Oscar Pistorius – Remember him?


My old blogging pal Charles Modiano has a provocative post over at POPSspot about the disparity in coverage between the murder charges facing Aaron Hernandez and the “Blade Runner,” Oscar Pistorius the double amputee who was such a sensation in the lead-up to the 2012 London Olympics, who has just been indicted in the murder of his girlfriend.

An excerpt from Modi:

While we should not expect Pistorius to receive NFL-like coverage, that just does not explain the crack vs. cocainesque disparity in attention.

If the “crack vs. cocaine” analogy implies Oscar’s white privilege at work, it would be consistent with ESPN’s track record. How much tied-in corporate interests are at work also needs exploring. There is a great article over at The Atlantic today on The Gloabl Dominance of ESPN, and many would argue such dominance is grounded in an economic model rooted in promoting narratives of white male privilege and supremacy. No, not the pointy-hat kind, just the see-no-evil-for-a-decade-Lance-Armstrong-Joe Paterno-and-owners-are-Gods kind.

While “Numbers Never Lie”, some ESPN context is needed to fend off predictable “resistance-without-research” responses often fueled by a knee-jerk “anything-but-race” mentality.

Read the whole thing here.


One comment

  1. Your entry immediately previous to this began: “I know the drill – pro football is by far the most popular sport in America today. ESPN has a huge financial incentive to cover the NFL ad nauseam. They also have a lot of program time to fill across their platforms.”

    Hernandez plays in the overwhelmingly most popular league in America, on one of the highest-profile teams in the sport. Many football fans have memories of watching Hernandez make plays. In addition, he is an American, and will be on trial in the USA.

    Pistorius is a sprinter from South Africa. The average American–rightly or not–cares about non-American sprinters for at most two out of every 208 weeks. Pistorius is on trial abroad for a crime committed abroad. I can guarantee you that if any other South African sprinter faced the same charges–regardless of skin color–the American/ESPN coverage of that trial would make the Pistorius coverage look like a media blitz.

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