Just when it seemed that the biggest controversies in football consisted of the Washington Redskins being criticized for having a “racial” team name and the Miami Dolphins dealing with accusations of bullying by suspended guard Richie Incognito, along comes ESPN analyst Kevin Blackistone, who charged on Wednesday that the “Star-Spangled Banner” is nothing short of a “war anthem” that should not be played before any sports event.
During a segment of the cable television network's Around the Horn weekday program, the frequent guest also stated that the national anthem was first played “in the World Series back in 1917” and asserted “it's time for people to back away” from the beloved song.
Never mind the government shutdown. What's really important in Obamaland is apparently whether football's Washington Redskins keep their Redskins team nickname.
The Associated Press's Julie Pace, with help from Joseph White and Darlene Superville, has an 880-word writeup on this breathtakingly important subject. Too bad the entire premise — that Indians "feel pretty strongly" about mascots and team names that depict negative stereotypes about their heritage," and that the "Redskins name is one such negative stereotype — is false, based on results reported by ESPN columnist Rick Reilly in September. First, a few AP excerpts (bolds are mine):
Sports cable channel ESPN has fired commentator Hugh Douglas for his alleged behavior at a convention for journalists where he showed up drunk at two public events and insulted a black colleague in gross racial terms.
According to several published reports, Douglas became angry at Michael Smith, his former co-host, insulting him as a “house n-----” and an “Uncle Tom.”
According to the sports blog Deadspin, Douglas has grown increasingly uncomfortable being paired with Smith and Jemele Hill as co-hosts of ESPN’s “Numbers Never Lie” statistics show as the only former athlete on the show.
The New York Times claimed last week that Keith Olbermann was given a new late night show on ESPN2 with the caveat that he not discuss politics.
Speaking to reporters at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour Wednesday, Olbermann denied this saying, "There's no such clause that said I could not talk about politics, there is no such clause referring to content about anything that we might do on the show."
President Obama played golf Saturday with ESPN "Pardon the Interruption" hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon -- both former sports columnists for The Washington Post.
Not only that, ABCNews.com announced that on Friday, Wilbon, Kornheiser, and Tony Reali –host of ESPN’s “Around the Horn” and a long-time fact-checker for the other two ESPN hosts — ate lunch at the White House and visited with Obama in the Oval Office. As the Post reported (via AP) on Sunday:
If liberals in the sports media have their way, your favorite sporting event will soon be a little more like an episode of “Glee.” Writers and talking heads at outlets from ESPN to NBC Sports are in a full-court press. They want to see openly gay athletes in American sports, no matter what it means for the games, the fans, or the athletes themselves.
There were eight coaching changes in the National Football League during the past few weeks. It must be assumed in the absence of contrary evidence that each franchise's owners made their choice based on who they believe has the best chance to take their team to the playoffs and Super Bowl.
The "problem" is, according to league's human resource people (are those really full-time jobs?) and their eager supporters at the Associated Press and ESPN, all eight new coaches are white. As a result, barely four months after the league earned a "high diversity hiring grade" from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport ("its third consecutive A grade on racial hiring and its first C-plus for gender hiring"), the "Rooney Rule," which requires that teams interview at least one at least one minority candidate for head coaching and top managerial jobs, is not good enough (bolds are mine):
ESPN has parted ways with Rob Parker, a commentator for the sports network who caused a national controversy by saying that Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is “not one of us” and only “kind of black” because he is engaged to a white woman and is rumored to be a Republican.
Cable sports network ESPN has suspended its commentator Rob Parker following his offensive racial tirade against Washington Redskins player Robert Griffin III. In a segment on yesterday’s First Take program, Parker said that the rookie quarterback was “not one of us” and that he was only “kind of black” because he is engaged to a white woman, is rumored to be a Republican, and has spoken in favor of racial neutrality, sentiments that the sports analyst derided as “cornball.”
“Following yesterday’s comments, Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice,” network spokesman Josh Krulewitz said in a statement. “We are conducting a full review.”
During the Thursday edition of the ESPN show First Take, analyst Rob Parker injected racial issues into the game as he took a bitter swipe at Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, criticizing him for being engaged to a white woman and possibly being one of those evil, nasty Republicans.
