Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Response to "MSNBC stands for 'Manly Sports and Nubile, Buxom Cheerleaders'"

...You stay classy San Diego.
  So I frequent a lot of right and left wing forums, and things of that nature. While on my latest venture into the world of the internet I stumbled across a blog post by what I guess we would call a feminist but I'm not aware of   her views so I'm not going label her one because I personally don't believe we need feminists in the 21st century.   The author, who  goes by the handle of "fearlessleader", posted an article on her blog with the title reading: "MSNBC stands for 'Manly Sports and Nubile, Buxom Cheerleaders". It's links to another post of her's that's against tee-shirts being sold to raise money for breast cancer awareness because she didn't agree with the message depicted, to which I can say- if it's for a good cause who cares? If Neo-Nazis have a bake sale to raise money for starving kids in Bosnia, I'd probably buy a muffin or two. If it's going to a good cause, and raises awareness to a serious issue(using humor or not) it's nothing to complain over and it makes you look petty.

 Now on to MSNBC. This lady's problem seems to be that Women's professional sports don't get discussed enough on their website. I don't know what to tell you except- lack of interest. It might be a hard truth to swallow but fact is, no one really cares about Women's sports(The exception being tennis.), so why should they run stories about things people don't care about to begin with? I mean name one sports network in the US that regularly follows our cricket team, professional volleyball, Lacrosse, College level soccer and baseball. If the fan base isn't there to begin with then why report on it if no one's going to read it? That has nothing to do with sexism it has all to do about money.
 In regards to the stories you claim were on their website(I have no idea of knowing because I don't follow the website and I'm not one to take someone purely at their word). So let's check these out:

  • See the most depressing NFL cheerleader bikini calendar ever- Honestly, that's a pretty funny headline, I'd read it. So I guess their marketing works.
  • Outrage! Pippa Middleton finishes second in ‘Rear of the Year’ contest- Now, I'm familiar with this story through a different outlet. The Rear of the Year contest is a 30 year old British tradition and I don't see how it's sexist because there is a man's division. The outrage comes from people who placed bets on her rear end to win. 
  • Hilarity ensues as Gilbert Arenas live-tweets his blind date- I honestly have no idea who Gilbert Arenas is- of course I'm joking. But I'm not too familiar with this story but once again if I saw a headline like that I would be interesting in knowing what's going to happen. I'm also their target audience anyway.
  • Ryan Giggs’ brother’s wife slept with three other Man[chester] United Players?- I wonder how many NBC sports readers know who these people are, but it's a sex scandal so of course, being in their target audience I might check it out. Although not likely. 
  • Female soccer mascot ‘Donny Dog’ fired for posing in lingerie photos- That's so wrong, how dare they fire her for showing off her body willingly. That's absurd, soccer sucks. Would I read it? Probably. 
  • Booty call: Patriots’ Lockett says ‘It’s true,’ he had affair with Kim Kardashian- A lot of people are interested in this Kardashian person for some reason. Anything with Kim's name will generate traffic. And once again, it involves a sex scandal.
  • Justin Bieber, in a Texas Rangers hat, was with Selena Gomez at the Heat-Mavericks game last night- As I said with Kim, people like this kid and anything he does makes headlines. But this is a waste and I wouldn't read it.
  • Wake up call: Hold it, you mean that I missed Anna Kournikova’s birthday?- Whoa, it was her Birthday? She's a popular Tennis star and one of three I know(all women) so I'd be interested to read it if I saw that headline. 
  • Woman in center of Anthony Weiner scandal has brother who played for the Indians- This is a waste of bandwidth. But I guess since Congressman Weiner is a trending topic they might be trying to capitalize off of Google traffic so, that's life I guess. Weaksauce headline.
  • Pippa Middleton runs triathlon, is bumped by sweaty goof- That's kind of inspiring, I mean she's a woman who ran a triathlon, those are tough. I have no idea what they mean by sweaty goof, but if I seen it I would have liked to know more. Plus they pretty much got anyone who ever searches for "Pippa Middleton's Sweat". 
  • Cameron Diaz: “Sex is my favorite sport”- I could care less, but some guys would enjoy reading it I guess. It depends more so on when and why she said it. If she was with a sports blogger or something. But it would probably get the 18-35 demographic to click and read as well as Google traffic.  
On to your last point about the media, you can't make people have an interest in something. Take the Royal Wedding, all over T.V and the American audience for the most part didn't get what the big deal was. I'm just trying to be reasonable man. De gustibus non est disputandum.


