Brent Musburger and 'the masculine aspect of sports'

Matt C. Abbott
Talk about going overboard!

No, I'm not referring to Brent Musburger's on-the-air fawning over the attractive girlfriend of Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback A. J. McCarron during the BCS national title game on ESPN.

I'm referring to the reactions of the female journalism professors quoted in The New York Times

...In the first quarter, ESPN showed McCarron's girlfriend, Katherine Webb, who was sitting near his parents. Musburger called the 23-year-old Webb, a former Miss Alabama USA, a 'lovely lady' and 'beautiful,' and said to his broadcast partner, Kirk Herbstreit, a former quarterback at Ohio State, 'You quarterbacks get all the good-looking women.'....

'It's extraordinarily inappropriate to focus on an individual's looks,' said Sue Carter, a professor of journalism at Michigan State. 'In this instance, the appearance of the quarterback's girlfriend had no bearing on the outcome of the game. It's a major personal violation, and it's so retrograde that it's embarrassing. I think there's a generational issue, but it's incumbent on people practicing in these eras to keep up and this is not a norm.'

Carter was among those who said she thought Musburger should be reprimanded. 'I think because sports has been such a male-dominated domain, he obviously felt license and privilege and he's been able to do that for years,' Carter said. 'But the masculine aspect of sports is changing.'

The Times then quotes another female journalism professor:

'Football is a male domain,' said Jennifer Greer, the chairwoman of the journalism department at Alabama. 'And the role that women play even in the journalistic respect is in the supportive role, the mom, the hot girlfriend, the sideline reporter. They're accepted in this world, but in particular roles. It reinforces this stereotype of the hot model girlfriend attached to a quarterback and the maleness of sports that is hard for serious female athletes.'

Sheesh. Sounds like sour grapes to me. Or perhaps it's just radical feminism once again rearing its ugly head.

I suppose Musburger did get a bit carried away in that short time span (although, in fairness, Ms. Webb was certainly more pleasant to look at and talk about than the game itself). Still, it's downright silly to suggest he should be reprimanded merely for saying Ms. Webb is a "lovely lady," "beautiful" and "good-looking." Yes, he was redundant, but it's not like he was making lewd comments about her.   

I don't know what Musburger's political leanings are, yet I can't help but wonder if, say, Bill Clinton had made a guest appearance in the broadcast booth and made those same comments about Ms. Webb, would Ms. Carter and Ms. Greer have the same reactions? For that matter, would The New York Times be even the slightest bit interested in covering the so-called controversy? Would the editorial page take the former president to task for complimenting the looks of a young woman? I doubt it.     

Not surprisingly, the uber-politically correct ESPN apologized for Musburger's-how shall we say?-verbal malfunction.

The lesson to be learned in all this: Radical feminism and extreme political correctness are a clear and present danger to our society.

Oh, one other thing ... aspiring journalists would do well to be very selective in where they choose to go to school, lest they succumb to the disease of liberalism.



Talk about going overboard!

No, I'm not referring to Brent Musburger's on-the-air fawning over the attractive girlfriend of Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback A. J. McCarron during the BCS national title game on ESPN.

I'm referring to the reactions of the female journalism professors quoted in The New York Times

...In the first quarter, ESPN showed McCarron's girlfriend, Katherine Webb, who was sitting near his parents. Musburger called the 23-year-old Webb, a former Miss Alabama USA, a 'lovely lady' and 'beautiful,' and said to his broadcast partner, Kirk Herbstreit, a former quarterback at Ohio State, 'You quarterbacks get all the good-looking women.'....

'It's extraordinarily inappropriate to focus on an individual's looks,' said Sue Carter, a professor of journalism at Michigan State. 'In this instance, the appearance of the quarterback's girlfriend had no bearing on the outcome of the game. It's a major personal violation, and it's so retrograde that it's embarrassing. I think there's a generational issue, but it's incumbent on people practicing in these eras to keep up and this is not a norm.'

Carter was among those who said she thought Musburger should be reprimanded. 'I think because sports has been such a male-dominated domain, he obviously felt license and privilege and he's been able to do that for years,' Carter said. 'But the masculine aspect of sports is changing.'

The Times then quotes another female journalism professor:

'Football is a male domain,' said Jennifer Greer, the chairwoman of the journalism department at Alabama. 'And the role that women play even in the journalistic respect is in the supportive role, the mom, the hot girlfriend, the sideline reporter. They're accepted in this world, but in particular roles. It reinforces this stereotype of the hot model girlfriend attached to a quarterback and the maleness of sports that is hard for serious female athletes.'

Sheesh. Sounds like sour grapes to me. Or perhaps it's just radical feminism once again rearing its ugly head.

I suppose Musburger did get a bit carried away in that short time span (although, in fairness, Ms. Webb was certainly more pleasant to look at and talk about than the game itself). Still, it's downright silly to suggest he should be reprimanded merely for saying Ms. Webb is a "lovely lady," "beautiful" and "good-looking." Yes, he was redundant, but it's not like he was making lewd comments about her.   

I don't know what Musburger's political leanings are, yet I can't help but wonder if, say, Bill Clinton had made a guest appearance in the broadcast booth and made those same comments about Ms. Webb, would Ms. Carter and Ms. Greer have the same reactions? For that matter, would The New York Times be even the slightest bit interested in covering the so-called controversy? Would the editorial page take the former president to task for complimenting the looks of a young woman? I doubt it.     

Not surprisingly, the uber-politically correct ESPN apologized for Musburger's-how shall we say?-verbal malfunction.

The lesson to be learned in all this: Radical feminism and extreme political correctness are a clear and present danger to our society.

Oh, one other thing ... aspiring journalists would do well to be very selective in where they choose to go to school, lest they succumb to the disease of liberalism.