Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too! No? This isn't a 19th-century presidential campaign? Ok.
The Philadelphia Public Record, a free newspaper-type publication that has been running in the city for the past 15 years, published a photo of City Councilman Mark Squilla enjoying some "Asian-American" cuisine with some Asian-American supporters. The only problem was that the caption was not only error-riddled, but contained three (extra) racist fake names: Me Too, Chinky Winky, and Dinky Doo. What makes it worse was that, as far as slipping-racist-names-into-the-news pranks go, this is no Asiana plane crash. Considering the Public Record's business model relies heavily on renting out space and articles to people running for political office in the city, you'd think "we won't make you look racist!" would be a fundamental guarantee.
When Philadelphia Magazine broke the story, they asked "former Philadelphia City Councilman turned federal inmate Jimmy Tayoun, Sr," the Public Record's publisher, what had happened. He insisted it was a "proofreading error." If this seems slightly out of touch, here's a photo of Jimmy Tayoun, Sr:
This is a photo Jimmy Tayoun, Sr. uploaded to his Facebook account on purpose.
He continued to describe it as a proofreading error even after it was pointed out that there were 11 names for only 8 people in the picture. He seemed to say that the writer had put in placeholder names that were "nicknames" and forgot to delete them before publishing. Tayoun went on to say that it couldn't have possibly been racism because the Public Record is "the most inclusive publication in Philadelphia." He then explained that the reason the it all happened was because "that editor is a Britisher." Fucking Britishers, am I right? Racist barbarians, every one of them.
Mr. Tayoun, are you seriously claiming that your "newspaper" has proofreaders? First of all, you misspelled "for" in the first line. "For"! It's three letters long and spelled exactly as it sounds! It's even easier than "four" or "fore"! Secondly, how many restaurants have you ever been to that advertise Asian-American cuisine? Or Italian-American cuisine? If something is called Blank-American in the restaurant business, that usually means that in addition to whatever foreign cuisine is being offered, you can also buy a crappy hamburger. Finally, even though we already know there are three extra, racist names, I have my doubts about Hao Hello as well—but even I can't figure out what the joke is supposed to be in that one.
The Public Record did eventually go on the record as being against this, and they have fired the Britisher responsible:
So go ahead and buy a political ad in the most sensitive newspaper in town!
Well, you know what they say about Philadelphia: if thousands of fans aren't hurling ice balls at you while you're in a Santa suit, why are you even complaining?
(by Johnny McNulty)