It’s rare that an outlet locks up a nomination for Worst Tweet of the Year in August, but the world of golf media has given us a guaranteed contender.
It comes from the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, of all places, though it was brought to wider attention when the column was picked up by fellow Gannett property Golfweek. (There’s an irony in that Golfweek has published some of the best and most consistent actual journalism on the PGA Tour-LIV Golf schism that’s dominated the sport in 2022.)
Golfweek eventually deleted the tweet after widespread reaction, changing the headline on their syndicated version. It lives on in screenshots, though, and also remains the headline at the Commercial Appeal.
Can’t believe this site is free pic.twitter.com/KDRJyfs7KC
— Joe (@Skulledwedge) August 11, 2022
The piece itself, a column by Mark Giannotto, does not come close to directly juxtaposing the LIV Golf takeover with childhood cancer survivors. It’s much more a celebration of life, befitting the event and especially befitting a local take on the tournament that benefits St. Jude Children’s Hospital, an impossibly worthy cause. LIV is barely mentioned, and even then only lamentably, as something that shouldn’t take the attention of the true positives of the event. This is purely a headline issue.
That headline, though? Abysmal. It’s easy to see the tone they were going for, attempting to cut through the LIV bullshit by noting how the kids are alive and well. But out of context, as a headline is by definition, it’s clunky at best and impossibly offensive at worst.
Golfweek’s tweet of the syndicated post went up at 7:20 AM on Thursday and remained up until after 1 PM Eastern, which is another shocking lack of judgment. It’s not even their headline! Had the piece not been picked up by a more national outlet, it might never have drawn widespread attention. That it did, though, and that Golfweek left it up for as long as they did, is a pretty solid lapse in social media and editorial judgment.