I had initially not paid much attention to the pulled Nike Hyperdunk advertisements on which Basketbawful gave his opinion last week, but I noticed a lot of people were commenting, so I reread his post to refresh my memory.

I agree with everything Basketbawful said. It’s not difficult to find a lot of people who agree, because we are the vast majority. Most of us believe it’s a shame how easily people are offended, but an even bigger shame that those few – very few – thin-skinned individuals can actually effect the world at large.

I decided to perform an online search to see if I could view the entire ad campaign. I wanted to have a better sense of its full scope, and perhaps write a post about how “offended” I am at the racial make-up of the dunkERs vs. the dunkEEs (the only picture I’d seen was of a black player dunking over a white player – excuse me, an African-American player over a Caucasian player). The intent of my post, of course, would be to illustrate by way of satire the foolishness of those who were so offended.

Anyway, when I googled “Nike Hyperdunk ads,” I couldn’t find the ad campaign. I imagine most evidence of it has been burned, buried, or shot into space to ensure nobody else is offended by it. What I did find however, was a July 29th, 2008 item on Advocate.com (a national gay and lesbian online publication) entitled “Nike to Drop Offensive Hyperdunk Ads.”


After a quick glance, I was about to exit this page when I noticed the “(AP)” at the end of the text followed by the Associated Press copyright notice: “© 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.”

From everything I’ve ever known about AP releases, news distributors (when given permission to use these items) are meant not only to attribute the items to the Associated Press, but also report said items without altering even one word of it, which is covered in the copyright notice: “may not be…rewritten...”

So the Advocate properly footnoted the source of the piece – the respected, unbiased Associated Press. But I’m looking at the title of this article, and I’m thinking it looks curiously biased to me. “Nike to Drop Offensive Hyperdunk Ads”? Wouldn’t the Associated Press – the true standard-bearer of “fair and balanced” reporting - realize that these ads were only offensive to a very few, and that calling them “offensive” in the title implies that everyone on the planet regards them as offensive just as certainly as we regard the White House as white?

Well, the writer of the Associated Press did know this, it appears. I looked further, checking with the Associated Press site itself, which has a search mechanism allowing visitors to view random local news websites that reprint AP material. In article after article, I found the original title of the Nike news piece:
“Nike to drop Hyperdunk ads some see as homophobic.”
Big difference.

Here are screenshots from the many publications I found that reprinted this news the correct way:

Indianapolis Star
York Dispatch
Mississippi's Clarion Ledger
Astoria, Oregon
Detroit News
Bennington Banner, Bennington, VT
East Valley Tribune, Phoenix
Hawaii
Ventura County, California
The Daily Journal, NJ
St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Bay, FL.

Ft. Myers, Florida

San Diego, California

Some of you may be asking yourselves if there were there even slight variations on this title. Well, I did my research, and yes, I found one variation:

“After earlier defense, Nike says it will drop Hyperdunk ads some see as homophobic.”

I found this alternate wording in three locations. It was exactly the same in all of them, indicating to me this is some authorized AP variant of the title. More importantly, the variant does not alter the bias, meaning, or context of the original title:

FW Daily News, Indiana / Ohio
Los Angeles KFWB News
West Texas News

Now, the Associated Press has a very strict code of values and principles. Their press release on this subject includes phrases such as “we abhor inaccuracies, carelessness, bias or distortions” and “Quotations must be accurate, and precise.” One assumes, then, that they demand the same from those agencies that reprint their material.

The AP also requires written permission for use of its material. One must also assume, then, that the AP would never have authorized the Advocate’s modified title, since it so clearly changes the title’s context and meaning. If they did, shame on them. If they didn’t, shame on Advocate.com.

I consider this a significant breach of journalistic integrity. The Advocate is supposedly the preeminent publication, both in print and online, for homosexual men and women, and it appears on the surface to be altering pieces of Associated Press news to fit in line with its own agendas. This is an AP news piece, not an editorial piece – and yet someone at the Advocate appears to have decided to editorialize, essentially informing readers that the Nike ads are offensive. That, friends, would be more offensive than the Nike ads themselves ever were.

The Advocate was at least wise enough not to alter the body text of the piece, which appears to remain in tact. There is, however, one thing at the end of the second paragraph (and this is hilarious because it shows that the editors of the Advocate are fully aware of journalistic guidelines) where they write “the [Portland] Oregonian reported.” For those who don’t know, square brackets signify missing material; in other words, the original AP article didn’t have the word “Portland” in it, but the Advocate folks wanted to make sure you knew the town from which the Oregonian originates. That’s nice of them, isn’t it? And yet they aren’t at all concerned that you know they altered the title of the article to suit their political views.

Allegedly.

There's one bright spot here. A majority of the comments by readers of the Advocate (which I have saved in a lengthy screen shot for posterity) state that they don’t find the ads offensive either. What does this suggest? It suggests the Advocate is not in sync with the gay and lesbian community and shouldn’t bother to claim it speaks for anyone but its own collective editorial staff.

