Golfweek’s Noose Nonsense

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Two multiplied negative numbers create a positive number. But it is also learned that two wrongs don’t make a right. So when one media outlet calls out another on racist commentary, is it part of the solution or the problem? According to the powers that be at Golfweek magazine, they’re part of the problem. The magazine fired editor Dave Seanor after electing to run an image of a noose on the publication’s cover. The cover story responded to the Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman’s racially-charged commentary directed toward Tiger Woods — a commentary that included the word ‘lynch.’ The symbolic cover walks that tightrope of controversy but Seanor should be applauded for scrutinizing Tilghman’s words. While Seanor — who suspected advertising pressures played a role in his departure — lost his job, Tilghman merely faces a two-week suspension. In an interview with Michael Arkush, Seanor said: “When race and golf are in the same sentence, people want to change the subject as soon as they can.” Perhaps the wealthy white readership isn’t ready for this dialogue; perhaps Golfweek wasn’t the venue for a race discussion. But in 2008 it should be.

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One response to “Golfweek’s Noose Nonsense

  1. cautiousoptimist

    I feel perplexed by seemingly blatent disregard for honest discourse about what can rightly be described as a sensitive yet extraordinarily pertinent topic. According to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, one of the definitions of media is ‘a channel for cultivation’. Searching further, I found the definition of cultivate: ‘to foster growth; to improve by labor, care or study’. I applaud the efforts of Seanor for being bold in his approach to race relations as they relate to the sport of golf. It is frightening if we have reached a point where we can’t even ask the hard questions, let alone learn their answers. How can we possibly ‘foster growth’ and ‘improve by study’ without these essential questions?

    I believe that the decision to place the image of a noose on the front cover is questionable. With the recent outbreak of incidents where nooses have been hung outside the office doors and homes of African Americans (and high profile media coverage that resulted), Seanor might have been slightly more cautious in this regard. That having bee said, I admire Seanor’s belief that the magazine “had to step back out of that little microcosm of golf and look at the bigger, wide world out there.” I hope that more members of the media have the courage of Seanor to cultivate- challenging the status quo and thinking about more than just their own job security.

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