Monday, October 14, 2013

Bob Costas--Think Before You Talk

One of the intriguing things to me is the failure of the marketplace when it comes to media. You would think that the managers, editors, etc., that run news and entertainment would understand that a successful business operates by providing a product that consumers want and will pay for, in order to maximize profits. The media, however, seems to be immune to this. Although some 50+% of the country leans conservative, the major networks (with the limited exception of Fox News) have no interest in serving those people. Even though anti-war, anti-American films have repeatedly bombed at the box office, Hollywood kept (keeps?) producing them, while ignoring the obvious market for pro-American films. Although mediocre Christian films ("Passion of the Christ") and television series ("The Bible") do well financially, there is little interest from the media to produce entertainment that appeals to Christians.

Which brings me to the latest brouhaha over the Washington Redskins. Professional sports is entertainment. People don't watch it because they want to expand their horizons and knowledge of the world, or obtain self actualization. Yet, more and more sports commentators think that people care (or should care) what they think on topics unrelated to sports.

Case in point, Bob Costas.  According to Fox News:
Bob Costas of NBC Sports waded into the controversy over the Washington Redskins nickname Sunday night, devoting a commentary to the topic at halftime of the nationally televised game between the Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys.  
"Think for a moment about the term 'Redskins' and how it truly differs from [other team nicknames based on Native American images]," Costas said. "Ask yourself what the equivalent would be, if directed [at] African-Americans. Hispanics. Asians. Or members of any other ethnic group. When considered that way, 'Redskins' can’t possibly honor a heritage, or a noble character trait, nor can it possibly be considered a neutral term. 
"It is an insult, a slur, no matter now benign the present-day intent," Costas continued.
 Bob (I hope I can refer to him as "Bob") seems to be missing the point of his job, which is to entertain people and boost ratings during the half-time. Being a liberal sycophant does not seem to be geared toward that goal. I mean, sure, do it during his off-time if he wants; but when he's on air, don't make people turn on the mute button, or head for the kitchen for a drink and chips.

To add icing to the cake, Bob is flat wrong. The Washington Redskins did not adopt the name "Redskins" as a slur. That would be like calling themselves "the Idiots," or "the Morons." The name wasn't chosen because it was viewed as pejorative. Instead, it was chosen because it represented something admirable. In this case, because American Indians are typically viewed as fierce and brave in battle, it seemed natural to use an American Indian reference for the team.

If American Indians think the name to be a slur, the team could be renamed "the Washington Thin-Skins."

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