‘Were there any survivors?’: Daily Beast’s report on police chief’s Christmas sweater viciously mocked

In the world of investigative journalism, there are Bob Woodward, Walter Cronkite, and now, Pilar Melendez, whose hard-hitting tactics and finely-honed nose for news has exposed a New Jersey police chief for his taste in Christmas sweaters.

In a Friday article in The Daily Beast, Melendez devoted hundreds of words to the subject of the chief’s wardrobe in pursuit of her “exclusive” — words that were supported by a photo of Police Chief Gregory Ciambrone, in a private home, during a private holiday party, wearing a sweater depicting former President Donald Trump wearing a Santa Hat and featuring the words “Let’s Go Brandon.”

Never mind that publishing a personal photo of an off-duty officer and his friends at a private gathering in someone’s home is gross, Melendez seemed to think the presses must be brought to a screeching stop for this not-so-breaking story.

According to Melendez, the chief is now “under fire” and at least one of his neighbors is “incredulous” and in “fear of retribution” should he/she dare to speak out about the incident.

“Can’t believe he wore that in public to party,” said the fearful resident, who wished to remain anonymous.

“The incredulous resident was one of multiple people who positively identified Ciambrone,” wrote Melendez.

They didn’t identify him at the party, though.

No, these “multiple people” were likely not invited.

By “obtained,” Melendez probably means The Daily Beast found the photo while scrolling through Facebook, where it had been uploaded by another employee of the police department two months ago.

That could be how long it took Melendez to locate someone to interview who understood the significance of her discovery, but her perseverance paid off.

Said Penns Grove Police Director Richard Rivera: “There are a million ugly Christmas sweaters the police chief could have worn. The chief chose to be photographed among his peers wearing one to make a political statement during a time of significant racial divide and police mistrust in America.”

Melendez implied Ciambrone’s neighbors need to Karen-up and do something about this grave offense, though even Rivera admits no rules or regulations were broken by the chief.

Writes Melendez: “In theory, Rivera said, the Hamilton Township committee that appointed Ciambrone could be forced to investigate the sweater — and possibly discipline Ciambrone — if a resident were to file a formal complaint.”

The response to her ‘exclusive’ may not be the kind of Pulitzer praise Melendez was hoping for.

The mocking has been brutal, as users on Twitter feigned shock and horror.

“Were there any survivors?” one user asked.

Ron DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw wondered when The Daily Beast got into the satire business, asking, “Is this a joke?”

Pushaw then called the article an example of “churnalism” by a “triggered” reporter.

Another user said simply, “This is just getting more pathetic by the day.”

Still others questioned Melendez’s “experts.”

But, for the most part, folks were just thankful that Melendez gave them something to giggle about.

Said one user: “This is the funniest article you will read all week.”


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