To those who would complain to Advocate.com, don’t bother. If the Advocate catches wind of this, they’ll fix that online title faster than the Nike ads disappeared. All I want you to do, loyal Basketbawful readers, is follow this link, see that I speak the truth, and add a comment to this post that you saw the Advocate title is exactly as I’ve said. Your comments are far better proof even than my screenshot, since we all know that nowadays it’s as easy to alter a picture as it is to alter an Associated Press news piece.

I don't know if AP news titles are altered by news outlets with regularity. I have made an inquiry about this issue to the AP, and have received no response as of the time of this post, but I'll update you with anything I learn. Regardless of who is the responsible party here – the AP for authorizing such a blatant bastardization of their material, or the Advocate for bastardizing it – somebody in this food chain has spit in the face of proper journalism.

I can just see this item as reported by the Associated Press on Advocate.com:
“Mean Jerky Sports Website picks on Pure Innocent Gay Advocacy Publication.”

It’s all about the spin.

Labels: , , ,

65 Comments:
Blogger DC said...
Awesome article. I checked out the Advocate link, and it was just as you said. There is absolutely no indication from The Advocate that the original title had been changed.

I also read the comments, and they are hilarious (esp. the "Genius Ad" comment).

I wonder when people will realize how misused the word "homophobic" is. A phobia is an irrational fear. If you ask a homophobe why he/she dislikes homosexuality, they will tell you exactly why. And they will probably also say that they are afraid but disgusted. The word "homophobia" is just another example of how political correctness and posturing continues to destroy the meaning of language.

Anonymous Nick F. (Buck Nasty) said...
I'm not suprised by this. If every politician in the world can put a spin on things and get away with it, a one word change (which did impact the meaning of the story) is not suprising to me at all. Frankly I don't really care all that much either. Me not angry of dunk slam, it not look gay me. Me just caveman.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
But, but, everything on the Internet is true...

(clicks link)

(world view is shattered)

Yea, but seriously it's still like that at the time of this post.

Anonymous My Arvydas said...
Good point, ET. THe worst thing is that gay folks just trying to live their lives will be thought to have these blockheads for spokespersons. Tough luck.

Anonymous Jonny Drama said...
I saw the link, they still have the "Nike drops offensive hyperdunk ads"

Blogger Jukai said...
Just left my own comment. It is STILL there.

Blogger mico said...
Yeah went to the site saw the same title as you did

Nike to Drop Offensive Hyperdunk Ads

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Did you just say the white house is white?

This is obviously an offensive anti-Obama remark.

And I, for one, am offended.

Anonymous Nick F. (Buck Nasty) said...
I didn't think that. I thought he was saying that it's obvious that the white house is white because it has white in the name. If he was going to make an anti-obama remark then he would compare him to ron paul or something.

Blogger KneeJerkNBA said...
The strangest element of this story is that the people who are most offended seem to be those who know the least about the context of these shots.

The particular ad getting everyone riled up features 'That Ain't Right' text over an image of a man's groin flying into another man's face. Taken out of context, it's being interpreted as some blanket statement about the morality of being gay, I guess.

Trying to dunk over someone has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Yep. Title's still there. I'm offended.

Nice research and article, ET. Maybe you should strap a camera to your head and go visit them in person? Just at thought!

Anonymous Jon said...
Yep it's still the same.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Well, despite my request, people are commenting about the title alteration on advocate.com.

My favorite is:

Name: Mike
Date posted: 2008-08-04 11:52 AM
Hometown: San Diego

Comment:
You should not be altering the title of AP asticles to fit your agenda... shame on you.

I just like the word "asticle."

I am about to send a link of this to the AP. We'll see if they do anything.

Blogger shimmy said...
Hah, yeah, I thought that was funny, too, the random reference to the White House being definitely white; right in the middle of an anti-gay-activists rant. Whuups!

I had to just laugh out loud. Happens a lot. It's funny how words just tumble out, whenever we're talking about things we care about -- or, at least, we think we care about them.

So, yeah, I'm one of those dudes who sees something like that-there nick-picking fiesta of a post (I mean, freakin' THIS website ranting about THIS freakin' transgression???) and part of me immediately assumes that the writer is an old-thyme hater... or, really, much more likely, (because this outlook of mine really needs to be based on assuming complexity, not easy answers about right and wrong,) this person is being influenced by "unfortunate" forces and/or reacting to pain from his/her own past. But then I remember that it's the internet, and people are doing a butt-load of typing, and words just tumble out; no harm, no foul.

But if the post were being plastered all over billboards, and subway stations, and magazines, well, then, more than a few people would have an interest in it being a little bit different. Including you. Here's a glimpse at the motor of civilization.

