I recently read a headline on the website THEDAILYBEAST where I get much of my first-source information. Don’t worry, I’m not the type of guy to skim the cheat sheet and never think to check up on the story and its sources in triplicate through my wide variety of ever diminishing real news sources. I was majorly concerned with the Headline that read Tennis Has A Doping Problem.
My first, initial reaction was “who the fuck cares?” Then I remembered that I once thought about trying out for the tennis team. In fact, it was the coach of my high school’s men’s tennis team who inspired me to start this blog and start bitching about what I thought was absurd. He wasn’t just the coach, he was also an inspiring instructor in contemporary world problems. He introduced me to the concept of pausing live television and saying to myself ‘hold on a minute.’ So, in dedication to the great man, I am going to bitch a little bit about this story.
My first grievance would be that the Daily Beast has presented this in a way that it should be deemed news. I don’t think it’s news. I think it’s a load of information that everyone already suspected.
Tennis is called a professional sport, yes? There’s your answer. If it’s a professional sport, then people will be doping. That’s the story. Get someone from MIT to do a study about that link, and write a story about it in Sports Illustrated. Other than that, leave me the fuck alone about it.
In the book Freakonomics, by Stephen D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, there is a story about the Japanese sport of sumo wrestling. In the story, credible sources are sought out to explain how sumo wrestlers can rig matches. That’s an interesting bit of information packaged the way that it is, but I still can’t consider it newsworthy even though it is new.
Maybe it’s because I don’t think of sports broadcasting as newsworthy, even though some of the smartest journalists and reporters that I know and have worked with are sports reporters. I think of sports broadcasting and the sports section in any major daily as a form of entertainment that does nothing to better advance a citizen’s knowledge of his or her government. Sports broadcasting helps a niche market to satisfy their need to relate themselves religiously to false icons like Lebron James and Mike Tyson.
Unfortunately for me, many Americans have gotten used to what program directors have decided is considered newsworthy. The word news as it is defined colloquially today is three quarters new, and one quarter shit. Luckily, we still have some great badass reporters and editors left to salvage what little life there is left on a sinking ship.