The Media-Offense Complex

by Sonny Bunch on January 9, 2013

Obligatory Katherine Webb PhotoThe whole “Katherine Webb Thing” is so ludicrous I don’t know where to start. But I do think it’s a pretty compelling window into society’s worst neurosis, the need to find offense and victims and apologies every single time something obviously innocuous happens that violates whatever sensibility those in the media have.

To recap: The BCS title game was incredibly, amazingly boring (probably because the overrated and under-talented team that Alabama went up against). As a result, play-by-play announcer Brent Musberger got distracted by Alabama’s quarterback’s hot beauty queen girlfriend and said, accurately, that she’s an attractive woman.

Dear god, you would’ve thought that she’d been sexually degraded by the backlash: Musberger was called creepy, the feminists did what feminists do*, ESPN apologized, etc. It was, in a word, absurd. Because you know who wasn’t offended by being called attractive on national television in front of tens of millions of people?

Alabama’s quarterback’s hot beauty queen girlfriend.

She said so herself on the Today Show this morning! She’s an aspiring model who participates in beauty queen competitions for fun! You’re telling me that you need to be offended for her? Get a grip and get over yourselves. Musberger committed no offense, there is no victim in this case, and an apology is entirely unwarranted. The Media-Offense Complex is exposed for what it is: a fraud perpetrated to give professional whiners something to whine about.

Maybe we can keep this in mind time around?

*Which is to say, hyperventilate.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Collins January 9, 2013 at 9:47 am

Greg Gutfeld’s book “The Joy of Hate” is exactly about this type of thing – phony outrage on behalf of someone else (who doesn’t really care 99% of the time, as here). It is pretty amusing. Gutfeld probably would have included this as an example illustrating his thesis if the book hadn’t come out a couple months ago – maybe in the paperback edition.


Victor Morton January 9, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Actually “what feminists do” is “hysterics.” I swear, Amanda Marcotte and the ladies at XX (you could toss in Lizzie Wurtzel’s latest) seem like a performance art project called “What if 19th Century Psychologists Were Right?”


deVan January 10, 2013 at 12:30 am

Compare the hysterical response in this case to the lack of any response to the truly despicable actions of Kathy Griffin with Anderson Cooper on New Years Eve and this really becomes convincing evidence that we are living in an Idiocracy.


walter adams January 10, 2013 at 1:03 am

In the old ‘Popeye’ comics, Olive Oyl had an uncle who was forever being offended by anything and nothing, and spent his time saying to almost everyone he met; “You owe me an apology.”

It’s really astonishing to see so many people devote so much energy to what someone says or thinks about them.
That is not a recipe for a happy life.


Aidan January 10, 2013 at 6:31 am

These screechers are all from the ugly pages.


Chuck Long January 10, 2013 at 4:11 pm

This reminds me of the time Eastern Michigan University changed their mascot from the Hurons to the Eagles, because a bunch of white students with better things to do complained that the Huron mascot was an affront to the Huron Indian Tribe. Guess who didn’t want
EMU to change it? That’s right, the actual Huron Tribe.


yinzer January 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Some people enjoy skydiving, because it makes them feel alive. Some enjoy sex for the same reason. For some, it’s riding a motorcycle. And for some others, it’s being offended at everything.


FrancisChalk January 10, 2013 at 7:52 pm

My only issue with it was that Musberger sounded like one of those senile old men who makes dumb, inappropriate comments about every pretty girl he sees. It was hardy worthy of an apology, but an embarrassment nonetheless.


tgt January 15, 2013 at 10:22 pm

“You’re telling me that you need to be offended for her? Get a grip and get over yourselves. ”

So, if an announcer spends a couple minutes describing how a sideline assistant is a “lazy nigger”, and it turns out the black guy doesn’t mind, the comment becomes appropriate?


Sonny Bunch January 15, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Such remarkable stupidity in so few words. Well played!


tgt January 16, 2013 at 4:13 pm

It’s your logic. If it doesn’t apply to comments that treat black people as less than white people, why does it apply to comments that treat women as less than men?


Sonny Bunch January 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm

No, look, you’re totally right: complimenting a beautiful woman is exactly the same as calling a random black guy a racial slur for minutes on end. It’s totally the same thing. Excellent logic. Not at all remarkably stupid.


tgt January 17, 2013 at 4:24 pm

So it’d be cool if someone thought they were complimenting a person by calling them a nigger?

Treating a random woman like a sex object is not appropriate. Doing so on live national television is obviously not appropriate.

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