Thursday, February 09, 2006

you are repressed, but you're remarkably dressed

Mainstream media really sucks sometimes.
Take for example the headline from this story, from Reuters:

Sex abuse victim to carry US colors

The story is about Chris Witty, who has been a Winter Olympics mainstay for the US in middle distance speed skating. She's won three Olympic medals, including the Gold for the 1,000 meters in 2002. In that event, she set a World Record time, which still stands.
Also, she has competed in some cycling events in two different Summer Olympics, making her only the ninth American to compete in both the Summer and Winter Games.

She was selected to be the flag bearer for the United States in the opening ceremonies of the Turin Games.

Witty recently announced that she was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. Surely this is a horrible thing, and something that should not be ignored. However, I think Reuters was remiss in their choice of words in the headline. It makes it seem as if they pulled some kid out of an orphanage to hoist the flag. It might also unintentionally shift the focus from "Chris Witty, Olympic athlete" to "Chris Witty, sexual abuse victim". If she wishes to be known henceforth as "abuse victim", that's one thing, but I still think they could have done something like:

US Flagbearer, five time Olympian Chris Witty was abused as a child

Those are just my two cents.

now playing:

The Mountain Goats All Hail West Texas

1 comment:

dale said...

The idea is to sell papers or get people to tune into your program. Just like the story 'Lesbian writer gets ripped off."
The truth was being a lesbian had absolutely nothing to do with the story but would it have been read if the headline said "Writer of screenplay gets ripped off"?

The headline is the hook and words like "sex" and "lesbian" get more attention that Olympia gold medialist or screenplay writer.

Which headline would catch your atention "Traffic jam on I-85' or "Topless women slow traffic"?

I agree with what you are saying but sex sells.