Saturday, July 25, 2009

Erin Andrews Video Scandal: The Sexism/Sports Culture Connection; Demand for Peephole Glimpse Still High, Maybe Not ESPN After All!

From the St. Petersburg Times, "Was Erin Andrews Video Born From a Sexist Sports Journalism Culture?":

That uproar you heard this week over a nude video of ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews isn't just fan boys salivating over explicit pictures of sports media's biggest sex symbol splashed across cyberspace.

Indeed, that blurry video, taken illegally with a peephole camera as Andrews primped herself in a hotel room, has wrenched the sports world into an uncomfortable discussion: Just what role does the industry play in the mass marketing of female journalists' sex appeal?

And as the issues percolate, a reporter with growing fame as an object of beauty has found her privacy ripped away by a creep with a camera and an Internet connection.

"I think all of us in the media have fostered this culture, in the hopes of driving more people to our networks, our columns and our radio shows," said CBS Sports reporter Lesley Visser, a 30-year veteran recently named No. 1 female sportscaster by the American Sportscasters Association, in an e-mail to the St. Petersburg Times.

"Every woman in this business has dealt with unwanted attention, but this culture makes it more difficult," Visser added. "Erin's America is the merger of a beautiful woman and a lawless Internet."

In the way only a juicy media scandal can, coverage of the sizzling controversy has burned some news outlets. The New York Post and CBS News in particular have taken criticism for showing images from the video, earning their own audience spikes while ruthlessly re-victimizing the sportscaster.
Also, more on that. See Rochelle Nikita, at Associated Content, "Erin Andrews Peephole Videos and Erin Andrews Peephole Pictures: Setting the Record Straight":

So let's get one thing straight about people searching for Erin Andrews peephole videos, peephole pictures, Rapidshare links, and so forth. They think if you take Erin Andrews' side in the peephole incident, you're a feminist, and a sad excuse for one at that. If you think she got what friend. What's that all about?

I typically try not to go the extra mile to insult my readers. But if they think insults in my direction are going to change my mind about Erin Andrews, they can forget about it.

Now I'll admit, Erin Andrews wasn't necessarily doing all she could to prevent something like this. For one, standing naked in your hotel room for several minutes (unless you're hired for a few nights by a United States governor) is not typical for most women I know ....

But one thing is for sure: just because I defend Erin Andrews a little bit does not mean I am a feminist. Far from it, actually. But do I recommend other women act like Erin Andrews? Hardly. I hope you're a little smarter. Erin might have brains when it comes to journalism and reporting, but evidently not too much common sense. You'd think anyone would know better than to wear their birthday suit while curling their hair and ironing their pants. It's a burn hazard.

And that's from a woman! Looks like Christine Brennan's not the only one spouting that line.

this feminist writer takes issue with Brennan (and calls her a "sexist"):

I found this article (that is an excellent example of intelligent feminist commentary) which shares Brennan's catty comments on Erin Andrews. Everything she had to say was like one rape myth after another: she was asking for it because she is sexy, it was her fault for flirting with men, next time she should be more responsible, etc, etc. My question to you is, why do women constantly feel the need to show a difference between women who are victimized and themselves? Erin is being blamed for the crime committed against her, for the same reasons all attractive women are when they are harassed, abused or attacked in some way. According to the masses, because of the face they were born with, the way they wear their hair, and the clothes on their back, women, and especially attractive women, were "asking for it." I think humans have this desperate need, when something horrible like this happens, to find some reason why it could never happen to THEM. In actuality, sex crimes can be committed against anyone, regardless of how they dress, how pretty they are, or even how visible they are - because sex crimes aren't about any of these things; they are about power. They are crimes of opportunity, and crimes of insecurity. Sex crimes do not happen because of anything a woman did or did not do; they happen because she simply exists.

I had dismissed Erin's story as something I was going to write about until I saw the article and realized that Erin's story is my story, and your story, and the story of, to quote Gloria Steinem, any woman who "chooses to behave like a full human being." Erin has been met by the armies of the status quo and needs her sisterhood, but unfortunately, it seems in this case her peers are the status quo. When will we stop pointing fingers at each other and put the blame where it belongs – SOLELY on the people, mostly men, who commit these crimes against us? Are we too afraid of sounding like feminists to actually be one? Where is Erin's sisterhood now that she needs it most?
But wait! Here's Lanie Grace (NSFW), "Erin Andrews Video: No Pity at all For Her":

I know I am going against the popular crowd but honestly, I don't feel any pity for Erin Andrews, not one bit. The whole thing wreaks of being a publicity stunt and furthermore, this is a woman who exploits her sexuality for fame and glory so please don't waste your time trying to convince me that men simply love her expertise on any given sport ....

One of my favorite lines from her attorney is "That we are still looking for the whereabouts of the unknown perpetrator. Here is the fault in that bogus statement.

"Hottie" knows where she has been staying and definitely being the celebrity she is indeed, it stands to reason she and her security people know exactly who is staying in the room next to her. Certainly the fact these videos were shot in two different Hotels should narrow it down some I would think.

I do not believe for a second the exact location of the two hotels and exact room numbers are still a mystery to anyone in her camp. I guess we are supposed to believe she parades around naked, shaking her ass like Tawny Kitaen on Whitesnake's car in so many hotels that she can't remeber which one it is. Yeah makes sense to me. NOT

Seriously girls, How many of us parade around in the total nude waving a curling iron prancing around in porn star mode while casually getting dressed. Better yet, how many of us curl our hair in the total nude under any circumstance?

