Monday, May 16, 2005

Television, Fascism, Baseball

Television: Committed and The Contender Absent This Fall

There is no justice at NBC as two of my favorite shows on that network, Committed and The Contender, are left out of the network’s Fall TV schedule. I am not sure whether this means that both of these shows are gone forever, but I think this is almost certainly true for Committed. The Contender might come back as a mid-season show I suppose, but there’s no word on that so I am not holding my breath. For now, I will enjoy the last two episodes of the show that made boxing truly interesting to me. Even non-sports fans enjoyed the show when they gave it a chance, but apparently not enough people did. I would recommend catching the next to last episode coming up this Sunday for those who have yet to give the show a shot.

Fascism: Enough with the Name Calling Already

Public comments like the ones George Lucas made, about how his movie mirrors current events, makes me even less likely to want to see his latest Star Wars episode anytime soon. Disagreements over foreign policy and harsh criticism of the Bush administration are more than fine with me. However, I do find the reckless use of the word fascism to be hypocritical. Call a liberal a “communist” and there are screams of McCarthyism and complaints that you are poisoning political discourse. Make unsubstantiated labels of "fascist" on the current president and you are cheered both abroad and in faculty lounges across the country. For most people, supporting Fascism is a far greater evil, but yet the label's use by those on the Left is widely accepted.

Baseball: Give Some Love for the Orioles

That aside, there is a far greater injustice happening today and that involves baseball media coverage. Now, I understand that the Red Sox and the Yankees represent two very large media markets. I also understand that the their recent increased rivalry and the fact that they have the two highest payrolls in baseball make them interesting to even the most casual baseball fan. It is outrageous, though, that baseball coverage focuses almost exclusively on those two teams along with the steroid scandal. The teams with the two best records in the league, the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox, faced each other in a very tightly contested and exciting four-game set.

Did this get any serious national coverage? No! It apparently was far more important to make note of the Red Sox and Yankees beating up on the bottom of the AL West than it was to cover two teams doing better than them so far. When anyone covers the Orioles at all, they usually fail to mention that they have done better than the Red Sox and the Yankees. Instead, they just focus on Sosa thinking he is the big story. The reality is that the Orioles have the AL MVP with Shortstop Miguel Tejada on their team as well as one of the best young pitchers in baseball with Erik Bedard but the media hardly or MLB PR hardly ever points out this fact.

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