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Newspaper Editors' Offensive Entertainment

April 13, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

Posted 04.13.01
The American Society of Newspaper Editors' (ANSE) annual convention at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington managed to make a little news of its own last week. The event featured a performance by the comedy troupe the Capitol Steps, which included a skit about current U.S.-China relations in which one performer portraying a Chinese official shouted, “Ching ching chong chong,” as he gestured wildly with his hands. College student Amy Leang wrote about feeling “humiliated” by the performance in a story in the conference's newspaper, and minority groups condemned the performance. Leang--who was there as part of a program for minority journalism students--astutely pointed out that the skit didn't jibe with the conferences' recurring talks about the importance of diversity in the newsroom (which included a study ASNE publicized widely). The assocation's president told The Washington Post, “ASNE had nothing to do with the skit,” but the snafu certainly scored the group some bad PR.

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