“What if you could get your own immigrant?”
Politico published an article headlined with that question. After many readers complained that it was offensive and that the story suggested indentured servitude, Politico changed the headline and added an editor’s note to the Feb. 13 article by Eric Posner and Glen Weyl. Now the headline reads, “Sponsor an immigrant yourself.”
The editor’s note reads:
“Editor’s note: This article, and particularly its original headline (“What If You Could Get Your Own Immigrant?”), was offensive to many readers. We changed the headline on Tuesday night to better reflect the authors’ intent, and asked them to respond to the criticism, but they declined. POLITICO Magazine has always been a platform for a wide range of views, and we do not endorse the opinions expressed in any article we publish.”
Weyl, one of the co-authors and a senior research scholar at Yale University’s economics department and Law School, tweeted that “we had no influence on the original title and I regret it, along with elements of the tone.” He added, “I stand by the title.”
iMediaEthics wrote to Politico to ask about the lack of response from the authors of the article in question.
Politico spokesperson Brad Dayspring noted to iMediaEthics that neither Posner nor Weyl are Politico employees and that Politico didn’t know why they chose not to respond to the criticism. “The headline was changed on Tuesday, as the note makes clear—prior to much of the social media response,” he wrote. “Beyond that, the editor’s note speaks for itself.” iMediaEthics has written to Posner and Weyl.
On Twitter, readers compared the article to indentured servitude and questioned-slash-hoped it was satire.
— Heidi N Moore (@moorehn) February 13, 2018
For those following our piece @politico today (https://t.co/pSUVDaoYEA … … …) or the reaction, please understand we had no influence on the original title and I regret it, along with elements of the tone. Thank you to @suellentrop for updating title. I stand by the argument.
— (((E. Glen Weyl))) (@glenweyl) February 14, 2018
TFW one of the most prominent legal scholars in America and an economist at Yale casually suggest reintroducing indentured servitude. https://t.co/WTPHGJcfs1
— David A. Walsh (@DavidAstinWalsh) February 14, 2018
— sid. #FAT2018 (@sidneyfussell) February 14, 2018
This piece is not satire? https://t.co/1qIwZjSRe0
— de bleck penta (@fivefifths) February 14, 2018
How did this get published? This article basically says Americans should take immigrants as indentured servants/slaves https://t.co/C3eX5Avg2H
— Emily C. Singer (@CahnEmily) February 14, 2018
I cannot believe that this isn't a joke. American discourse is beyond abysmal. It's humiliating, lunatic, deluded. Indentured servitude–really?https://t.co/c6bjZEDUty
— ❤️ (@umairh) February 14, 2018
we did this already
we called it slaveryhttps://t.co/1IKNo8bACq
— David Hines (@hradzka) February 14, 2018
— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) February 14, 2018
Here’s the full article. It seems to be calling for a modern form of indenture. Am I missing something? https://t.co/FYMjylZ7ED
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) February 13, 2018