Editor of Golfweek Gets the “Axe” for the “Noose”…Sort of

As many people know, Golfweek Magazine published its January 19th issue with a noose on the cover. The illustration was for an article on Kelly Tilghman’s statements about Tiger Woods that used the word “lynch” (discussed here on The Sports Watchers Radio Show).

However, as of January 18, 2008, Golfweek “replaced” Dave Seanor, the editor deemed responsible for okaying the noose illustration, and the Turnstile Pushing Co. president, William J. Kupper Jr. had this to say:

”We apologize for creating this graphic cover that received extreme negative reaction from consumers, subscribers and advertisers across the country…We were trying to convey the controversial issue with a strong and provocative graphic image. It is now obvious that the overall reaction to our cover deeply offended many people. For that, we are deeply apologetic.”

Quite frankly, I am glad they did replace former editor Dave Seanor. It was irresponsible of the editor to place a noose on the cover!

I will be honest with you, I am a young man, 23-years old, and seeing a picture of a noose does not invoke visions of hatred and the racist atmosphere of America’s past for me.

However, I am quite aware of the origins of the noose and the hatred that it stimulated and provoked throughout the better part of the 20th century, mainly 1882 to 1968 (from Tolerance.org). The noose was used in lynches, mainly in the South, and many southern black victims were hanged by this weapon of choice for bigoted individuals and organizations. It is said that over 4,700 people were murdered in this fashion, with the majority of them being black.

So I think it should be understood by an educated professional like Dave Seanor that a lot of people would have a “negative reaction” to this type of illustration, especially when it comes across as a marketing ploy that is taking advantage of an issue that once had grave repercussions for a generation of people that are still alive and present. Placing a picture on the cover of the magazine would have been like placing a gas chamber on the cover of a Nazi publication. It’s just not right, and reprimanding Dave Seanor was the least the Golfweek could do.

Nevertheless, don’t let president Kupper’s statement full you. He and the magazine should also be held responsible. Never should there have been any such an illustration on the cover of magazine. One only has to look back to last October to see the effects hanging nooses had on society when Jena 6 was in the news. However, I do not expect the president to suspend himself, but a deep reconfiguring of the editorial/publishing process at that magazine should be underway.

As for Dave Seanor, I would never promote the firing of a hard-working, middle-class person to lose part of their pay, never mind their job. But perhaps his next reporting assignment should be to educate the office on the day’s lunch specials from the café down the street from the office.

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