Tag Archives: sexism

Apology politics’ double standard: Why ESPN on Miss Alabama but not CNN on Kathy Griffin?

To hear the media hubub about Brent Musburger’s “appreciation” of Katherine Webb, Miss Alabama USA 2012 during that boring Notre Dame game the other night, you’d think he was drooling on camera like some creepy perv.

When I actually heard what was said,  I was offended that people took such offense. It was a gross overreaction to Musburger. He was simply admiring (like a person of his generation) Webb’s beauty, and trying to be playful during a game that had zero entertainment value.

Sure, it would have been better if there was a real game being broadcast, so that Musburger’s attention wasn’t so easily distracted.

But was he really leering and did that merit an apology?

Webb was on The Today show Wednesday saying she was “flattered” by Musburger’s attention.  But she indicated she took no offense.

I’m upset that ESPN felt compelled to apologize.

Apologies do mean something.  But when you get trigger happy with your apologies (remember they apologized for comments about Jeremy Lin last year) they become devalued as a quick PR ploy to simply move a story out of the headlines and into the trash bin.

In the meantime, ESPN  won’t stop showing scantily clad cheerleaders at pro or college events, or pretty wives and girlfriends of players, nor will they start featuring cosmetically challenged sportscasters (of any gender).

ESPN’s apology doesn’t change any of its real sexist ways.

How about this? Maybe ESPN will start showing the partners of WNBA stars? And have the sportscasters say great things about their dating choices?  Do you ever see that when it’s not a traditional heterosexual relationship?

You see, hollow apologies don’t really matter.

Meanwhile, for the truly outraged, it’s funny how  the simulated oral sex act on the CNN New Year’s Eve broadcast doesn’t exactly get the same rushed apology treatment.

I actually like both the performers involved, Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper.  Sure, cable can and should stretch limits on the premium channels, but not on basic cable, general news, even after midnight on New Year’s Eve. Remember midnight EDT was 9pm prime time PDT.

I’m no prude, but something other than a big ball dropped that night. And no network big wig thinks an apology is necessary.