Whoever is responsible for it acted alone (maybe ). You write about this, inevitably you're going to end up trespassing on the moral high ground that should be off-limits. No one wants to be that guy and besides, manufactured outrage is dead. Since the traditional media are all over this, there a couple takes worth relating. One is Erin Nicks' at The Universal Cynic on her reaction as a woman trying to be taken seriously while opining on sports.
The other, obviously at the other end of the spectrum and definitely not safe for work, is from the girlie photo site Don Chavez and makes it very clear why it's weird how ESPN's legal eagles called attention to a video that had been on the web for more than four months. The phrase "inside job" is making the rounds, since it all blew up right before the ESPYs. (ESPN's new slogan, you just know, will eventually be: "We're pure evil, but better than what else is on.")
Anyway, here are E's salient points:
"The fact of the matter is, that while not all men are capable of doing dangerous/criminal things, most are more than capable of objectifying women to some degree -- be it publicly or privately. The spotlight is on her in such a male-dominated business, and her appearance adds to that. Anything — and I mean ANYTHING that can be perceived as questionable (a hand on a player's shoulder or a dress cut to mid-thigh) can and will lead down a slippery slope.The only quarrel with that is the premise it's a positive to neutralize gender in sports coverage. Females and males are wired differently and as noted in the only post on this site that ever examined Erin Andrews, the old boys club' mentality in the sports media probably is detrimental to the storytelling. Other perspectives get lost.
"One of my biggest outcries regarding this issue incidentally came right before this drama took place. Andrews was spotted at the ESPYs wearing a black Herve Leger strapless dress with cutouts down the front. This dress had previously been spotted on other celebrities, and has been repeatedly been crucified in the press for causing its wearers to look like, well, $5-dollar whores.
"Did the dress suit her? She certainly has the body to pull it off. But that's not the point. This is a night where the attention would undoubtedly be on her, and she could have chosen to wear something far more sophisticated. Instead, she went for full-on sexpot. Why? It's not necessary.
" ...for a woman, you're more likely to be taken seriously in print as opposed to the other two mediums (TV and radio, presumably — Ed.). I believe print offers the greatest opportunity to neutralize one's gender — in short, if you can make readers forget that they're hearing from a woman, there's a better chance of being taken seriously. Granted, print is also where the money is the sparsest, so I understand the need to push towards television. No matter what your appearance, this is no easy world to deal with. In nearly ten years of messing about in this industry, I've been told to 'sound sexier,' 'wear something pretty' and 'think about being a golf cart girl or a cheerleader for a day — it'll be a good story.' Keep in mind that I'm a relatively average-looking woman who doesn't (expletive) around with work and seriously wants to discuss a team's defensive foibles — and not which of the blueliners I may find 'cute.' "
A classic case in point was two years ago when the big pre-game story before a Florida Panthers-Ottawa Senators game was defenceman Cory Murphy, who grew up in Kanata a stretch pass away from Scotiabank Place, playing in his hometown after years of bouncing around European leagues. The stories mentioned his parents, his family, but some did not even mention his spouse, a Kanata native who had been with him through his peregrinations through pro hockey abroad. But I digress.
Anyway, Randball noted with respect to a lot of the Andrews adoration on the web. "... that there was always a wink-wink undercurrent that was unsettling. You can't just post pictures or videos, or write a headline with a vague double entendre, then walk away and pretend only the people reading or watching had dirt under their fingernails." Nor can one do a self-righteous jig,unless that's your gig right, Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com? Please bear in mind this is coming from a self-described male feminist who has howled at the moon over not having the traffic numbers of some sites which pretty up posts with some Maxim-genre photo of "some chick from Entourage." The objection there was less than it was sexist and more that it was a lazy, parasitic way to give your numbers a goose, plus Entourage is a crappy show that has not evolved since its first season. The season premiere should have had a scene of Vincent Chase water-skiing while wearing a leather jacket.
Perhaps the fratboy mentality in the blogeteriat jumped the shark last week.
There are probably larger points (suggestion: Read the book Guyland), but let's leave it there. No doubt even though it has little to no connection to Canada, a lot of papers up here will run it since it's an excuse to use a picture of Erin Andrews. That kind of proves the point, but who's fit to judge?
Erin on Erin: Through the sports media peephole (Erin Nicks, The Universal Cynic)