I have more important things to write about today than again exposing that blight on the already thoroughly blighted field of broadcast journalism, CNN’s Carol Costello, I know. I also know I shouldn’t watch her, or CNN for that matter, in the morning. But my options are limited to that or centerfold sunburst Robin Meade over at HLM, who causes me to question my motives. Fox I am boycotting entirely until Roger Ailes sends Bill O’Reilly to keep Brian Williams company; The Today Show and Good Morning America are no longer news sources, just cretinous fluff, rock songs and cooking segments with occasional left-biased interviews, whatever CBS is doing in the morning has been unwatchable since 1981, and MSNBC is a disgrace in every way, and I mean every way. Lately the embarrassment has been that a disturbing number of its “tax the rich into oblivion and turn the US into Sweden” talking heads haven’t been paying their income taxes. I can respect people who at least display personal integrity regarding the irresponsible policies they advocate, but MSNBC is crawling with hypocrites as well as Angry Left demagogues.
That leaves CNN, which in one respect is unfair: since I can’t stand watching the others and only catch their worst moments when they are flagged by Mediaite or a tipster, CNN gets a disproportional criticism here. It is almost impossible, however, to be unfair to Carol Costello.
Today, she was discussing with some sports reporter the results of the NFL’s investigation into “Inflategate.” and its conclusion that New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady was involved in the plot to use deflated balls in his team’s defeat of the Indianapolis Colts to reach the Super Bowl. The CNN segment was revealing: there are incriminating text messages making the conclusion that Brady was the chief conspirator, and Brady refused to allow investiagtors to see his texts (thus obstructing the investigation), as well as denying any knowledge of the incident (therefor lying to the newsmedia and the public).
Carol, however, thought it was all hilarious. She smirked, she cackled, she giggled, she rolled her eyes, she beamed. This was a news-lite segment to her, like a video of a singing cat or an ostrich trying to hatch a sleeping bald guy’s head. Come on, she was telling us. This is just a silly game! It’s a little air let out of some balls! Isn’t it ridiculous that some people get upset about this stuff?
A Super Bowl title means millions of dollars to a team and its city. It changes careers and lives. Literally millions of people care about it deeply. Pro football is a billion dollar business that is followed more closely by Americans than ISIS, illegal immigration or the national debt. Sports has as much or more influence on how children learn and absorb ethical values than church or school. Sports heroes are among the most influential role models for youths, and Tom Brady is one of the most prominent professional athletes in the country. The Super Bowl is, by far, the U.S.’s biggest and most watched single cultural event. Cheating itself is a national epidemic, undermining education, the economy, the rule of law, the environment, race relations, politics, government, national pride, public trust, and cultural values. Cheating at this level, with this visibility, causing a major sports title to be tainted, is an epic ethics breach, with the potential of accelerating cultural deterioration and making society more tolerant of conduct that has destroyed governments and nations. Indeed, cheating, and it’s close relative bribery,has made whole continents human rights disasters and economic basket cases.
Cheating is not trivial. It must not be ignored, it must not be brushed aside, and it is most definitely not funny.
Anyone who thinks cheating, especially high-profile cheating by sports heroes, celebrities or elected officials (and presidential candidates) is trivial and funny is an ethics corrupter, unfit to communicate news, ideas, or controversies, and definitely unqualified to broadcast her ignorant, cynical and despicable values to impressionable minds.
Carol Costello is such an individual.
10 thoughts on “No, Carol Costello, You Contemptible Fool, Cheating Isn’t Funny”
I have read about 5 different articles on corruption this morning. The most disturbing one claimed that this is the stuff that causes civilizations to collapse. The end of the rule of law results in people not respecting or obeying the law. Civilization collapse follows inevitably after.
Here are the stories I have seen.
IRS agents were exempted from a law that requires they be fired for willfully evading taxes. They were exempted personally by the head of the IRS. The same IRS head that targeted taxpayers based on their political opinions.
A federal court allowing an NSA data collection program to continue even though they found it is illegal. They asked Congress to fix this, even though this is an executive agency and the President can (and should) fix it with an Executive order (that is his job, isn’t it?).
The Clintons, Al Sharpton, and other prominent Democrats are allowed to violate tax laws with impunity with no apparent ill effects.
The mayor of Baltimore appearing to appease a mob by promising them she will throw 6 police officers to the wolves (by insisting they be charged and investigated by the Feds) while refusing to release possibly exculpatory evidence to the defense.
