If you're into sports, you've probably heard about the controversy surrounding Golf Channel announcer Kelly Tilghman. A couple of weeks ago she suggested on air that the only way to beat Tiger Woods might be to "lynch him in a back alley". Her off the cuff, poor attempt at humor earned her a two week suspension and significant criticism. After serving her suspension, she was recently back on the air, starting with a clear and sincere apology before diving into the substance of her work.
A lesser known debacle involves Dana Jacobsen, the ESPN anchor. In a celebrity roast for the hosts of the Mike & Mike show, she cursed like a sailor and used an expletive in reference to Jesus. ESPN's response was slow coming but under pressure by religious groups, they eventually gave her a one week suspension coupled with a weak apology.
I'm no social or cultural activist but this really bothers me. Let's see how the math on this works:
Humorously suggest lynching Tiger Woods - 2 week suspension
Curse and blaspheme Jesus Christ - 1 week suspension
Don't get me wrong - both are reprehensible but the outrage surrounding the "lynching" comment far outweighed the response to the Jacobsen's blasphemous tirade. It's a commentary about what the American popular culture functionally views as valuable and important. Let's face it - for mainstream popular culture, God doesn't really exist nor does He weigh upon the national conscience.
In short, the point isn't what these controversies say about Ms. Tilghman or Ms. Jacobsen - it's what it says about us. Make no mistake about it - this loss of the fear of God is a sad indictment on our nation.
What do you think?