A couple of springs back, Buzz Bissinger appeared on a Costas NOW! Town Hall show on HBO. He disparaged bloggers who wrote about unsubstantiated innuendo and allowed trashy content and language as being irresponsible. Sadly, these rules do not apply to him. All you have to do is read his article about Tiger Woods in the new, sensationalist issue of Vanity Fair to see what I am talking about.
When reading it, think about what I wrote about Bissinger's Costas Now! appearance, and his subsequent explanation in Vanity Fair:
People were not upset with the profanity per se. People were upset that Bissinger went off on a profanity filled tirade to attach bloggers for the same type behavior. Frankly, if Bissinger wants to see written things that are filled with worse profanity and graphic sexual discussions, he should just wander over to SportsJournalists.com. It is there that sports writers from around the country, posting under anonymous screen names write things using words and descriptions that have no place in civil society. And then they have the gall to defend themselves by saying that "they are only words and words cannot hurt people."What I read in this article is worse than what I have ever read on ANY blog.
Bissinger seems to be living in a different world than many other people. He needs to think about what he said, and the context that is leading people to criticize what he did. Then maybe he can do this "resurrection" tour with an approach that represents an awareness of the world around him, not what some might call a narcissistic view of life.
You might also want to read the Kevin Blackistone's excellent AOL Fanhouse article entitled "As Vanity Fair Cashes In, Tiger's Image Gets Tossed Into the Gutter". Here is an excerpt and it really makes you think:
Vanity Fair, a pillar in the virtually all-white magazine industry, refused his desire to be thought of even as Calabanasian, as he coined his mixed-race (Caucasian, black, Native American and Asian) heritage. It invalidated his white bona fides of being raised in the suburbs, mastering golf -- the whitest sport of them all -- and even marrying a quintessential Swedish woman, blond and blue eyed.
Instead, Vanity Fair returned Tiger to his late father's dominant race: black.
How else can one explain the cover photo Vanity Fair unveiled Monday of a half-naked Tiger lifting iron with a skull cap topping his sullen mug? Tiger got O.J.-ized.
As Time magazine infamously darkened the skin of America's once favorite (i.e. unthreatening) black athlete, O.J. Simpson, on its cover after he was arrested on a charge of murdering his ex-wife, Vanity Fair muddied the image of the Tiger we've had in mind until recently: the wholesome, clean-cut everyman; the original post-racial (whatever that is) American; Obama before Obama.
As Buzz Bissinger joined in the piling on and further destruction of the tattered image of Tiger Woods, one has to ask what value it added except to giving a small bump to Vanity Fair single issue sales?