July 07, 2014

"Macaca" blogger quits Redskins

Ben Tribbett the "macaca" blogger had been on the job two weeks, but the news became widespread only yesterday. Imagine our surprise when he quit--roughly a day after people started talking about his hypocrisy:

Political Blogger Ben Tribbett to Resign Two Weeks After Taking Job with Redskins

By Chris LingebachLess than two weeks after the Washington Redskins hired leftward-leaning political blogger Ben Tribbett, to help guide the team’s efforts in preserving its controversial name, Tribbett has announced his intent to inform the team of his resignation.

Tribbett, 34, made clear those intentions Monday evening on Twitter.

The exact cause of Tribbett’s sudden and strange change of heart remains unclear at the moment.

Perhaps it was the discovery of perceived derogatory comments he’d reportedly made, with regard to a Native American man, on Twitter from a Las Vegas casino in 2010, according to Indian Country Today.

In the tweets, Tribbett claimed “an older native American guy just accused me of cheating and pulled some stuff out of his pocket to put some kind of spell on me,” later adding, “I’d call it a scalping but that seems uncalled for.”

Or, perhaps Tribbett’s resignation is the result of the realization he was largely responsible for the takedown of former Virginia Governor and Senator George Allen (brother to current Redskins general manager, Bruce Allen) along his 2006 senatorial reelection bid against Jim Webb.
Lingebach's conclusion:Whatever Tribbett’s reason for resignation—maybe it was his personal usage of disparaging remarks, his highlighting of someone else’s, or some combination of the two—his hiring, paired with his subsequent and sudden withdrawal from employment neither bodes well for the team or its fight to control the message, in yet the latest blow delivered to the organization’s defense of its increasingly controversial name.Redskins Blogger Ben Tribbett Resigns via TwitterShortly after being hired, Tribbett appeared on a local DC sports radio show, where he said the debate over the team's name was "mostly sort of a PC campaign." He said that he was job was to get the message out that "the fans overwhelmingly support the Redskins," adding that "what the Redskins are doing—it’s not just the team’s position—they’re really supporting what the fans want them to do, which is to keep the name."

It's a curious mission—after all, anyone familiar with the debate is well aware that the majority of fans support the name. The debate isn't over fan support, it's over the nature of the word as a racist slur.

The Oneida Indian Nation and the National Congress of American Indians released a joint statement on Tribbett's departure. "In trying to continue profiting off of a racial slur, Washington team officials have attempted to assemble a political attack machine, but that has only underscored their insensitivity," says the statement. "The only tenable solution for the team is to recognize that the R-word racial epithet is deeply offensive to Native Americans, to quit pretending that this word somehow honors them, and to stop using this slur."
Comment:  In their corporate boardroom, I wonder if anyone seriously argues that they're winning the PR war. From out here, it looks like every PR stunt is a dismal failure. We're talking about 1-2 failures a month, which must be some kind of record.

This incident is about on a par with quoting the "Inuit chief" who was a non-Inuit nobody. It's like a joke campaign, or a primer on what not to do.

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