10:31 am - 02/27/2012

ESPN fails at journalism again

ESPN Had Another Headline Issue Today, And This One Included The Word "Gook"

Here's how the headline to this story looked early Saturday morning on ESPN's Soccernet site. We actually got a tip about it from Andy W, but dismissed it because we'd never heard of Lee Dong-Gook and figured ESPN had Westernized the order of his name (in other words, that his given name was Lee and his surname was hyphenated).

That, alas, wasn't the case. "Gook" is actually just part of Lee's given name, and not an especially descriptive one, either. Nobody who knew what they were doing would use "Gook" to mean Lee Dong-Gook, and you'll note that the article has since been changed to use Lee's surname.

Soccernet has always sort of been a satellite operation of ESPN.com, but there'd be a tremendous irony here if the person filling in for Anthony Federico—fired last week over the "Chink in the Armor" controversy—wrote this headline, and was so novice as to not know Eastern name order conventions, and thereby for a time created a headline more inadvertently offensive than the one that led to them having those duties to begin with.


Journalism fail much?
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fionaapple 27th-Feb-2012 04:13 pm (UTC)
At least it wasn't on purpose like the chink in the armor thing, but still, really? ESPN needs a new editor to watch out for shit like this... but they're all probably too busy with their hands down their pants.
wickedwatch 27th-Feb-2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
I agree. I don't think it was intentional, but it definitely wasn't professional. But it was a major fail especially considering the "chink in the armor" stuff was barely that long ago....
imnotasquirrel 27th-Feb-2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
I saw this earlier today and facepalmed.

Does it seem like an "innocent" mistake? Well yeah, in that I don't believe anyone had malicious intent. But someone should at least be reprimanded over this, because it was still a stupid error. Are people really still that confused over Asian name orders? Shouldn't someone who (I'm assuming) regularly covers Asian sports teams in soccer be used to this? As the article itself correctly uses "Lee", why didn't the headline writer do the same? If the writer thought that Dong-gook was the guy's last name, why didn't he write that instead of simply "gook"? SMH.
rhapsodeeinblue 27th-Feb-2012 04:18 pm (UTC)
IA about the Asian name orders. I remember when Zhang Ziyi (lol) was becoming starting to become popular in the US, it was like no one knew which was her first name and which was her last.
fionaapple 27th-Feb-2012 04:19 pm (UTC)
Lol, I have to admit I thought it was Ziyi Zhang for the longest time when I was in HS cause that's how the media wrote her name.
lickety_split 27th-Feb-2012 05:47 pm (UTC)
She switched her name around when she came to the States, but people were already familiar with her Chinese name so I think that's where the confusion started.
mhfromnh 27th-Feb-2012 07:19 pm (UTC)
Zhang is her first name. it is also her family name.
wigglybob 27th-Feb-2012 04:20 pm (UTC)
Yea. Wouldn't a simple google search solve this problem?
mystickiwi 27th-Feb-2012 04:22 pm (UTC)
That's what confusing me (and causes me to eyebrow raise) the most. If you thought it was a hyphen, how did ONLY "Gook" end up there??

(And given how many times Americans have to fill out forms that make you put your last name first, I really don't understand they can find the Asian style confusing... we may not use it as much, but it still gets used enough that it's not that unusual!)
joliefoliepolie 27th-Feb-2012 04:24 pm (UTC)
I always remember the order by thinking of Mulan (since the matchmaker called her "Fah Mulan")
x_butterfly19_x 27th-Feb-2012 05:00 pm (UTC)
You'd think that as a journalist knowledge of forms of address was kind of essential. It's weird.
imnotasquirrel 27th-Feb-2012 04:18 pm (UTC)
The headline writer should still get in trouble though for being a dumbass.
midnightland 27th-Feb-2012 04:19 pm (UTC)
It's only part of his name. Dong-gook is his first name and Lee his last. It's awkward to break up the name like that.

