Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Wrong-Headed Headline?

The headline in Friday's News-Press that ran over the stories reporting the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett was absolutely bizarre.

"Bad Day for Gen X," it proclaimed.

Really? How so?

Neither Jackson, who was born in 1958, nor Fawcett, who was born in 1947 were members of Generation X. Rather they were baby boomers, which is defined as the generation that was born between between 1946 and 1964.

Given those easily accessible facts, I know a number of people, at least one of whom e-mailed me, who saw the headline and thought the Gen X reference was, (no pun intended) dead wrong.

Don't blame this one on the copy editors at the News-Press. The same article that accompanied the headline also ran on the Yahoo News website under a nearly identical banner. In the article reporter Ted Anthony, who covers American culture for the Associated Press, quotes 38 year old Gary Giovannetti, upon hearing of the deaths of Jackson and Fawcett, as saying, "This is the moment when Generation X realizes they're grown up."

Not sure that I agree with that premise, but that's where it comes from.
© 2009 by Craig Smith and