Bias in the Booth A Must-Read for Political Junkies and Sports Fans

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Revmitchell, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    Americans have long used sports as a way to “get away” from the real world for a few hours and focus on a game rather than current events. Sports, after all, have a way of uniting people unlike anything else. Bias in the Booth, a new book by sports talk radio personality Dylan Gwinn, argues that there has been an effort by sports broadcasters to sway public opinion on certain issues—related to sports or not—towards a liberal viewpoint.

    In the book, Gwinn cites examples such as the deification of Michael Sam and Bob Costas’ rant about gun control as ways that liberals are attempting to politicize sports. Gwinn, speaking in an interview to Townhall, said that the role of sportscaster has changed gradually over time, and that the sportscasters of today are far more political than those in years past. Previously, there was an “unwritten rule” that sports reporters were not there to push an agenda, but rather to just, well, report on sports news.

    Today, however, things are different. “There’s no difference between the mainstream media and sports media,” explained Gwinn. Gwinn also said that sportscasters have an advantage over mainstream media personalities, as they have a “captive audience” of fans looking to catch the game. An average consumer has multiple options as to where to get news, but “there’s a monopoly on sports news.”

    Gwinn paid particular attention to the treatment of Tim Tebow by the sports media vs their treatment of Michael Sam. Tebow, a former Heisman winner, is a devoted Christian who was open and public about his faith. Sam was notable for being the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL. Tebow, despite his ability to win playoff games for the Denver Broncos, was disparaged by the media. Sam, who was drafted in the seventh round following a disappointing NFL Scouting Combine, was cut by two different teams and failed to see the field of an NFL game. Sam’s play at the professional level was mediocre at best, yet he was fawned upon by the media. Teams that did not sign him were questioned, and the Rams and Cowboys underwent scrutiny after they cut him, despite the fact that he showed limited potential as a professional athlete. This was the opposite of the treatment given to Tebow.

    http://townhall.com/columnists/chri...tm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl&newsletterad=
     
  2. Use of Time

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    People have opinions that aren't always conservative. You'll be fine. I find the article pretty laughable when they act like Tebow is this tragic figure. If there is any player in the NFL that ever received more media coverage than his talent deserved it was Tim Tebow. He was hardly disparaged. The media loves Tebow and is responsible for making a superstar out of a player that can't find a roster spot. He is so disparaged by the media that he was hired by ESPN as an analyst. :laugh:

    Also, the term "deification" used to describe Michael Sam is over the top. How should he have been treated?
     
    #2 Use of Time, Mar 26, 2015
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  3. 777

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    I find the mix of politics and sports wrong, too - they do not go together at all, and what Bob Costas did during halftime to turn off many football fans, doing his ideology more harm than good. Nobody wants to be preached to on gun control during a football game.

    You can't do anything about some players opening the game with the "hands up, don't shoot" lie but most of the fans didn't like that, either. As for Tim Tebow and Michael Sam, at least Tebow made a team - Sam was just some very late draft pick and they televised his engagement right on ESPN live that day, complete with a kiss but they would've ignored him altogether if he wasn't a member of one of their pet groups.
     
  4. Zaac

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    It gets really bad during the Olympics.
     
  5. Alcott

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    I prefer that sports media focus on sports, certainly. But political and social issues finding their way into sports news and activities is really neither new nor so undesirable-- as long as it's the correct side of the issues.

    I do think the OP exaggerates both the Tebow and Sam items. And the simple fact is that neither player has the qualities looked for in their respective positions in comparison to other players.

    But the list is long and historical about taking advantage of the interest in sports to insert political messages. The new tradition of "God Bless America" in the 7th inning stretch still on weekends at least; player strikes always divide people as union or anti-union, taking the side of millionaire players or billionaire owners. Then issues like the American upset of the Soviets in the Olympics of 1980 and boycotting the summer Olympics that year; the terrorist strikes in Munich in 1972; Muhammad Ali in the late 60's, with all sports journalists except one condemning his actions and supporting his being stripped of his title; Jackie Robinson in 1947; Jesse Owens in 1936; the discussion about Babe Ruth making a higher salary than the U.S. President; ethnicity has always been a facet of boxing-- Irish in the 19th century, Jews in the early 20th, to Hispanics still today in the lower weight categories....maybe all the way back to gladiators and chariot races.

    So sports has never been completely divorced from the 'real' issues in societies, and really no one criticizes joining the 2 unless it's on the 'wrong side.'
     
