Wednesday 22nd October 2014,

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You’re Kidding Me, Right? Check Out This Headline in Chicago Sun Times. ht/ @jfdulac

posted by Randall

Sun Times HeadlineYou have got to be kidding me.

The Chicago Sun-Times splashed this headline on the front page.

This either has to be an embarrassing typo or someone’s idea of a sick joke.

FRIGHT 214, said the headline.

Not Flight 214 but Fright 214.

Some are wondering whether this typo was done on purpose.

The Sun-Times will probably never admit it, but my money is on that the headline writer thought he was being creative.

First, its pretty sick to use a play on words in a headline for a tragedy.

Secondly, this one’s pretty racist.

What do you think?

 

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77 Comments

  • Michael Valdez via Facebook RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: "WOW…can't even comment on this…"

  • Pierre Nguyen via Facebook RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: " I think it's out of line but not racists by any means"

  • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: I think AAJA needs to send a letter to Chicago Sun-Times to demand an apology. This is both poor judgement and racist.

    • I definitely agree Dottie. I hope it happens soon.

    • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline where is the racist at???

  • From Yuki Schwarz via Facebook: RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: -"I think it never even occurred to the writer that this would be a problem or offensive. Which is why diversity in the newsroom is critical."

  • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: really, an apology? are we to the point now of being oversensitive, that the first thing one looks at at this type of tragedy is: Asians thinking just because this was an airline owned by an Asian company in which two Asian females died, the people @ Chicago Sun Times thought “oh hey wouldn’t it be funny if we switched the L to an R” That’s some dark humor, morbid racism at best.

    I really don’t know if it was done on purpose to be racist, but I’d like to give the benefit of the doubt whoever wrote the headlines didn’t pull that much of a dick move on this tragedy.

    Get your head out of your ass

    PS.
    I am an Asian-American, and my first thought to this incident was it was a tragedy, I hope friends and family of those on board are coping somehow; not “omg did they jsut spell “flight” as “fright” was someone watching too much Kim Jung Il on Team America movie?”

    • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: I agree with you Jay. It seems that people are always looking for something to stab at racism. As if “ummmm, he just said *****”. Maybe it really ‘was’ intended as “fright”, and not a racial way of saying it, as it definately did turn into a fright. And, I really don’t think people are oversensitive, I just think individuals like to make an issue over about anything they can. Everything has to be so politically correct nowadays, that when it’s not, it’s automatically turned into something that it wasn’t really meant to be.

    • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: it’s like people forgot that “fright” is an actual english word or something.

    • RE: Sun-Times headline: I agree to some extent, but you cant rule out all suspicion. There was this article named “fright 214″ , then there was the KTVU mishap with letting fake names of pilots, and also the whole “chink in the chain” espn article on jeremy lin during lin-sanity as well as the whole good fortune thing for jeremy lin as well. I feel like racism against asians are held to a different standard then other races, say african americans. Where in the US people seem to know exactly what is right and wrong racial sensitivity for african americans, but dont really understand with asians? How can 3 established news outlets let these kinds of things happen? Do we really think they were that dumb to let these things happen, and if so, we’re letting these dumb people report our news…. like come on.

  • From Nathan Pak via Facebook RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: "A poorly constructed pun. I think this is definitely a "stupidity before malice" situation."

  • From Mitchell Yang via Facebook RE: Chicagon Sun-Times Headline: " The 'fright' part is in bad taste, but could someone point out to me where is the suspected racism?"

    • It plays on the tired joke that Asians can't pronounce their "l's" It perpetuates the idea that we are foreigners. How long do we have to be here before we are considered American.

    • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: I don’t think it was meant to be racist. However, it is absolutely in poor taste, for finding a pun out of a tragedy.

  • From Keith Chang via Facebook: RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: " It's the "Chicago Thug" way (and no offense to anyone here from Chicago) but just look at how Obama's piss poorly running this country into the ground and creating constant racial divisons; this editor is just another kool aid drinking member of the socialist media who gets away with publishing an ignorant article like this…god forbid it was an African plane"

    • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: Wow, that took forever to make this about politics. Thanks for stepping up.

    • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: shut up

    • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: A plane operated by a Korean airline crash lands in San Francisco, the Chicago Sun Times uses an insensitive & ill-advised play on words in its coverage of the tragedy, and you somehow find a way to make this Obama’s fault? Shut the f*** up. You don’t have a clue about the scope of the power & responsibilities of the office of the president. You may not even be a rationally thinking being. Did Obama write the headline? Was Obama flying the plane? Do you suffer from schizophrenia and Obama kept you from taking medications today?Evidently the later must be true. The metaphor ‘running into the ground’ with relation to a plane crash where people died is incredulously insensitive. Your logic were piss poorly put together. Your mention of kool-aid in conjunction with Obama and that quip about ‘an African plane’ hints at a certain black stereotype & does more to ‘create racial division’ than the headline. And above all, for this comment, you deserve to have your right to freedom of speech, expression, and any internet-ready device revoked, and to be punched squarely in the mouth.

    • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: LOL so Obama is behind it all? Whatever your sniffing I want 10 kilos.

  • From Pierre Nguyen via Facebook RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: " or a plane crashing could be frightful"

    • RE Pierre Nguyen comment on Chicago Sun-Times Headlines: "Understood, but that's a play on words that would not have been used if the headline writer had any cultural sensitivity

  • From Mitchell Yang via Faceook RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: "Honestly, it took me a while to get the 'L' part. I just thought it was a play on words, but we probably won't know unless the newspaper explains it…though they probably would never admit to racism."

  • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: Is it not possible that they simply meant ‘fright’ and didn’t intend any racism? That would seem to be the simplest explanation to me.

  • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: “I lol’d.”

  • From Jerry Liu via Facebook RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: "Wow, that's horrible."

  • From Tyrone Liu via Facebook RE: Chicagon Sun-Times Headline: "it didn't even occur to me about the [R vs L] thing. In this case, I choose to believe that the headline writer and editor were NOT that intelligent to include a play on words AND a cultural putdown at the same time. LOL."

    • From Jerry Liu via Facebook RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: " ^Word"

  • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline. Racist implies intent, and this just looks like plain old stupid.

    • RE: Stupid or racist. It's Just Wrong and Needs to Be Called Out. To Ignore It is to Condone It.

    • RE:Chicago Sun Times Headline: “The Sun-Times will probably never admit it, but my money is on that the headline writer thought he was being creative.

      First, its pretty sick to use a play on words in a headline for a tragedy.

      Secondly, this one’s pretty racist.”

      “To Ignore It is to Condone It.”

      To condone what? Condone your interpreting things wrong? Condone your lashing out at a company you have probably had no experience with because you see a headline and immediately think racism? Yeah, we should definitely condone that.

      Also, Capitalizing Every Word In Your Comment Is Really Hard To Read For Some Reason.

  • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: “Brought to you by the same paper whose managers recently sacked their entire photography staff (in favor of iPhones and such)…just sayin’.”

  • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: “Just really really bad taste, poor judgement….the “New” Chicago Sun-Times…..dot.com”

  • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: The real problem is expecting a tabloid to have high standards of integrity.

  • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline:I worked for several years as a headline writer, and there’s no way it’s a typo. They’d never write a headline that just said Flight 214. Too blah and says nothing. Headlines are supposed to be clever or punny or eye catching in some way. This was absolutely intentional, and someone should be fired for lack of judgment.

  • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headlines: Everybody has to make such a big deal of everything anymore. I’m sure it was just meant as fright, yes no play on words probably should have been done but why does everyone have to think everything is racist these days?

  • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: We don’t need a play on words in a tragedy such as this. As a retired journalist, I see very poor judgment.

  • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: Took me awhile. I don’t think it is intentionally racist, I think it’s a typo. People are so ridiculously sensitive these days they are forever searching for zebras in a field of cows.

  • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: Don’t people have better things to do in the state of our country and economy than to peruse everything with a microscope and look for things to be offended about? Seriously… how about get offended that the black community has the highest unemployment rate since segregation was outlawed. Or how about outrage over our borders being opened up not to help Hispanics and Obama said, but to aid his muslim friends, that the entire world is now fight against. Or how about all the money our government is sending to other countries instead of helping our poor, hungry and sick…especially children. Those are things to get offended about…. a typo or stupid headline is just that ignorance. The fright is referring to the FEAR the people on that flight must have experienced during the crash…. Was it in poor taste? Yes. But all this political correctness, constant looking for something to be offended by is ruining this country. Take out your own trash before you start complaining about another person’s.

  • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline:I didn’t even think to take offense to the title of the column!! If I was on that plane, I am sure I’d be frightened too, no doubt. And for the Asian-Americans or Asians viewing the title, I (for one) didn’t even pick up on the connotation until it was pointed out. I do not think it was meant how people are taking it. Just my POV….

  • Wade Professor X-Huang via Facebook: RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: " It seems like a play on words to me. I can see them using this headline regardless of the origin of the plane. Don't we all strive for equality? It doesn't occurs to me as culturally insensitive."

    • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: Racism?? Are you sober? Bad judgement yes…..

  • Tee Yee Jonathan Eng via Facebook RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: Ever heard of a typo? It happens

    • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: Ever hear of proof readers. They have them.

  • Michael Tam Hill: RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: "fright 9/11"

  • From Anthony Liu via Facebook RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: it's definitely a sick joke… he know what he was doing…

  • from RP Muriera via Twitter RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: Definitely racist!

  • From Will Cheng via Facebook RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: it's meant to describe fear. You know, since fright means fear…

  • From Yanyinchoy via Twitter RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: Ugh! First tweeters tweeted about how Asians can't fly &North Korea is attacking US…then this…#childhoodmemories :(

  • Wade Professor X-Huang via Facebook: RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: I can completely understand it wasn't a typo, and i can also see how it's a play on words on it being a FRIGHTful flight. In which case i don't see a problem. If they did mean it as the whole "fried rice flied lice" scenario, then yes it is quite racist. Has anyone asked the headline writer for a comment?

  • RE:Chicago Sun Times Headline: AsAmNews will report on it if and when the Chicago Sun Times responds to some of the concerns.

  • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: “When I read the headline, my first thought as a sensible, understanding and common-sense holding individual was that a plane had crashed and upon reading the article, most survived. Not once did I compared how other cultures cannot say/mix up L and R’s. Those that immediately do need to take a moment and sit down and take a deep breath. Those that are angered by this are humorous at best and need to find some sort of hobby to distract them from our politically correct world we now live in.”

  • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: What a way to generate clicks to your site creating controversy over something so damn stupid and irrelevant.

    • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: Brandon, I see how a skeptic would assume I'm trying to create controversy to generate clicks on my site. But ethics is something we as journalists deal with everyday. Your questioning of my motives and sincerity is without merit.

  • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: i thought fright that using is a combo word for frightening and flight? lulz

  • From Simon Mathew via Facebook RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: "Yeah, I think it was a play on words. Unfortunate? Sure. Intentionally offensive? No."

  • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: I’m really surprised at how someone can’t read this as insensitive and racist. Also, as someone who used to work in a pre-press environment at a newspaper, I can see how the headline could have been written as a joke, the writer got distracted, and the headline let it get by them before going to press. If a true scenario, one of the reasons why you never “have fun” with production work. Still would not negate the original insensitivity both to a culture and the victims involved.

  • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: It was Fright to those on the plane. So I don’t see what’s the big deal.

  • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: People just need to STFU with their BS comments these days. Racist this, poor judgement that, offensive this. Who F****** cares. There are more important things going on in this World than a headline in a newspaper. This is why Ihate people more and more!

  • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline:
    “I didn’t see anything wrong with it until the “L” was pointed out. I’m far from PC, but I would not have done this especially when people died. But this is Chicago. They are use to people dying. ”

  • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: I did not even pick up on the “racist” pun until this article pointed it out. I doubt that was intentional. I think you at the AsAmNews are just looking for a story, and stirring up drama, and their is neither one of those here. If you ask me, your article is in worse taste than the original headline you are scrutinizing.

  • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: The headline writer was probably trying to be creative, using the word “Fright” not as a racial commentary in regards to Asian dialect, but as a mechanism to describe the scene as frightening. Was this the best choice for a headline? Probably not. But is it worth crucifying the headline writer? Absolutely not.

  • RE: Chicagon Sun-Times Headline:Hmmm it could have be done on purpose since the “R” and the “L” on the keyboard is no near close to one another.

  • RE:Chicago Sun-Times Headline: You’re far reaching to call this racist. There is nothing racist in it. Where is your head!

  • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: This publication has stooped to a new low of sensationalizing a sad event, making fun of another race and trying to increase readership! Pathetic!

  • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: When I first saw the paper I read it exactly how Sun Times wanted it to be read. I didn’t immediately add racial connotations to it. I read “fright” as the literal meaning of that particular organization of letters. As a fear due to a plane crashing. But I guess people always find a way to complain. Sigh. I guess they should’ve known someone, somewhere, would eventually twist it into racism. Again, sigh.

    Funny that people who don’t live near Chicago and who have likely never read a single copy of the Sun, are the ones to claim the magazine is run by racists. Typical Internet, real typical.
    Why are you so quick to call racism? Do you know what “fright” means? I wish people would read things literally, without spinning them out of control, especially against a sound newspaper that has never had issues with race or discrimination. Why now? Because someone online twists it into racism, right? That sure sounds like sound reasoned judgments by everyone here claiming racism.

