Rather than recycle my fellow runners’ cogent arguments that attempt to engage or parody the WSJ article, I have a hard truth for all of you. You’ve been duped. “OK. You’re a Runner. Get Over It” is nothing more than silly, vacuous click bait that insures the writer will have future journalism gigs. What is click bait, you ask? Click bait is any headline that’s specifically calculated to grab your attention and mouse click, regardless of whether the article on the other side can hold water. The clicks are counted and if the metrics show that an author is popular, he’ll likely get another stab at writing for the publication. The title of this article you’re reading now is click bait, because if you’re a runner (and you probably are, if you’re reading Run Oregon) you want to know why on earth another runner would defend that awful man.
I’ll be the first to admit– I was sucked in by his headline, too. I’m guilty of clicking on Stafko’s article at least a dozen times, hyper-linking to it in this piece, and googling this mediocre “monster.” Was he a hard-hitting journalist no one had ever heard of before? And the answer is a resounding “no.” Without the benefit of the Wall Street Journal’s editors, he is at best a very average writer who has essentially self-published thirty-five rants on the online-only, open-source, conservative American Thinker. I was duped along with everyone else, and it has changed the way I look at the internet and my favorite publications’ online presence.
Chad Stafko is a genius– or at least the folks at the WSJ who wrote his headline for him are. Coming out “against” something millions of Americans love ensures just as many website hits, shares, and viral responses. Everyone knows this nobody’s name now, and for that, I commend him.