Look, some people* think a butt-load about hoops, and how things affect hoops, and how hoops affects things. Thanks!

Some people think a lot about what words and images and messages do. More than you think.

*(What, me? Oh, sure, of course I do, a little... I expect to see: a career year from Western Finals MVP Ron Artest, minutes from Giddens and/or Walker, Sporadi-Shaq, a rising Starbury, better posts.)

Blogger Evil Ted said...
shimmy,

I don't like bad journalism, and this bad journalism has a basketball angle. That's it. I wasn't ass-raped as a child and secretly found I enjoyed it or something.

Get over yourself.

Evil Ted

Blogger Michael said...
ET,

Not to get on shimmy's side or anything (I agreed with the earlier post here about the over-reaction-ary-ness [yeah, it's a word]) but this doesn't necessarily have a place here, IMO. This doesn't necessarily construe "bad journalism" - it's just some subtle agenda-pushing. While you and I are in agreement that that, in and of itself, is a poor thing to do, I'd be willing to bet that it happens a lot more often than you're seeing by looking at just this one sample case.

Overall point? Let's not turn Basketbawful into some crusading website. Let's just make with the funny. Cuz y'all already do it so well.

(Having to add disclaimers sucks, but I'll do it anyway: I'm not saying your piece sucks Ted. And I'm not saying that we can't ever be serious here. Y'all should do whatever you want. But this...it just seems like nit-picking to me.)

Blogger shimmy said...
Evil Ted, I'm happy to hear it. But that's a sort of cartoonish conclusion to jump to, don't you think?

What I was on my soap-box about, actually, mostly in reaction to the first few commenters, really, is the simple fact that there are all sorts of crazy things that go into the formation of our personalities, all sorts of injustices that get rewarded, all sorts of little hurts, and all sorts of unfortunate aspects of less-than-perfect influences... and noting how all of this is now on display on the series of tubes... but that most of what I think I see in that regard is actually not very revealing... because it's just people typing away.

I know, this kind of talk is maddening. Maybe just maddening enough to jar loose a memory...? No, sir. I'm just fooling.

I'm just fooling.

As far as the actual journalism angle of this post, sure, I agree that standards are important. If you ever post about someone saying that this-here website has no standards (which wouldn't be a hard case to at least fake-make), then I'll jump right into the comment thread to defend y'all as having actually very admirable standards, within the reality of fulfilling your ultimate publishing mission.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
michael,

First, I explained - and fairly well I thought - that I was planning to do a satire on the whole Nike thing when I noticed the Advocate stuff...

Second, the basketbawful website currently has 1,069 posts in it. Two serious posts do not a crusade make.

I will admit I was wary of squeezing humor into this post because the subject matter is so goddamn high and mighty. Even my wife, who proofread for me, told me I was a little over the top (you should read the earlier versions I wrote when I was pissed off).

Finally, if subtle agenda pushing happens on AP news pieces more often than I know, then I WANT to know. And if nobody's gonna challenge it, then I'll gladly do so at the expense of a few readers who get all discombobulated when a post doesn't contain dick and midget jokes.

shimmy,

Me thinks thou dost accuse too much of others "just typing away."

And I have no "ultimate publishing mission." I'm not the frickin' Associated Press, after all.

ET

Blogger Evil Ted said...
AND Michael -

You are so disenchanted with serious, and yet you haven't even entered a submission into the "Complete that sentence" contest in the previous post??? You might as well bitch about who's president and not even vote - oops, did I get too serious again?

Complete the sentence, M.
And be funny.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
In these slow sports news months, I enjoyed this different sytle.

Gotta try everything atleast once, right? Good asticle ET.

Blogger PistonsGirl4Life said...
Please allow me quote the less talented Corey when I say "Woah"...

I REALLY don't want to get into this because this isn't the place, but let me just say the following... one of the following four letters describes me, or at least used to: BGLT... and I have NEVER, EVER, EVER bothered to read the Advocate. They are hardly a "little pink champion of news and justice" despite what their masthead says.

Otoh, Ted, Bawful whoever... the ads DID suck. And there WERE multi layered. And it WAS an attempt by a Marketing company to appeal to the main target audience through basketball while implanting a seed of doubt with shocking imagery/word combinations for EVERYONE ELSE.

If you don't believe that, you know absolutely NOTHING about good marketing these days and guess what? That was BRILLIANT marketing.

It was also wrong and I'm glad it's gone.

/endrant now like other's said. Make with the funny, ESPN's comment section is already sufficient for arguing about things that have nothing to do with sports in L337.

Anonymous Nick F. (Buck Nasty) said...
I love this website. I'm never gonna give you guys up. Never gonna let you down, or hurt you. Never gonna tell a lie. Never gonna say goodbye. Never gonna give you up Matt, Evil Ted. Evil Ted's Wife.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
anacondahl -

Astical is gonna make me laugh every time every time I hear it, read it, or say it. I'm laughing right now.

pistonsgirl -
I'm IN marketing. On the other hand, I'm not terribly good at it, so that would explain that.

