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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Erin Andrews peephole tape draws Bill O'Reilly, Michelle Beisner

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The search trend that will not die, "Erin Andrews peephole tape" just drew in its latest mainstream media victim of the drug of titillation, Bill O'Reilly, then for good measure, Jason Witlock of the Kansas City Star unwittingly throws Michelle Beisner into the mix.

Now, Michelle Beisner's the top search on Google Trends because of the Erin Andrews peep show video scandal, Witlock digging up that story, and the male desire to see her, too, (90 percent of my 34,000 video viewers - as of this writing - on this matter are men) and Bill O'Reilly has the nerve to bring two more blondes on his show to talk about a blonde, Erin Andrews, who's privacy was violated, and show the offending video mainly because CBS decided to do it first within the mainstream media camp! Oh brother.

Plus, what we have is a great case of racial profiling.

My video on this matter (which has one very cool photo of Erin Andrews just being the normal person she is and using an Apple MacBook) of the CBS action stands:

And regarding, Bill O'Reilly, I will add more. First, I did not embed the video of Bill's show for obvious reasons, but for those who feel I should at least reference it, here it is - LINK - within a great blog post by Will Brinson at FanHouse, who takes the popular conservative hothead to task for his segment. Second, I'll go a few steps beyond where he went.

What Bill O'Reilly does is add sauce to the "Erin goose" by inviting Fox News.com correspondent Courtney Friel and Fox News assignment editor and blogger Jane Skinner on, both blonde and famous for errors of a titillating nature. In Skinner's case, she's known for mistakenly saying "top cock" rather than "top cop" twice in a Fox News broadcast, leading to a yet another viral video on YouTube. Friel's claim to fame is posing in a bikini for the soft-porn magazine Maxim. Gawker discovered the photos after Friel removed them from her website.  Then, Gawker's Ryan Tate (who's now the editor of Valleywag) wrote a new post about her pictures, calling her a "bonehead" in the process.

Bonehead? Bonehead? That is racial profiling, folks, piling on the classic "dumb blonde" image, but more on that later; O'Reilly uses titillation to talk about, well, titillation.  What was done shows the primal genius of Fox News and explains why their ratings are so high.  Bill's 100 percent correct that what was done to Erin - and I stand corrected that it was in a hotel room and not an athletic club as I reported - is cyberstalking.

But given that the audience for this news is male, Bill should have had Fox News male anchors on his show talking about the matter, and not Jane Skinner and Courtney Friel.  Why?  Because first, it would send a message that men in media have a level of respect for their female collegues, second, the obvious question given the backgrounds of Frier and Skinner is "Have you been cyberstalked?" but Bill didn't even go in that direction and thus had the wrong guests on.  He focused squarely on the view that a crime was committed - and he's right - and that's it.  But in fashioning the segment O'Reilly caused a "snails tail" relationship: we talk about the blonde with blondes who have the same level of Internet popularity as the blonde, just like Michelle Beisner. 


Michelle Beisner's described by Witlock as "former Denver Broncos cheerleader and aspiring D-list Hollywood actress-type. Blonde. White Woman" (but forgot to note, or perhaps didn't care to discover, or didn't see it as important that Beisner's an NFL Network correspondent) who's innocent reply to a text sent by ESPN's star anchor Stuart Scott (who's black) was picked up by an over-the-shoulder peering Al Daulerio - a sports blogger and editor with Gawker media product Deadspin - at a Super Bowl party, then was repeated by Daulerio in Deadspin.

The result was to imply that Scott and Beisner were having an affair as opposed to what commonly happens in the days leading up to a Super Bowl (I've been to seven of 'em): the late night search for a way to get into the next party and go all night long.  I'd bet even money that's what the text was about; Beisner may have contacted her friend, the well-connected Scott, who's married, regarding help getting into another party.

Deadspin has never appologized for the blog post.

While Witlock is correct in bring up how Deadspin poorly handled that story as well as  how Deadspin started reporting on the Andrews video, Witlock's depiction of Andrews and Beisner (Andrews as "Barbie" and Beisner as "D-list...Blonde. White Woman" rather than NFL Network correspondent) is tasteless and smacks of the same racial profiling we complain about as African Americans. (And I will follow up later, on regarding what happened to Professor Henry Louis "Skip" Gates at the hands of the Cambridge Police.)

No one wants to be placed in a box where they're expected to be a certain way because of their race and sex.  Just because someone's white and blonde doesn't mean they don't know anything; in my experience, perhaps as a reaction to society, it's the reverse.  I had a long tearful talk a while back with a friend of mine who's in San Francisco real estate (and blonde, and tall, and attractive, and smart) about this because she'd had it with people at the time and went on a drinking binge.  (She's fine now.)

It doens't matter if the person's white and blonde, or black and male, we as a World industrial society must stop placing them in a box assuming that they're dumb or dangerous.  Bill O'Reilly did this, Jason Witlock really did it, the Cambridge police "acted stupidly" (to quote President Obama), and Erin Andrews and Professor Gates have been the victims of it.

Enough, already.

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