“Is he a brother or a cornball brother?” Parker said. “He’s not really one of us. He’s kind of black, but he’s not really, like, the guy you want to hang out with.”
When a news anchor's Obama-friendly question is slapped down by even a liberal columnist, it's whacky. CNN's Carol Costello wondered if Libya should even be a campaign issue, but both her guests -- liberal and conservative -- answered in a resounding affirmation on Monday.
Citing the father of dead Ambassador Chris Stevens, who deplored the tragedy becoming a campaign issue, Costello asked "So I think the Ambassador's father spoke out too late because Libya has already become a campaign issue. I guess the question is should it be?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
During the first centuries of Christianity, Christians were thrown to lions in arenas to be jeered by mocking crowds. Today, Christian athletes face the taunts of a media strongly opposed to their faith.
No Christian athlete draws more media catcalls than New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow. CBSChicago.com writer Dan Bernstein dismissed Tebow as “little more than an affable simpleton” and slammed his fans as “lunatic-fringe cultists.” Columnist Rabbi Joshua Hammerman of The Jewish Week expressed his desire that Tebow’s Broncos would lose a playoff game because a Broncos victory would “buoy his faithful, and emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants.” Radio host Craig Carton was the latest to jump on the anti-Tebow bandwagon, calling him a “fraud” and complaining that he “clearly thinks he is Jesus” on his August 14 radio show.
The Olympic Games, which begin this week, is an exhibition of the sportsmanship, teamwork, and the competitive spirit that make sports so enjoyable. But for many in the media, sports is just another excuse to engage in divisive political commentary. The sports media transform an apolitical past-time into a forum for their own politics.
Progressives have actively attempted to remake the Olympics into a celebration of their own political ideals. From calls to make the summer Games “a forum for the promotion of LGBT rights,” to criticism of the International Olympic Committee as “the 1 percent of the 1 percent,” lefties care less about the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat than using the world’s biggest sporting event to pound for their pet causes.
ESPN's Grantland website jumped on the bash Manny Pacquiao bandwagon on Thursday by giving a platform to a homosexual activist, who predictably trashed the Catholic Church as she took the Filipino boxing sensation to task for defending traditional marriage.
Writer Laurel Fantauzzo ripped the "the Church's cruel, untrue dictates about me," and promised if he didn't "evolve" like President Obama, "I'll simply have to sigh wearily and turn away from you, the way I've turned away from all of the idiotic bigots I've come across in my life, carrying a cross or a heavy book or a Constitution."
During his first hour today, Rush mentioned the reaction of Peter King at Sports illustrated in King's "Monday Morning Quarterback" collection to a paragraph in the magazine's cover story on Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks' point guard who has broken through from obscurity to phenom during the past two weeks. What King wrote is indeed an interesting giveaway of what I believe is a common but unsupportable media perspective, namely that students at and graduates of elite upper-echelon universities like those in the Ivy League are presumptively free of overt racism, because, well, they're all so enlightened.
Late Saturday morning, a brief, unbylined Associated Press item ("ESPN sorry for offensive headline on Lin story") reported that "ESPN has apologized for using a racial slur in a headline for a story on Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin."
The racial slur in question involves using "Chink in the Armor" to headline a story posted on the network's mobile website after the Knicks lost Friday night to the lowly New Orleans Hornets, ending a seven-game winning streak. The text of ESPN's apology and discussion of the AP's protective oversights follow the jump:
It would appear that if Kevin Paul Dupont were king, he would be exploring how to send the Stanley Cup Finals exploits of Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas last year down the memory hole. Thomas "held the Canucks to eight goals in seven games" and became the first goalie ever to shut out his team's opponent in a deciding Game 7 on the road, helping the Bruins win their first Cup in almost 40 years.
Since he can't do that, the Boston Globe sportswriter appears to want to use Thomas's absence from the team's White House visit three weeks ago and subsequent Facebook postings as evidence that Thomas's "legacy" is in danger (his column's headline states that Thomas needs to "restore" it). In making his supposed case, the self-professed "confused" Dupont made and repeated a fundamental factual error. Those errors destroy any credibility he may have had in portraying Thomas's decision and subsequent Facebook postings as somehow disrupting team unity:
Clay Waters at NewsBusters and the Media Research Center did a great job Monday of exposing the ugly, vindictive, know-it-all and snotty write-up on Tim Tebow generated by Harvey Araton at the New York Times after Tebow's Denver Broncos were unceremoniously eliminated from the NFL playoffs on Saturday by the New England Patriots.
