What’s in a Name?

Fenster writes:

Boston Globe sports columnist Christopher L. Gasper weighs in on the public debate in the media over the Washington Redskins’ name.

Well, that’s not completely accurate.  There is little to no public debate in the media about the issue.  From the mainstream media’s point of view it is game set match.  Over.  Matter of time.  This will not stand.  Snyder can’t hold out.  Period.  End of story.  Scoot!

OK, the name change hasn’t happened yet but it’s only a matter of time because . . . because . . . because, I suppose, history shows that once the media descends on a bone like this it usually does not back off until its objective has been achieved.  And after all, the best predictor of future activity is past activity.  So it is ever so tempting for one after another columnist or reporter to pile on in connection with a story like this, since the conclusion seems pre-ordained from the get-go.  Go with the winner, sports fans.  You can just feel it, Dave can’t you?

According to Gasper,

there is a groundswell of support to eliminate the name. . . .

so that’s that and so there.

Yet the last few times these canned stories have appeared in the press, I have taken a look at the comments section, and the comments do not at all support the narrative.  An anti-Snyder story in the (liberal) Washington Post was met mostly with scorn in the comments, though I didn’t make a count of it.  So I decided to categorize the comments following today’s Globe story.  In bluer than blue Massachusetts, the comments are now running almost 4 to 1 against the name change.

OK, comments sections do not make for random samples.  Sports guys might be more tough minded about such issues than your usual Massachusetts liberal.  But there is undoubtedly on this issue a pretty bad disconnect between mainstream media dogma and vox populi, as polls continue to show.  As a result we probably have a nationwide pattern of news stories saying it is only a matter of time and comments sections that find the articles laughable.  That disconnect between the articles and the comments is laughable in itself, and ought to be cause for reflection, and even reportage beyond the odd blog post.

About Fenster

Gainfully employed for thirty years, including as one of those high paid college administrators faculty complain about. Earned Ph.D. late in life and converted to the faculty side. Those damn administrators are ruining everything.
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8 Responses to What’s in a Name?

  1. PatrickH says:

    Interesting. Track those news outlets that eliminate comments, track tumblr spaces that restrict membership, look at universities with micro-aggression-fighting speech codes, and so on. These are the fearful ones. These are the fraidy cats. Good. I’m enough of a Nietzchean to love love love his obiter dictum: “If you see something slipping, push it.” So let’s push. Let’s get comments banned, spaces restricted, safety and comfort mandatory. And all those places will disappear from any discussion worth having. Influence…gone. Let’s go with Nietzche and Ministry: “The comfort you have demanded is now mandatory.” Okay. Let’s do it. Let’s give them what they want: safety.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Faze says:

    Allow me to report from Cleveland where there has supposedly been an “Indians” controversy for a long time — according to the media. But Cleveland is a poor and working class city, and the elites can’t get traction with this one. The Indians name, if not the team, is wildly popular. And our football team is called the “Browns”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. peterike2 says:

    Just call them the Skins of Color and be done with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fake Herzog says:

    “Groundswell of support…” Says who? Recent polls suggest Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of the Redskins keeping their name:


    The last large poll of American Indians found 90% didn’t find the name offensive:


    Get a grip people.


    • Tex says:

      “The last large poll of American Indians found 90% didn’t find the name offensive” – Yes, but they have the editorial staff of Salon.com to be outraged on their behalf


  5. Fake Herzog says:

    “there is a groundswell of support to eliminate the name. . . .”


    The last large scale poll of American Indians, done back in 2004, found that 90% found the name was not offensive:


    Meanwhile, the American people as a whole want the Redskins to keep the name:


    These people need to get a life — go complain about trannies or something important like that 😉


  6. Will S. says:

    Reblogged this on Patriactionary and commented:
    Great article, Fenster.
    As commenter Patrick H. points out, some news sites indeed take the step of closing articles to comments, when they wish to push a particular POV that they know is unpopular, which will be ridiculed in the comments section if comments are permitted; or if they’re reporting on crime from a particular group, and don’t want to have people discuss the relationship with immigration and/or race/ethnicity.


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