The Daily Herald, a Seattle area newspaper, has published a front-page apology after an item that an authentic Irish experience consisted of fistfights, passing out drunk, neglecting children and not paying bills.
The item in the Buzz section of the newspaper was commenting on a travel article about Ireland
“Here's one way to create an Irish experience right here at home:
Start at 9 p.m. with a case of beer, a Chieftains CD and someone to clumsily dance with. Around midnight, it'll be time for a fistfight, followed by a bout of weepy introspection before passing out on the bathroom floor. You'll wake up about 7:30 with a terrific headache, which will be exacerbated by your mewling, hungry children and a stack of unpaid bills on the breakfast table.”
John Keane, along time Irish activist in Seattle said the reaction from the Irish community was immediate
“I can say that I have never come across outrageous stereotyping like this in the 32 years I’ve been living in the Seattle area. I chalk it up to people taking off for the long weekend and hurrying to get out of there, etc., which meant that the normal editing controls weren’t in place. But someone should have caught it.
But what also amazed me was the quick response from the Irish community. The paper was inundated with emails, phone calls, comments on the website, etc. Within 24 hours, even though it was Independence Day, on Sunday afternoon the paper took the item off their website and the front page of Monday’s paper carried the apology which I think it was a fair enough apology. It agreed that the comments were offensive, that they expressed unfounded and cruel stereotypes and that they do not reflect the standards of the Herald.
The actual apology read;
An apology: The Saturday Buzz column, "Reel and reeling," contained offensive comments that did not reflect the standards or intent of The Daily Herald.
The point of The Buzz is to be playful and engaging. I am convinced the items were offered up in humor but, instead, expressed unfounded and cruel stereotypes.
This item has been removed from the newspaper's website. As executive editor, I apologize for the item as it appeared in both printed newspaper and online.
-- Neal Pattison, Executive Editor