posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 10:52 PM
DEAR GIBBS BABY and others,
Yeah, you can sure count on ESPN to take a courageous stand when one of its own does something wrong.
This reminds me of what happened when Rush Limbaugh rendered a straight-up racist diatribe on ESPN about Donovan McNabb. Now, if he'd talked about
Kordell Stewart's not being a real QB, and about the media's being afraid to call him on not having the judgment required of a real QB, then--as the
late Ralph Wiley himself said the next week--Limbaugh would have had a point. But to say that about McNabb, who is no Manning or Brady, but is better
than a lot of starting QB's, was garbage which spewed out and perpetuated racist stereotypes.
Well, Rush paid his price. But....
What about Steve Young, Chris Berman and especially TOM JACKSON? Young is a right-winger but a very intelligent one; Berman is supposed to be pretty
"progressive" and is from S.F.; Jackson is, by the accounts I've heard, a proud black man. W.T.F. were they thinking while they just sat there
gutlessly and not only failed to interrupt Herr Rush, but also failed to say one word in response?
If I were the president of ESPN, I would have punished the hell out of those three. But at big, brave ESPN, all they had to do was apologize the next
And wasn't it a convincing trio of apologies? Right up there with these steroid denials. Gee, folks, we weren't listening and didn't really catch
the upshot of what Rush was saying. We didn't notice the blatantly racist stereotypes in what Rush was belching out.
I'm not black, so I suppose it's not proper for me to rant about Jackson's being a disgrace to his race, but where the hell were his heart, mind and
soul during all of that?! And Berman?! I guarantee you he had to know how those remarks were going to play out, and so, for that matter, did Young.
Why the hell didn't any of them say anything? Had they been told to shut up and let Rush start trouble? And why the hell didn't ESPN do anything
at all to those three guys?
Yeah, ESPN did take a stance belatedly and fire Limbaugh, when they HAD to, but that was it. I pretty much believe the other three guys' apologies
were mandated and scripted by the network, or at least the apologies of Young and Berman were.
Just what would it take for that network to adopt a courageous, principled stand that was honest, spontaneous and NOT necessitated by polls, viewer
reactions, etc.? Maybe if a group of neo-Nazi right-wing extremists, or neo-Stalinist left-wing extremists, tore up some stands and severely beat
some fans due to their skin color or religion? Or would they have to run THAT by their parent network, ABC, before taking a stance on it?
On a less socially important note, many of y'all will recall something I alluded to the other day. Several years ago, on the final Saturday of the
season, two of the three unbeatens lost their game and their shot at the Big One. The first was UCLA, which lost an absurdly high-scoring game to
Miami of Florida because, in large part, of a terrible official's call late in the game. ESPN's account of the game said not one word about
that--which is like discussing Ted Kennedy's career without mentioning Chappaquidik, or Richard Nixon's without discussing Watergate. (See? I'm
trying to be politically neutral here.... Any credits for that?)
GIBBS BABY, you don't know how glad I am to have found someone who shares my sentiments about the gutlessness of that network. I don't know what can
be done about it, since ALL hardcore sports fans pretty much have to watch a large percentage of their sporting events on ESPN or ESPN2. I mean, can
you imagine swearing off ALL events which are aired on either of those stations? We'd just about die.
How's this for an idea? Perhaps boycott their parent network, ABC, as soon as football season is over. I easily could survive without watching any
ABC television shows. Couldn't you? Wouldn't it be fun to write ABC a letter telling them why their network is being boycotted?
I don't know how many people could be persuaded to join in, but even a few letters might get ABC to reconsider the deliberately milquetoast "flavor"
of ESPN's approach to anything potentially controversial, whether it pertains solely to blind zebras or other sports-only issues, or to big
Are you up for this idea, Gibbs? Is anyone else? It doesn't require an particular type of political beliefs. You can be a Communist, a Nazi, or
anything in between. All that's required is being fed up with the gutlessness of a certain endlessly self-aggrandizing network in Bristol,
I believe two of us are already in.