David_Payne's Blog

Not buying ESPN headline writer's story

By David_Payne | View all Posts
Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012 05:49 PM   4 comments

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.
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Skipbone says:
02/23/12 07:47AM
Slanted news, if you ask me.
Josh_Nagel says:
02/23/12 02:41PM
Well, the fist time Tebow lost a game, I don't recall seeing any "Chink in the Armor" headlines. So the idea that this was not meant to be some sort of double-entendre, intended to be humorous or otherwise, is a tough sell. Also, the phrase iteself is something of a cliche that most sports editors would try to avoid regardless of a player's ethnicity, which only makes me more skeptical. I'm also not a fan of this guy trying to paint himself as Mother Teresa -- it sort of deflects attention away from the issue at hand. No matter how good of a citizen he might be away from work, in this case I think he should just take ownership of the poor judgment, apologize and move forward.
rippy40 says:
02/23/12 10:10PM
he was the writer and editor who has final say on whether or not it went up. I also find it hard to believe he didn't think to catch that but I know the ESPN word very well as I grew up 2 mins from campus and have several close relatives who work there. My take is after a long shift the kid just typed something and threw it up there since the night staff doesn't get out of there till 2am or 4am depending. Federico started in the video tape library on the same day as 2 of my cousins and worked his a$$ off to be an editor. He's a young kid who is already a published author and from what I'm told was REALLY respected there. everyone is shocked there that he let this through because they say it's REALLY far from his everyday personality over the 5 yrs.
nevaWINbutLUVit says:
02/29/12 05:28PM
10 years of headline writing and "Not buying ESPN headline writer's story" is the best you can come up with for a blog headline??? #HookEm
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