FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2020
Kirk Herbstreit goes to church: Kirk Herbstreit seems like the world's nicest person. It could be that he actually is.
For that reason, we've always liked his work. That said, who is Kirk Herbstreit?
Herbstreit, age 51, is a longtime college football analyst for ABC Sports and its corporate partner, ESPN.
As a high school quarterback, he was the state of Ohio's player of the year. As a senior in college, he was co-captain of the Ohio State team, as his father had been before him.
Thirty years later, he's still upbeat and youthful in his approach on the air. He's a positive person who seems to like the game he covers and who seems to like the people who play and coach it.
We like people who like other people. Last Saturday, Herbstreit wept.
We weren't watching the ESPN show in question. But by Monday morning, the Washington Post, on its web site, was pushing the incident hard.
You see, the incident was already part of the Washington Post's new religion. For ourselves, we think that religion is a bit misguided. We aren't sure that the new religion leads to good results.
We'll briefly explain that assessment below. For now, the on-line column the Post was promoting had started off like this:
BOREN (9/5/20): The college football season has begun and, during an era of protests and a coronavirus pandemic, ESPN’s first Saturday telecast was anything but usual.
The hosts were far apart, broadcasting from their homes rather than appearing before a boisterous, sign-loving crowd on a campus somewhere, and “College GameDay” devoted time to the protests of systemic racism and police brutality that have taken place across the country.
Kirk HerbHow do you listen to these stories and not feel pain and not want to help?” Herbstreit asked, weeping.streit broke down in tears as he spoke of the need to change. He shared a quote, attributed to Benjamin Franklin, that he had been given by Stanford Coach David Shaw and he wondered what will follow, asking, “What will lead to change?”
“[He] said, ‘Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.’ The Black community is hurting. ... How do you listen to these stories and not feel pain and not want to help?” Herbstreit asked, weeping.
Like Jesus, Herbstreit wept. In corporate fashion, the column had started with a tweet from ESPN itself:
"Heartfelt and powerful," the corporate self-promotion said. Boren's column started with that piece of scripture from the new feel-good religion.
Just this once, we'll be honest! At first, we were annoyed with Herbstreit himself.
Herbstreit has been around college football for roughly 35 years. Young black guys have been exploited, have been bought and sold and discarded, within that corporate complex forever.
Our first reaction to this heartfelt conduct was a bit uncharitable. Where the freak has this mofo been? we found ourselves starting to ask.
Have reports of recent police shooting deaths really been Herbstreit's introduction to question of racial justice? In a world where newspapers like the Washington Post have never given a flying felafel about the lives and the interests of the nation's black kids,we'll admit that this was our first reaction.
We'll admit it—we were annoyed with Herbstreit himself. We'll admit that his heartfelt conduct struck us as perhaps a bit faux.
As the week has proceeded, we have reconsidered. The very next morning, the Washington Post filled its pages with various holdings of its new religion. We began to conjure a new assessment:
It occurred to us that the villains here were ESPN, and more so the Washington Post!
Our own religion stretches back to the liberal / progressive frameworks of the 1960s. Those frameworks stressed the phoniness of "race" as a basic concept.
Those frameworks also stressed this philosophical / organizational idea:
Black and white together!
Today, those frameworks have been widely abandoned. Corporate ghouls who don't give a damn have created a new religion.
Tuesday's garbage-can front-page report was part of that new religion. In manifestations of that garbage-can corporate conduct, the Post (and other mainstream organs) discuss the deaths of the innocent or the apparently innocent—but only if they're "black!"
"Whites" and Hispanics get disappeared. So do all the "others."
The new religion is built around the deaths of the apparently innocent. If the decedents aren't sufficiently innocent, the Washington Post and other news organs will start reinventing key facts.
This is the deeply depressing process known as "sanitization." We still plan to discuss the topic at length, but it will be a depressing endeavor.
People like Herbstreit may have motored along not thinking about these things all that much. Suddenly, they're hit with vast waves of the new religion.
They may not know that they're being misled and misinformed. Meanwhile, the basic precepts of the new religion encourage them to feel guilt.
Tuesday's Post was full of work out of the new sacred texts. Consider only what occurred in the endless, garbage-can report which led the paper's front page:
The paper published a sprawling report about the women who have been shot and killed by police officers across the nation since the start of 2015.
According to the Post's own data, 62.3% of these women have been "white." But in the Post's gigantic report, it described the shooting deaths of seven such women. Only one of those women was "white"—and the story gets worse after that, almost comically so.
The one "white" decedent was Rhogena Nicholas, age 55 at death. She was shot and killed during a massively bungled no-knock raid in Houston just last year.
(Her husband, Dennis Tuttle, age 59, was also shot and killed during the bungled raid.)
Because Nicholas and Tuttle were "white," the event has generated virtually no national coverage or discussion. And good God:
When the Post's reporters discussed this case in Tuesday's report—starting in paragraph 76!—they seemed to be unaware of a major development in the case, a development which had occurred in late July of this year!
That may simply reflect the sloth involved in journalistic religions. It may reflect the lack of interest paid to the shooting deaths of the "white" and Hispanic and "other."
At any rate, regular people get fed this gruel on a regular basis. As a general matter, they don't know that they're being misinformed, misled.
The Post has invented religions before. Readers didn't know they were being conned when Ceci Connolly spent twenty months inventing sacred tales about the evils of Candidate Gore in 1999 and 2000.
The apparent source of that (deeply destructive) religion was loathing of President Clinton. The apparent source of today's new religion is a new conceptual strategy aimed at creating a vast racial guilt.
People like Herbstreit have possibly skated along, looking the other way every step of the way. Suddenly, within the last decade, a new movement has come along and has flipped some basic scripts.
In the 1960s, no one was dumb enough to think they were "privileged" because they hadn't been shot and killed by the police for no earthly reason. Now, people are told that the very fact that they're alive is a sign of their vast "privilege."
In the 1960s, the fact that you weren't being shot and killed for no reason wasn't seen as "privilege." It was seen as the norm, as a basic part of citizenship.
If others were being shot and killed, that was called "discrimination." Liberals and progressives were supposed to fight against such discrimination, though on the whole nobody cared—certainly not the gang of strivers who ended up writing the Post.
The production of racial guilt has become the new approach. People who never lifted a finger or thought about any of this are easily swept along.
The Washington Post has been a cesspool concerning the lives of black kids. "But now, the heart is filled with gold, as if it were a purse."
The paper which didn't care about "race" now cares about nothing else. And as in the past, so too today:
The paper is willing to do and say anything to hold itself free of blame.
We like Kirk Herbstreit's work. He may be the world's nicest person. In our experience, most people are.
According to the corporate priests, his conduct was heartfelt that day. We aren't here to say that it wasn't.
For ourselves, we would still argue for black and white together, even as various people are getting shot to death. We'd even recommend black and blue together—but that involves the ability to imagine yourself in the shoes of someone else!
Still coming: Sanitizations—the misstatements our tribe has been sold
We didn't get to it this week: We still recall it as one of the greatest questions ever asked on TV.
"What difference does it make?" Professor Gates quickly asked, with an air of amusement. He was speaking with Ava DuVernay, who had said and done nothing wrong.
In essence, Gates was challenging the very idea that people belong to "races." People will surely be treated that way. But here's a question straight outta the past:
Do you believe "races" exist?