Digging around in the archives this morning reminded me that while the liberal activism of the global-warming cover of Sports Illustrated is shocking, it's not really new. In 1995, we noticed this contrast in Notable Quotables (scroll to the end):
"Whatever one thinks of Winslow's positions, it's encouraging to see a Stateside athlete -- particularly one who rose from the squalor of East St. Louis, Ill., to earn a law degree -- engaging himself in the world of which sports is only a small part." -- Sports Illustrated's 'Scorecard' feature on Kellen Winslow's Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech supporting affirmative action and racial quotas, August 7, 1995 issue.
There's a culture rising among those who could not care less about tomorrow's Super Bowl. Just ask Amy McCloskey, owner of Madame X, a Manhattan nightspot that will be the scene of the Ladies-Only Anti-Super Bowl, complete with manicures and psychic romance readings. "This is our own tiny stadium of girly things. It's the estrogen answer to Super Bowl testosterone," Miss McCloskey said. "We'll feature lots of little attractions for women seeking a pleasant night out. No hordes, no yelling." It's enough to scare most men to death: Aromatherapy, air brush tans, makeovers, chocolate fondue, dainty cocktails. Men, in fact, will not be admitted until 11 p.m., after the game has ended.
Writer-editor Kurt Andersen, a card-carrying member of Manhattan's liberal cultural elite, may be coming around to the idea of bias in the Times, judging by his New York magazine story on the paper's slanted coverage of the Duke lacrosse "rape" case, "Rape, Justice, and the ‘Times.’"
Here's the subhead to the provocative story, on what many have come to feel is a perversion of justice on the Durham college campus driven by a politically motivated prosecutor: "'I've never felt so ill,' says one reporter about the paper’s coverage of the Duke lacrosse-team case. Luckily, a blogger’s on the story, too."
Andersen celebrates blogger K.C. Johnson, who'd been on the case:
After booting Rush Limbaugh over non-political remarks that
media favor Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb because he
is black, ESPN, the radio home of Keith Olbermann, allowed left-wing
director Spike Lee to go off on a rant about how New Orleans is not
rebuilt. Limbaugh touched on the topic in his show Tuesday:
must tell you, I watched the game a little bit last night. I had a very
important secret meeting and I didn't get to see the entire game,
missed some of the beginning, but as soon as I tuned in who do I see
but Spike Lee in the booth being asked questions as though he's an
expert on social policy and everything else. I listened to a little bit
of it, and I kept saying, "It's a football game! Couldn't you have done
this in the pregame show?" I find out they did, they devoted a lot of
time to the pregame show.
was pure politics in the booth at ESPN last night, and it was pure
liberal politics, disguised as social compassion. Give us the game,
guys! I'm getting sick of all these shots of the fans and the crowds
and the shots that take us away from the field. It's no different than
if you're at the game and a bunch of drunks in the row in front of you
stand up and you can't see what's going on on the field. That's what
these networks do. I don't want to hear Spike Lee when I'm watching the
Atlanta Falcons and the Saints. I don't care. He got his HBO
documentary. It doesn't matter to me. This ain't a social
welfare-concern show. Now, I know that there might have been some
pressure brought by the NFL. We gotta make New Orleans look good. We
gotta make people understand still a lot of work to do here and so
forth, but it got so syrupy and Milquetoast that I was about to puke.
It's a football game! And football announcers, I thought, were not
supposed to delve into politics. Where did I hear that once? Did
politics we get all over the place, and we got liberal politics, and
how rotten and horrible it is. "You may think Bourbon Street looks
good, but we had to go on a tour of all these areas of New Orleans that
are still dilapidated and un-repaired."
As Tom Johnson noted, Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon wrote a column for Thursday's paper, headlined "Gumbel Has the Right To Say What He Feels." After Gumbel insulted union leader Gene Upshaw about needing a "leash" because he was the NFL Commissioner's "pet," Wilbon said he disagreed with the argument that Upshaw made bad deals for football players, but suggested the idea of the NFL Network removing Bryant Gumbel from broadcasting their football games later this fall "not only won't fly but will look like the silliest Nixonian attempt at censorship." But don't give him a First Amendment Award. That's not the way Wilbon felt about Rush Limbaugh broadcasting football games. In May of 2000, when ABC was considering Limbaugh as the third man in the broadcast booth for "Monday Night Football," he declared Rush was a racist, and has no right to broadcast:
'Rome is Burning' is ESPN's edgy sports-commentary show starring the eponymous Jim Rome. Jason Whitlock is standing in for Rome this week, and while I don't know much about him, from what I've seen I enjoy his shtick. He's smart, funny and seems to successfully walk the fine line of expressing strong views without being malicious.
Another plus: his physique and bearing remind me of one of my all-time favorite movie characters in my all-time favorite movie - Sydney Greenstreet as Signor Ferrari in Casablanca. Judge for yourself.
In any case, in the show's opening monologue, the host riffs on what 'he's burning about.' Among Whitlock's topics today was what he suggests be the top priority for about-to-be-announced new NFL Commisioner. For Whitlock, job #1 is
"Fixing the league's officiating crisis. The new commissioner shouldn't bury his head in the sand and pretend everything is OK with the zebras. It's not. The new millenium NFL player is souped up on supplements and moves at the speed of sound. It's ridiculous to have 50 year-old white guys chasing after 25-yr old black guys."
So there you are enjoying your morning coffee, perusing Sports Illustrated’s Web site for the latest training camp information on your favorite NFL team and then whammo, you get hit with liberal bias. Is anyplace safe from it? Sports Illustrated’s Peter King couldn’t finish his ramblings about the goings on of the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants without plugging Al Gore’s enviro-flick An Inconvenient Truth. King pleaded to his readers:
"This is not exactly the venue to warn the world about global warming, but all you football junkies readying for your fantasy drafts should do one real-world thing in the next couple of weeks: take two hours to see this movie. I'm not saying you'll be glad you did, because it's going to slap you around mentally a bit. But it's something you need to see. You don't want to wake up in 15 years with the Earth permanently damaged and huge portions of the Earth's surface under water, forever."
Nothing biased here, I just found it amusing as an evangelical Christian who has examined the mainstream media's aversion to religion.
Going through the morning papers today, I noticed this teaser atop the the Sports section for USA Today: "Christ the King No. 1." The corresponding story on page 7C was about the private New York school topping the USA Today Super 25 list for high school girls basketball.
A few days prior, The New York Times headlined a sports article on the same girls team with "Christ the King Lives Up to National Reputation."
Sports columnist Harvey Araton ventured onto thin ice with an anti-Bush metaphor on Wednesday while relaying the simmering feud between Olympic speedskaters Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis:
“And at the root of the conflict is Davis's belief that Hedrick has been attempting to swift boat him here at the Olympics, use him as a prop as he wraps himself, Texas-style, in the flag, for the purpose of increasing his commercial appeal, while claiming that the feud has elevated their skating and is good for the sport.”
To translate Araton's esoteric comparison: Hedrick is President Bush (they both hail from Texas, you see), and Davis is a stand-in for John Kerry, unfairly attacked by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. We think.
"Finally, tonight, the Winter Games. Count me among those who don’t like them and won’t watch them ... Because they’re so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try too. Like, try not to be incredulous when someone attempts to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention. Try not to point out that something’s not really a sport if a pseudo-athlete waits in what’s called a kiss-and-cry area, while some panel of subjective judges decides who won ... So if only to hasten the arrival of the day they’re done, when we can move on to March Madness — for God’s sake, let the games begin."