category: culture, category: media

Americans’ Faux Outrage Over Athletes’ Interviews: First Sherman, Now Miller

Some quick thoughts on the media landscape.

Faux outrage has become a phenomenon the past five years. Why? The reason is simple: due to our ever-growing use of (read: addiction to) social media, everyone feels the need to say something, about something, all the time. This leads us to say something, about something — that usually does not need saying.

We have seen this play out recently in America’s obsession with athletes’ interviews.

First, it was Richard Sherman and the now-infamous Erin Andrews post-game interview. Headlines were ablaze, Andrews was the top trending topic on Yahoo!, and hundreds of posts and pundits weighed in. The outrage even went as far as to question whether Andrews was ever in danger (what?), whether Sherman is a “thug”, and all manner dramatics worthy of a 1940’s newspaper-headline writer.

Then yesterday came the Bode Miller interview where an NBC reporter, Christin Cooper, asked about his recently deceased brother, prompting the alpine medalist to tear up. Ordinarly, this is not anything about which to write home. A touching interview, an emotional interview? Got it. Duly noted. Nothing here that should prompt outrage. But Americans are bored — and espousing opinion on social media is the cure — so we feign outrage. Twitter lit up with condemnation of the interview, continuing strong today — never mind that Miller himself has stated he felt there was nothing wrong with the interview.

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Yet the outrage-crowd cries: “So what if Bode himself wasn’t bothered by it? I’m getting RT’s galore!”

Creating stories where there are none? Check. Feigning outrage for which there is no basis? Check. Welcome to 21st Century America.

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