That “Black-racism” headline in the Star

by David Safier

I was out of town when this headline appeared in the Star on July 22.

Black-racism debate spotlighted

I couldn't comment on how misleading the headline is when it came out, so here's my belated exposure of the Star's Creative Headline Writing team.

The AP story begins with the trumped up Shirley Sherrod story and continues to discuss the conservatives' insistence that black racism is an issue.

The Star is the only paper that used the headline above. Here's what I found was used in papers on the same AP story in Boston, Miami, Sacramento, Indianapolis, Charlotte, Seattle, and on and on:

Black racism: a real problem, or pure politics?

The difference between the headlines is huge.

The headline everyone else chose is a close paraphrase of the story's opening: "Is black racism a real problem? Or is it pure politics?" It asks the question about whether it's a legitimate point of discussion.

The Star's headline says, there's two legitimate sides to this question. It's a genuine debate, not political grandstanding.

If you remember, the Star is famous, at least on El Blog, for its deceptive headlines. The editors must especially hate the health care reform legislation, because almost every story had a home made, anti-Obama headline. The paper actually put the phrase, "Obamacare is bad medicine" in a headline, ripping the line straight from Tea Party protests. No other legitimate daily, so far as I know, has used the pejorative term,  "Obamacare," in a headline.

I would tell the Star to be ashamed of itself, but when it comes to headlines, the paper's editors are clearly shameless.

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