Student paper apologizes for printing photo of Charles Murray

The editor-in-chief of a student newspaper at Middlebury College has personally apologized for running a photo of conservative scholar Charles Murray on the front page. 

In an “Editor’s Note” published online last week, Editor-in-chief of The Middlebury Campus, Ethan Brady, penned an extensive apology for publishing the photo of Murray, acknowledging that the decision could have come across as “jarring.”

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“I recognize that it may be especially jarring, particularly for students of color who feel that Charles Murray’s rhetoric poses a threat to their very humanity,” Brady wrote. “I also recognize that Murray’s visit to campus last March is an open wound for a campus trying desperately to move forward from it.”

According to Brady, the decision to publish the photograph sparked a “heated debate” among the editors last week, with most of the editorial staff opposing the idea.

“During a heated debate in the newsroom on Tuesday night, most of the section editors, and the managing editor, said that running this photograph would be inappropriate,” Brady explained. “Though I deeply respect the input of my editors, I decided to run the photograph anyway. I take full responsibility for this decision. It was mine alone, and any criticism should be directed at me alone.”

Murray’s last appearance on campus, almost exactly one year ago, was derailed by violent protests that forced him to finish the event from inside a secure room. The riots also resulted in a head injury to a female professor, Allison Stanger, who was escorting Murray out of the venue, and who was also featured on the photograph published by the student paper. 

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“This photograph is not meant to troll, or to cause pain, but to ask how that protest still lives with us today, one year later,” Brady wrote. “For many, this image is burned in our collective memory. As much as we try to distance ourselves from that moment, we are made from it.”

The editor-in-chief also said that running that particular photograph “is a political act” and that “moving forward requires looking inside, however unpleasant that may be.” 

“We cannot escape our history,” he concluded. “We can only confront it.”

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Murray responded to the editor’s note on Sunday, blasting Brady for failing to mention the Stanger in his apology and calling the apology letter “Onion-worthy.”

“How about confronting that the woman in the photograph you can’t bring yourself to name suffered a concussion and a neck injury that she still lives with?” Murray tweeted in response to the note, highlighting the final two sentences for good measure.

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