Nick -
I'm gonna have to break out my Rick Astley cassette now. You make me feel like we are together forever and never to part
Together forever we two
And dont you know
I would move heaven and earth
To be together forever with you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Shimmy... what's all this "butt-load" talk?

That sounds like offensive anti-gay sentiment to me.

And I, for one, am offended.

Blogger PistonsGirl4Life said...
ET, then I'm lost. I don't understand how you can honestly say that ad was purely basketball if you've studied/work in the field of marketing. Jokes about you sucking at it aside, this is the "BIG THING" these days in advertising... combinations of imagery/words that are innocent seeming on the surface but "provocative" when seen up close. Japan in particular doesn't HAVE any other type of advertising anymore (and it's even hit their entertainment... almost all new Manga series are now targeted at as many as 3-4 key focus groups to increase reading audience)...

You're in marketing and don't know about this? Really?

Blogger PistonsGirl4Life said...
Sorry for the double post but I call shenanigans....

I was JUST about to go search for that brilliant little series of articles I read on the internet someplace about how Gatoraide bottles are shaped like penis's on purpose when I realize....

That was from this website. I feel used.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
UPDATE:

The AP response:
"copyright can not be altered but different newspapers word the headings differently"

Why any news outlet should be allowed to reword an AP title is beyond me.

As for pistonsgirl's comments, I took one more look at the Hyperdunk poster I have access to...Why does the dude getting dunked on have his arm around the other guy's ass? Certainly some erotic suggestion there - however, there is a difference between a homophobic ad and a satirical or intentionally offensive ad. One is just plain ignorant, while the other just has a racy sense of humor.

Perhaps you're right, PG4L. They've got us talking, and that, in the end, is genius marketing.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Evil Ted is married? Is anyone else floored by this? I mean, no offense (and by that I mean I am going to say something offensive), but your snarky writing style and evil bastard basketball antics are well documented in this blog, and I find it somewhat surprising that you would enter into the sacred vows of holy matrimony, loving and sharing your life with somebody else! How amazingly UN-evil of somebody with your namesake!

...Then again, the ladies do always fall for jerks.

And keeping pace with anacondahl, let me just say that reading your blog,
I've...had...the time of my life...and I've neeeever felt this way beeeforre... HACK!!! (/choking on own vomit)

Anonymous Nick F. (Buck Nasty) said...
In response to Evil Ted and I's Astley love: I think I found a new secret internet best friend.

On astical: New word of the day?

Blogger Evil Ted said...
pistonsgirl -
Here's what I've stated about this issue:

1.) It's a shame that people are so easily offended and thin-skinned.

2.) It's a shame when news agencies retitle AP articles for their own benefit.

I've never said these ads weren't multi-layered, or couldn't easily be perceived in different ways. I'm well aware that Joe Camel's face is a penis entering a vagina, and that every cigarette on every billboard is placed suggestively between a woman's breasts or ass. I'm in financial marketing, and we don't do a lot of T & A work.

AK Dave -
Rest assured. There is very little loving and sharing in my marriage.
Pseu-pseu-pseudio.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Nick -

Asticle is tough because it is merely a misspelling, but has more going for it on the funny-o-meter than the word Matlock. It conjures both ass tickle AND testicle, and this duality may restrict it to inside joke status. I'm sure people will find a way to have a strong opinion about this issue as well...

ET

Anonymous Wormboy said...
My Spidey sense just detected some irony.

Isn't the debate about this article ALSO a small group of people getting really wound up about tiny perceived slights?

And this is different than a few gay writers getting all wound up over minor perceived slights...how?

As Bawful likes to say, I'm just sayin'.

Anonymous Don Paco said...
Dear E. T.,

"I don't know if AP news titles are altered by news outlets with regularity"

Well, they are. They are altered for any number of reasons, most of them quite prosaic and innocent,

They're altered because they're too long or too short to fit an alloted space; because an editor thinks they're don't have enough "punch"; etc.

It happens all the time, and in fact, as AP says...

"copyright can not be altered but different newspapers word the headings differently"

Indeed, not only the headline but the text of a wire report can be changed considerably - for instance, in print newspapers, it's pretty common that a lenghty AP report is shortened to a couple of paragraphs.

So, the Advocate changing an AP headline is no biggie.

HOWEVER: I do think the Advocate was out of line in this specific instance. Changing the headline for style or length is okay, changing it to fit an agenda is not.

Even then, I'd say what the Advocate did is not that unusual. You wouldn't see it in most mainstream newspapers, but partisan publications do it all the time - and sometimes with an even heavier bias than in this story.

Whoa - sorry about the verbiage. I promise my next comments will all be one-line Hubie Brown jokes.

