As Mollie noted in her column below, Bob Costas used the killing of a woman to lobby for gun control. Smokey the Bear, who constantly told us, “Matches don’t start forest fires, people do,” still has Costas at a disadvantage when identifying cause and effect.
Too often when an individual act like Jovan Belcher shooting his girlfriend occurs, folks like Costas try to find blame in the rest of us as if it’s our fault; or the gun’s fault - anyone but the killer’s fault. I suppose a case can be made that sociology and sports reporting are similar in that each requires commenting on the works of others. Bob seems to dabble in both.
However, this isn’t the first time Bob has shown a tin ear when it comes to knowing what is going on in the world.
Recall if you will the 2004 Olympics in Athens. The media was in an hysterical tizzy before the opening ceremonies. They were certain that during the Parade of Nations, America would be soundly booed when our athletes entered the arena (although Europeans whistle to show opprobrium; they don’t boo). The reason for the booing was supposed to be world-wide displeasure with America’s invasion of Iraq. Eleanor Clift, screaming for liberals everywhere, resolutely predicted booing. NBC’s Olympic commentators Katie Couric and Bob Costas were giddy with anticipation waiting for our American athletes to be booed or whistled.
To the media, this booing or whistling was to provide them with a chance to say, “See, we told you the world hates America because of George W. Bush.” The reaction of the crowd was to be a certain and final referendum on how the world feels about America and our foreign policy.
As the many nations proceeded into the arena, each received applause. When the Americans entered, to the liberal media’s horror, the crowd erupted in applause with far more volume and vigor than they cheered for most other nations. Not only did they fail to make sounds of disapproval, they made an effort to show approval.
The liberals needed emergency spin so Bob Costas provided it. He instantly commented that the crowd perceived a difference between the American people and the American government, so they were cheering only for our athletes.
Let’s review Bob’s illogic. When he believed (and hoped) Americans would be booed, it was certainly because the crowd would be commenting on America’s foreign policy. When they cheered instead, it suddenly became impossible for the crowd to comment on America’s foreign policy. No room for America as a nation to win under Bob's rules. We could only lose.
Now how did Costas know the crowd’s cheering was purposely directed at our people and decidedly not for our government? A moment before the applause he was convinced of the opposite. Did Super Bob fly about the arena and poll thousands of cheering people in one split second to find that they still denounce American policy despite their cheers? More likely, Costas was quick to perpetuate a lie.
I like Costas on sports. On sociology? Whether it's guns or foreign policy, I don't like him so much.