Wrapping up a depressing week in sports media
I received an email from a prominent sports blogger last Saturday night asking whether I thought the Erin Andrews "peephole video" controversy would blow over by Monday.
I told him that barring public comments from Ms. Andrews or concrete information about the circumstances behind video, it probably would.
In retrospect, that obviously was an embarrassingly naive notion.
Even though pretty much nothing new has happened to advance the story in more than a week, it remains stubbornly entrenched - still No. 2 on Google Trends last I checked.
The only news to come out of this lately has concerned the coverage of the story, notably the decision by the New York Post, CBS News and Fox News to show images from the video and ESPN's subsequent decision to ban Post staffers from its outlets.
The Post's front-page story Tuesday begat an AP article, which jump-started the story - already fading by then in the guilt-ridden blogosphere - into the maintsream, non-sports media during the traditionally slow mid-summer news doldrums.
(The Post wrote another front page story Wednesday, throwing in a paragraph lifted from my Newsday column that both mischaracterized its context and inaccurately suggested I had "said" the words to a Post reporter. But that's another story.)
Many of the journalists fanning the Erin flames never had heard of her before, but no matter. There was a naked young female involved to grab men's attention and an apparent hotel security breach to scare women into attention.
Newsday has written as much about this story as any mainstream outlet, including my latest column on the matter in the Saturday paper. Saturday media columns are rare, especially for a week-old story. But there you have it - accompanied by more pictures of Ms. Andrews, of course.
By the end of the week speculation about the origins of the video were starting to veer off in interesting and thus far wholly unsubstantiated new directions. Sigh.
Last Saturday I felt bad for Andrews. Now I feel bad about the news media.
After a week that included the Erin fiasco, Barack Obama clumsily inserting himself into a sensitive race relations matter and the Dow breaking 9,000, a friend emailed this helpful synopsis of what we have learned since last weekend:
men remain very interested in attractive females
black and white americans remain somewhat distrustful of one anotherwall street remains capable of capturing large sums of moneythe mets remain, well, the mets