Stuff.co.nz’s America’s Cup Headline and the Following Onslaught

Stuff.co.nz’s America’s Cup Headline and the Following Onslaught

If you were following Twitter shortly after Emirate Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup loss, you may have noticed a fair bit of conversation surrounding Stuff.co.nz’s headline that boldly declared “CHOKE ON THIS NZ”.

Stuff Choke on This

There was a quick backlash on Twitter, with Tweets such as the following from @karenhurley:

— Tally (@karenhurley) September 25, 2013

 

It didn’t take too long for the image on Stuff’s home page to change.

Stuff Spithall Headline

And …

Stuff Headline

… followed by more discussion on Twitter. What’s perhaps a little surprising is Stuff.co.nz’s follow-up post on Facebook about the whole situation. Far from jump into an apology (whether deserved or not) Stuff chose to stand up for their position:

Many of you have been very vocal about our headline following today’s #americascup loss, so we wanted to post this note that our editor, Mark Stevens, has been sending to readers who’ve contacted him: “We’re not ambassadors for NZ; we’re a news site, like all the others across the world that have also reported on our ‘choke’ this morning. I appreciate the headline hasn’t thrilled everyone, but the Cup’s final score after such a large advantage to Team New Zealand just a week or so ago well and truly justifies it. I apologise, though, for any unintended offence.”

Many comments on this post clearly don’t accept this as a good response. One user saying:

Choking implies that they screwed up royally but that clearly didn’t happen. They were competitive in pretty much every race, Oracle were just better. They were also shafted out of at least one race, possibly up to three, where races were canned when TNZ had good leads.

They didn’t choke, they were simply beaten.

… which has so far received 250 likes.

Here’s the embedded Facebook post:

At time of writing, the NZ Herald are featuring a much more patriotic caption:

NZ Herald Americas Cup
Meanwhile, the Sydney Morning Herald is taking the credit for Oracle’s win on the behalf of Australia, with the title “Aussie who sank a nation”. No surprises there though, of course!