The saga of Henry Blodget's terrible headline
Twitter reacts to Henry Blodget's incendiary "Why Do People Hate Jews?" headline.
- Around lunchtime on the East Coast, the Business Insider editor-in-chief published a story with the headline, "Why Do People Hate Jews?"
- Wait, what? The head-scratching headline is a reference to an question featured on a British religious studies exam. But Blodget took things a step further by posing the same question to his readers:"It's an interesting and important question. Along with many other sites, this site is occasionally visited by people whose mission in life appears to be to express hatred of Jews."Sure, it's important to talk about why certain prejudices exist. A sensational headline and a photo capturing a very restrictive view of Jewish identity, however, probably isn't the best way to do it.
- After the story went viral in the worst way, Blodget backed off on the headline, changing it to, "Why do some people hate Jews?" He also replaced the original image with a picture of Natalie Portman, writing:
"The original photo in this post was of a couple of jovial Orthodox Jews, one of whom was wearing a traditional hat. Some readers found that needlessly provocative. One suggested I replace it with a picture of Natalie Portman, who, I guess, is Jewish (I don't know). So I have."
- But the criticism and mockery continued:
- Some criticism was more meta, commenting on the often-insidious art of writing SEO-friendly headlines.
- Others noted the tendency of Web publishers to rely on unnecessary charts:
- Blodget, for his part, considered the fiasco to be an educational experience.
- But has he?
- Blodget may think he's on a quest for open dialogue, but commenters hit on why his reasoning is misguided:
- But does Blodget know what constitutes a "serious answer"?
- Maybe this story can still have a happy ending. CNN contributor Rachel Sklar encouraged Blodget to use his platform to help fight ignorance.