Anonymous Spydermintz said...
I think its extremely odd that the AP would allow a website, or any news provider, to change an unbiased and objective title into a heading with a much deeper (or in this case obvious) meaning.

great investigation.

i think the controversy over the ad campaign was blown way out of proportion and that changing the name of the article like the advocate did is only exacerbating the whole situation.

Anonymous spydermintz said...
PS. the word "Asticle" is clearly hilarious...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
On the bright side:

1. We still have the rest of the Worsties to look forward to.

2. Olympics are almost here...there should be plenty to talk about when that comes

Anonymous Anonymous said...
looks like someone stumbled over that before - and missed its real usage ;) http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=assticle
keep it up

Blogger m. Alana said...
Stop. Just...please, stop.

I spared everyone my Thoughts on the last post about this, but...really? Again?

Narrowness of worldview and a stunning lack of empathy are funny in regards to basketball. They are not in regards to things that matter. Please, please stay away from painful issues that effect large groups of people? Please? Because you're bad at it, and that makes me sad.

PG4L, I see your shenanigans and raise you a restaraunt with tacky shit on the walls and mozeralla sticks. And then somebody gets pistolwhipped.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Wormboy -
Your spidey sense is off. The ads have been removed from public consumption because a small number of thin-skinned people were offended, using the old "one angry e-mail equals a million people" rationale as motivation.
The advocate title revision also involved a small number of people - namely the advocate editors - inflicting their view upon a larger crowd, namely the gay community and anyone else who reads their site.
Yes, Basketbawful readership is a relatively small number of people (yet growing every day), but there is no "perceived slight" to us. There is a perceived injustice over how the world works, perhaps, but not a perceived slight.
I think you're trying to be too pithy for your own good here, but...
...if in the future you feel like I'm saying something ironic, in just about every other case I'll be doing it intentionally.

Don Paco -

Thanks for the insight. If you look up the text string, you'll see that I did get a trite note from the AP indicating what you stated.

spyder -

Agreed and thanks.

m. alana -

You sound as exasperated as I did when I first noticed the Advocate.com title. Do what I did - calm down, have a glass of wine, and remember that you and you alone are in charge of what you look at online. If this text string exhausts to you, then leave it be.

I wasn't trying to be funny with this post, which is why it isn't funny. And sorry to actually try to tackle stuff that's kind of important on some level, and depriving you of your daily laugh. For the record, I think I handled this pretty well...and most people seem to agree...I'm afraid I can't let a small minority censor me.

...still, I'm sorry you're sad. I've done what I can to instill some humor - haven't you been paying any attention to all the fantabulous "Asticle" talk?

Blogger PistonsGirl4Life said...
*PG4L Leaves the club before M.Alana makes it rain*

ET, it's cool, your post right after mine came up JUST after I hit enter. This is the one real drawback with post verification.

Otoh, I never have to read "Ya'll need to root for Jason Kidd because he's white and black players can't pass" or "URSTUPIDKTHANXBYELOL"...

It's a fine line. Either way, we cool, please continue to regale me with tales of your pickup basketball exploits. Which btw are INFINATELY more interesting than mine. The most exciting thing that's ever happened at the local Y league I play in is one of the super old big guys thought he had a heart attack on court once but it turned out that he's just old and has to check out of the game once in a while now.

Blogger elHans said...
in a separate note, check out the dwight howard-hedo manlove
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNBwD0--uZ4

Blogger Michael said...
Evil Ted,

I seriously busted up laughing when I read your reply. Right on. You called me out and I deserved it. But I'm still not entering the contest. (If only because I worship Hubie...) Keep on keepin' on. :)

Blogger shimmy said...
Evil Ted said:

"Me thinks thou dost accuse too much of others "just typing away.'"


.... Ouch! You done broked my ankles. :)

All Shakespeare style, too.

Anonymous Barry said...
Power to the people!

Is it wrong and childish to laugh at the word 'astical'?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Wow, I can't believe the things people discuss in sports blogs when it's not basketball season. Can't wait to read the Worst of the Olympics.

Anonymous ticktock6 said...
I'm with m.Alana and Pistonsgirl.

The language being used in this comment thread makes it feel to me like an agenda is being subtly pushed as well.

"a small number of thin-skinned people were offended" ... "I'm afraid I can't let a small minority censor me"

You've tried to deliberately belittle and delegitimize a group of people who had an opinion different from your own. And this is where this becomes problematic in my opinion. YOU'RE downplaying the group of people who were offended by a series of ads. Yet you're posting about how you're offended by how a newspaper you don't read uses their headlines. And you don't see a problem with that? You can't tell one set of people you don't agree with to chill out, and then expect them to love your message.

I say also, stick with the funny.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Anonymous -

Sorry if deep stuff makes your wittle brain hurt.

ticktock -

We can go in circles about the irony you think you see, but this is NOT about the few people who have been offended by Nike or even by the Advocate. This began when Nike catered to the few who were offended by pulling the ads.

