The recent dust-up over sportscaster Brent Musburger's remarks during the national championship college football game about Miss Alabama reveal once again just how preposterous modern secular liberal culture has become. It is another bit of evidence that when a culture no longer has an actual religion to provide its centripetal force, it spins off into silly absurdities.
We can now put the protest over Musburger's remarks down as one more example of the weird sort of sexual puritanism that is coming to characterize it.
Musburger remarked on the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback A. J. McKarron, Katherine Webb, saying that she was a “lovely lady” and “beautiful." He turned to his broadcast partner Kirk Herbstreit and said, "you quarterbacks get all the good-looking women."
Well, apparently, this is a severe breach of propriety among the stuffy new feminist schoolmarms who have placed themselves in the position of cultural hall monitors and have proceeded to write Musburger up on charges of, well, we're not quite sure. The New York Times gives us the skinny ..., er, I mean, tells us the full extent of Musburger's infamy:
“It’s extraordinarily inappropriate to focus on an individual’s looks,” said Sue Carter, a professor of journalism at Michigan State. “In this instance, the appearance of the quarterback’s girlfriend had no bearing on the outcome of the game. It’s a major personal violation, and it’s so retrograde that it’s embarrassing. I think there’s a generational issue, but it’s incumbent on people practicing in these eras to keep up and this is not a norm.”"Retrograde"? Seriously? Maybe in the austere environs of "Women's and Gender Studies" department (or next door at the journalism school), but some of us still remark on beauty when and where we see it. In any case, I think we can officially announce that the sexual revolution is eating its own young.
This kind of thing, of course, is not uncharacteristic of left-wing movements. In communist countries, for example, there were severe strictures on sexual conduct and even dress.
After a frontal hand salute and click of her heals, Carter continues:
“I think because sports has been such a male-dominated domain, he obviously felt license and privilege and he’s been able to do that for years,” Carter said. “But the masculine aspect of sports is changing.”Right. Women will soon be playing football and the cheerleaders will be selected from the least physically attractive women on college campuses. Mark your calendar.
But what is so utterly nonsensical is that, in our celebrity culture, we have a veritable worship of appearance. Yet our intellectual culture prominently features feminists who stand there, their arms folded and lips pursed, wagging their fingers at everybody else but Hollywood for remarking on somebody's appearance. They exist side-by-side, Janus-like, in a strange sort of alliance.
And sports programming is supposed to ignore anything that does "bear on the outcome of the game"? Oh c'mon. They do it all the time. Are they going to dispatch a contingent from the National Organization for Women on Super Bowl Sunday to lament the fact that Beyoncé is doing the halftime show? Of course we all know that her looks had nothing to do with her career success, but how does that bear on the outcome of the game?
Oh, and have you noticed anything about all these new female sportscasters? You know, the ones who all look like they missed their calling as cover girls? Not a blemish to be seen. I know what you're thinking: that's soooo, I don't know, retrograde to say that. So if it's retrograde to say it, why is it not retrograde to do it?
So we know that Webb, the one about whom Musburger's remarks were made, must be scandalized by all this. Right? Well, not exactly. Here how the Times reports Webb's response:
“It was kind of nice,” Webb told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “I didn’t look at it as creepy at all. For a woman to be called beautiful, I don’t see how that’s an issue."Woah! Is this girl from, like, the 12th century or something?
If I ever see Sue Carter, professor of journalism at Michigan State, I'm going to remark on how nice she looks in that outfit.