DN cover about A.C. not OK with N.J.

Posted: May 25, 2012

Dear Mr. Platt,

In your salacious zeal to grab the attention of the masses, you clearly went above and beyond the pale with your latest headline — "TOURIST DEATH TRAP" — with the accompanying picture of Atlantic City on the front cover of your newspaper. The death of these two women is a horrific tragedy but it was an isolated incident. To classify Atlantic City as a lawless town is unconscionable and, quite simply, bad reporting.

Your readers overwhelmingly come to the shore for vacations and weekend getaways, and to pander to unnecessary fears is the lowest form of journalism, which says more about your greed to sell a paper than it does about imparting the facts to the public. Benjamin Franklin must be spinning in his grave so forcefully he’s knocking off the pennies that cover his tombstone. Whether or not the article contains the actual truth does not matter — the headline alone will do so much damage to a city whose reputation is undergoing a transformation. In addition, the fact that the alleged perpetrator is from Philadelphia makes your headline even more inaccurate.

You owe a huge apology to the citizens of Atlantic City. We are a hard-working group of people trying to draw tourists from the surrounding communities to a lovely beach town with gambling, restaurants, seaside attractions and beautiful hotels, and to have our livelihood tainted so maliciously, so carelessly, by a widely read newspaper a mere 60 miles from our shores is a tragedy. Especially since we have long been considered an extended suburb of the fair city of Philadelphia.

You have enough big-city problems in the City of Brotherly Love; there’s no need to create more on these shores.

Mortimer Spreng

Atlantic City

I am a New Jersey resident and I find the cover page of your newspaper appalling. Memorial Day is this weekend, the start of summer for the shore towns in New Jersey. I do not live in Atlantic City, but I did work there at one of the hotels before it was sold. My husband works there every day. He has walked the streets of Atlantic City for the past five years as a mail carrier. There is crime everywhere. There is a way to report the news and then there is a way to exaggerate it and do damage to the person/town you are reporting about. Thanks for the extra help in maybe making people think twice about heading our way this season and boosting the economy around here.

Do you know there are many tourist attractions in Philadelphia? Do you know that many people visit there? Well, let me just send you information I just received on a text alert: "Philly Homicide now investigating city’s 137th murder this year after man just gunned down on 500 block of Geneva St. in Olney." Hey, that sounds like it would make a good front-cover story with "137th Murder This Year" in big bold print.

Text alert from earlier this morning: "News now confirms one person has died in the quadruple shooting on Etting St. in South Phila."

Let’s see all the shootings and murders that happen in Philadelphia start making the front page of your paper.

Maybe you could write something like "If you want to visit Philadelphia, keep in mind: You could be our 138th murder victim."

Please also be aware that the woman charged with the murders has a Pennsylvania driver’s license.

Cheryl Sauselein

Cape May Court House, N.J.

As a resident of Atlantic County and a time-to-time reader of your newspaper, I’m very angry and disappointed about your cover story, "Tourist Death Trap." Where was the mention of the killer hailing from your hometown? This is not an Atlantic City resident killing a random visitor for no reason. It is basically a tourist killing two other tourists.

I get that A.C. is a fun and easy target for you, but this is unfair and a hack job. As the old saying goes, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Couldn’t our local paper use headlines such as "City of Brotherly Thugs" just about every day? What if we wrote stories about every time you go to a Phillies game or a concert, there is a good chance you could be murdered? Well, that is just about what you have done in this situation.

I will no longer be picking up your paper and will urge anyone I can talk to in this area to do the same. Do us a favor, don’t come to our beaches, boardwalks or your "shore house" that I’m sure you rent every summer.

Richard DeCicco Jr.

Somers Point, N.J.

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