1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer
    NJFFSA16's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    25 NW of the GW

    Thumbs down Roasted Nuts- An irresponsible headline

    Like I said...I don't make this stuff up. This is probably the most politically incorrect headline ever written.

    NAMI Condemns Trenton Newspaper for 'Roasted Nuts' Headline About
    Fire at Psychiatric Hospital:
    Copy Editor's Apology Inadequate; Legal Issues Present

    Stigma Reflects 'Devaluation' of People With Mental Illnesses:
    Newspaper's Institutional Irresponsibility to be Raised With
    Presidential Commission on July 18th

    ARLINGTON, Va., July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), the nation's largest organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with mental illness, has expressed "shock and outrage" over a headline in The Trentonian newspaper in Trenton, NJ, for a July 10, 2002 story about a fire at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital -- calling it one of the "worst examples of prejudice and discrimination toward people with mental
    illnesses in recent memory."
    The headline was "Roasted Nuts."
    Fortunately, no one was injured or killed in the fire, but the attitude it reflected, no matter how humorously or innocently intended, NAMI said, represents the kind of "devaluation" of people with mental illnesses that the U.S. Surgeon General has called "the most formidable obstacle to future progress in the arena of mental illness and mental health."
    NAMI intends to refer to the incident in testimony before President Bush's "New Freedom" Commission on Mental Health on July 18 in Washington, D.C., during hearings on proposed reforms in the nation's treatment system -- and in antistigma conferences later this month sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), one of which will consider drafting formal guidelines for the media.
    Devaluation of people's lives through stigma leads to lack of investment in treatment and recovery. How The Trentonian deals with the incident also may have "far-reaching legal implications," NAMI warned.
    In a letter to David Bonfield, publisher of The Trentonian, NAMI called the headline a reflection of "a failure of internal leadership" and gross institutional irresponsibility, and dismissed as "inadequate" an apology published the following day by the copy editor who wrote the headline.
    "Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and potentially other federal and state laws, the headline provides prima facie evidence of a hostile work environment for people with mental illnesses or their family members," warned NAMI executive director Richard C. Birkel, Ph.D. Statistically, that may include as many as 20 percent of Trentonian employees.
    He advised Bonfield to take "affirmative, remedial actions" for the benefit of both the newspaper's employees and the broader community.
    NAMI also is investigating potential legal action.
    Last edited by NJFFSA16; 07-18-2002 at 03:46 AM.
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  2. #2
    lutan1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    I come from The Land Down Under!


    I'd hate to be the editor and the reporter for that paper when the legal guru's have finshed with them....

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Yep, gotta agree with Lutan - when the legal folks get through with them, it'll give "roasted nuts" a new meaning!

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    MalahatTwo7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.


    There is a time and a place to be "Politically Incorrect" and there is a time and a place when that is acceptable. "This Kato, is not the time or the place."

    I agree with Iceman, once the LegalBeagles are done with this one, there will be a new definition of "roasted nuts". Maybe Oxford and Websters will publish the new definition with a picutre of the Editor.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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  5. #5
    Forum Member
    martinm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Northumberland, United Kingdom


    Not exactly going to win the Pulitzer Prize with that article are they?
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

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