On MSNBC's The Ed Show Monday night, New York Times sports columnist William Rhoden defended NBC sportscaster Bob Costas's controversial comments, made during halftime of an NFL game Sunday night, on the murder-suicide committed by Kansas City Chief player Jovan Belcher, even agreeing to the idea that the NFL commissioner try to ban players from owning guns.
Costas had quoted an anti-gun screed by sports columnist Jason Whitlock, in part: "Our current gun culture ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead. Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it." (Video below.)
When your network milked the "war on women" for all its worth, it's a little much to condescend to a conservative woman in a segment dealing with gun control and domestic violence, but Steve Kornacki turned up the volume on his boiler plate anti-gun talking points in a segment on the Dec. 3 edition of MSNBC's The Cycle that discussed Jovan Belcher's murder-suicide and the resulting exploitation by sports journalists like Jason Whitlock and Bob Costas.
The panel's lone conservative, columnist S.E. Cupp reasoned that blaming an inanimate object for violence is a dangerous and misguided assumption, but co-host and Salon contributor Steve Kornacki could not have disagreed more. [ video & transcript below ]
In an appearance on Monday's America's Newsroom program on Fox News, veteran sportscaster Jim Gray at first expressed what seemed like absolute agreement with NBC's Bob Costas regarding the need for more gun control in light of the horrific Jovan Belcher murder-suicide on Saturday.
In what turned into a sanctimonious lecture during halftime programming on Sunday Night Football, NBC's Costas endorsed an anti-gun screed by Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock. Asked for his thoughts by Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum, Gray wholeheartedly agreed with Costas and Whitlock, but then oddly backtracked just as the interview was concluding [ video (via MRCTV's Ian Hanchett) and transcript below ]
Back in 2003, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh ignited a firestorm of criticism from the left-dominated sports media for daring to point out the obvious fact that many people in the NFL and the media hype up black quarterbacks in the hopes of seeing them succeed.
Limbaugh revisited the topic yesterday on his program by highlighting a column by black sports writer Jason Whitlock, a man known for a number of years for his commendable ability to cut through political correctness in sports:
Tony Gervino's long, embarrassingly effusive New York Times profile of gay-marriage activist and Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe was sufficiently over the top to embarrass Kluwe himself, if he's as self-aware as Gervino painted him on the front of the Saturday Sports section. According to "The Punter Makes His Point," Kluwe, "the most interesting man in the N.F.L.," with a "perfect verbal score on the SAT," has done tangible good for "lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people in the Twin Cities and elsewhere" with his "ability to turn a memorable phrase."
By contrast, Times columnist Harvey Araton wasn't nearly so nice to Tim Tebow, an active Christian athlete, in a January 2012 column begrudging the time Tebow spent with a brain-damaged locker-room visitor after a playoff loss.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Tuesday made a rather startling prediction about viewers of the upcoming presidential debate.
"If it looks like [Obama's] getting beaten again, they’re going back to the fourth inning" of the Yankees-Tigers American League Championship game (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As far as Joe Kernen of CNBC's Squawk Box is concerned, the word 'virgin' and Tim Tebow are synonomous. Apparently, there can be no conversation about Tebow without bringing it up in a mocking manner for what is essentially a deliberate and faith-based decision.
In an interview with New York Jets owner Woody Johnson on Wednesday morning, the conversation transitioned from politics to football. Co-host Becky Quick asked about the backup quarterback, wondering what the future may hold for him. As complimentary as he could be, Johnson was adamant that Tebow will be on the team for at least three seasons.
That's when Kernen perked up, posing an innappropriate question for the team's boss without a second thought. [ video below the page break, MP3 audio available here ]
The Washington Post Sports section on Wednesday turned political with an article headlined "Wisconsin governor fumbles on Twitter: Walker sees collective bargaining in a new light after Packers' loss." Would the Post actually fail to recognize the difference between private-sector unions and public-sector unions, the subject of Walker's reforms? Yes.
Strangely, the author wasn't a sports reporter. It was Brad Plumer, a veteran writer for The New Republic and Mother Jones whose usual Post habitat is Ezra Klein's Wonkblog. In fact, that's where this article is found online. Plumer joked "When it comes to professional football, the usual rules of politics apparently take a timeout."
Kevin McClatchy, Pitsburgh Pirates owner and CEO from 1996 to 2007, revealed Saturday that he's gay.
In an article to be published in Sunday's New York Times, McClatchy said "he frequently heard homophobic language during his days in baseball. It convinced him that keeping his sexual orientation hidden was best."
Openly gay and outspoken same-sex marriage advocate Thomas Roberts today devoted a segment of his MSNBC program to a pre-recorded interview with Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who is publicly supportive of a new Maryland law legalizing same-sex marriage. Yet nowhere in that interview did Roberts mention that it was a Democratic state delegate who tried to silence Ayanbadejo.
As I noted on September 10, the broadcast networks were silent about State Del. Emmett C. Burns's August 29 letter to Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti in which Burns called on Bisciotti to "inhibit such [political] expressions" from his players. While Roberts did note that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke out recently in favor of NFL players speaking their minds on political issues, the MSNBC anchor failed to mention that that was in response to a question at a press conference regarding Del. Burns's statement.
NFL commissioner Robert Goodell weighed in on a recent controversy involving a Maryland state legislator who sent a letter to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens that called upon him to silence linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who supports same-sex marriage. "I think in this day and age, people are going to speak up about what they think is important. They speak as individuals and I think that’s an important part of democracy," Goodell answered diplomatically.
Reporting on the story, Politico's Kevin Cirilli gave readers the background that State Delegate Emmett C. Burns, Jr. played in the controversy, but avoided mentioning Burns's party affiliation in both occasions when he referenced Burns, an African-American Democrat and Baptist minister: