Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Gulf News Stumped

Who took the decision at Gulf News to run today's front page headline?

'Lahore attack stumps world' must rank as one of the worst headlines I have ever seen.

Surely even the most feckless intern would balk at cracking a cheap gag at the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan yesterday? It's not even a great gag. It's a crap gag, playing on 'stumps' as in cricket stumps and 'stumps' as in Billy stumped me with his question

I'd rather have seen 'stuns' - not perhaps the most original headline in the world, but certainly one that would have accurately reflected public sentiment - but GN's sub preferred to be clever-clever. And crass.

It's not as if the story then goes on to show how the world was 'stumped' by the attack. The story clearly shows the world has immediately and strongly condemned the attack.

Decorated with a bloody picture of a dead commando, one of the seven Pakistani commandoes who died protecting the Sri Lankan team, the weak joke is an unjustifiable lapse in taste and common sense. On the front page of a national daily newspaper.

What were they thinking?

(Postscript: Have removed the original link to the headline as they link to the current day's front page rather than preserving the link to the day you originally linked to. Cheers Gianni!)

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19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Alex - you might want to correct a spelling mistake on this blog post: "Lahore attacH stumps world" - simple me was a tad confused.

alexander... said...

LOL! Done. Ta!

Rose in Dubai said...

You think they were thinking???? Wow, you are such an optimist!

highandwild said...

I had the same reaction. Awful.

moryarti said...

agree ..

not everyone will get nor appreciate the attempted twist in using the "cricket stump" thing...

may those heroes' souls rest in peace..

DUBAI JAZZ said...

I am not extraordinarily-versed when it comes to thesaurus, but even then, the first thing would come to mind when I read or hear ‘stumps’ is people stubbing cigarette butts under their shoes. Not very professional of GN for sure, but was it really meant to be a gag? I am really not sure, I honestly couldn’t pick up the nuances of it…

alexander... said...

DJ - it's a 'joke', you get 'stumped' in cricket when you're bowled out and the ball hits the stumps.

You're also 'stumped' if you don't have the answer to a question.

So they're using the word as a pun or word play. A joke, in short.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Thanks for the clarification Alexander.

wow...it's horrible, I am not much into cricket but this sounds akin to saying: 'Lahore attacks slam-dunks the world', if it was a basketball team who got attacked.

alexander... said...

Bang on the money, DJ!

Dave said...

It was a sick joke about a shocking act by murderous extremeists and should not be made fun of by GN.

There is a time and place for humour GN....

alexander... said...

Quick note, tidied up the post to make the 'gag' more accessible to 2nd language English speakers. Cheers.

Masood said...

This is not the firwst time that GN has made such goof ups and surely neither the last but this was really SICK!

DUBAI JAZZ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DUBAI JAZZ said...

errr sorry i posted the same comment twice, I must have been 'stumped' LOL

The Wizard of D said...

Agree with you. The story itself is trivialised by this kind of creativity.

rosh said...

Ah! GN 'strikes', yet again!

As an anti-cricket (and anti-bollywood) crusader, even I am shocked at turn of events in Lahore.

Graeme Baker said...

What on earth do you expect? It's a shit rag.

@Wizard of D, something as lazy, tasteless, uninformed and badly judged as this is about as creative as black death.

sonofgeektalk said...

I know it will sound patronising, but what the hell, I'll go ahead anyway.

You linked to the article in GN - except it's not there anymore and I see march 6th headline instead.

Why? Oh, mainly because some company I won't name sold them on the benefits of database backends for websites, they went for it, and nobody has yet realized that the database spits our dynamic URLs, they are automatically generated every time the database needs to serve some content to the HTTP session.

No permalinks - no blog links. Now, also AMcN will stop linking newspapers pages, because he, like any self-respecting blogger, doesn't want his links go 404.

You should see the faces of database makers when you reveal that little piece of news: priceless !!

alexander... said...

Crap, Gianni, you're right. And of course the print headline appears nowhere online now.

I've removed the link to GN's headline. If anyone wants to see it, we'll scan it.

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