A Little Class, Please?

One of the things that draws fans to baseball is the idea (fallacious, but it’s out there), that it somehow reflects our better selves. The game, in theory, is about fair play, teamwork, dedication to craft. MLB has always exploited this vision of itself, even as it is a business that is too often unprincipled. In a recent column, Stephen King lambasted the league for pushing the sport’s marquee events into primetime hours past the bedtimes of kids (and working adults, for that matter). It’s not just the league, of course. As our friend Alex Belth notes, ESPN has been cashing in on Little Leaguers with coverage befitting grown men, a thoroughly distasteful practice. A little closer to home, Pete Abraham’s LoHud blog—one of my daily stops around the Internet horn—has recently been running a large illustrated ad for a strip club. To be frank, that really ticks me off. Boooo.

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  • While I’m totally against the late start times and such, I kind of fall in the camp of “if you don’t like the show, turn the channel”.
    Nobody forces you to view the website, and it’s not the responsibility of the newspaper to turn down revenue from any source, albeit a strip club or a gambling venue, or any other type of business.
    The newspaper’s job is to report the news, and somehow make a profit in the process.
    The responsibility of protecting the eyeballs of younger child falls solely on the person responsible for that child.
    Just as my parents would block out HBO, or other sources of my teen-year enjoyment, it’s not LoHud’s job to worry about the small minority of viewers that may be offended by an add they sold on the internet-based baseball blog they operate.
    In fact, I’d go one step further and conclude that majority of viewers/bloggers on that website are men in roughly the same age group as you or I.
    There may be the occasional child viewing the internet trying to find news or events related to their favorite baseball/sports team, and they may in fact stumble into an add for an adult club, but in the overall sceme of things going on in this world right now, if that’s all the kid happens to see while on the net, count your blessings.
    Maybe I just feel that too many people pick too many fights just to pick fights.
    Or, it could be the idea that I’m responsible for taking care of me and my own, and limit the stress I get from things completely outside of my control. I completely understand why it bothers you, YF, and I’m not trying to be in agreement with their choice, but it seems as if you’re really worrying about leaving the windows open in a house with no roof. It’s the internet.

    Brad August 20, 2008, 11:20 am
  • Maybe it’s because I don’t have kids, but I can’t really understand what the problem with the little league coverage is?
    Because they’re exploiting how good these kids are, or because they’re pointing out to other kids how good they need to be?

    Brad August 20, 2008, 11:33 am
  • I’m not naive. SI is floated by its swimsuit issue. But I think you’re missing the point. A baseball site is not an adult entertainment site, so the expectations of going there are different. The ad is tawdry. Forget what it means for “the kids” who come across it. I, personally, find it distasteful, classless, misogynistic, inappropriate for a legitimate news source. (Note, one does not find such ads in the WSJ or the NYT.) As for your suggestion that “it’s not LoHud’s job to worry about the small minority of viewers that may be offended by an add they sold on the internet,” i’d suggest that (a) it might not be that small a group, and (b) it is SPECIFICALLY their job to worry about the content of the things that appear in their space. Frankly, if they want to have ads for strip clubs, fine. Lots of respectable publications do. But there’s a way to segregate those ads, or at least a way to present them, that is a whole lot less distasteful. A big, motion-graphic of a stripper in the middle of your text column? Not the way to go. F-.

    YF August 20, 2008, 11:34 am
  • While I’m at it, I believe YES runs ads for a strip club (Carrot Top 9 million) during games.

    YF August 20, 2008, 11:39 am
  • I agree on most parts, YF. Again, I’m not trying to be combative on the issue. Clearly, you have a bigger issue with it than I do. And, I agree with the idea that LoHud could have probably segregated the add away from their main column, or made it less evident that it was such an add. But, again comparing the add(s) to ones found in WSJ or NYT is probably not the best argument either – my own New Haven Register or Hartford Courant run adds for such places – are they in the wrong because the NYT do not? Does it make them a less than respectable news outlet because they coose to run such adds? I don’t buy the paper to see where I can get the best deal on a lapdance, but regardless, it’s in there.
    Yes, maybe a baseball website isn’t the exact place you’d expect to see it, but a quick review of a large percentage of the gamers on that site will leave you feeling that the stripper is the least of the offensive material being tossed about.

    Brad August 20, 2008, 11:43 am
  • Shit, I think I need to call back my friends at the Bald Coconut and tell them those ads I just sold over our banner aren’t welcome…
    This is not going to be a fun phone call.

    SF August 20, 2008, 11:57 am
  • hahaha.
    The Bald Coconut? ha.

    Brad August 20, 2008, 12:05 pm
  • Well, based on the comments over at LoHud, I’d guess the majority of readers are between 13 and 16 years old. *ba-dum*

    Paul SF August 20, 2008, 1:06 pm
  • NoMaas.org has ads for kitten poison.

    LocklandSF August 20, 2008, 1:13 pm
  • Kitten poison = my dog.

    Brad August 20, 2008, 1:31 pm
  • Ceiling cat would disapprove, Brad. ;-)

    Atheose August 20, 2008, 1:59 pm