I know what you are thinking, what the heck does she know about politics and sports. Not a whole lot, but my dear friend David C. Haas does and this is a guest post on demand from my college friends. We have a thread going for years now, and if you missed my post about them it is worth a read; they are a lively group. Dave wrote this on the thread today and we voted to give it an airing in the blogosphere. So give this a tweet, a share, a stumble or just read it to a friend; he has great insight. In respect to my friends in the media who do not fit this description, my opinion on this is that it is a generalization about mass media and not an attack on those of you who still take great pride in your craft.
Enjoy, and feel free to comment.
I know the problem, but not the solution. Politics has become too akin to sports. People are diehard fans of their “team” (Republican, Democrat, Tea Party, Green Party, etc.) and anyone who is on the other teams is a jerk only because they are on the other team. People don’t discuss anymore, they defend their team without listening to the other side. The networks have taken advantage of this by recognizing that they can make more money by not being impartial and instead being a booster of one of the teams.
The politicians use the networks to post trash talk on the locker room bulletin boards to psyche up the players (rally the base). The networks are only too happy to oblige and add their own inflammatory commentary which often times omits key facts, exaggerates the truth, or is an outright lie. Media exaggeration and lying have become so commonplace that apparently the politicians seem to think it’s okay and have stepped up their offense to include a new page in the playbook, the Super Spin, otherwise know as an outright lie.
Sen. John Kyl’s commentary that 90% of Planned Parenthood services were devoted to abortion were proven to be false (in 2009 approximately 3% were) and when he was confronted about this he replied that his speech “wasn’t intended to be factual”.
You have got to be kidding me! In any other profession this would not be tolerated. “Well doctor, what do the test results show?”, “I’m afraid you’ll need a heart transplant John”, “Huh, my specialist said it was acid reflux” “Well, ah… I wasn’t talking literally.”
The media used to be the umpires. They would call a foul, then show the instant replay for the fans to see, and the offending player would be penalized. But now the umpires have taken sides and can no longer agree on the fouls. And the fans are left confused and just assume that their team is in the right. But without umpires the game has gotten out of control. Teams are playing to win at all costs. They don’t care if the game suffers while they break all the rules.
Maybe someday the fans will realize that the game stinks, and stop going to the stadiums. And the empty seats will be votes against the teams and for the game.
My only hope is that after a few election cycles were each time the party in power loses, politicians will realize that the people are not voting for Republicans or for Democrats. They are voting against the corruption of the game, and until the players, owners, and league officials, can be trusted to act in the interest of the game, they will be off the team.