Monday, February 29, 2016

One More Reason Why ESPN Is The Worst

Whore Until Proven Virgin
Today in a courtroom, ex-ESPN broadcaster Erin Andrews had to, as part of her civil suit against the criminally negligent hotel that allowed a stalker to get nude footage of her through her motel room keyhole, say exactly what happened in the aftermath of the assault on her privacy.

Which turns out to be that, well, ESPN treated her about as well as her stalker did, when he passed the footage along to the Web for immediate and world-wide sharing of her body. You know, without consent or reimbursement.

ESPN, you see, put conditions on her coming back to work. Because they decided, in their repugnant corporate perfidy, to believe that the whole thing was a work, a ploy for Andrews to get more public attention and Web traffic, as if this was something she was in desperate need of at the time. Because women be crazy, amirite?

I realize that the jock sniffers in Bristol didn't meet a lot of women when they were growing up. Well, perhaps that's less than fair; the meet isn't hard, especially if you've found yourself near money or power, and women who want to work have to learn to navigate all of that. But they sure as hell haven't ever listened to them, or thought about anything as it might seem, through their eyes.

Even the most out-there woman, with a distance between her mind and her body that would border on pathological... would not, as a rule of base intelligence, want to give that up without control or compensation. Everyone who has ever taken a picture knows of the importance of lighting, how even the most flawless can be made to look off in fluorescent glare or unflattering shadow. Even the most brazen would, want, in short, some degree of control over her body, some say in what happens to it.

You know, the same as what any sane man would.

Probably also children.

And yet, ESPN's first impulse was, well, let's not be too hasty here. Andrews might have been getting away with something on you swells, you geniuses, you troglodytes. So they made her take public interviews before letting her work again, and tried to ramrod her into their sister network on "Good Morning America", because hey, why not get some extra ratings juice out of our employee's victimization?

Andrews wound up on "Oprah", and seemed to appreciate the experience, in that Winfrey was, unlike her employer, an actual human being, with a measure of compassion for her plight. (God knows why Winfrey went along with being ESPN's de factor deodorant, though I suppose there was also ratings tied to it. But still.) Having moved on to Fox and getting the top sideline job there, Andrews is now at one of the few lateral moves available to her in sports broadcasting, and she probably has the usual career in front of her, with the typical fruit fly life span. There's very few jobs in this field, and there will always be more where Andrews came from...

But woman alive, how low do you have to be, to show that little support for a co-worker? Let alone, well, a woman who's been victimized?

Shaming people who work at ESPN is, of course, impossible; that's part of the blood oath you sign with Big Mouse. So I'm wondering if it's possible to learn Who raised these people, and maybe get their names and addresses, so we can let them know, in no small lack of detail, what horrible jobs they did raising their sons.

It won't have any lasting impact. Nothing short of a widespread boycott of any and all Worldwide Lemur programming will do that, and maybe a class action lawsuit where we finally get ESPN off of basic cable, and stop having the cable paying public of America subsidize these lovely men.

But you can dream. And, if nothing else, make it very obvious to everyone why this network has been on a long slow ride to obsolescence, with league-direct channels and better humans taking over for them, bit by bit, body by body, scandal by scandal.

What happened to Erin Andrews was a crime. Twice. And the second crime was much worse than the first.

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