Becky O’Malley, editor and co-owner of the twice-a-week Berkeley Daily Planet, says she wants an “open public meeting” — perhaps in the city’s 3,500-seat community theater — with rabbis and Jewish leaders who are upset over an anti-Semitic letter she published Aug. 8. The East Bay Express, an alt-weekly that competes with the Berkeley paper, says Jewish leaders are astounded by her response to their request for a meeting with her. The Express quotes Jonathan Bernstein, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, who says that in his 17 years in his line of work, he has met with dozens of editors and editorial boards, and no one has ever demanded a puiblic meeting. “I really believe this is being done by Becky because she is just trying to distract us from the real issue, which is that she made a mistake allowing her paper to be used as a public platform for hatred,” Bernstein says. O’Malley is a Berkeley political activist and former member of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission who, along with her husband Michael, purchased the “Berkeley Daily Planet” name and news racks in 2003 after the previous owners had shut down the paper a year earlier.
Editor wants public meeting with critics
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