Edited at 2012-02-27 04:20 pm (UTC)
wickedwatch 27th-Feb-2012 04:23 pm (UTC)
Dong-gook is his full given name. I don't think it was malicious, but it was really unprofessional nonetheless especially what happened recently. Cause really, even if it was his surname, they would have refer to him as "Dong-gook" rather than just "Gook"
rhapsodeeinblue 27th-Feb-2012 04:16 pm (UTC)
minyquai 27th-Feb-2012 04:16 pm (UTC)
minyquai 27th-Feb-2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
oh wait it's just name fail

superdogbiter 27th-Feb-2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
ugh by the way what happened to that crazy bitch jennifer hyun or something
mammary_glands 27th-Feb-2012 04:19 pm (UTC)
she apologized for angering people but not for having her opinion, and maintained that she was right to say what she did, or some shit. i can't remember exactly.
mammary_glands 27th-Feb-2012 04:19 pm (UTC)
if we're talking about the racist twitter singer chick i mean :x
imnotasquirrel 27th-Feb-2012 04:27 pm (UTC)
I think it came out that she had schizophrenia, I'm not sure. But yeah, as another poster said, I read she was sent to an institution.
benihime99 27th-Feb-2012 04:43 pm (UTC)
She was admitted to a mental institution
sparklepixie 27th-Feb-2012 04:50 pm (UTC)
she's dead =(
for_serious13 27th-Feb-2012 06:17 pm (UTC)
wait, whats with her? why is she a crazy bitch?
ionizable 27th-Feb-2012 04:19 pm (UTC)
but they referred to him correctly by his surname lee in the article.....................
minyquai 27th-Feb-2012 04:25 pm (UTC)
oh i can't read apparently



fuck then

melodic_notes 27th-Feb-2012 04:20 pm (UTC)
Incompetent good intentions only lead to tragedy...
wigglybob 27th-Feb-2012 04:21 pm (UTC)
Are a lot of people not aware that g**k is a slur against Asians?
mystickiwi 27th-Feb-2012 04:27 pm (UTC)
I think they must be, but in Korea it's often a word part (Hangook saram means "Korean Person," Megook is "American") and is used as a name part (it's also obviously where the slur came from). I can ALMOST see how there was confusion on the headline writer's part except that A. It uses Lee in the article and B. If you thought it was a hyphenate, how did ONLY "Gook" end up in the headline. That would be disrespectful even if it was part of his last name.
booster_blue 27th-Feb-2012 04:33 pm (UTC)
Sadly yes. Since it was (in the US) commonly used to refer to Vietnamese...and the country would very much like us to not dwell too much on that point in our history.

Even back in 08 when McCain went and let it slip when talking about his time spent there - there wasn't really a big fuss made. He did apologize though.
wigglybob 27th-Feb-2012 05:51 pm (UTC)
I didn't even know that happened (with McCain).
ourferocity 27th-Feb-2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
actually i think mostly vietnam-era people know that word thank goodness.
nuravecunt 27th-Feb-2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
I've never even seen this word till now tbh
hotelmirana 27th-Feb-2012 06:05 pm (UTC)
MTE when I first saw this post
midnightland 27th-Feb-2012 04:25 pm (UTC)
Disappointing, really.
gaga 27th-Feb-2012 04:28 pm (UTC)
glowing_dragon 27th-Feb-2012 09:39 pm (UTC)

- t
speedychi 27th-Feb-2012 04:29 pm (UTC)
i lold
wickedwatch 27th-Feb-2012 04:33 pm (UTC)
Dong-gook is his first name. And he's not American or even Korean-American anyway. He wouldn't need to change his name for that reason in his own country.
_underwhelmed 27th-Feb-2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
rme at the comment this was in reply to and was deleted -_-
entranced 27th-Feb-2012 04:33 pm (UTC)
What the fuck.
aprilfunk 27th-Feb-2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
omgggggggg espn what the fuck is going on
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