Golfweek Turfs Editor Over Noose Cover

Thanks to reader KC for the heads up that Golfweek announced this morning that the editor in charge of its cover that featured a noose and dealt with the Lynchgate fiasco has been handed his walking papers. Dave Seanor, Golfweek’s editor, was fired over the cover, and the magazine’s publisher apologized:

“We apologize for creating this graphic cover that received extreme negative reaction from consumers, subscribers and advertisers across the country,” Turnstile Publishing Co. president William P. Kupper Jr. said. “We were trying to convey the controversial issues with a strong and provocative graphic image. It is now obvious that the overall reaction to our cover deeply offended many people. For that, we are deeply apologetic.”

I wonder about firing an editor — especially since it appears he reported directly to Kupper. I would have thought that with such a potentially explosive cover, Kupper would have been kept in the loop and even made the decision on whether to run with it. Either way, as they say, sewage flows downhill, and with Golfweek’s owners getting hammered with negative feedback, it was bound to rain down on someone.

Interesting that Tilghman wasn’t fired (yet) over her remarks, but now her comments have taken someone else in the industry down.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

9 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Its amazing that this story still gets talked about, its over, leave it alone, enough already. She made a mistake that was dealt with by her suspension, that’s it. If Tiger laughed it off as a nonissue, why can’t everybody else?

  • I agree with you Wayne. I guess it’s a slow couple of weeks in the golf news business. If the media is really desperate for some stories regarding racism and bigotry in the golf world maybe they can uncover some of the practices that have gone on within the corridors of many of the most prestigious golf clubs in America. Golf is full of racists, Kelly Tilghman isn’t one of them.

  • So Kelly Tilghman hasn’t been fired but Dave Seanor has been? How does that make any sense?

    I feel badly about Seanor. I think his boss badly overreacted.

  • “Interesting that Tilghman wasn’t fired (yet) over her remarks, but now her comments have taken someone else in the industry down.”

    The Golfweek editor wasn’t taken down by her words. He was taken down by his own stupidity for knowingly publishing something as inflammatory as a noose, when the waters were already stormy.

    I guess it’s too much to expect RT to get it.

  • The cover was an intentional decision done with foresight. It was also done with poor judgement. Someone at the magazine had to pay the price and it should really be the person that pushed the hardest for the cover page. The editor paid the price…unclear whether he is the person that should. Only the people at the magazine know for sure.

  • Robert, I think that Miss Tilghman’s comment although bordering on racial, was not intended to be such, and that her two week suspension is sufficient enough for the broadcaster to think about choosing her words more carefully. Interestingly enough most of us in Canada wouldn’t draw the word “lynching” specifically to a gender or race, and that racial equality is decades ahead of what we see in the greater USA. In addition, I think that the sensationalistic style media that is more to blame for “stirring up” which was originally and simply a mistake in choice of words.

    People make mistakes and are accountable, and in this case she most certainly has appologizing to Tiger personally and taking the suspension. I’d bet if you asked Tiger he’d probably have similar comments. The lack of accountability for the sensationalistic media is what we’ve got to focus on; otherwise we’ll just continue to play point the finger as our society is evolving into…

    Let’s get back to golf… I’m sure Ms Tilghman and even Tiger are already moving in that direction.


  • There is a reason why Canada does not have the same racial issues as in the United States…lower black population combined with no history associated with slavery among other issues. Hence, we cannot understand the feeling associated with people who have been exposed to those issues and therefore do not have a right to impose our own set of values or judgements on those who were affected by Tilghman’s comments or the Golfweek cover. Respect the feelings of those who feel differently about these issues.

  • If the man doing the firing knew about the cover in advance of publication, then he and the editor clear their desks together. End of story.

    The Tilghman incident was a bad word choice devoid of malice made on the spur of the moment.

    The Golfweek cover, on the other hand, redefined the word ‘crass’.

  • Her comment demanded a much more serious consequence. As for the article it was only a discussion of the fallout from her comment. The article was fair and accurate. It’s a double standard that the effect on her is less than a man who reported on it. If a man is unthinking or unintentional when he makes a sexual comment to a woman it is never accepted as an excuse and he still pays the price whether he apologizes or not. She should have paid the price not the journalists/editors. I wonder if she called the people who were/will be laid off and apologized to them!

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