The NFL has determined the the SuperBowl champions cheated to win the SuperBowl, but are likely to allow the victory to stand. Althetics is claimed to teach hard work and values and that is why it should be taught in schools.
Even the sheep in Michigan have had enough. They refused to pass a new tax the state said they needed to fix the roads. The government has become so corrupt that they were reduced to stating that the only way they can actually get tax money to repair the roads is to repeal the road tax and pass a new road tax. All the money from the current road tax goes to things other than roads (union pay, etc). They told the public that they couldn’t just use the road tax to fix the roads, they would need to pass a new road tax (of which only 10% was earmarked for roads and the rest goes to increase teacher pay and for union benefits, etc) and repeal the old road tax. They extra-special-promised that this time they wouldn’t spend the road tax on other things. As further incentive, they announced months ago that they were directing construction crews to destroy the roads and that they wouldn’t be rebuilt unless this new tax were passed.
I know this corruption makes me feel less inclined to pay my taxes. These things make me think that Dan (of the “Thanks Dan!” Pittsburgh defense attorney ad) is right when he says “laws are arbitrary!”. This distrust and lack of respect for the government is what will be the end of this country.
Especially given the fact that softening the ball means that the worst receiver on the team can catch it if he can touch it. Carol does not understand the physics of the thing, and clearly made no effort to find out. My first reaction on hearing this story was much as hers was. “This is just plain silly.” But, my second thought was to wonder why this would make a difference…specifically, why was this national news, so I did the research (very little needed. The story brought the needed articles into prominence) and found out. Letting air out of the balls is the same as putting cedar resin on your hands…you don’t even have to close your hand to catch the ball, it just sticks there if you can touch it.
So, the question then becomes “Why didn’t Carol Costello have any red flags raised when she decided this was a silly story?” Answer, she is not truly a journalist; she is a political commentator and she saw nothing related to her left-oriented belief system; hence, nothing worth doing a serious story on. Had Tom Brady made some sort of statement to the effect that he did it for America, and any true Patriot (pun intended) would agree with his actions, Costello would have known down to the molecule how much air needed to be in the footballs and would have espoused the position that this was all a tea-bagger plot to bring down Obama. Not sure how she would have made that connection, but she would have tried.
You have my complete sympathy about the poor state of affairs with the news media. So much of the so called “news” is meaningless trivia and tripe. This comes from the 24/7 news cycle, and the frantic effort to fill the airwaves with something… anything. Consequently, American TV news has become more “infotainment” and agenda driven propaganda than actual news. I might suggest, less U.S. TV news and more on-line international news sources. The truth is out there.
Regarding your main issue with Carol Costello, she is contemptible but typical of the new normal. Unfortunately, it seems that cheating has become normalized in our culture to the extent that individuals who do not cheat are seen as fools, losers, quaint throw-backs. Students cheat. Teachers cheat. Politicians cheat. Athletes cheat. Police cheat. Criminals… well… that is their job…
Today, it is all about “winning” and success at any cost. And it is also about the “ka- ching”. In our culture, money and “stuff” are the measures of success and self worth to many people. It is about the growing popular acceptance of the notion the ends justify the means. Winning is everything so our culture seems to place some importance on the idea of being “clever” and not getting caught “dead to rights”. Thus we see more and more our top political personalities engaging this kind of “clever” behavior… and being rewarded for it. Today in politics, it seems that cleverness trumps character.
Just looking at that smug face causes a gag reflex, and that’s before I hear words come out of her mouth. Can’t we have some news readers who don’t make that particularly liberal oh-you-poor-little-one-toothed-redneck-cretin-let me-enlighten-you face when they speak about politics?
Not on CNN.
Chris Christie says the Deflategate scandal is overblown, and suggests that its because Brady is married to a model, Well, I think Chris Christie is overblown. This tells me all I need to know about his ethical instincts…he joins Rand, Ted, Mike, Dr. Ben, Carly and Jeb on my “no better than Hillary list.”
I thought the whole point of this story was that it was underblown….
“Pro football is a billion dollar business that is followed more closely by Americans than ISIS, illegal immigration or the national debt.”
The undeniable truth of this statement (equally applicable to other sports and “pop culture” as well) makes me weep for my country. Michael R. hit the nail on the head; such a nation will not long endure.
“…like a video of a singing cat or an ostrich trying to hatch a sleeping bald guy’s head.”
When did you get an ostrich, Jack?
Just woke up and there it was. Scary. Warm!