Thursday, May 10

Intrusive Media, Redux.

As Absnaz points out below: the media infatuation with tragedy and death is almost -- if the subject itself wasn't so serious -- comical.

Last night, mere seconds after the Jazz secured their overtime win against the Warriors, Pam Oliver corralled the game's "hero" Derrick Fisher (which is pushing it to begin with -- Fisher had several great defensive stops and one of the most crucial shots of the game -- all while saddled with emotion and grief, but HERO? I'd say that the game's hero was the Warriors' foul shooting down the stretch, going 1-4 with under 30 seconds left. But that's just me) and asked him about playing with a heavy heart. Fisher then breaks the news his daughters cancer diagnoses and that he's making it public only to raise awareness for other families. Oliver, not content to say "I'm so sorry to hear that our prayers are with and your family. Basketball is fairly meaningless at this time," then asks, "How do you go on this series and divide your loyalty between family and team?"


And after she sucks all the emotion she can out of the interview, without saying anything particularly nice or comforting to Derrick, she kicks it back to the TNT studio, where -- despite only hearing the news seconds before -- talk about his daughters health and his family situation for five minutes straight.

It reminds me of one the most uncomfortable moments in my sports history. After the already emotional and heated Iowa v Iowa St. rivalry game last season, they snagged the game's "hero" who'd played the game just hours after learning of his father's death. Seconds after victory was secured for Iowa they interviewed him, weeping like a child, and the interviewer had the audacity to ask "what did it feel like to play this game knowing that your father just passed away hours before?"

Memo to media; the emotion we so love from sports is the victorious celebratory emotion, the suspense of the perilous balance between the joy of winning and the pain of losing. What it is not is personal emotion, nor is it extreme close ups on any tears that the camera men can find.


You tell 'em, Don Henley.

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