My shock, and this post, was about a website that appeared to modify an AP title to suit its agenda. I wanted to investigate as to whether this was even legal. We learned through the process that it is, but many people reading the blog appear to agree with me that it's wrong. I found the whole thing rather enlightening and thought provoking. As did a number of others.

The Advocate's report,

...wait for it...

in an ironic twist,

...wait for it...

managed to do something that was in turn even more offensive...

...wait for it...

...by dictating to its readers what offensive is...

...wait for it...

...and that offends me.

The advocate hasn't changed their title in response to a few gripers, nor do I expect them to.

And I won't apologize to a few gripers, or remove this post, nor should you expect me to.

If we censor ourselves every time somebody is offended, we limit what we are exposed to, and that is an Orwell novel.

I really, really need some of you folks to think harder about this stuff, and not fall back on terse and unimpressive "You need to just be funny" comments. It makes you sound dumb.

Sorry to offend.

Blogger PistonsGirl4Life said...
Umm, I never said I was offended. Just that it was obvious the ad INTENDED to produce controversy on some level. Personally, I saw a basketball ad and it didn't offend me at all. I just know enough about marketing to know that this ENTIRE debate was no accident.

Seriously and I don't mean to be offensive but please don't hijack my post or opinion to prove your point. I understand maybe that's not what you meant to do here, but that's what I feel has been done.

I was not, and pretty much CAN NOT BE offended by either advertising or Bawful. Well, all those pics of Greg Ostertag WERE pretty offensive, but I digress. Either way, I wasn't offended... that just doesn't make the ads less wrong.

I am not in any way shape or form "pro censorship"... I firmly believe mocking abuse can cure almost ALL our ills in society. Including an exaggerated sense of self importance that leads one to believe one's feelings take precedence over all other things.

Jussayin

Anonymous ticktock6 said...
I fail to see where anyone who disagreed said anything about censorship. Please point to the exact place where someone demanded this post be removed and the voice silenced.

Maybe "offended" is the wrong word. I wasn't offended by those ads. They didn't speak to me personally. (I don't play basketball.) But I feel that there was something sketchy in the subtext of that campaign. And what purpose is served by making fun of people who also felt that way?

ET, can't you see that every time you reply to someone saying, for instance, "We can go in circles about the irony you think you see, but this is NOT about the few people who have been offended by Nike or even by the Advocate", you are trying to delegitimize other people's opinions? You consistently feel you have to use language like "few" and "oversensitive" IN EVERY SENTENCE. It wasn't just a few people who felt there was a deliberately homophobic undercurrent in those ads. That's very dismissive language to be using. So to me this post was somewhat unnecessarily inflammatory right from the start. If you want to talk about the Advocate, talk about it. No problem here. I don't like newspapers who put opinion headlines on factual articles either. But constantly dropping in subtle little shots at the people you didn't agree with is not really cool in my book. Language is powerful.

And finally, do I feel it makes me sound "dumb" to suggest that basketball humor is something this site does better? Not at all. Because here's the thing: I love the Hornets. (Just an example because I run a Hornets site.) And there are tons of other people who I may HUGELY disagree with who comment on my site. But we agree on the Hornets. So I think it would be very presumptuous of me to throw up a post about pro-choice liberal politics on there for instance. Do I see this as censorship of who I am? No. But I do see it as recognizing that just because readers of a blog all like basketball or all like a certain type of humor, that doesn't mean all my readers are going to agree with me in other areas.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"If the Advocate catches wind of this, they’ll fix that online title faster than the Nike ads disappeared."

"The advocate hasn't changed their title in response to a few gripers, nor do I expect them to."

Blogger Brandon said...
"Wouldn’t the Associated Press – the true standard-bearer of 'fair and balanced' reporting..."

The AP publishes unbalanced and slanted headlines (and writing) all the time. I suggest reading a few more AP stories to get a handle on what their mode of operation is.

Blogger m. Alana said...
Uh, yeah, I hate to tell you this, ET, but you didn't offend me. All I felt when I commented last was profound irritatation.

And, trust, it was the post itself that irritated me, not the opinion. Hypocrisy makes my coffee bitter. And the deleted comment up-thread amuses me, in a bitter kind of way.

PG4L - that was a Super Troopers reference ("I swear to God I'll pistol whip the next guy that says shenanigans!"). I in no way advocate pistol-whipping anyone, except in cases in dire need of humor.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Alright, ticktock, your screen name is irony itself, because now I'm I'm wasting my time...

You said:
"And what purpose is served by making fun of people..."

What purpose isn't served by making fun of people? It belittles others and makes me feel superior. It is a quite common and satisfying tool for those of us who are self-righteous, self-important, and completely insecure.

