An excerpt from my latest Chicago Tribune column:
The calendar might say 2015, but it seemed like 1965 for many women in sports media Thursday.
The sexism that gets mocked in “Mad Men” played out in a regrettable Twitter exchange between WSCR-AM 670’s Dan Bernstein and Matt Spiegel about CSN’s Aiyana Cristal. Once again, the latest episode served to underscore the challenges that remain undeniably vivid for women in the business.
It began Wednesday when Spiegel issued a tweet questioning Cristal’s broadcast ability while serving as an anchor for “SportsNet Central.” Bernstein responded with a tweet making a sexist comment about Cristal’s looks. Follow-up tweets by Bernstein only made the situation worse.
Bernstein admitted on air he didn’t realize he was in the middle of a blazing social media firestorm until he woke up Thursday morning. Only then did it hit him that making Twitter comments about a woman sports anchor’s appearance probably wasn’t a good career move.
Bernstein and Spiegel both issued profuse on-air apologies for their roles during their cross-talk session, which sounded like a roundtable mea culpa.
“I’m an idiot,” Bernstein said. “There are times when you can be childish and crass and other times when it’s really stupid to be a child. My tweet was childish and unnecessary.”
Bernstein later added, “I’m sorry I dragged in an innocent person who is just trying to do a job.”