County of Monmouth

For Immediate Release:
March 25, 2021

County Commissioners denounce publication of sexist and anti-Semitic caption in the Asbury Park Press

FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted to pass a resolution, at their March 25 regular public meeting, which denounces the publication of a sexist and anti-Semitic photo caption in a recent online version of the Asbury Park Press.

“The Asbury Park Press allowed for this horribly offensive photo caption to be published for 14 hours before taking it down, and then did not issue any comment or apology for more than 24 hours after it was removed,” said Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone. “When an apology was finally issued, it was severely lacking to say the least. There was no explanation offered as to how the caption was allowed to be published to begin with, or why the apology was directed to Asian-Americans or only to the Lakewood Jewish community and not the entire Jewish community.”

It is the policy and practice of the County to discourage and denounce sexist and anti-Semitic acts in their entirety and it is also the declared policy of the State and, in fact, the law of the State of New Jersey.

“If any other publication, organization or person posted something so disgusting, the Asbury Park Press would be demanding answers and accountability. There is no way that they would just accept an apology and move on,” said Commissioner Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley. “Since they have not offered any kind of explanation, the County has decided that we will no longer be advertising in the Asbury Park Press. Effective immediately, all County offices, departments, commissions and authorities are being directed to continue to comply with the antiquated law regarding publication by utilizing the Star Ledger as the newspaper for general circulation until further notice.”

Currently, various statutes in New Jersey, including publishing laws, requires advertisement in newspapers of general circulation and have no provision for substituting electronic publication in lieu of “hard copy” publication.

The Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners demands the legislative delegation representative of Monmouth County introduce legislation amending the law requiring “hard copy publication” in a “newspaper of general circulation” or, alternatively, affording all political subdivisions the alternative to publish electronically as a means for better distribution and as a cost savings to taxpayers.

“The current laws that require public notices to be published in hard-copy are outdated and do not allow local governments to use online platforms that reach a larger audience,” said Commissioner Nick DiRocco. “Instead, State law requires our citizens to purchase hard copy publications in order to access important public information. To increase transparency and save crucial tax dollars, the Legislature should change this antiquated law.”

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