Idiot patrol: They were out in full force last week

During the course of covering sports media since 1998, there have been many instances when I have been forced to write about dumb things people say or do in business.

I have a simple term for it: Idiot patrol.

Last week was a good–or bad week–for idiot patrol, depending on your perspective.

A Boston sports talk show host, Kirk Minihane of WEEI, made disparaging remarks about Erin Andrews. Then during his apology for his initial comments, he went on to slam Andrews even further. He said, if Andrews “weighed 15 pounds more she would be a waitress.”

Then, there was the entire Stephen A. Smith mess. Memo to Stephen A.: Stephen A.: If you talk about domestic violence on TV, you never come close to comments being misconstrued. It’s wrong, end of discussion.

Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing had a complete rundown of other “idiot” stuff in this post.

He writes:

I’ve been writing about, reporting on, and analyzing this sports media industry on a full-time basis for over three years now.  And I can safely say that I’ve never seen a period of time as chaotic, distressing, and insane as what transpired last week.

Reflecting over the weekend, it was easy to be discouraged about the current state of our daily sports conversation and generally, the way we treat one another through social media and beyond.  And unfortunately, one of the biggest takeaways from the week was the disrespectful treatment and abuse of women working in sports.

Yoder, though, tried to put a positive spin on things, citing some uplifting stories he read. He concluded:

Hopefully all of us in sports who participate in this medium can continue to grow and evolve ourselves, including yours truly.  None of us honestly have any grasp of how social media is affecting our culture at large, or the way it will shape our future.  If enough of us to choose to set an example, like Michelle Beadle or Wade Davis, hopefully that progress and growth can be more widespread.  It starts with simple ideals like respect and equality and empathy.  And it starts with each person, no matter who they are or how many followers they have, accepting personal responsibility for the words they say.

It was a dark week in this industry, yes, but let’s hope that encouraging stories that can’t be told in 140 characters aren’t overshadowed by the worst of us and there’s light ahead.

I second that. I know there are sites out there that celebrate being on “Idiot Patrol.” Drives page views.

Not me. I take no pleasure when people in the business act like idiots. It makes us all look bad.

Here’s hoping for a better week.


2 thoughts on “Idiot patrol: They were out in full force last week

  1. Agree! These guys may “have the right” to say these things – it doesn’t mean they should. There’s a difference between negativity and criticism. But I recognize jealous misogyny when I see it, as in the WEEI guy. As far as Stephen A, what can we expect? ESPN is beholden to the NFL – they have to be supportive due to their incestuous financial relationship. ESPN is not to be mistaken for Journalism. As Chris Russo said last week after a soft-ball intterview of Bud Selig “In Media you have to go along or you don’t get far”. He works for MLB now, you think he’s goingg to ask tough questions. Call it what you will – just don’t call it Journalism

  2. “I take no pleasure when people in the business act like idiots. It makes us all look bad.”

    Well said Ed but remember the “media” (general term) encourages idiocy. As you said, that’s what results in page hits for example.

    The “lowest common denominator” syndrome strike again. The business is trying to follow in their own way the “shining example” (sarcasm implied) of such shows as Maury, Oprah and Jerry Springer.

    ESPN and Fox are the biggest proponents of “idiot journalism” especially the radio side of those companies (with rare exceptions like Scott Van Pelt).

    Unless the public demands better (and they won’t since many of them actually like this type of garbage) nothing will ever change.

    I’ve been in the sports media since 1978, overall I’ve never seen it as bad.

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