ESPN, Brent Musburger, and the Idiocy of Political Correctness
The media never disappoints with its asinine twisting and turning to ensure political correctness.
You can no longer say a beautiful woman is beautiful during the broadcast of a live sporting event.
ESPN has issued an apology for their play-by-play guy, Brent Musburger, saying that Katherine Webb, Miss Alabama, was a "lovely lady." Webb is the girlfriend of AJ McCarron, the 'Bama quarterback who was out there on the field winning the national championship in college football while Musburger was making his horribly politically incorrect statements. Musburger also encouraged young athletes to get out there and learn how to throw the football so they can "get all the good-looking women." Gasp! Somebody "bleep" Jimmy Page if he says playing the guitar will get you hot chicks (can I say "chicks?")
ESPN said, "we apologize that the commentary went too far and Brent understands that." If I know Brent (and I actually do know Brent from his days covering the NCAA Tournament for CBS), he is wondering what the hell has gone wrong with the sports world that this demands an apology from ESPN. You notice Brent hasn't said anything. He's either laughing himself silly, or wanting to punch a punk in the front office.
I listened to the comments live and they sounded perfectly normal and acceptable. Nothing "too far" was said and Brent was saying what everybody watching the broadcast was thinking. That's what good play-by-play broadcasters do, and Brent is one of the best. Be real and connect. Oh, but I guess in this case, you can be "too real." And that gets a network apology.
This speaks to the larger issue of the Activist Old Media pledging to be honest, up-front, direct, and real with its listeners. They will tell you that's what they do -- just listen to their promos. They are there to protect you and they believe that's their job. They will even try to protect you from themselves, apparently.
The media today does not want "real," they want control over everything that is said, how it is said, and ultimately us to accept the reality they believe. ABC/ESPN can have Good Morning America weatherman Sam Champion on set while the anchors gloat about his engagement, wedding, and honeymoon to his handsome boyfriend, but Musburger talking about a beautiful woman is over the top and demands an apology (by the way, this is not a commentary on gay marriage--so don't go there. I'm just commenting on what the network brass thinks is acceptable talk on air.)
Remember, this is the same media that will make sure we all know that Somewhere, USA has elected its first transgendered, left handed, part South Pacific Islander, part Croatian, hearing-impaired Mayor, but can't tell us the race of the perp stalking our neighborhood because it might offend somebody.
The world the media has created is as real as Oz.
Nope--it didn't use to be like this. I've seen this change in the media over my 30 years in the business and it serves no useful purpose. The media is now imprisoning itself with its own political correctness and they see it as enlightenment. I could fill a book with personal examples, so I know how this works.
I also know the sports media, and it is filled with as many leftists as the news departments, perhaps more. How far this goes---who knows? I guess as long as a nut-job leftist like Jim Lampley is still a respected sports journalist after being arrested for beating a former Miss California, the media is not serious about actually cleaning up its act. Good thing he didn't call her a "lovely lady," on air. That would've been over the top.
Follow Ron Futrell on Twitter @RonFutrell