Tuesday, February 8, 2011

An Open Letter to Lawrence O'Donnell

Last night you made it clear that you are not a football fan. There is nothing wrong with that per se, but then perhaps you should do a little basic homework before having a segment called "Football as Socialism."

Tonight, you made clear that you also have nothing but disdain for football fans, and that you feel confident in assuming that we are all as ignorant as Sarah Palin on subjects like the Amazon Rain Forest and Tibet.

Since you failed to perform some of the most basic information gathering in preparation for these two segments, perhaps you might take the time to listen to two points:

  1. In the Monday evening segment, you actually embarrassed yourself -- even if you weren't knowledgeable enough to know it. Your points about the extortion of precious public resources to essentially build the factories for this industry were well made. I agree with you completely. Your focus on slamming the "million dollar players" was a little cheap, since you can only focus on them because the owners have succeeded in keeping their own financial largess hidden from us. You also failed to note the fact that these players typically have a very short shelf life and often spend the rest of their lives significantly disabled by their chosen occupation. Yes, they choose it, but nobody drafts coal miners either and I assume you would have slightly more sympathy for their plight vis-a-vis the health costs involved. It is the owners, not the players, that benefit most from this situation. But the truly embarrassing part was the fact that you could cite the cost of the newest Packer stadium in a segment about sports "socialism" and fail to note that the Packers are a COMMUNITY OWNED team! You either didn't know that or deliberately avoided mentioning it because then Green Bay wouldn't have helped to make your point. Shame on you. The Packer model is so threatening to the other owners that they instituted a rule stating that it could never happen again, thus protecting their ability to hold the fans of every other community hostage to the demands we both decry. Profits go back into the team or the community. No one individual is allowed enough ownership share to take control. DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
  2. Tonight's segment on the Groupon Superbowl ad issue was just as bad, and more personally insulting to some of your audience. Since you, yourself, do not enjoy the sport, you allow yourself to hold in your mind a cartoon image of what a football fan must be. Guess what? Many of us are women. Many of us have professional positions and/or hold advanced degrees. Not only are many of us well acquainted with issues of global warming and the oppression in Tibet, but I feel confident in saying that at least a few football fans have probably traveled there. Was the insult necessary to make your point? No. It was gratuitous sneering at people you clearly know nothing about. How ironic that the person taking Keith's chair would spend two segments in a row insulting football and its fans. You must be feeling so secure these days!

I liked you as a sub, and thought you just might do a credible job of taking over. Whatever else people may have said about Keith, the man did his homework. You should, too.

I watch your program every night, but there are limits to how much I will continue to suffer such sloppy work. Three strikes and you are off my evening schedule.

(Oh, and that's a baseball metaphor, in case you didn't know.)

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