Saturday, October 17, 2009

Roger That

I don't know if Roger Goodell (Commissioner of the National Football League) knows this but a lot of us out here in the America to the west of the Hudson River and to the east of West Hollywood, CA find NBC's coverage of his sport divisive. NBC has the showcase weekly telecast of the NFL on Sunday nights. No other game is on at the same time-- they have an enormous potential audience all to themselves. But, aside from the very first year they had this deal, I've stayed away from the show completely other than one or two times a season. And when I did tune in for a "can't miss" game the TV was on mute until Al & John (now Al & Cris) were on screen... mute again at halftime... and off as soon as the game was decided.

I figure any network who employs a guy like Olby doesn't want my viewership. The list of his hate-filled commentary doesn't need to be detailed here. You already know the sad, bitter, angry persona. But, with people all over America examining the NFL closely right now this guy, a TV face of the league, refers to a much-admired female pundit thusly: "total mindless, morally bankrupt, knee-jerk, fascistic hatred without which Michelle Malkin would just be a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it."

I'm a believer in the notion that there is legitimate, spirited public discourse and then there's pathology. Characterising the lovely Michelle Malkin on national television as "a mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it" reveals a pathology that should be examined in an institution, not on display on screens across the country. Imagine if tomorrow night, during the Bears v. Falcons telecast, Al Michaels angrily opines that Michelle Obama is "a mashed-up bag of meat in a J.Crew sweater." Think NBC would attempt to void his contract before Monday AM? Yet Olby slurring prominent Conservatives... no problem!

Up until this past week I figured that they make their decisions at the NFL and NBC and I make mine. They make a hate-spewing bigot like Olby part of their premier weekly NFL telecast and I tune out. Life goes on.

But everything changed this week. A new "standard" has been put in play by the commish. Nothing "divisive" can be attached to the NFL. Prepare for this to be applied to commentators as well as current and prospective ownership groups Mr. Goodell. Inspection of actual writings and utterances by owners and network commentators and reporters are fair game. Those that appear to violate your divisive standard are being sent to you and will be made public.

You chose sides based on politically motivated smears and made-up "quotes", Roger.

Game on.