Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Star Headline on Simon Discrimination Suit Not-Too-Specific

Well, now the CIB bailout is in the books, this won't be as big an issue, but it's still a bad time to have bad press.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has sued the Simon Property Group in Las Vegas federal court for allegedly failing to take corrective action after four Latino employees at Simon's Forum Shops at Caesars were subjected to racial slurs and a "hostile work environment." That's not good news for guys seeking taxpayer assistance in an increasingly Latino city.

But what I found interesting was the Star's headline. Newspaper people know of the studies showing many people read only the headlines. So if you want to obscure a story, even a bit, you write a non-descript headline (or keep the one scripted by the Associated Press - can somebody tell me if they write the headlines for their stories, or is that left for the locals!??!) Anyway, such a headline might be:

"Indy-based mall owner sued over racial slurs"

Is there any other mall owner here? Why isn't this headline: "EEOC sues Simon Group over racial slurs?" The EEOC involvement is major because the "federal agency" doesn't sue on every case. The EEOC has done investigation and felt justified in bringing its substantial resources to bear. Yet, the headline is passive voice.

I certainly could be over-analyzing this, but were the Pacers to get in trouble again, I would fully expect the Star headline to read:

"Indy-based professional basketball team sued over bar incident"


1 comment:

Paul K. Ogden said...

I agree. The involvement of the EEOC is the big story. I rarely see the EEOC do anything. For them to be involved, there must have been major red flags.