Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I am sick of this namby-pamby world

Yes, it's been three months since I posted. I haven't been particularly inspired to foist my opinions on the world -- mainly because I haven't had any really strong ones. But boy, am I coming back swinging.

It seems a newspaper reporter has been chastened and compelled to apologize for comments he made on a sports talk show regarding Michael Vick. Here's a snippet of the Associated Press article on it.

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A newspaper reporter who said Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick would have been "better off raping a woman" than being charged with dogfighting has apologized and will no longer appear on the local sports panel TV show where he made the remark. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Paul Zeise made the comments Sunday night on the Sports Showdown show on KDKA-TV, a CBS affiliate. He was disagreeing with another panelist who said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should suspend Vick for the rest of the season because he was indicted on federal dogfighting charges July 17. "It's really a sad day in this country when somehow ... Michael Vick would have been better off raping a woman if you look at the outcry of what happened," Zeise said. "Had he done that, he probably would have been suspended for four games and he'd be back on the field. But because this has become a political issue, all of a sudden the commissioner has lost his stomach for it."

***


"I regret the poor choice of analogies I used to characterize a professional athlete's legal situation," Zeise said. KDKA apologized on its Monday newscasts and said Zeise, one of a group of rotating panelists on the show, will not be invited back. Zeise's "insensitive and offensive" remarks "do not represent the view of the Post-Gazette," the newspaper said in a statement Monday.

Insensitive? Offensive? How, exactly? I mean, is there anyone out there so monumentally thick-headed he or she actually thinks Zeise was saying raping a woman is a good thing? Is that whose sensibilities we are looking to protect? I'm not even convinced that's the angle, but I'll be damned if I can figure out exactly what else it could be.

I want to live in a world where analogies and hyperbole are permitted. I want to live in a world where an unpopular opinion can be voiced without its originator fearing for his or her job.

I know freedom of speech doesn't apply in this situation. How about the freedom to have an adult discussion? Maybe it's worse for me because I'm a writer, but I'm almost physically ill right now.
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