, the photo was taken down entirely.
Paul D’Ambrosio, the executive editor of the newspaper, has not yet responded to an 8:31 PM email on Sunday evening seeking comment. Pinder was reached on his cell phone Sunday evening, but said he was not familiar with the caption. He promised to call back, which he did not, and was reached again on his cell phone Monday morning.
Three days ago, The (Bergen) Record, which is also owned by the Gannett chain, wrote a news story about a Jewish community newspaper in Teaneck that apologized for a satirical article that joked about the shooting of Palestinians.