Here's the deal. I am Evil Ted. That means I am not just Ted. I am in fact Evil. If I want to belittle, I shall. If I want to be inconsistent, I shall as well. I have no conscience. I am anarchy. I am like the Joker in that sense.

I now officially don't care if 4 out of 5 billion people are offended by the Nike ads or the Advocate. And I don't care how many of those offended or those who read this site are Rhodes Scholars. You may now refer to me as Evil Apathetic Ted. You win.

And can someone else please explain to ticktock that there is an element of dark humor to my insults and even to a blatant inconsistency or two? I use the entire spectrum to entertain...and offend...and make m. alana sad.

Ok, sermon (or whatever that was) over. Not even sure I said anything that made sense (in fact, I'm quite certain none of it did), but I'm about at that "don't give a shit anymore" point of this discussion.
It has been beaten to death, just as the Hornets will be beaten to death by the Lakers in next year's playoffs. Just kidding, TT. Go Hornets.

Anonymous, 6:20 PM -

First of all, use a name if you're gonna mess with me. Second, if you're gonna mess with me, be completely right. The first quote was written before I knew whether AP material is edited, and when I thought it might even be illegal. The second is after learning it isn't, and that AP titles are changed regularly. This is what I meant about thinking harder, but on the other hand, I commend you for trying to catch me in an inconsistency. It means you are, to some degree, trying to pay attention.

brandon - This is my introduction to the idiosyncrasies of AP reporting. I will certainly keep my eye out for more.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
m. alana -

The deleted item was a dupe of ticktock's comment. Don't start making assumptions. It makes an ass out of U and UMPTION.

Also, don't admit to me I'm capable of making you feel "profound irritation." It's like breaking your bat over your knee when you strike out - it just says "you've gotten to me." (although breaking a bat over your knee would be pretty damn impressive)

And why are you still contributing to a text string that makes you unhappy, and were told by me to please just ignore if it's too much for you?

And finally, for gosh and golly's sake don't feel "profoundly" anything in response to a blog. We're not worth that. Save profound for, like, real people in your life you have relationships with and stuff.

I find your emotions toward this blog profoundly depressing. See? Over the top.

Blogger mW said...
Hmmm...curious thread. Serious post for a funny blog, that's fine. Funny how no one responded to DC's comment up top, that "homophobia" doesn't refer to this whole phenomenon, because those people who don't like homosexuals aren't so much as afraid as they, well, dislike them. It seems that no one wants to talk about the elephant in the room. That is, why people dislike homosexuals.

"They" dislike them for a variety of reasons, but there are words for that. Intolerance. Bigotry. Ignorance. The bottom line is, that political correctness aside, these are things that that no public company should extol in a marketing campaign. And playing off of people's irrational fear and/or dislike of people who have certain sexual preferences should be unacceptable. Now, were these commercials doing so overtly? No. Was it in the subtext? Absolutely.

So this is a serious post. And it seems that most people on this thread are taking it seriously, including the original poster, Evil Ted (even though he claims in his last post not to be serious). I have no problem taking a breather from basketball to do so. Although, I do wonder what the deleted post above said...

This is just my two cents. Maybe I'm in the minority. But if Nike thought they could make billions, the minority be damned, I bet they would. So, anyone want to bet on whether Evil Ted retorts within the next ten minutes?

Blogger m. Alana said...
Maybe I just like the word "profound"? And hyperbole. Hyperbole is fun.

See, it's just so rare to find actual wank on a sports blog (as opposed to the usual unfunny arguing about race and sexism and homophobia, which this no longer is) that it makes it many times better. Self-aggrandizing posturing? Poor behavior and overreaction on all sides*? Inherent hypocrisy? Multiple defensive comments from the original poster? Accusations of attempted censorship? Self-comparisons to the Joker? This stuff is golden. Pure golden silliness. In your self-serious unfunnyness, you have crossed the line back into funny. Frankly, I'm proud of you.

*Except for PG4L, who, what with this and Need4Sheed, is kind of my hero.

And if this double-posts, the irony will just make it all even better.

Anonymous Pistonsgirl4life said...
I appreciate the love but I think its important to note that I am not Natalie, the wonderful lady behind Need4Sheed. It's just that all women from Detroit come with the same "I'll cut you sucka" attitude... or something.

Mostly I post on Detroit Bad Boys where I am hated because I refuse to accept that every Euro/High School/Reclaimation Project Stiff equals getting back to the championship. You should SEE the crap people write when they REALLY want to believe Walter "I Wear Ladies Clothes" Herrman and Kwame "This Time I'll Actually Try I Swear" Brown will put them over the top.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
mw -

Yet another "kinda put thought into it but not really" commentary. There's no homophobia problem to discuss here. The ads themselves were at best provative and at worst juvenile, but if there was any "homophobia" in it, it was a satire of homophobia itself. If you want to argue it wasn't, then you're willing to assume that Nike's intentionally trying to jeopardize its global brand. Please.