Perhaps the most offensive element of Araton's work was its headline: "Curtain Closes on Tebow’s Season, but His Sideshow Goes On." It is more than clear from Araton's text and tone that he considers Tebow's pre- and post-game charitable activities part of that "sideshow." Apparently, a New York Times sportswriter believes he is in a better position than team executives, Coach John Fox, and Tebow himself to decide what is and isn't a distraction from team unity and focus. To show that Araton's twisted outlook isn't universally shared among sportswriters, I give you excerpts from Rick Reilly's outstanding Friday column at ESPN, which I selected as a Positivity Post at my home blog on Sunday:
The National Football League avoided a potential public relations nightmare, and more importantly, did what was widely considered to be the right thing, announcing Friday that players may wear special shoes and gloves that differ from official NFL equipment for Week 1 games. The move came a day after Lance Briggs, six-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the Chicago Bears, sent out a picture of shoes and gloves provided by Reebok to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of 9/11. He then tweeted:
“Reebok great job on these gloves and shoes… looks like I'm getting fined this week. Lol!”
But the league, which normally enforces a very rigid uniform policy, said they do not “anticipate any issues”. The AP reported that Greg Aiello, spokesman for the NFL, sent an e-mail stating that, “We have extensive plans for Sunday to respectfully recognize the significance of the day.”
He added that, “Lance Briggs and all players will participate.”
After finishing up practice on Friday, Briggs declined to comment. He did issue a statement to me later in the evening which read:
ESPN's LZ Granderson labeled Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) as "crazy" Monday, and CNN anchor Kyra Phillips seemed to credit his judgment.
Granderson, a CNN contributor, said of a Bachmann candidacy that "the people aren't going to vote for crazy. And she [Bachmann] still registers as crazy with a lot of independents." Phillips immediately responded that "If you could go back decades, there's a lot of people who vote for crazy, guys."
Gay “rights” and same-sex marriage have been all over the news lately. Sick of the issue? Why not tune to ESPN for the baseball scores and an update on the football lockout? But there, instead of “Web Gems” is … gay marriage.
ESPN is supposed to be in the business of sports, but lately the network has allowed social advocacy to creep into its programming, and the Disney-owned sports network’s take turns out to be identical to the pro-gay mainstream media.
On Thursday's CBS Early Show, news reader Jeff Glor declared: "President Obama is ready for March Madness, it appears. He broke out the brackets at the White House yesterday and made his picks in the NCAA basketball tournament." However, he lamented how the commander in chief "Didn't exactly go out on a limb....For his Final Four he chose all number one seeds."
Only moments earlier, Glor received a report from correspondent Mark Phillips in Libya, who described the losing battle rebels were fighting against dictator Moammar Qadhafi. While Glor noted the United Nations was still debating the creation of a no-fly zone to aid the democratic forces, he said nothing of President Obama's unwillingness to "go out on a limb" and lead on the crisis.
Tucker Carlson is now the proud owner of a slightly used Keith Olbermann.
With a large-print headline announcing "We own you" and a picture of ol' Keith looking bemused whilst he adjusts he glasses, The Daily Caller promoted their newest acquisition: http://keitholbermann.com/.
It's just the latest shot across the bow in the escalating feud between Olbermann and Carlson, which will one day be featured on a Cracked.com list of the top eight inconsequential personal feuds the media chose to cover instead of events that were actually newsworthy.
What will it take for the MSM to stop smearing the falsely-accused Duke lacrosse players? Judging by the performance of ESPN's Steve Weissman this morning, legal exoneration is not enough.
Introducing an ESPNNEWS item on a lacrosse game between Duke and the University of Virginia, Weissman claimed that three years ago, the Duke team had been involved in "a devastating scandal," and that while the accused players had been exonerated, "the questions remain."
Weissman, looking for a hook to intro the story, went for the cheap moral equivalence between the false charges leveled against the Duke players, and the murder charge against a UVA player in the death of a women's lacrosse player.