Bias some peanuts & crackerjack
There will be quite a few major newspapers closing shop by the end of 2009. On the list is the first one I ever read—The New York Daily News. It is a tabloid and that is the size & shape of the page, not a value judgement. Though, through the years it was castigated for a bit of yellow journalism, it was essentially, along with The NY Post, the daily of the common man. Also on the list is the Boston Globe, its unfortunate location aside, another legendary newspaper.
For those of you who may not know, the place where a reporter’s name is found, is called the byline. In the last few years of the 20th Century, it became more and more a biasline as regards sports. Whether in the print media on real paper, the online version or even the audio/video format, it was the journalistic signature. It took and gave sole responsibility for that piece of work to that individual (sometimes more than one). Well, with help and/or hindrance from the editorial staff & the headline editor. Again, for some of you who wouldn’t know this, the byline reporter does not write the headline for the story. Does not.
In the advent of self-centric existence, proving more than just cream rises to the top, contemporary journalists let their colors fly. Like some gangbanger in East LA. Or a gay man cruising Greenwich Village 4 AM Sunday. It once was ethical to not do this, journalists prided themselves as impartial. “Just the facts, ma’am. . ..” hmmm well, that was Dragnet ( a 1950’s TV show ), when being biased was bad. Though the words drag and net oddly suit. Now, most do it because, no one cares. They barely seem to spell check. As I point out ad nauseum, the TV and the radio guys especially make Mrs. Malaprop sound as if she’s William Safire. Suggesting they stick to words of one syllable would only pour gas on the flame. I wonder if they ever listened to radio before they got jobs. AND who the fuck is hiring these idiots.
I’m not a cultural anthropologist, I just play one on the web o’net. The illiteracy is acceptable to management because the offenders are paid to comment on sports, not be exemplars of elocution. Sure, I get that aspect—hardly rocket science. Yet, it is sad to hear words repeatedly misused and with such casual certitude. Any way I came to attack bias, and went off on my own. It just pains me to hear otherwise, almost intelligent people from bloggers to Hall of Fame writers, continually have to dump on the Yankees while building up the team they not so secretly support. The media people who are hovering under the 30 year old mark, only seem to go back to 1994. They also routinely refer to 2 or 3 years ago, as ” a long time.” Historical perspective is also taking a hit. I guess when one is myopic, it’s a problem seeing much clearly, let alone the ancient past of say, the 70’s.
One word the jockocracy loves and managed to use correctly is apologist. I suspect Keith Olbermann is responsible for this anomaly, he has read several non-sports books. He’s graduated from the playing fields to the smokey backroom, from Rick Reilly’s pal to Bill O’Riley’s archnemesis. This is as rare in the media as an actor getting elected President. Or governor, and still getting a movie rôle after leaving office. The world is so creepy now, I had to look up apologist, because they were getting it right. Proving the adage, even a blind pig finds it’s still a blind pig in the morning.
I am a New York Yankees apologist; I know it is difficult to root out bias in one’s self. Once I respected some of these sports media people. Until they were virtually the only radio I could listen to, in my special circumstances. In high school I was co-opted by punk ass authority figures into doing sports reporting. I’m not sure I’ll ever tell that whole story—not enough readers. I need a big audience for that one. I played baseball & then tennis, tennis after I realized I could neither hit nor throw a high school curveball. My antipathy towards sports is aimed at the suits & jocksniffers and not at the unis. Admittedly, I have very little in common with the players—I even love the game more than most of them too. I know why: they are in it for their paycheck—and rightly so. Guys like me are in it to get a small win in life & sometimes a big one, i.e. a World Series.
When I am Supreme Ruler of Existence, no announcer will wear a suit & tie, ever—that one is pure bullshit. Naturally, that mostly happens on network TV. The real guys in the trenches doing 150 plus games know better. A TV clown doing maybe 18 games, dresses up like the man tells him. Try talking for 4 hours wearing a tie—it’s not a coalmine for 18 hours, but it makes no sense. On the other hand, if you are an ahole who is ripping the Yankees—let me adjust that knot for you, maybe show you something in a Colombian? I abhor violence and never advocate it as a solution. But if every Yankee hater died right now, believe me I’d still have plenty to rail against.
Radio guys are always going to use the word continuously when they really mean continually. Or say comparable as compare-able. They just don’t care. I heard a guy, who seemed to be otherwise articulate and knowledgeable, say stigmatism ( no such word ). He meant stigma. Would I fire a guy for that? no. I would however, expect him to learn the right word. My sad consolation is, if you get simple words wrong when you are bashing the Yankees, you likely have some other holes in your game. Why does it grind me? because 97% of the audience doesn’t know this. Or much.
So, root root root for your home team and not against mine. If you do at least pronounce the words correctly and know what they mean. Practitioners of schadenfreude can all lech mich am arsch. If you know what I mean.
PS while reading some movie news, I happened across some vidcaps of that Tyler Perry in drag. In no way does he resemble a human female. He really needs to buy a good mirror.