Very unfortunate headline

July 8, 2010

Tired Gay succumbs to Dix in 200 meters

ATHLETICSEUGENE, Oregon (Reuters) – Olympic bronze medalist Walter Dix edged out Tyson Gay in the former world champion’s hotly-anticipated return to the 200 meters at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting on Saturday.

Not a sports fan, nor a regular Reuters reader. But I have to ask, after a hot day in NYC watching stupid reporters actually trying to fry an egg on the sidewalk, why are you not better or smarter than them?

Don’t try to pretend that some copywriter didn’t go and have a few drinks after this one was published. My redneck friends cant stop sending this one to everyone they know. I see, plainly, the juvenile humor in your headline.


This was a most unfortunate headline, and obviously lots of people saw it.

Part of Reuters editorial training is to watch out for double-entendres and anything that could be perceived as sexual innuendo. In this case, a busy editor changed a headline to fit the space available and failed to spot a fairly obvious problem: GBU Editor

Walter Dix (R) of the U.S. crosses the finish line ahead of compatriot Tyson Gay (L) to win the men’s 200 meters at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League track meet in Eugene, Oregon July 3, 2010. REUTERS/Steve Dykes

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A busy editor ‘failed to spot an obvious problem’? As a child I was taught to own up to a mistake, not excuse my way out of it.
What, may I ask, is the policy of reuters about belittling people for being different? Joke about it unless you’re caught then say ‘oops’?
A substantial drop in integrity and objectivity is indeed an ‘obvious problem’ for reuters. But congratulations on side stepping your responsibilities as a professional body. Neat trick.

Posted by BCDarr | Report as abusive

I can’t help but notice that you’ve been unable to change your ‘very unfortunate headline’ which also happens to be the most popular and the most shared article today.

Don’t tell me, let me guess. Very unfortunate.

Posted by BCDarr | Report as abusive

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Niji Cupcake and exclarotive, Anup Chowdhury. Anup Chowdhury said: Very unfortunate headline […]

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I admit I didn’t see the “problem” until I read the headline about four times, so I can see where some copy editor in a hurry could make a mistake.

Lighten up, folks.

He who is without sin and all that, you know. . .

Posted by AlsoRan | Report as abusive

I think I’d find it easier to ‘lighten up’ if reuters followed through on their ‘regret’ and the headline was changed.
But I suppose it’s just too darned funny to worry about making things right.
By the way, thanks for quoting the bible and all. It reminded me that, thankfully, no straight, white christian was harmed in the making of that headline. As always.

Posted by BCDarr | Report as abusive

Oh, please. I don’t think any people of color, gays, non-xtians (I’m not xtian, by the way) were “harmed”, either. I’ve seen much worse that were intentional, so getting all upset over some obvious inadvertent namespace near-collision seems rather silly.

Let’s save our outrage for the truly outrageous, shall we?

Posted by AlsoRan | Report as abusive