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.
While NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was calling conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh too "divisive" to own a professional football team, rapper Snoop Dogg was appearing in television ads for ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown."
I guess Goodell and other higher-ups within the league weren't concerned with having a man possessing multiple felony charges against him including murder do commercials for the highly-watched Sunday pre-game show on the nation's leading sports cable network.
Maybe Goodell should have looked at Snoop's rap sheet before he derided Limbaugh right out of an ownership position with the St. Louis Rams (ESPN commercial embedded below the fold along with Wikipedia highlights of the rapper's legal issues, h/t NB reader Shekhar Jain):
When it comes to slurring Rush Limbaugh in his quest to obtain an interest in the NFL's St. Louis Rams, someone's going to have to work hard to top Adrian Wojnarowski. The Yahoo Sports reporter today called Rush a "racist" and a "bigot" and implied he would never hire a black coach.
Wojnarowski spouted his slurs on Jim Rome's "Rome Is Burning" show on ESPN this afternoon.
ADRIAN WOJNAROWSKI: People do not want a bigot as an owner. He's a racist. He's a bigot. He's shown it for years. He's made his career off in a large way off marginalizing black culture and African-Americans, and now he wants to buy into an industry where 70% of the players, the talent, the work-force is African-American and make money off of it? He doesn't get to do that.
In response, Rome didn't exactly leap to Rush's defense, but did pose this question.
One of the most damaging accusations you can level at opponent is call that individual a racist in one form or another. And that's the tactic MSNBC and others left-wing opponents of Rush Limbaugh are taking to thwart his bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams.
During a segment on MSNBC on Oct. 13, former Pulitzer Prize winner Karen Hunter appeared to voice her opposition to the Limbaugh's NFL bid. She made one of the most outrageous - likening Limbaugh's ownership of an NFL team to being a plantation owner, a metaphor that invokes the image of antebellum South during the 19th Century, when slavery was rampant.
"I can just see the visions of plantation grandeur dancing in his head as we speak," Hunter said. "Yeah, it doesn't make you a racist to want to own a team. But, it does kind of with all his history question his power position over these players who make millions of dollars and his ability to be able to move them around, deny them contracts and do whatever he wants willy-nilly. It's the ultimate power position to be an owner of an NFL team."
BREAKING: "NFL Players Executive Director DeMaurice Smith on Saturday made a move to solidify the union against a bid by conservative talk show radio host Rush Limbaugh as part of a group that aims to purchase the St. Louis Rams."
Such was reported moments ago by ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
According to Mortensen, Smith has spoken to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell strongly opposing this transaction:
But it was just a matter of time before the usual culprits on the left would attempt to make an issue of it, in what seems to be an effort to gin up some reason for the talk show host not to have an ownership stake in an NFL team. And, MSNBC's Ed Schultz isn't waiting for pointers from the left-wing blogosphere to set the "Stop Rush's Bid for the Rams" agenda. He took it to Limbaugh on his Oct. 6 program immediately.
"There's also some comical football news out there," Schultz said. "The drugster's talking about buying the St. Louis Rams. That's right, the leader of the Republican Party is bidding for ownership of a team that's been giving more money to Democrats than any other team has over the last 10 years, at least that's what the survey says. He'll have to do something about that I'm sure."
So Michael Vick is an Eagle now. That’s ok with me. I’m a Giants fan. Or I was a Giants fan, when I could stand to follow pro football. For a long time now, I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch more than a few games a season. These days, I feel nearly as out-of-place at a Super Bowl party as I would at an Oscar party.
Here in the DC area, the Redskins religion has begun its sacramental advent count-down to opening Sunday. I wish I could share the excitement. Part of the problem is that I’m a natural contrarian. Everybody loves football, so I don’t. Also, I’m a baseball fan (in a town largely devoid of them). The end of summer means my season’s running down, while theirs is pumping up.
But the problem is more involved. See, I love the game of football. But I loathe how and by whom it is played at the professional level. I don’t like the hype and the spectacle and the production – the computer generated “Transformers”-type robots Fox uses in commercial bumpers. And I can’t believe I’m the only one who thinks Hank Jr.’s “Monday Night” theme song gets a little more embarrassing every year.
On Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Russ Mitchell shared President Obama’s bracket picks for the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four: "And it appears March Madness has reached the White House. The fan-in-chief President Obama tells ESPN his NCAA Final Four bracket includes Louisville, Memphis, Pittsburgh, and North Carolina. And he predicts a Tar Heels victory over Louisville in the final. There is the music. You can catch all the action of the NCAA men's tournament right here on CBS, beginning tomorrow afternoon. We all picked North Carolina." On Wednesday’s Evening News, while filling in for anchor Katie Couric, Early Show co-host Maggie Rodriguez also touted the presidential picks.
However, both Mitchell and Rodriguez failed to mention that thehead coach of Duke University’s men’s basketball team, Mike Krzyzewski, recently criticized the President for being distracted by March Madness: "Somebody said that we're not in President Obama's Final Four, and as much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets."
Evangelical magazine Christianity Today is using the term "anti-abortion," rather than "pro-life," to refer to a CatholicVote.com ad which NBC has refused to air during the Super Bowl. (h/t @pdavidy8)
The term "anti-abortion" isn't used by reporter Sarah Pulliam in the body of her article posted at CTliveblog, but it is used in her January 30 article's headline -- Anti-Abortion Super Bowl Ad Rejected by NBC -- on the magazine's Twitter page (see screencap at right).
By using "anti-abortion" in its headline, Christianity Today appears to be following the lead of the Associated Press. The AP calls for the term "anti-abortion instead of pro-life and abortion rights instead of pro-abortion or pro-choice" in its Stylebook. AP goes further and frowns on the term "abortionist," saying it "connotes a person who performs clandestine abortions," so a reporter should "use a term such as abortion doctor or abortion practitioner," it counsels.
While many journalists and news agencies outside the AP follow the Stylebook, including (for the most part) this organization, they are free to supercede the manual where they see fit. For example, our very own NewsBusters Style Guide has this mandate for our contributors:
For years, NewsBusters has not only pointed out liberal bias in traditional media outlets, but also when it occurs in sports coverage.
In a fine example of why this is so important, ABC sportscaster Suzy Shuster on Tuesday published a letter at the Huffington Post begging actress Tina Fey to make weekly appearances as Gov. Sarah Palin on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" in order to get Barack Obama elected president.
I kid you not.
Here are some of the lowlights of this disgraceful piece (emphasis added, photo courtesy Boston Herald):
Have you ever considered who's financing the various new media outlets spreading extreme-liberal viewpoints around the country?
Most people think the biggest source is George Soros. However, there are others that are not necessarily household names, but are having a huge influence on the state of journalism today and in the future.
More importantly, they're on a mission to redefine the political landscape in ways you might not have imagined.
As reported by NewsBusters Matt Sheffield and Noel Sheppard in the September issue of the Capital Research Center's "Foundation Watch":
Sports Illustrated’s Selena Roberts, when asked during an interview on the SI website about the future of softball as an Olympic competition on Thursday, added some liberal commentary into her prediction about the sport’s redemption: "One other wildcard for 2016 is the exit of the Bush administration. The undercurrent of anti-Americanism within the IOC, which some say has hurt the U.S. because of its softball dominance, may abate somewhat with a potential administration led by Barack Obama, a rock star in Europe."
This comment came at the end of an interview about the U.S. team losing in the gold medal match to Japan. This is the last Olympics for both softball and baseball since the International Olympic Committee decided to eliminate it for the 2012 Games in London.
In the wake of the infamous (and illegal) antics of the New England Patriots, having admitted they repeatedly and blatantly broke the rules and cheated during their Super Bowl run of the early 21st century, a story appeared in the Boston Herald newspaper that the Patriots had taped the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough prior to beating the heavily favored Rams in the 2001 Super Bowl. Since the Patriots are admitted cheaters, this was not a stretch of the imagination, especially since a member of the Patriots' video staff- one who illegally taped other team- was setting up while the Rams were walking through their game plan. However, the story has not been corroborated by anyone, and the member of the Patriots' staff who did most of the illegal taping told the NFL commissioner that he had no knowledge of anyone doing said taping, and that he certainly did not. Following this, the Herald and its reporter, one John Tomase, have apologized- and on the front page, no less. Tomase wrote on the HErald's website today
"First and foremost, this is about a writer breaking one of the cardinal rules of journalism. I failed to keep challenging what I had been told," wrote John Tomase in Friday's editions of the newspaper. Tomase explained what led up to the publication of the Feb. 2 story, which appeared one day before the Patriots' 17-14 Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants. The Herald on Wednesday apologized for the story, after former Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh told NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that he did not tape the walkthrough and did not know of anyone who had.
Cindy Brunson's report on Lorena Ochoa's winning streak wasn't a mere double-bogey. Think of it as a shank into the lake, or better yet, that most inept stroke of all: a total whiff. Apparently desperate for a feminist angle on Ochoa's success, the ESPN News anchor decided to drag Title IX and the ERA into her account.
Ochoa's victory at the Ginn Open was her fourth LPGA win in a row. Here's how Brunson reported it during the 5 AM ET edition of ESPN News:
CINDY BRUNSON: It's been 45 years since we've seen someone on the LPGA Tour win four straight tournaments in as many weeks. Back when Mickey Wright pulled off the winning quartet in 1963, both Title IX and the Equal Rights Amendment were still ideas, not laws. And to world's #1 Lorena Ochoa, admittedly feeling fatigued after winning in her native Mexico last week, but poised to rewrite the record books in Tigeresque fashion Sunday.
After making a long string of anti-Christian remarks, ESPN host Dana Jacobson is getting only a one-week suspension. Lucky for her she didn't say something about Mohammed or another member of the left's "protected class:"
Sources have confirmed that Jacobson, a co-host of "First Take" on ESPN2, currently is serving a one-week suspension because of her behavior at a Jan. 11 roast for ESPN Radio personalities Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic at Atlantic City, N.J.
Appearing on Monday night's edition of "Hardball," ESPN host and Philadelphia Inquirer sports reporter Stephen A. Smith declared himself not to be a fan of Rudy Giuliani. When asked by Chris Matthews about what he thought of the former New York mayor's chances to become President, Smith blurted: "It'd be a disaster!....Giuliani is a dictator as far as I'm concerned."
In the past few decades, as political correctness has taken hold of virtually every industry, folks involved in sports and sportscasting that have made racist or sexist remarks on camera have typically been fired or forced to make public apologies.
Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder's termination by CBS back in 1988 is a fine example, with the recent two-week suspension of Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman being another.
Yet, given what happened on an Atlantic City dais on January 11, where a high-profile ESPN anchor went on an alcohol-induced tirade which included a vulgar reference to Jesus Christ, it appears public antitheism is not politically incorrect.
After all, until this moment, you probably hadn't heard about this incident, and the person involved apparently has not been publicly admonished for her behavior by her employer.
While you consider such a double standard, Press of Atlantic City reported on January 12 (h/t NB reader Andy Traynor, readers are warned that vulgarity and blasphemy appear after the jump):
Tom Brady is the glitzy quarterback of the NFL's flashiest undefeated juggernaut, the New England Patriots. But columnists seem to be plopping Brady into several different political slots. On the ESPN website, former Newsweek writer Gregg Easterbrook wrote of how he saw the matchup between the Indianapolis Colts (good guys) and the Patriots (dishonesty, arrogance, hubris), and somehow, surprise, the liberal writer finds that dishonest hubris translates well to Cheney:
The team's star, Tom Brady, is a smirking sybarite who dates actresses and supermodels but whose public charity appearances are infrequent. That constant smirk on Brady's face reminds one of Dick Cheney; people who smirk are fairly broadcasting the message, "I'm hiding something."
As we have documented here more than once, liberal bias has a way of working its way into all nooks and crannies of the MSM, including sports reporting. That made it particularly refreshing to hear renowned sports journalist Peter Gammons take a stand today for small government and private philanthropy.