Friday, April 12, 2013

Good for Bob Costas

I don't usually like it when Bob Costas gets on his preening high horse, even when I'm sympathetic to his point of view. His Sunday Night Football traditionalist Get Off My Lawn segment is my weekly cue to go to the bathroom and pick up a beer before the start of the second half. But calling in to the Dan Patrick Show today, a venue much more appropriate for opining, Costas let CBS have it for its annual Tradition Like No Other coverage of the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National (via Deadspin):
What no CBS commentator has ever alluded to, even in passing, even during a rain delay, even when there was time to do so, is Augusta's history of racism and sexism. Even when people were protesting just outside the grounds—forget about taking a side—never acknowledging it. So not only will I never work the Masters because I'm not at CBS, but I'd have to say something and then I would be ejected.
I think someone shoulda had the guts to do it along the way. Broadcaster, executive, somebody should have said to someone at Augusta, 'Look this is an issue. And this is not Nightline or Meet The Press, we understand that. But this is an issue. And it's an elephant in the room. And we're going to address it as concisely as we can but we're going to address it so our heads are not in the collective sand trap.'
Sand trap pun notwithstanding, he's absolutely right. In 2012, Augusta National admitted its first female members--Condi Rice and Darla Moore--and didn't admit its first black man until 1990.

I'll leave it to Deadspin and others to speculate whether its a shot at Jim Nance, I don't really care. But Patrick admits that it would be difficult to broach the subject, as the Masters has traditionally been harsh in its treatment of any criticism whatsoever. I think this typifies my longstanding beef with Southern romanticism: they market their "tradition" as the reason they're special, but god forbid anyone actually talks about that tradition with any amount of candor. With that gentility, honor, and that historic Southern charm came economic degradation, societal marginalization, and domestic terrorism. But the past is the past, right?

It would simply be impolite to discuss the state of things as far back as...last year's Masters when Augusta National still had no female members. But as Costas and Patrick both recognize, doing so without Augusta's explicit permission would very likely cost someone his or her job. That would be perfectly acceptable, depriving someone of their livelihood for recognizing the bloody obvious, but we must not defile the Tradition with pesky facts like year after year of prideful, defiant bigotry. No sir, we just can't have that.

You can catch the entire video at Deadspin here.

bellum medicamenti delenda est

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