Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Miss on Miss Alabama

Political correctness went too far when ESPN apologized for its broadcasters' appreciation of Miss Alabama's beauty.

A Miss on Miss Alabama

One (of many) of the bad parts of politics is the out-of-control enforcement of political correctness.

And there is no better current example than the ruckus over broadcasters' comments on the beauty of a beauty queen during Monday night's national collegiate football championship game.

A news story in Wednesday's New York Times is one of dozens carrying headlines such as "Musburger Under Fire for Remarks During Game."

If you missed it -- and don't see how you could have -- ESPN issued an apology for veteran Brent Musburger's remarks regarding the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron. She was sitting in the stands with her boyfriend's parents. She happens to be the current Miss Alabama.

As the camera focused on 23-year old Katherine Webb, Musburger and broadcast partner Kirk Herbstreit traded comments regarding the plainly obvious fact that she is gorgeous.

"What a beautiful woman," said Brent.

"Wow!" said Kirk.

"You quarterbacks get all the good-looking women," said Brent, a reference to the fact Kirk was an Ohio State QB who married an Ohio State cheerleader.

"AJ's doing some things right down in Tuscaloosa," said Kirk.

Now maybe it's me but I think that a beautiful woman who enters beauty pageants probably is used to and doesn't much mind the attention of those who appreciate beauty.

In fact, even though some labeled Musburger as "gushing" and "creepy," the lovely Miss Alabama later told the Associated Press, "I didn't look at it as creepy at all...it was kind of nice."

So who is ESPN apologizing to? College football fans who don't want to look at stunning women?

Or was it just that Musburger's in his 70's and Webb is in her 20's? And, if so, shouldn't there be some group complaining about charges of ageism?

Give me a freakin' break. There are enough real problems in this country to worry about. And sports broadcasters (or anybody) who harmlessly express appreciation of natural, God-given gifts, are not among them.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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