I guess women are torn!

Here's USA Today on IndyCar driver Danica Patrick, "Patrick: Video Demonstrates Issues of Internet Age." Also, from the Sports Journalists' Association News, "Woman Sports Presenter in Nude Video Shock."

But here's more on "how she deserved it," at the guys' sports website Deadspin, which helped break the story wide open last week, "
The One Where Everyone Talks About That Thing That Everyone's Talking About":

Save the sensitivity for Ms. Erin Andrews. Remember, she is a reporter; and reporters have no morals when it comes to getting a story for their careers (Geraldo, Cooper, ESPN's anchors).

How many times do paparazzi and reporters force their way into people's "private" lives, just to get a story? We always hear of everyone's privacy being exposed in the media, but not the reporters and anchors themselves.

Or how about this guy, at the Los Angeles Daily News? "MEDIA: To Catch an Erin Andrews Predator":

This is not to imply in any way, shape or form that she's remotely at fault for finding herself making national news as the victim in a hotel peephole video scandal, one that has her attorney threatening all kinds of punishment to anyone who dares show the clip or else they're an accessory to a crime.

But ...

In the same media-crazed, image-conscious, ethics-breaching world she works in, could she be that na ve to think she's impervious to perverted behavior and possibly taken better steps to protect herself from unwanted attention?

That maybe if she demanded more take her seriously and acted at least a bit more indignant of the fact that Playboy has awarded her the title, "America's sexiest sportscaster," the past twoyears in a made-for-Internet poll. We could try to overlook those times when she dressed inappropriately on national TV football, basketball or baseball assignments.

Speaking , we in the media know plenty of ways to objectify female reporters who don't deserve it.

But ...

Most of them try to nip that kind of treatment in the bud when they realize their career arc hardly will go far if that's how they're generally perceived.

We're in full agreement with the immediate response to this by USA Today's Christine Brennan, who launched a Tweet the other day that, of course, was immediately misconstrued: "Women sports journalists need to be smart and not play the frat house. There are tons of nuts out there. Erin Andrews incident is bad, but to add perspective: there are 100s of women sports journalists who have never had this happen to them."

That's something every female sports person has to be thinking about as they decide if they're more in tune with creating an image of media maven or a credible news gatherer.

You can try to have it both ways. But ...
Blog Prof has an analysis, "USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan on Erin Andrews illegal nude peephole video: SHE WAS ASKING FOR IT!."

Okay, and NSFW (and not linked), you'll find full-nude screen shots at The Dirty, "Breaking News: The Plot Thickens, Erin Andrews Was Not a Victim," and the Something Awful Forums, "Sexist and Exploitative to Post Erin Andrews Peephole Pictures?" Plus, see this very critical report at Associated Content, "
Erin Andrews Peephole Video on CBS and Fox News: Erin Andrews Peephole Video Goes Mainstream Media 'Disguised' as the News." Also, "Is Bill O'Reilly a Hypocrite for Showing Erin Andrews Video?"

And, in response to Lisa Bloom's comments this week that simply viewing the tape was illegal, see "
Erin Andrews Nude Video Means We Should Regulate the Internet?" And, "So Now It Is a Crime to Even Watch the Erin Andrews Video?" (Reposting this one).

Okay, here's an interesting legal analysis, "
The Erin Andrews Chronicles: A (Semi) Regular Look at Sports and the Law."

And on the continuing interest in the story, from
an Indian newspaper:

Interest refuses to die down in Leaked Erin Andrews Peephole Tape Video. Watching the video has become a rage among teenaged Americans and sports fans. It is the hottest search on the internet for the whole last week.

And, "Erin Andrews Peephole Tape Video Spreading Like Wildfire."

But don't miss Don Chavez (but NSFW), who offers a new theory of the case, "
Erin Andrews Peephole Scandal: the Other Victims & the Inside Job Theory":

Without a doubt, people love to look at pictures of Erin Andrews on the Internet. Just like they would look at photos of any other attractive female, whether she be a sportscaster, a Playmate, a Maxim Hometown hottie, the latest sex scandal teacher, or some random woman with a disgruntle ex-boyfriend. The Internet is not what caused this to happen.

The individual who videoed her did not follow her around the country. There were six video clips, all shot of her in the same hotel room, which were on Daily Motion. Once this story broke, those clips were made into a five minute compilation complete with the Sportscenter theme song at the end. So any talk you hear of more video is just someone referring to a smaller portion of the compilation that you “haven’t seen yet”.

Now as you will see below, the user Goblazers1 had a total of 40 videos uploaded to his account. This is the earliest known source of the videos on the Internet (which he has since removed), and Erin Andrews was not the only woman this individual had peeped on. As you will see in these exclusive screen shots that can only be found on, one of the rooms have a likeness to that of the room Erin Andrews was filmed in.

However, one thing is for sure, not all of these peep holes were in the same location. So this could indicated that Goblazers1 has several peep holes at his disposal, is a traveling peeping tom that has other voyeurs who let him uses their peep holes, or he is a collector of voyeur footage.


smitty1e said...

The question to wrestle here, as the surveillance gear gets increasingly cheaper, is to what degree we foster a sick business model.
It's a very practical application of the Uncertainty Principle.

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