Booting up a Storm at ESPN
I applaud ESPN for having an ombudsman and for the most part I enjoy their columns on ESPN.com. I thought Le Anne Schreiber in particular did an excellent job during her tenure. I haven't enjoyed the current ombudsman, Don Ohlmeyer, as much, but for the most part I thought he did an okay job. Until today. Ohlmeyer's latest column addresses Tony Kornheiser's two week suspension for disparaging comments he made about fellow ESPNer Hannah Storm.
After reviewing reader mail on the situation, Ohlmeyer says:
In terms of attire, all ESPN commentators are supposed to select their wardrobes with the approval of producers and consultants. The byword of corporate guidance is "appropriateness," but a large number of the letters on the Kornheiser suspension questioned just that -- the appropriateness of Storm's clothing choices.
Storm is an excellent sports broadcaster -- knowledgeable, articulate, likeable and entertaining. Her breezy, relaxed delivery works particularly well on morning "SportsCenters." She's had an exemplary career, but if critiques in this mailbag reflect the audience at large, her choices for attire are not helping either Storm or the network. If anything distracts the audience from interesting content professionally presented, ESPN should take notice.
So basically, Ohlmeyer is blaming the victim. He's trying to make a claim that somehow her wardrobe was so inappropriate as to be legitimately worthy of Kornheiser's comments. Here's what she wore:
I mean, I don't love it, but could anyone reasonably claim that it's inappropriate for a sports program anchor? Is the sight of her bare knees really more distracting to the audience than this:
Of course not. Remember that the first "E" in ESPN stands for "entertainment". We're talking about sports reporting. These people aren't CEOs, lawyers or international diplomats. Second, if you think ESPN doesn't pre-approve their wardrobe, you're crazy.
I feel like Ohlmeyer is making the old school sexist argument that a woman deserves what she gets if she dresses like "that". Or maybe he's making an ageist argument where women "of a certain age" should be matronly. I don't know what it is, but I certainly expect more from an ombudsman than an excuses for his cronies and double standards.
Posted by kris at March 10, 2010 10:06 PM
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|# March 11th, 2010 7:01 PM themandownthehall|
|I'm distracted by it! But then again I've always liked Hannah Storm and who doesn't love a great pair of red boots! :) |