Monday, February 20, 2012

ESPN on the Couch

I'm guessing that by now most of you have at heard of New York Knick phenom Jeremy Lin.  I haven't watched an NBA basketball game in I don't know how long and even I tuned in to see the young Asian-American (first in the league of Chinese descent) point guard score 28 points, 14 assists, and lead the Knicks to a 7-point victory over the league's defending champion Dallas Mavericks.  I must admit, it was very exciting.

I'm also guessing that at least a few of you have heard of the controversy stirred this weekend when an ESPN headline writer lead a column about the Knicks loss on Friday night to the New Orleans Hornets, their first loss since Lin became a starter, with "Chink in the Armor." 

The reporter who wrote the headline was fired and the one who read it on the air was suspended.  Lin, for his part, has just shrugged the whole thing off.

But even before the "headline" episode exploded over the weekend, I was intrigued by the sport media's treatment of Jeremy Lin, more particularly in its treatment of him vice that of Tim Tebow in the just completed NFL season.  If you didn't already know it, Tebow and Lin have in common a very devout Christian faith, a faith they're not shy about talking about publicly.

One more thing you need to know if you don't already, but elite sports media is no less liberal than elite news media.  If you listen to Rush Limbaugh at all, he makes the point quite often.  But even if you don't, just watch a few minutes of any game or contest on any of the major sports networks.  I have always found them more than a bit embarrassing and usually cringe when their reporters and announcers strive to demonstrate how, one, serious they are, and, two, how seriously "progressive" they are, about racism, about sexism, about almost any left-wing "ism" that comes to mind.

So, I wondered, why were they treating outspoken Christian Lin, when his star rose, with so much respect, while when outspoken Christian Tebow's rose, they missed few if any opportunities to dismiss his success altogether, as well as to predict his ultimate failure?

They're Lefties, or their institution is Leftist anyway, so successful, outspoken Christians must be silenced, or diminished at least.  But then, they're Lefties, so all races, other than Caucasian of course, must be respected, elevated even. 

As a result, I feel a measure of sympathy for the ESPN reporter.  He was conflicted; he wasn't sure which was the appropriate dogma to to follow.  But, in a pinch, he chose to denigrate the Christian.  Usually the safer course.

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