Northey comments left unexplained don't help her cause

Two songs that make reference to "the jungle are Grandmaster Flsh's "The saessage" as shown in the YouiTuvbe video upload and the link here to "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns & Roses: Northey / Headline Surfer®

DAYTONA BEACH --  What exactly did Pat Northey mean when she apparently was quoted as saying the following in reference to a story published in the Daytona Beach News-Journal is certainly open to interpretation: "It's certainly welcome to the jungle or welcome to the ring."

The quote was referenced in a story published online Thursday evening and in Friday morning's print version of the newspaper regarding a story announcing the entrance of Deltona City Commissioner Webster Barnaby as the third entrant in the race for the at-large County Council seat held by Joyce Cusack of DeLand.

Pat Northey, term-limited in the Deltona seat on the County Council, and Webster Barnaby, the Deltona city commissioner, have both put in qualifying papers challenging incumbent at-large County Council member Joyce Cusack

Barnaby submitted his qualifying papers Wednesday, which was reported in a story that day by Headline Surfer®. The following evening, the News-Journal played catch-up, and in doing so, quoted Northey vying with the newest contestant, Barnaby for the seat held by Cusack that would allow the Deltona Democrat to stay on the dais beyond 2014, her 20th year on the County Council.

So what exactly did Northey mean when she was quoted in the subsequent News-Journal story the following Thursday evening in saying, "It's certainly welcome to the jungle or welcome to the ring?" 

The quote became an issue when Barnaby called Headline Surfer® late Thursday, saying  he felt her quote was racist because he and Joyce are African American. Headline Surfer called Northey, but got no answer so a voice mail message was left for her to explain. A private follow-up message left on her Facebook page earlier this Sunday afternoon went unanswered.

Headline Surfer® called the News-Journal Thursday evening asking for the reporter, Andrew Gant, but was told by a night desk editor he was not available, but a message would be left for him. He did not return the call left for him. An email was sent to him early this Sunday afternoon, but it, too, has gone unanswered.

People have different interpretations as to how things can be interpreted and misinterpreted.

Cory Thompson, a political blogger for Headline Surfer®® perhaps has the best explanation from an  outside point of view. He said the key to it not being a racist comment is the latter part of the quote,  where Northey states "welcome to the ring," as in a contentious fight.

Thompson said he believes Barnaby and Cusack are either being overly sensitive or are exploiting the race card to their advantage. Thompson makes some valid points, though ultimately, it's Northey's call as to what she really meant. A link to Cory Thompson's blog is posted at the bottom of this blog.

The lesson that should come out of this is for politicians to think twice about what comes out of their mouth. And for reporters, the lesson is to always avoid cliches or at least have the person being quoted explain what they mean.

Of course, there's nothing to prevent Northey or the News-Journal from clarifying, but it's obvious neither is willing to do that which just adds to the uncertainty but that is what we've come to expect from both.

PostScript: Songs with "the jungle" either in title or lyrics

There are several famous songs that make rteference to "the juungle" either in the lyrics or title. The mosrt famous that fom,e to miond are the The Tokens with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," Jethro Tull with "Bungle in the Jungle," Guns n Roses with "Wellcome to the Jungle" and Grandmaster Flash's "The Message." 

Let's take a brief look at each:

Song: The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Artist: The Tokens
Released: 1961: Peaked: No. 1.
Note: Was featured in the 1994 movie, "The Lion King."
The words the jungle are referenced in the lyrics:
(A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh) (A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh) In the jungle, the mighty jungle The lion sleeps tonight
In the jungle the quiet jungle The lion sleeps tonight
Near the village the peaceful village The lion sleeps tonight
Near the village the quiet village The lion sleeps tonight
Hush my darling don't fear my darling The lion sleeps tonight
Hush my darling don't fear my darling The lion sleeps tonight.

Song: Bungle in the Jungle
Artist: Jethro Tull
Released: 1974 from the album "War Child" Peaked: No. 12 billboard Hot 100.
Big hit behind for longstnding British band behind 1971 sigature smash, "Aqualubg."
Note: Meaning of 'Bungle in the Jungle' open to interrpretation, but in the song, animals replace people and the bung;le is a bungling or screw-up in the jungle where it's survival of the fittest. Some havwe trabdlated the song to survival in an urban jungle.


Walking through forests of palm tree apartments ---
Scoff at the monkeys who live in their dark tents
Down by the waterhole
--- drunk every Friday --- Eating their nuts --- saving their raisins for Sunday.
Lions and tigers who wait in the shadows --- They're fast but they're lazy, and sleep in green meadows.
Let's bungle in the jungle --- well, that's all right by me.
I'm a tiger when I want love, But I'm a snake if we disagree.
Just say a word and the boys will be right there:
With claws at your back to send a chill through the night air. Is it so frightening to have me at your shoulder?
Thunder and lightning couldn't be bolder. I'll write on your tombstone, ``I thank you for dinner.'' This game that we animals play is a winner.
Let's bungle in the jungle --- well, that's all right by me. I'm a tiger when I want love, But I'm a snake if we disagree.
The rivers are full of crocodile nasties And He who made kittens put snakes in the grass.
He's a lover of life but a player of pawns ---
Yes, the King on His sunset lies waiting for dawn To light up His Jungle As play is resumed. The monkeys seem willing to strike up the tune.
Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.