Student Newspaper Strip Club Headline Causes Controversy at Oklahoma State

OK State’s Muff-Gate: Why the Media Professors Are Wrong

A sexually suggestive headline sitting atop a recent article on the front page of The Daily O’Collegian has prompted an uproar at Oklahoma State University.  As I previously posted, the OK State student newspaper topped a front page centerpiece about a new strip club opening near campus with the header: “Diamond in the Muff.

The hed, a play off the name of the new club (the Blue Diamond Cabaret), triggered a spate of angry letters to the editor from students, faculty, and alumni.  Members of the school’s journalism faculty have also apparently signed a letter of condemnation.

As one student wrote to the O’Colly, “I am disgraced for what appeared on the front page. . . . I would like to think (or at least did prior to today) that our school’s paper was run professionally by students who consider themselves as young professionals.  It is now apparent to me that the paper is run more like a playground. Jokes like that, while have a place perhaps at your buddy’s house on a Saturday night, have no place in a business.  I thought most people who have passed the seventh grade would know such a distasteful headline would offend many.”

Along with finding it simply distasteful, others have charged the paper with sexism and inaccuracy– since the state legally only allows performers in related establishments to go topless.  On the flip side, it has been defended as funny and appropriate for a student audience.

Journalism educator Kenna Griffin echoes my own response when initially seeing it, prior to any controversy.  As she wonderfully begins a related blog post, “My first reaction was ‘that’s clever.’  It was followed by ‘I’m so glad my students didn’t write it.'”

2 Responses to “Student Newspaper Strip Club Headline Causes Controversy at Oklahoma State”
  1. Geoff says:

    So there was a Comic Strip over the summer a year ago that directly portrayed Tea Partiers to Nazi’s burning crosses and everyone choses to get all hot and bothered about the “Diamond in the Muff” piece. What a joke… No arguement about inflamitory speech like that obviously. Chosing the right battles here I can see.

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