What If There Was An ESPN For Girls?

Illustration for article titled What If There Was An ESPN For Girls?

Today's Wall Street Journal examines a refreshing shift for the news media: ESPN is hiring real journalists all of a sudden, snapping them up from struggling print media outlets, a strategy the paper credits for them kicking ass on the story on how all the baseball players take steroids. (I think we can also credit the strategy for Stephen A. Smith, but whatevs.) Anyway, here's the thing: the guys in the picture they use are ug-ly. And they're not even, like, fatly-distinguished-interesting ugly, like Tim Russert or Aaron Brown, they're just sorta meh boring. Needless to say, I am not waiting for similar trends to go down in the world of lady-journalism. For one thing, there is no ESPN of, um, any ultimately meaningless but harmless and much-beloved female-dominated pastime. But I mean, say for a second there was a female-dominated pastime so important to females they demanded the very best and shrewdest journalists covering its intricacies, photogenicity be damned.

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And taking advantage of the print media doldrums, the network dropped the big dollars to buy up Nikki Finke, Robin Givhan, Lisa DePaulo, Dana Priest, Kim Masters, Sharon Waxman...name your favorite lady journalist here. And they all had a 24-hour-news outlet on which they could weigh in on anything they wanted. I bet they would all pool their interests and experiences and find a common theme! It would be something like, "How men are fucking up the world."

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Thank God there's sports to keep them all distracted!

Why A Cable TV Network Is Hiring The Ink-Stained. [WSJ]

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DISCUSSION

jennasauers
Jenna Sauers

I've always thought of fashion as being a lot like professional sports - an anodyne activity in itself that ends up encouraging deceitful business practices

[www.journallive.co.uk]

making its stars into drug users

[en.wikipedia.org]

and capturing the dreams of various underprivileged youth from impoverished countries

[www.commondreams.org]

who, though talented and excitable, would probably just be better off staying in school.

There's also a sometimes unhealthy focus on body image and size in both industries (most professional football players are obese according to BMI; one 300-pound 22-year-old Giants player died of a heart attack during preseason training a few years back, and the NFL feels about as much compunction to do anything about that as the fashion industry does to do anything about the three models who died of anorexia).

But while sport is thought of as a kind of expression of the human spirit, fashion is just perceived as silly. ESPN is "real journalism"; fashion journalism is a wasteland with no editorial/advertising divide. (A couple critics like Horyn and Givhan stand out from the blighted landscape).

Do these parallels occur to anyone else, or am I crazy?