Category Archives: Journalism

Coverage of punishments over bounties shows problem with sports media

In rehashing the draconian, overdone, heavy-handed and absolutely excessive penalties against the New Orleans Saints, so many have said what I feel better than I could have:

  • Dave Zirin, of The Nation, had to make up the word “shock-raged” to describe his emotion, and pointed out Goodell’s need to appear strong about player safety in the face of a tidal wave of law suits coming the NFL’s way.
  • Lamar White, of, pointed out that the damning evidence used to justify a yearlong suspension of Sean Payton was this: “PS Greg Williams put me down for $5000 on Rogers [sic].” He points out that if there were worse, Goodell would have listed it in his long-winded documentation.
  • Mike Wise, of the Washington Post, exposed the hypocrisy of such a severe statement by noting that the Saints are getting singled out for something that likely goes on in EVERY team.

What really gets to me is the dramatic, over-the-top condemnation from sports media organizations. High-and-mighty columnists are gladly spreading Goodell’s hypocritical message of player safety, effervescently championing the commish for acting in the name of player safety. Columnists are coming close to scolding Saints fans for thinking that this punishment did not fit the crime, accusing us of being homers with our morals out of whack.

As much as I want to list examples, the list is too long, even for a blog. Instead, I’d simply like to make an observation:

The NFL has billion-dollar contracts with Fox, CBS, NBC and ESPN.

Of course the Saints are going to be a scapegoat. Those TV networks are propaganda arms of the NFL. Throw in how the NFL has its own network, and would love to make broadcasting on it exclusive, and that means you won’t find many columnists calling out Goodell for the hypocrite that he is. That’s why Fox will let Mike Pereira bubble effervescently about Goodell’s commitment to safety, why Ray Ratto can suggest that Goodell acted in favor of players and why Ashley Fox says that players will never ever issue bounties ever again.

Judging from the comments I read on each moronic, pro-Goodell column, football fans know the truth. The punishment doesn’t fit the crime. This is all about Goodell’s motives, not what’s truly fair and respectful for the game of football. I’d argue that Scott Fujita, one of the players who could be targeted for issuing bounties, has done more to protect players than Goodell.

Only Mark Kreidler, of ESPN, came close to calling Goodell out. In a “special commentary.”

National sports media is not news media, yet it acts like it is entitled to information the way an education reporter should get the agenda for a school board meeting. But all the TV reporters, columnists and others working for the major sports networks are indentured servants. They are hired by bosses and corporations who are absolutely petrified of not scoring big future contracts and have no problem throwing any illusion of jouranlistic integrity in sports out the window.

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Like ‘The Princess Bride?’ Congrats: You support gay marriage!

What better time than Valentine’s Day to ask this question: Do you believe in love at first sight?

Seriously: Is that something you not only wistfully wish for, but actively believe in? That super-strong, hella-romantic, “Princess Bride” kind of love, the kind that death cannot stop, only delay for a little while? Twoo wuv? That will fowwow you fowevah?

OK, apply that to your significant other. Whether you’re married or dating, ask yourself if the strength of your relationship is defined, or at least enhanced, by one of those love-at-first-sight moments. Is that how you met your significant other? Was there a magical moment of first contact?

If you believe in love at first sight, then that means, logically, that being gay is not a choice. And because that is true, there is no logical reason to have laws that keep gay people from getting married.

Consider: If you believe in love at first sight, then you believe that our romantic feelings are subject to fate, that humans are puzzle pieces just waiting to find their perfect fit and be part of a bigger picture. That means it might be someone of the same sex that awakens your soul. If you believe in love at first sight, or soulmates, then you believe in giving up your choice in whom you love.

And isn’t marriage about being with the one you love?

I’m happy to hear that Washington has joined the ranks of states that will allow gay marriage (the recently passed measure still has some hurdles to overcome). I live in a state that thinks quite the opposite: Missouri voters — 70 percent of them — passed a state constitutional amendment in 2004 that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. I was a proud member of the 30 percent minority.

I could go off on a few tangents here, notably about how Rick Santorum’s thoughts about gay people being the same as people who practice bestiality are downright scary, how Santorum’s views about gay people will scare away moderates and give the election to Obama, etc. But I’m still just shocked that people who believe in the Constitution would approve of such an unconstitutional act of prejudice against gay people. It’s inequality, plain and simple.

I understand that a lot of religious people find anything gay distasteful, and that’s their right to think so. I’m not asking them to approve of gay people or tolerate a gay couple. But they must acknowledge that a ban on marriage for gay people is unconstitutional. And if they believe that government should get off of people’s backs, then they should stop standing in the way of gay people seeking equality.

This is true love we’re talking about. You think this kind of thing happens every day?

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New Enjoy! section to roll out Friday

This is the reason that I haven’t blogged much lately. Lot of behind-the-scenes work has been taking place on our upgraded entertainment section, and I’m thrilled with the final product. More details soon…

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Joe: Geeked out about his new blog

I’m enjoying the fresh digs around here.

For those of you who followed me on Show You State, my apologies. I was recently promoted to Features Editor, and my understanding editor agreed that I had my hand in too many cookie jars. So no more Show You State… expect it to be deleted soon.

This blog is going to stick pretty close to the features world. Updated once every whenever-I-feel-like-it, I’ll post all about pop culture, from the major Hollywood releases to the latest viral videos. Should be fun.