Sports

By Clay Waters | August 6, 2012 | 3:07 PM EDT

New York Times sports reporter Jere Longman doesn't approve of a certain Olympic female track and field athlete. His piece on the front of Sunday's sports section, "For Lolo Jones, Everything Is Image," rubbed in the fact that Jones hasn't won an Olympic medal, casts doubt on whether she will do so on Wednesday, and sneeringly claimed that Jones "will be whatever anyone wants her to be -- vixen, virgin, victim -- to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses." Even worse: She's a Christian and fan of Tim Tebow.

A photo caption read: "Lolo Jones has received more attention than any other American track and field athlete based on what some have called a cynical marketing strategy that is long on hyperbole and short on achievement."

By Noel Sheppard | August 6, 2012 | 9:21 AM EDT

American culture took another huge step down Sunday.

During prime time coverage of the Summer Olympics, Ragú premiered a spaghetti sauce commercial featuring a young boy walking in on his parents having sex (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):

By Tim Graham | August 5, 2012 | 8:35 PM EDT

Anna Holmes, until recently a Style section writer for The Washington Post wrote a piece for Yahoo News called "The White World of Sports." She began by attacking NBC host Bob Costas and his "man-child hairdo" (?) for not sounding more like Al Sharpton when Gabby Douglas won the all-around  Olympic gold in gymnastics.

"You know, it's a happy measure of how far we've come that it doesn't seem all that remarkable, but still it's noteworthy, Gabby Douglas is, as it happens, the first African-American to win the women's all-around in gymnastics," Costas proclaimed. "The barriers have long since been down, but sometimes there can be an imaginary barrier, based on how one might see oneself." Holmes hated that:

By Noel Sheppard | August 5, 2012 | 12:36 PM EDT

Gabby Douglas just captured America's hearts with a stirring victory as women's gymnastics all-around gold medalist at the Summer Olympics in London.

Despite this, George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week Sunday actually botched her name calling her Gabby Daniels (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tim Graham | August 3, 2012 | 11:34 PM EDT

Why does Salon.com hate the Olympics so? After Wednesday’s David Sirota piece decrying (a la Chris Hayes) how “infantile displays of hyper-patriotism” like chanting “USA” for the home team give him jingoistic hives about aiding the military-industrial complex, a Friday article asked “Did God help Gabrielle Douglas win? The gold medalist is a teenager of deep faith and gratitude -- and that can be a little unnerving.”

Writer Mary Elizabeth Williams found it creepy that any athlete would credit Jesus after a victory, and wrote of how she agreed with a colleague that “I would like her more if she were not so, so, so into Jesus.”

By Ken Shepherd | August 2, 2012 | 10:19 PM EDT

Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Times's Politifact unit assigned a "mostly false" label to a July 31 blog post by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) which argued that American athletes winning medals in the London Olympic Games would pay hefty taxes as a result of their success. For example, a gold medal winner could pay up to nearly $9,000 for each gold medal victory.

Today, ATR Tax Policy Director Ryan Ellis issued a strong critique of Politifact's analysis and unfair conclusion, explaining how it is fundamentally flawed (portions bolded and underlined reflect my emphasis):

By Ken Shepherd | August 1, 2012 | 12:10 PM EDT

"Even at the Olympics, athletes in the sport of shooting face questions about gun violence." That's the digital edition headline for Washington Post reporter Katherine Boyle's August 1 story about the "stigma" that American Olympic shooters face for participating in a sport that "requires a machine that, when used maliciously, can kill people."

But as Boyle herself makes clear in her story, American Olympians who compete in shooting don't "face questions about gun violence" from fellow Olympians. From the last two paragraphs of her Style section front-pager [entitled in the print edition, "Shooting: Athletes battle for titles -- and to dispel the stigma of gun violence":

By Ken Shepherd | July 31, 2012 | 4:24 PM EDT

For the "You didn't build that!" file: Our friends at Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) did some number crunching and calculated that American Olympians who win gold medals this year will face nearly $9,000 in federal income tax per each one earned. Silver medalists would pay just a bit over $5,300.

What's more, in undoubtedly one aspect of American exceptionalism that American liberals love, the U.S. is the only developed country that taxes income earned overseas by its citizens, notes ATR's Hugh Johnson:

By Ken Shepherd | July 30, 2012 | 3:33 PM EDT

The day before two of the U.S. Congress's most liberal, anti-gun legislators introduced a bill to severely restrict the online sales of ammunition, an American Olympic athlete who uses hundreds if not thousands of rounds a day in practice won a gold medal at the London games.

One of the astounding stories to come out of this year's Summer Olympics is the amazing success of American shooter Kim Rhode, who won the gold medal in skeet shooting on Sunday, hitting an amazing 99 targets hit out of 100 possible. "She set a new Olympic record in the morning's qualifying round with 74 hits out of 75," Washington Post sports writer Rick Maese noted in today's paper. As part of her ongoing training, "Rhode averages 500 to 1,000 rounds a day, seven days a week," Maese noted in his positive human-interest story. But as the Scared Monkeys blog notes today:

By NB Staff | July 30, 2012 | 1:08 PM EDT

Not only did NBC's Bob Costas fail to honor the slain 1972 Israeli Olympians with a moment of silence when he had the opportunity as he covered Friday's Opening Ceremonies at the London Olympics, but Costas has offended Britons with his decision to air a Michael Phelps interview rather than televise a tribute to the victims of the July 7, 2005 terrorist attacks in London.

The Daily Mail of London has the story (excerpted below the page break):

By Paul Wilson | July 26, 2012 | 11:57 AM EDT

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.

By Ryan Robertson | July 10, 2012 | 3:53 PM EDT

Update (July 13, 15:14 EDT): ESPN Magazine's Twitter profile is using an image of a naked female athlete as its avatar | Is it time for ESPN Magazine to don the “plain brown wrapper” and move to the very top back of the magazine rack where curious youngsters can’t catch a glimpse? It may be, at least for one issue a year.

The fourth annual “Body Issue” of ESPN is scheduled to arrive at newsstands on July 11. Like the Sports Illustrated “Swimsuit Issue,” the magazine takes a break from balls and strikes and receivers’ routes to stop and ogle sexy people. In this case, however, all are famous athletes (of both sexes) and all are photographed naked.