  1. Hi! And thanks for the conversation. A glance at your blog suggests that we're not really so far apart on a great many issues, though our commonalities come to a screeching halt at your assumption that we don't need feminism in the 21st century! That's for another comment, I imagine....

    Regarding the issue at hand, I'm simply pointing out that while women's sports certainly aren't as high-profile (or as profitable) as men's, they're almost completely invisible on MSNBC's sports blogs---and when women do make an appearance, it's virtually always in reference to sex or sexiness.

    Does the media have a right to cover stories about Pippa's ass and depressing cheerleader calendars? Of course! But that's got nothing to do with sports, and to pretend that it does is an insult to the many women who are serious athletes and/or fans. These stories belong on TMZ, not on NBC sports, and especially not to the exclusion of all the REAL news items the MSNBC bloggers could be covering about women in sports.

    By the way, to suggest that "the media can't make people have an interest in something" is demonstrably false. 23 million people in the US watched the "no big deal" royal wedding....and Anna Kournikova didn't get famous because of her WTA record. It's disingenuous to say "MSNBC doesn't cover women's sports because no one cares about them" when, in fact, part of the reason more people don't care about them more is that they're given so little attention in the mainstream press.

    I covered some of this stuff in my follow-up post, and I imagine there will be more to come, so by all means stop in whenever you like! Cheers.

  2. I completely agree with you.

  3. Latin...? I need Google Translate

  4. They don't cover sports essentially at all, unless either during the Olympics or if an athlete makes political headlines (like Michael Vick). But the blogger couldn't use just NBC as her anagram. Fail.

    Also, here is the list of professional sports that NBC covers; golf, tennis, the NHL, the Olympics, horse racing, and one NFL football game a week. Only the latter has cheerleaders. Three of the six, on the other hand, prominently feature women athletes.

  5. I completely agree with you, it's because of the money not the genderdeder

  6. Milltycoon, I'm not sure I'm catching your point. The blogs I'm talking about are the ones accessed through MSNBC.com, which is part of NBC, obviously. As for your second paragraph---if that's the case, then their blogs should be a whole lot more gender-equal, right?

  7. I get you.. and i completely agree with your first point. If it's for a good cause, why the heck not?

  8. Some people just feel the need to complain and as long as she has an audience she will keep doing it, is a shame.

  9. ' I personally don't believe we need feminists in the 21st century ' Followed for this alone

  10. MSNBC barely covers sports as it is. I know personally that women sports are just so damn boring...

  11. The WNBA got the full backing and network pull that only an organization like the NBA could deliver. ESPN coverage, prime weekend time slots, big time promotion dollars. What was the outcome? The broadcasts have to keep the picture tight to the court because no one is there watching.

    The majority of sports viewers are men. The worlds greatest athletes are men. Women are better than men at many things, but athletics is not one of them. Equality of opportunity is fine and good. Equality of outcome is counterproductive and bad.

  12. "Some people just feel the need to complain and as long as she has an audience she will keep doing it, is a shame."

    I'm sorry---I didn't realize that I was required to fill my personal blog with rainbows and unicorns for your comfort. :)

    "I know personally that women sports are just so damn boring...."

    You do realize, don't you, that "boring" is a subjective judgment? And that what bores you might fascinate someone else? And that there's a huge amount of sexism even in the mainstream coverage of MEN'S sports?

    "Equality of opportunity is fine and good. Equality of outcome is counterproductive and bad."

    That....doesn't actually mean anything. And lest this wasn't abundantly clear from the get-go, let me say again: I'm not asking for 50-50 coverage of men's and women's sports. I'm asking for acknowledgment that women exist in the sports world in capacities other than "cheerleader" and "whoever's sleeping with A-Rod." Is that really so outrageous? I haven't met any women who think so......

  13. As a hormone driven male, there are certain affinities I can not avoid. Just.. a genuine "lack of interest", as you said. There are many things I enjoy watching women do.. but baseball and basketball just isn't one of them.

  14. that is a good interpretation haha

  15. I just wish they would cover women that are actually sexy, like Marisa Tomei.

    Otherwise, I don't even watch MSNBC.