“Fright 214”: Subliminal Racism In Chicago Sun-Times Headline? [UPDATE]

Fright 214 - Chicago Sun-Times headline

Okay, this looks bad — replacing an L with an R in a story about a flight from Asia in which two Chinese teenagers died. But no editor could have possibly done this intentionally, right? Make an L-R confusion joke amid a tragedy, I mean. Spoonerisms really aren’t even very clever.

In any case, expect an apology soon. We’ll give the Sun-Times the benefit of the doubt and call “Fright 214” an error in carelessness, but it’s an error they’ll regret nonetheless.

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

UPDATE, 7/9, 7:37 pm: Via Kotaku:

Sun-Times Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Jim Kirk told the Asian American Journalist Association that his staff didn’t even think about how the headline could be perceived as insensitive.

“There was nothing intentional on our part to play off any stereotypes. …If anybody was offended by that, we are sorry,” Kirk told AAJA. “We were trying to convey the obviously frightening situation of that landing.”

10 Responses to ““Fright 214”: Subliminal Racism In Chicago Sun-Times Headline? [UPDATE]”

  1. Jay K.

    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

    Reply
    • Anthony Tao

      >> 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.

      You realize that’s pretty much exactly what I said.

      Reply
  2. Matt-G

    Its a normal journalist pun, normally used by tabloids. It maybe a little in bad taste, but its completely normal and not a spelling mistake. Fright just means terror, or frightening experience, so its a normal play of words using the flight number of the aeroplane.

    Reply
  3. bag-o-dicks

    I’ve said it before, Asian Americans are the most insanely oversensitive group on the planet. You really believe that a newspaper might make fun of an Asian accent in a story such as this? REALLY?

    It’s almost impossible to believe anyone could be so stupid but… happens quite a lot.

    Reply
  4. Chinese Netizen

    I’m not “Asian-American”, not PC, not overly sensitive and I love to take the piss out of most anything but this one is kind of uncool.

    Reply
  5. Markoff

    what does it have t do with rascism???

    1. Chinese have problems to pronounce strong R, so if they would like to make fun about chinglish I would expect different joke
    2. I guess author of this piece never heard about word “frightening” which the flight was for sure

    Reply

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