By NJEA Director of Communications Steve Baker
We demand an immediate public apology from both Tom Moran and the Star-Ledger over a tweet by Moran referring to the desire of some prominent but unnamed Democratic officials to murder NJEA’s leaders. The tweet, “Top Dems in NJ, deep down, want to murder the leaders of the teachers union,” was posted by Moran to promote an article he had written calling for the removal of NJEA’s leaders in the wake of the 2017 election.
We reached out to both Moran and the publisher of the Star Ledger to demand a retraction and apology, and condemn Moran’s tweet in the harshest terms.
There is no place in public discourse for the kind of violent language that Tom Moran used on Twitter yesterday. His casual reference to the alleged desire of some top Democrats to murder NJEA’s leadership is disturbing and inappropriate. If any elected official expressed such a desire to Moran, he should have harshly condemned it, not repeated it as if it is an acceptable or unexceptional statement in the context of a political disagreement.
Even worse, if no one actually said that to Moran and he invented that language on his own, he should apologize immediately to the leaders of NJEA for his use of violent, terrifying language to promote his article. His animus toward NJEA is no secret, but that does not excuse his utter lack of judgment in using that language. We hold the First Amendment in high regard, but with the right to free speech comes responsibility. Moran’s casual and unapologetic use of violent imagery hurts the credibility of the Star Ledger and of all who value civil discourse.
We urge all elected officials in New Jersey to condemn Moran’s use of such violent language. It is not only dangerous, but it degrades the level of political discourse by inserting the threat of violence into political disagreements.
Our leader are public figures, but they are also educators who have families and loved ones. No one should have to see a public reference to the hoped-for murder of their loved ones. Moran owes a particular apology to the families of NJEA’s leaders for his vile tweet.