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Monday, July 07, 2008

SportsCenter: A New Low

Here's a quick recap of today's 5pm SportsCenter:

-Pat Forde--who I typically like--had a three-minute or so "story" (?) about Dana Torres. Torres, as most in Omaha know, qualified for the Olympics in swimming at the age of 41 and just two years removed from having a child, and just 8 months removed from having shoulder surgery. They had Forde on and he talked about how something is fishy about this story, and it's fishy because of the Mark McGuires and Barry Bonds' of the world.

What?? You're going on national television, on the most influential sports show in the United States, insinuating someone used steroids with LITERALLY no proof? All you have is a couple of anonymous swimmers that were at the meet that made "funny faces" during the medal ceremony? That thought it was odd that someone like that can come in and swim her best race of her career?

This was stunningly irresponsible by Forde, and even more so by the producers of SportsCenter that allowed this to air. I just did a Google news check, and nowhere is this even remotely insinuated. But because it is such a great story, Forde sees it as "suspicious," and is allowed to all but accuse her of using steroids? On live TV?

I hate frivolous lawsuits, but I hope Torres goes after ESPN. Just terrible.

--Then, there's A-Rod filing for divorce. OK, A-Rod is one of the biggest stars on the planet and he's an athlete. I suppose this kind of story on a sports show needs special treatment...time to bring on the expert at being a celebrity and an athlete...Mike Golic? What the hell is going on here? Mike Greenburg interviewing Mike Golic about how this will affect A-Rod and the Yankees, and how it will affect A-Rod's and Madonna's families? (By the way, he said it won't affect the Yankees because them and the Dallas Cowboys (?????) are used to a "circus tent" being around their clubhouses at all times." Oh. OK.)

This is not egregious or anything, just f'ing annoying. A-Rod getting a divorce gets 5 minutes on a show that used to feature sports teams and the highlights of their games. But I believe this has been pointed out a time or two.

Anyway, the Forde thing is disgusting. Even if he's right, there's literally no proof whatsoever anywhere to even thinking about throwing around accusations like this one. This, my friends, is libel to the nth degree. It's amazing how in the world this segment got on the air.

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its actually slander when spoken; libel when written. Regardless, both are defamtion and both are not good.

The Goods
It's not just Sportscenter it's the entire network. I heard it on FirstTake, PTI and Around The Horn(ESPN is on the TV constantly while I am at work.) I bet Mike and Mike talked about it too. It's just disgusting, isn't a 41 year old olympian enough of a story?

the forgotten hales
Duh--thanks Goods.

Sorry for the goof.
This not even remotely surprising in my opinion. Just like the rest of mass media ESPN has decided to go the way of sensationalizing the negative instead of the opposite.

Nevermind the fact that IOC has by far and away the most incredible drug testing of all athletics. Torres, herself has been tested 15 times since about March if I remeber correctly.

Now I know steroids has been in the Olympics we all remember Marion Jones, and Ben Johnson from back in the day. Also if I remember correctly I believe the Chinese female swimmers were caught using back in 1992 or around that time.

The fact is that ESPN will make these stupid claims so that in off-chance it turns out to be true then they look like the "smart guys". However, if the truth is that she worked really hard, then in ESPN's mind no harm no foul. Absolutely disgusting.
I totally agree that ESPN has hit an all time low with Dana Torres 2 minute piece. This story was actually covered in a professional way by HBO on Real Sports. I don't remember the whole story but I think she voluntarily takes test a few times a week, and she is the only athlete to volunter for more tests than the minimum requirements.
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