Before the news Michelle Beadle was moving on from Get Up! broke I’d been thinking about something: is there a way to be participate in the sports media landscape, make a principled stand and be pristine?
So far I can’t come up with a way that works for me. I’m open to suggestions.
I’m not picking on Michelle Beadle or people who make their incomes in sports media. I don’t know what factored into Beadle’s comments about being out on college and professional football being made on-air. But take out the on-air aspect and I see Beadle’s comments coming from a place of integrity that’s in alignment with what she values.
Still, Ohio State gets a chunk of money from ESPN and ESPN makes a chunk of money on college football. ESPN pays Michelle and she takes the money. The hypocrisy does splash on her at least a little.
That’s an easy one to illustrate but it’s not just about money.
I’m NOT making money on this stuff and I can’t keep clean either. The hypocrisy still splashes me. I interviewed Jason Coyle, CEO of Stadium last week. He was a great guest and I really enjoyed talking to him and I’d happily talk to him again. But one of Stadium’s equity investors is Sinclair.
Though Sinclair is but one of Stadiums’ investors, it’s the investor with a lot of TV stations that air Stadium. There are two ways to look at Sinclair and both are true. It’s a well-run business with many very smart executives. Sinclair is also a well-run business that is perfectly fine putting a lot of shit into the world. I think Sinclair deserves to be called out on that. Regularly.
So how to stay clean without completely extricating yourself from the modern world? The only path I can see is fully embracing a luddite lifestyle. I’m not ready for that!
It’s not just a conflict for sports media. It’s ALL of the media. Even within sports media I skipped a lot of nonsense like the fattening of America via sports sponsorships, so many sports networks profiting from scams against insurance companies and the federal government. Stuff like the ads for the Addiction Network, a high referral fee scam subsidized by insurance companies. Or knee braces you might not need, but you can get for FREE as long as you’re OK with the U.S. government being ripped off via Medicare abuse. I know, like Drew Brees, some of you might be thinking “But it’s legal!” Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s not a traveshamockery.
So really good people who want to make the world a better place are looking away, daily, from stuff that makes the world a worse place.
I try no to look away, but I still can’t judge. To keep pure I’d have to give up media entirely, even audiobooks and podcasts. Right now I’d rather be a hypocrite.
I posted a rough draft of this directly to Twitter yesterday. As my Twitter feed goes, the response was decent which buoyed me a little. I’m comfortable talking about this stuff but want to figure out how to talk about it in ways that don’t alienate. If we can get comfortable talking about these topics, even for just a moment here and there, I think that’d be good.
Enjoy the rest of your summer. I’m taking the rest of it off to binge audiobooks and podcasts.