I'll say this again, this was about catering to the offended, which I hate. Admittedly, Nike's campaign may have been released with the full intent of making news by having it pulled. If that's the case, fuck you Nike, and your ingenius marketing strategy.

And I don't know or associate with anyone who hates homosexuals, but I do know that homosexuals are about as integrated into society, the work force, and television as they've ever been. Are there people who hate them? Yes. And they're narrow-minded idiots who don't deserve our time.

The deleted post, if you read up the string, was just a dupe. I've since deleted it completely, considering you all seem to think it's an indicator that I'm a hypocrite and ENDORSE censorship.

Sorry it took me two days to "retort"...I hope you lost your bet.

m. alana -

I like hyperbole too. I would lick the sweat off of a post-game Steve Nash's ass for good hyperbole. Well, that may be an exaggeration for effect.

And thanks for the compliment, I think. If you're sincere, see answer one, if sarcastic, see answer two:

1.) I figured if delved deep enough into ass-holery, I would eventually circle back around to amusing.

2.) Go to hell.

PG4L -

Don't gratuitously promote yourself here. That's MY thing.

ET

Blogger Evil Ted said...
I'm publishing this twice. WHY?
Because I can. I am all powerful.
I am the definition of a big frog in a small pond....

mw -

Yet another "kinda put thought into it but not really" commentary. There's no homophobia problem to discuss here. The ads themselves were at best provative and at worst juvenile, but if there was any "homophobia" in it, it was a satire of homophobia itself. If you want to argue it wasn't, then you're willing to assume that Nike's intentionally trying to jeopardize its global brand. Please.

I'll say this again, this was about catering to the offended, which I hate. Admittedly, Nike's campaign may have been released with the full intent of making news by having it pulled. If that's the case, fuck you Nike, and your ingenius marketing strategy.

And I don't know or associate with anyone who hates homosexuals, but I do know that homosexuals are about as integrated into society, the work force, and television as they've ever been. Are there people who hate them? Yes. And they're narrow-minded idiots who don't deserve our time.

The deleted post, if you read up the string, was just a dupe. I've since deleted it completely, considering you all seem to think it's an indicator that I'm a hypocrite and ENDORSE censorship.

Sorry it took me two days to "retort"...I hope you lost your bet.

m. alana -

I like hyperbole too. I would lick the sweat off of a post-game Steve Nash's ass for good hyperbole. Well, that may be an exaggeration for effect.

And thanks for the compliment, I think. If you're sincere, see answer one, if sarcastic, see answer two:

1.) I figured if delved deep enough into ass-holery, I would eventually circle back around to amusing.

2.) Go to hell.

PG4L -

Don't gratuitously promote yourself here. That's MY thing.

ET

Anonymous Wormboy said...
Sorry, ET. I think you're pretty far off base here on a number of points.

Plus, you seem to have lost a post of mine. I could hardly sleep the last couple nights agonizing about it!

Anonymous Pistonsgirl4life said...
Ummm, don't be a tool box. I told her I wasn't who she just gave me credit for being and that I actually post on another Pistons site. I didn't promote myself or anyone else.

Dear Evil Ted. Get a life and go back to pickup ball okay because telling other people what they're thinking and how to behave CLEARLY isn't your forte.

Promoting myself... wtf.

Blogger Evil Ted said...
wormboy -

This argument has gone in a million different directions, so I'm positive that I and many others have gone off-base on a number of points. If a post of yours didn't get through sorry about that.

PG4L -

I was TOTALLY joking. I will go against every instinct in my being and say that I sincerely apologize for the comment.

Blogger m. Alana said...
ET - No, I was totally sincere. I appreciate a good shit-stirring - once I realized that was what you were doing.

PG4L - Oops! Sorry. I thought for sure I'd seen Bawful say something about your work on Need4Sheed. I've got love for Detroit Bad Boys, too, though, so it's cool.

Anonymous Pistonsgirl4life said...
Well, 'suppose that makes me look stupid. This isn't exactly new. I'm sorry I made ET apologize, I feel like I kicked a puppy :(

m.alana... no worries. Honestly I felt more bad that someone might be confusing me with Natalie. That poor lady does more for the average Internets Piston's fan than they deserve... I'm just a mouthy basketball fan.

Which I suppose is why I love this place so much. That an a shared hatred of all things Kobe/Ostertag

Blogger Evil Ted said...
PG4L

Yeah, it makes you look a little clueless, but I run the risk of misinterpretation and resentment every time I make one of my snarky, intentionally ambiguous comments.

I always know I've needlessly hurt someone's feelings as soon as I read "get a life" and "wtf" in the same post. Nope, it's not the first time.

Now I'm manipulating you with niceness. I'll stop now.

In the end, you have kicked a puppy - a mean, growling, don-t-ask-how-much-that-doggie-in-the-window-is puppy.

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