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.