Jared Fogle 'New York Post' Cover With Prison-Rape Joke Incites Media Backlash
"Enjoy a Foot Long in Jail," the headline reads.
The morning after Jared Fogle's agreement to plead guilty to child-pornography charges on Wednesday, the New York Post featured the news on its front page, complete with the cover headline, "Enjoy a Foot Long in Jail."
The former Subway spokesman will serve between five and 12 years in federal prison, followed by a period of supervised release, for victimizing 14 children since 2007. The sentence is part of a plea deal he struck with prosecutors in the case. Fogle was charged with traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and the distribution and receipt of child pornography.
Under the deal, Fogle will pay $1.4 million in restitution to the victims — $100,000 per person — for treatment, counseling and education. He also will be required to register as a sex offender and undergo treatment for sexual disorders.
Because the Post's all-caps cover uses Fogle's previous endorsement of Subway sandwiches to allude to a sexual assault that Fogle might experience during his prison term, the paper received a slew of backlash online.
"Rape isn't funny. It's a serious problem in our penal system and not something for a supposedly serious news organization to be making light of," wrote Perez Hilton on his site. "It certainly isn't something you should be wishing on someone, no matter who they are! We understand and absolutely agree that what Jared did is despicable and unforgivable. Even if you don't mind the Post saying something so offensive, since it is directed at a child sex offender, come on!"
Mediaite echoed, "The Post seemingly runs afoul of President [Barack] Obama’s declaration that prison sex jokes are now off-limits." Gothamist commented that the Post "seems to be of the opinion that the only way to fight a rapist is with more rape."
Funny or Die condemned the cover line by suggesting some alternate options, including "Let’s Not Make a Rape Joke Here (or Ever)," "Children Were Hurt: No Jokes Necessary" and "Is This Really a Newspaper?"
See more reactions to the cover below.
I wonder how @nypost writers feel today about their paper's gleeful pro-rape front page headline this morning.— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) August 20, 2015
"Journalist": Get it?! Cuz RAPE!!! *Entire NY Post editorial staff gives standing ovation* pic.twitter.com/QkSiIw5ep3— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) August 20, 2015
"We heard you hate rapists, so we made a rape joke about a rapist so you could laugh about rape while you're mad about rape." -NY Post— Elizabeth (@MissCherryPi) August 20, 2015
@nypost Rape is rape. Prison rape is rape. You support rape? Sick.— Rabid Badger (@rabidbadger) August 20, 2015
To condemn NY Post headlines is like getting upset that the subways are crowded. It's a key part of living here. Don't like it, leave.— Jordan Hoffman (@jhoffman) August 20, 2015
Yes, it's tasteless. But also, half of Twitter's made the same joke for weeks. You expect better from the NY Post. pic.twitter.com/Ami4lx3C4A— The D.C. Universe (@dcuniverse) August 20, 2015
Responding to rapists getting arrested by joking about prison rape just normalizes rape as a form of punishment. https://t.co/ppjHcKF9jd— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) August 20, 2015