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Associated Press
The Dallas Mavericks' Lamar Odom tries to pass around the New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin on Sunday.

An honest mistake?

So now we get the headline writer's and editor's side of the story on the ESPN Jeremy Lin debacle -- i.e., using the phrase "chink in the armor" to introduce a story about the Knicks' first loss since Lin, an Asian-American, became the team's point guard.

They say it was an honest mistake.

I say they're not lying -- and not just because one of the individuals involved is married to an Asian woman.

I think what happened is what usually happens when you get lazy and fall back on cliches: It comes back to bite you. And that's what I think happened here. The people involved just sort of mindlessly reached for the first cliche they could think of, and it was their bad luck that it turned out to be such a horrendously awful fit.

The rest was just either no one waking up in time to notice that, or simple ignorance that that particular word has long been a pejorative for the Chinese and/or Asians in general. I can't believe the latter could possibly be true; no one in a job that involves language could possibly be that uneducated about idiom, could they?

Then again ... I've been surprised before by what people don't know. So, maybe so.

Ben Smith's blog.