In a desperate bid for attention, Slate.com, the property recently passed up by Jeff Bezos in his new purchase of the Washington Post, has announced that it will “no longer refer to Washington’s NFL team as the Redskins.” Which, presumably, is designed to make Redskins owner Daniel Snyder cry tears of salty disappointment as he wipes them away with $100 bills. David Plotz, editor of Slate, breaks the bad news:
This is the last Slate article that will refer to the Washington NFL team as the Redskins. For decades, American Indian activists and others have been asking, urging, and haranguing the Washington Redskins to ditch their nickname, calling it a racist slur and an insult to Indians…. Why, then, has nothing changed? Because the choice of the team’s name belongs to one person, Washington owner Daniel Snyder.
That leads into a diatribe about Snyder’s failings as a human being, although Slate stops short of labeling him an out-and-out racist: “Snyder is a dismal failure as an owner, a megalomaniacal bully, and a frivolous litigant, but I doubt he is a bigot. I’m a lifelong fan of the team, and Snyder and his players should be justly proud of the way their team bridges black and white Washington. So I don’t think Snyder’s lying to us or to himself when he sees only the bright side of the name.”
In fact, Slate admits that the term Redskins is “only a bit offensive.” But they’re trolling, so they’ll make a big deal out of not using the name of the team.
What’s the real reason Slate has suddenly decided not to say “Redskins”? Because it’s a slap at the Washington Post, of course:
Close readers of Slate know that we are owned by the Washington Post Co., which just sold the Washington Post newspaper, the market-maker in Redskins coverage. Slate and the Washington Post newspaper have always been editorially independent, and what we’ve decided has no bearing on the newspaper, which still refers to the Redskins. Speaking as a Post subscriber, I wish they would change. The Post is–along with ESPN and the other NFL broadcasters–one of the only institutions that could bring genuine pressure on Snyder to drop the name. But it’s only fair to acknowledge that it’s a much more difficult decision for the newspaper than it is for us, given that covering Dan Snyder’s team is essential to the Post‘s editorial mission.
Slate suggests renaming the team the Washington Redtails, after the Tuskegee Airmen, or the Washington Griffins, after RGIII. Slate stopped just short of asking Snyder to rename the team the Washington Journolists.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).