  6. Use of Time

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    Sam got one day of exposure and maybe a few articles the following week. The horror. He was shown with his significant other just like thousands of other players have been since the draft became televised. He was the SEC defensive player of the year so it wasn't like he was some kicker from a D3 school that no one cared or knew about. He was a prominent athlete in the best conference in the country (Just like Tebow). Unfortunately, he was a man without a true position (DE/LB) and he couldn't find a role.


    The article made it sound like Tim Tebow was the lost Manning brother or something. Completely ridiculous. If the author of the OP had to exaggerate that much to make his point then he never had one to begin with.

    Alcott had a good take on this as well.
     
    #6 Use of Time, Mar 26, 2015
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  7. 777

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    Yeah, Sam and Tebow were both very good college players but what made them stand out after that was not their playing ability.

    I think they both were targeted and both of them had a lot more media coverage as a result. But you can be a great college athlete and fail in the NFL due to a myriad of reasons - speculation, but there was no open position for Sam and I'm guessing some teams didn't want to touch THAT, so he never really got a chance to develop. In contrast, Tebow would have still been playing in the NFL but he insisted on being a QB and the Patriots didn't have an open slot.

    I still didn't like it when Tim was in college with the Bible verse blackout thing. That's a mixture of sports and religion, which still isn't fun to watch. I don't think either Tim or Michael were martyrs to their causes but they are treated as much by some.

    Of course the line between sports and politics is often blurred, especially as Zaac said, during the Olympics - the opening and closing ceremonies are particularly bad but the introduction of professional athletes into the Olympics years ago was the turnoff for me.
     
  8. Use of Time

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    Well Sam was news because of being the first openly gay football player but after draft day he faded away with only a blurb about the Cowboys cutting him from their practice squad a few months later. Tebow is hardly the first Christian athlete and we have endured him for years and I don't really understand why.
     
  9. OnlyaSinner

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    Why we are "enduring" him today (and no one is forced to read or listen) might be a valid question. Why all the publicity during the past five years should be obvious. One in a highly public position (QB of champoinship team, Heisman winner) who is up front about his faith will always be a polarizing figure. Then, despite his college success, pro scouts were almost unanimous in thinking his skills as they then existed would not play well in the NFL. Follow that with his incredible run of late-game heroics (sometimes after playing horribly for the first 50+ minutes) and the incredible playoff win, and all the Tebow fanatics were hooting about how all the scouts were wrong and anti-Christian. Actually, I enjoyed the string of amazing finishes; Tebow seems a nice youing man and seemed to be having a great time, but a thoughtful fan would see that the streak was fortuitous rather than a sudden burst of skill that would translate to continued stardom. I wish him well in wherever his career takes him, as long as it's one that is biblically justified, which I expect will be the case.
     
  10. Use of Time

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    All of this is true of course which is why the OP was so ridiculous. Tebow is fine on the SEC network where other former college greats break down SEC football. He is perfect for that and I'm glad he found a home there.
     
  11. Bro. Curtis

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    When he showed up for training, the Oprah sent a crew to camp ready to make a reality TV show over him. I definitely think the media threw some of it's weight behind Mr. Sam.
     
  12. Use of Time

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    Oprah did and he declined. That's it. He was newsworthy but he wasn't the most exciting person. When have you heard about him in the news since being cut by the Cowboys? Even then he was just a one liner on the ESPN scrolling newsbar.
     
  13. Bro. Curtis

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    Well that's one way of saying it.

    Another way would be to say he declined after a meeting with the Ram's staff, amid allegations of some very unhappy people just trying to make a roster.

    But no, I haven't. He kinda flopped and that was it.
     
  14. Use of Time

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    Ok, so it's probably a good thing that he listened to their advice?
     
  15. JohnDeereFan

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    It's one reason I refuse to watch a sporting event on NBC.

    The Phillies are almost as bad. Every game, all I hear about is "Jackie Robinson" this and "we've got to recycle" that.

    So far, Rod Bramblett hasn't fallen for that.
     
  16. Bro. Curtis

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    :laugh:


    Again, that's one way to put it.

    :laugh:
     
  17. Use of Time

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    Well come on man he was a 24 year old kid who knew he had a slim chance to get in the NFL so having someone approach you with a chance to make some money doesn't make him a monster. He didn't dig his heels in and demand to do the show which showed that it wasn't worth it to him if it was going to hinder his playing chances. He ended up walking away without a show or a roster spot so he didn't exactly win that gamble.

    Again, he got some exposure from the media which I don't deny but my point was regarding to the poor attempt in the OP to make it look like Tebow has suffered while Sam has thrived. Hardly the case.
     

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