Tag: headline

San Jose Mercury News can’t say the name Simone Manuel

Make no mistake about it, Simone Manuel became the first black American woman to win an individual gold medal in the sport of swimming when she won the women’s 100 meter (109.3613 yard) freestyle swimming event at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There were actually two gold medalists in the event, as Manuel tied Canadian Penny Oleksiak for the gold medal position. In Olympic swimming, a tie occurs when two or more swimmers post the same time, measured to hundredths of a second. When a tie occurs in Olympic swimming for a medal position, all tied competitors receive a medal of the same color (gold for a tie for first, silver for a tie for second, and bronze for a tie for third).

However, The Mercury News, a newspaper covering the San Jose, California area, used this headline to document Manuel’s historic victory:

Not only is that headline factually incorrect, it’s racist and sexist. First off, Manuel and Michael Phelps never shared an Olympic podium, as men and women compete in swimming events. In fact, the only Olympic sport (summer or winter) in which there are not separate competitions for men and women is equestrian (although a few Olympic sports, such as tennis (summer) and curling (winter, starting in 2018) have events featuring mixed-gender teams competing against each other, and modern pentathlon, of which equestrian is one of the five component sports, has separate men’s and women’s competitions). Secondly, The Mercury News was unwilling to use the name of a black woman who won the event in its headline, but had no problem using the name of a white man who wasn’t eligible to compete in the event in its headline.

The corporate media isn’t willing to say any part of her name, but I am more than willing to say the full name of my favorite Olympic champion of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad so far: Simone Ashley Manuel.

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New York Daily News cover on San Bernardino shooting: “God Isn’t Fixing This”

God Isn't Fixing Gun Violence - NY Daily News Cover
December 3, 2015 cover of the New York Daily News (image courtesy of New York Daily News)

Earlier today, a mass shooting took place in San Bernardino, California. The mass shooting occurred at the Inland Regional Center, a facility for people with developmental disabilities in San Bernardino, California. As of the writing of this blog post, at least 14 people were killed by the perpetrators of the mass shooting.

This is yet another example of lax gun laws in this country allowing people with violent intentions to carry out a mass shooting in America. As someone who has a developmental disorder (Asperger’s syndrome), I find it sickening that a mass shooting was carried out at a place designed to help those with developmental disabilities.

At the other end of the country from San Bernardino, in the New York City metropolitan area, the cover of tomorrow’s New York Daily News will feature the headline “GOD ISN’T FIXING THIS”, as well as tweets from three U.S. Senators who are seeking the Republican presidential nomination (Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC)) and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). As an atheist, I fully understand that prayers aren’t going to do a damn thing to prevent mass shootings in this country. Only implementation of common-sense gun safety and gun control measures, such as universal background checks on all gun sales, closing the gun show loophole, and banning the sale of assault weapons will prevent mass shootings from occurring in this country.

 

Democratic Party of Wisconsin officials are at it again with horrible political messaging

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The author of this blog post is not interested in being hired Communications Director of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and is not interested in any other position involving being an official spokesperson for a political candidate, party, or group.

Melissa Baldauff, the communications director of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW), wrote this piece claiming that Scott Walker won’t run for the Republican presidential nomination, when, in fact, Walker has not officially said whether or not he’ll run for president in next year’s election:

Speaking with reporters today at a rare stopover in Wisconsin, Scott Walker commented that he’s “going to keep [his] campaign promises” – which if true means the governor won’t be seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 after promising to serve his full term.

Last October at the gubernatorial debate in Eau Claire, Walker said his “plan if elected is to be here for four years” when asked whether he’d serve a full term if re-elected. And last November following his re-election, Walker commented in an interview with WITI (FOX affiliate in Milwaukee) that “Right now, I still feel called to be the governor of the state of Wisconsin, and I’m going to do the best job I can over the next four years.”

While Walker did, in fact, promise at least twice that he’d serve a full second term as Governor of Wisconsin, once before the 2014 election and once immediately after the 2014 election, the headline of Baldauff’s piece, “Scott Walker Won’t Run For President in 2016”, incorrectly implies that Walker had made an official statement that he won’t seek the presidency in next year’s elections. As of this writing, Walker has not yet issued an official statement as to whether or not he’ll run for president. In fact, the (Eau Claire) Leader-Telegram article that Baldauff cited referencing Walker claiming that he wants to keep his promises pertains to Wisconsin’s transportation budget, where Walker and his fellow Republicans have fought against each other over how to eliminate a massive transportation budget deficit. The article Baldauff cited did not mention his well-known ambitions of wanting to be President of the United States so that he and his far-right Republican cronies can turn America into a third-world country. I’m not defending Walker by any stretch of the imagination; in fact, Walker has repeatedly broken promises to the people of Wisconsin and has repeatedly proven that Wisconsinites can’t trust anything he says.

If I were writing that piece, I would have written the headline of that piece as “Scott Walker has Twice Promised Not to Run for President in 2016…Will he Break yet Another Promise?”, “Scott Walker has Effectively Promised that he won’t Run for President in 2016”, or something else that makes it 100% clear what the article is about. In the past, people have pointed out to me on this blog that I’ve written an article that contained a headline and/or passages that implied something different than what I intended to claim, and, when that happens, I make the appropriate edits to the blog post in question. Unlike Republicans and establishment Democrats, I learn from my mistakes.