The cover of today’s New York Post takes designer John Galliano, fresh from his “apology for anti-Semitic remarks” tour, to task for his outfit, which the Post deems a mockery of the garb worn by the Hasidic faithful. As befitting a tabloid not known for its subtlety, the headline reads “Schmuck!”
But not so fast, says the Anti-Defamation League, which issued a statement defending the designer and bashing the Post story.
“The New York Post story is a ridiculous, absurd distortion. There is no truth to their accusation that John Galliano was dressed in Hasidic garb, and anyone familiar with the dress of traditional Orthodox Jews should not mistake what Galliano is wearing in the photograph as ‘Hasidic garb,’” wrote the ADL’s Abraham Foxman in a press release. “Hasidim do not wear fedora hats, pinstripe pants, blue jackets or an ascot tie.”
Come to think of it, we guess we have never seen any Hasid wearing an ascot. But we also can never remember what exactly an ascot is. In this, we defer to Mr. Foxman’s knowledge of haberdashery. And if the ignorant Post reporters don’t know their ascots from their elbows, well, Mr. Foxman contends, it’s either ignorance or something way worse.
“This is John Galliano being John Galliano. His dress is always eccentric and his hair is always worn long,” the press release continues. “This is, at the very least, ignorance on the part of the reporters and editors at the Post, or, at worst, a deliberate, malicious distortion in an effort to sell newspapers.”
Whoa, hold on. The Post tries to sell newspapers based on provocative covers. Let’s not make any crazy accusations. But not only is Mr. Foxman defending Mr. Galliano from the Post’s accusation that his style of dress is a deliberate dig at a segment of the chosen people, he defends Mr. Galliano and the efforts the designer has made to learn from his mistakes–including spending hours with Mr. Foxman himself.
“For the past year and a half, Mr. Galliano has been on a pilgrimage to learn from and grow from his mistakes. Now people are trying to distort and destroy him,” Mr. Foxman concludes. “He has spent hours with me and with others in the European Jewish community, including rabbis and Holocaust scholars, in an effort to better understand himself and to learn from his past mistakes. He is trying very hard to atone.”
Looks like that apology tour is working, if not with the Post, then with the ADL.