Mediots are a finnicky, sensitive bunch. Not all members of the media are mediots. The Tuscaloosa News’ Cecil Hurt, for instance, is a legitimate journalist who doesn’t rush into a situation to shoot the first thing that moves. But sadly that can’t be said of everyone.
This week has seen quite a roller coaster ride for the Tide athletic department. A volley of Tide arrests added to a prolonged men’s basketball coaching search has made it anything but a banner week for Alabama.
But the crucible moment came Monday when our beloved mediots rushed to tar and feather that mean ole Nick Saban for “his mistake” in letting Jonathan Taylor on the team. You know the story on Taylor by now. And with his second apparent infraction of domestic abuse within the the last year, it was time to circle the enemy and shoot.
Saban did the predictable…at least what they hoped he would do. Not apologize for giving a young man a second chance. Is Taylor a good person? I have no idea, but Nick Saban does. The media, particularly those who get their feelings hurt (or more accurately, their egos shredded) by Nick Saban’s antics, would love you to believe that there was no research into Taylor’s past before signing him to play football at Alabama. “All Saban was concerned with was whether or not Taylor could get to the quarterback,” and certainly wasn’t concerned with the plight of women.
Ah, the plight of women and domestic abuse. It IS a serious issue, and not one to joke about or take lightly. But with all politically correct issues, there is hyperbole that is simply too easy to climb aboard without knowing the facts. The grandstanding among mediots on any political correctness issue is nauseating to say the least as they compete with one another to take self-righteousness to Pharisaical extremes.
Nothing was more gratuitous than Paul Finebaum’s appearance on ESPN following Coach Saban’s post practice presser, where mediots circled his podium like sharks fishing for the soundbytes they hungered for. The ultimate self aggrandizing media attention seeker Finebaum immediately declared the Saban press conference as a disaster, rendering himself as judge, jury and executioner on the subject. Forget that Finebaum knows more good that Saban has done, both public and private, than anyone. The soup de jour was Nick Saban etouffee, and Finebaum was more than happy to serve it up.
The story was, Saban gave someone a second chance with the condition of a zero tolerance policy in place when it came to future incidents. That line drawn in the crimson sand was crossed (apparently), and subsequently, said player was dismissed. But that wasn’t enough. Stones had to be thrown. The bear had to be poked and provoked in his cage. And a public apology just had to be squeazed out of Bama’s head coach as retribution to the evils he personally cast upon society. And when he didn’t comply? Kaboom! Here came the tweets, the debates, the grandstanding, and all the other idiocy mediots do to make themselves sound and look important.
Now, enter Tuesday. Whispers that the young lady allegedly at the center of the scandal is arrested. For what you ask? Allegedly falsifying a police report. We’ll soon know the level of truth to this. UPDATE: Police charged the woman for filing a false report. https://t.co/7iwrSt2g9a
But if this is the case, it’s a report, mind you, that cost Jonathan Taylor everything. A report that led the worldwide leader in sports to broadcast Nick Saban’s normal post practice press conference live around the planet. A report that led to an avalanche of mediots rushing to judgment and posturing to be the first to make a public stand against the politically correct issue of the day, domestic violence.
It can’t be said enough, domestic violence is a serious issue for obvious reasons. But just for a minute, imagine there being a woman out there willing to use a point of weakness against a man trying to turn his life around. I know such a woman doesn’t exist, but just hang with me. The immediate rush then would be to automatically assume the girlfriend recanted her story out of fear. So much so that one of my favorites, Jim Dunaway, even sent me a link via Twitter to a list of reasons women recant their stories in domestic issues. Absent from that list was one possibility: Fabricating the event (or the extent of it) and later having a change of heart, seeing the damage done.
You have to at least consider this as a possibility. That is, unless you are a mediot. You see, mediots don’t like to be wrong, and they do not like to be engaged by bloggers. They are a sensitive bunch that can dish it out, but when called on the carpet curl up into defensive little children, insistant that they haven’t eaten the Hershey bar all while chocolate is all over their faces.
My favorite though was the Tuscaloosa News’ Aaron Suttles, who didn’t pause while relenting a barage of criticism at Nick Saban over the Jonathan Taylor situation. But when I engaged him in debate on the topic, what did Suttles do? Let’s just say I can’t see his Twitter feed anymore. Suttles is a good writer, but can he not converse with the public over his craft?
I’ve got to say, I’ve followed Suttles on Twitter for a while, and always found him to be informative. And Dunaway is a mainstay in central Alabama media, his show “The Roundtable” being the best Birmingham’s WJOX has to offer. But there’s something about the concoction of political correctness and a polarizing figure like Nick Saban that brings out the mediot in even the best journalist. Again, Cecil Hurt being one of the only figures I’ve seen in the competitive field of shock journalism to withstand this slippery slope.
Simply, mediots are sensitive little creatures. But again, not all members of the media are mediots. I really had considered neither Suttles nor Dunaway to be members of this bunch, nor had I thought Finebaum to be until he joined ESPN, who obviously has influenced the talking head with talking points since his move to Charlotte.
But the inability to admit, or even consider, that you might have jumped the gun, and hence fired shots at an innocent man proves you belong in the category of “mediot.” Your hatred and hurt feelings associated with the coach who doesn’t make your job easy soaked you with saliva over the opportunity to take him down. The only problem is, some things aren’t what they first appear to be.
What is the truth in the Jonathan Taylor situation? Well, that’s still a mystery at this point. At best it’s more complicated than was first reported, and if any apology this week is in order, it MAY…just MAY…need to be directed at him. At worst, the situation could be a woman willing to do the unthinkable: Deceive in order to hurt a man in the worst way. Again, goodness knows this has never happened in history.
But regardless, we still have a coach everybody hates in the media’s crosshairs, a fanbase absolutely sick of it, and a group of sensitive mediots crying when their “wisdom and judgment” is questioned. Sounds like quite a soap opera to this writer. And like all soap operas, don’t plan on this plot being resolved anytime soon.
Afterall, as long as there are mediots, there will always be plots. But don’t listen to me. I’m just a blogger.