    Isn’t there some moral knowledge that you shouldn’t make complete judgements from quick judgments? I’m sure it’s easy to claim racism being that this is probably the first headline in the Sun Times most of you have ever seen. I know when I decide upon someone’s moral character I don’t do so based on one instance of MY interpretation of that person’s actions….because that would be stupid.
    When I first saw the paper I read it exactly how Sun Times wanted it to be read. I didn’t immediately add racial connotations to it. I read “fright” as the literal meaning of that particular organization of letters. As a fear due to a plane crashing. But I guess people always find a way to complain. Sigh. I guess they should’ve known someone, somewhere, would eventually twist it into racism. Again, sigh.

    Funny that people who don’t live near Chicago and who have likely never read a single copy of the Sun, are the ones to claim the magazine is run by racists. Typical Internet, real typical.

    I live in northern Illinois and read the Sun Times often. As probably one of the ONLY people in this comment section who does so, I have never seen problems with implied racism by Sun Times writers or editors. It just seems the Internet has struck out at it’s next victim.

    Then this guy wouldn’t have been able to write this article.

    Watch…. “Comment deleted”

    “The Sun-Times will probably never admit it, but my money is on that the headline writer thought he was being creative. First, its pretty sick to use a play on words in a headline for a tragedy. Secondly, this one’s pretty racist.” “To Ignore It is to Condone It.” To condone what? Condone your interpreting things wrong? Condone your lashing out at a company you have probably had no experience with because you see a headline and immediately think racism? Yeah, we should definitely condone that. Also, Capitalizing Every Word In Your Comment Is Really Hard To Read For Some Reason.

  • *it's

  • I think calling this intentionally offensive is jumping to conclusions. I agree that the newsroom needs to have more diversity if no one caught this, though. I think calmly educating the ignorant is in order here. I also suspect that Asian Americans will build more bridges by asking questions and taking the high road instead of accusing.
    On a loosely related note, does anyone know if the "L" is more often misused as an "R" or the other way around?

  • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: It’s important to use logic when trying to determine if racism is involved, because there are plenty of things people say and do that could easily be misconstrued as racist, when race literally hadn’t crossed their minds. There is no such thing as accidental racism: a phrase with an obvious racist interpretation is only racist if that was what the speaker had in mind when they said it.

    Does the writer think the Tribune thought it would be acceptable, or good for business, to appear racist, especially in relation to an accident involving the death of two children? No.

    Does the writer think they thought of this as a racially motivated headline, or even that its potentially racist interpretation, but assumed millions of readers would overlook it? No.

    Then to insinuate the headline may be racist in *spite* of logic or contextual evidence, based solely upon headline’s origin, is in fact the first bit of racial stereotyping that’s taken place.

    Calling someone racist should be kind of like calling someone a rat in the mob: it’s such a serious accusation that people who invoke it frivolously should be considered as bad as racists themselves.

    – Shane

  • I am not disagreeing with those who have criticized my use of the term "racist." I acknowledged in a blog post Monday morning that it was inappropriate, but maintain the headline was culturally insensitive and well as inappropriate given the tragedy of the news story. It was not appropriate for the Sun-Times to be cute with its headline. Here is my post from yesterday morning. http://j.mp/12yjmLf

    • RE: Headline in Chicago Sun-Times: Fair enough, but a bad judgement call seems less inappropriate than bringing race into it; it almost overshadows the original offense in my mind.

    • RE: Shane's Comment on Headline in Chicago Sun-Times: From your personal perspective and experience, my "offense", as you call it, probably is worse. But from my personal experience, someone who has felt the sting of racism throughout my life, the insensitivity of the headline is the bigger offense. and from per numbers, my "offense" was seen by tens of thousands. The Headline was seen by hundreds of thousands.
      I won't dismiss your personal experience and perspective. Please don't dismiss mine.

    • RE: Headline in Chicago Sun-Times: Sorry, I don’t mean to dismiss or belittle ypur experiences.

    • RE: Headline in Chicago Sun-Times: Cool. No worries.

    • RE: Chicagon Sun-Times Headline: I appreciate your well thought out comments on this site, Shane. Thank you.

    • RE: Chicago Sun Times Headline: Likewise. A funny thing about level headed discussions about different views is that you leave them feeling enlightened rather than enraged. You know you were heard, regardless of the outcome. Thank you for that.

  • RE: Chicago Sun-Times Headline: No racism. Just bad judgment. But interesting and sad that many would think it was a play on pronunciation of an immigrant group.

  • re: Chicago Sun Times Headline: Sniffle.

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