WAVE WEBSITE HIT
By Joan Ward George & John C. McLoughlin
Wave Publishing Company, publisher of The Wave, was hit hard last week in its website with hate mail intermingled with vile anti-Semitic, anti-Black, and crude sexual innuendo in the comments section of the newspaper’s weekly survey poll.
"The polls, which started in the early fall of 1999, were intended to gauge local opinions and allow Rockaway residents to have their voices heard on a wide variety of local issues," said Wave Editor John McLoughlin. "It’s a shame and a sad day for our community when this tool for change and open communication was used to promote an antiquated, hateful, and dangerous mindset by some thoughtless, hate-provoking mental midgets."
McLoughlin, of Irish, Catholic and Jewish descent, is a third generation Rockaway native that takes phrases such as "attention all Jews. . .I’m a nazi and I hate you" as a personal slap in the face. The Wave management and staff were completely abhorred by the repeated anti-Semitic comments, the "dirty nigger" phraseology, and the blatantly false sexual innuendo, both heterosexual and homosexual, about people known to them.
Meanwhile, several laws were broken last Tuesday morning, June 20, when some foolish people used their e-mail sites as instruments of hate and terror. The comment section of the website was removed, Rockaway police were immediately notified, and the investigation began.
When The Wave went to press Thursday, the NYPD Computer Section, the NYPD Bias and Hate Crimes Unit, the commanding officer of the 100 Precinct, and the 100 Precinct Detective Squad were conducting independent investigations.
The Wave is also working closely on this case with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Communications Commission and the United States Attorney’s office.
"We have asked the police department to conduct a thorough investigation," said Wave Publisher Leon Locke. "This newspaper will not stand idly by while someone uses our good name to defile others. We will get to the bottom of this and let the chips fall where they may."
According to the authorities, it was expected that the "senders" of the e-mails would be identified within days. Arrests appear to be imminent and charges will be pressed.
Wave Publishing Company, along with all individual parties personally referred to in the e-mails of June 20, have gone on record as being prepared to cooperate fully with the authorities, and intend to press charges to the fullest extent of the law as well as file criminal and civil lawsuits both in Queens County and federal courts.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call Officer Mike Verna at the 100 Precinct Detective Squad at 718-318-4225. The Wave management is confident that the investigation will result in arrests and have offered the police all the "ink" they might need to solve this issue.
The Wave, at least for now, has discontinued the survey poll on the website. Something that was intended for the good of the citizens of Rockaway was used as a disgusting, filthy and hate-infested tool. So, for now, The Wave is rethinking the survey poll on the website, and will be updating the community on its decision. The Wave, however, continues to accept comments from its readership via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.