I was hesitant to post about this topic today because it clearly falls into the “That’s Exactly the Type of Attention They Want” bin, but it’s so absurd on so many levels that I couldn’t help it. If you haven’t seen any of the reports in the last day or so, a press release went out on Sunday night announcing the launch of an all-white professional basketball league based in Georgia that would allow only players born in the United States with both parents of Caucasian race to play in the league.
Now I’m trying to figure out what’s worse, the league itself or the media outlets giving it coverage. Sadly, and predictably, the media has jumped right on board to give these clowns exactly what they want. A quick Google search of the league’s name turns up coverage on everything from the Huffington Post and nbcsports.com to small basketball blogs and everything in between. Why? Other than page views and some back and forth in comments sections, what good does it do for any outlet to shine a light on this nonsense, bringing attention to the situation and running the commissioner’s absurd defense of his league? I’m not going to reproduce his quotes here and I’m not even going to mention the league’s name in this post – if you really want to read what the commissioner has to say, you can check out the Augusta Chronicle‘s coverage.
I’m also not going to turn this post into some rant on the media, the media’s responsibility to report the news, and the role media plays in today’s society. The topic is too broad and has way too many levels to even begin to be covered soundly in this space. You can argue all day long about what qualifies as “news” in our ever-changing media landscape of citizen journalism, social media and the steady dissipation of “traditional” media. Is every single detail of what Tiger Woods does behind closed doors qualify as news? You could find plenty of people who would make impassioned arguments for either side of the debate.
But can we all agree that this basketball league – and things like it – shouldn’t qualify as anything that deserves our attention? Covering their launch and running their ignorant press release quotes is like giving a bullhorn to a crazy person on the corner so that everyone can hear his nonsense.
Obviously, for the vast majority of web sites out there, the name of the game is site traffic and the money that comes with it. And that’s fine – I get it. Dime is a business too. But if page views are that important to you, run a photo gallery of Tiger Woods from his “rehab” stint in Mississippi instead of dressing up the inconsequential ignorance of a basketball league that will never get off the ground and calling it news coverage.
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