Now You Know

No, by the grace of God, you will NOT plead ignorance. You will NOT testify that you never knew any better because no one ever taught you anything better. You will not plead that you were never told.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Jason Schechterle Update

The following is an article pertaining to the Jason Schechterle story about which I posted yesterday. It is written by Michelle Roberts for the Associated Press and appeared on

Tabloid apologizes, pulls issue after calling injured officer 'ugly'

Michelle Roberts
Associated Press
Feb. 3, 2005 02:00 PM

A tabloid apologized and withdrew its latest issue after being criticized for saying a police officer who suffered disfiguring burns is ugly.

The Weekly World News published photos in its Feb. 7 issue of the "top 10 ugliest people." Among the images was one of Jason Schechterle, a Phoenix police officer who suffered fourth-degree burns to his hands and face in an on-duty accident.

Schechterle said someone at the police department called him Saturday warning him of the tabloid article.

"I was shocked and surprised, and then I was worried about my family's reaction because I knew they would be very upset," said Schechterle, who has three children. His wife, Suzie, is also in the photo.

Schechterle was burned in March 2001 when a taxi slammed into the back of his patrol car, causing it to burst into flames. He was so badly burned that surgeons had to strip away his face, covered in dead tissue, to save his life.

The Phoenix mayor's office called the tabloid's parent company, American Media Inc., to complain on Monday, and the company immediately issued an apology, said company spokesman Stuart Zakim. Boca Raton, Fla.-based American Media also publishes The National Enquirer, the Star and a group of fitness magazines.

"We feel terrible about this," Zakim said Thursday. "It was a mistake on the editors' part, which won't happen again."

The tabloid, which features stories on UFOs and Elvis Presley being alive, apologized and offered to donate $5,000 to a charity of Schechterle's choice.

Schechterle has handed the letter over to his lawyer and is exploring his options, he said.

"I don't want them doing this to someone else," he said.

Schechterle has undergone dozens of surgeries since the accident and still undergoes a couple a year but returned to work in November 2002. He's now a detective in the department's homicide unit.

The photo that appeared in the Weekly World News was one taken by The Associated Press for a series of award-winning stories chronicling Schechterle's accident and fight to recover.

He has been candid about the difficulties of his appearance, and the tabloid incident this week is part of the struggle to recover, Schechterle said.

"I understand my appearance is going to bring a lot of attention, both positive and negative, but this was over the top," he said.

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Yes, it was indeed "over the top." This seems to be the day for over the top people and their subsequent apologies. It never ceases to amaze me that some mistakenly believe that all they need to do is say they are sorry and all the damage they have done, all the hurt they have caused, all the mess they have made is just supposed to evaporate as if it had never been.

As Christians, we are commanded by our Lord to forgive. Indeed, He tells us that if we do not forgive, then how can we expect to be forgiven ourselves? But I don't recall anywhere that our Lord commanded us to have amnesia on demand. Further, though we are called to remit the offenses of those who have trespassed against us, the trespassers need to be mindful that their actions do indeed have consequences and they will eventually reap what they have sown.

You've been told and NOW YOU KNOW.