David_Payne's Blog

Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012 05:49 PM

Not buying ESPN headline writer's story


I’m rooting for the ESPN headline writer who was fired for the offensive headline about Jeremy Lin. But I’m just not buying Anthony Federico's story. He's saying it was a complete fluke and by no means did he plan to use "Chink in the Armor" as a racial pun.

I worked three years writing headlines for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s site, ajc.com, and have a decade's worth of headline writing experience. No way does someone with his experience make that kind of mistake; not on a story as big as Jeremy Lin and especially not with the Asian angle being so prevalent.

It is much more likely that it was mocked up in an attempt at poor office humor—‘what’s the most inappropriate thing we could put?'--and was published by mistake.

At best, it was an extremely lazy headline, much too lazy for someone writing for the always respectful World Wide Leader.

As someone who has "replied to all," I wish Federico well and certainly hope he is quickly back to work so he can continue his charitable ways.