TV Timeout: Covering The Issue

Analysts from numerous media outlets have voiced their opinion on Golf Digest’s decision to use Paulina Gretzky on its most recent cover. Former PGA Tour Senior VP/Strategic Development Donna Orender asked, “Why is it that the only women who seem to grace their covers in the last eight years or so are women that either are half-dressed or models? What is that greater message to women, to young girls who want to play this game, and to men?” Golf Channel's Gary Williams: “You don’t think there is any merit to having somebody who is the daughter of one of the most famous athletes that the sports world has known in the last 50 years?” Orender responded, “Will that make me interested in the game, seriously? No, I’m going to look at it and say, ‘Whoa, she is really a beautiful young woman. Wow, Dustin Johnson is lucky. Let me go back and do my other stuff,' but it is not going to get me in the game.” Williams asked, “Do you understand that they are in the business of selling magazines as much, if not more so, than growing the game of golf?” Orender replied, “We all understand that. … But I do believe in the creative good. I do believe in quality, and good and thoughtful and moral business decisions here. And I believe that there is a great disservice being done to an audience that clearly does want more information about the best athletes in the world, and we are not seeing that.” Orender: “If Golf Digest does not grow the golf business, and if they really don’t see that, then they are going to have a shrinking business. So when young girls all over the world can’t see role models, then what are we saying to them? Go play another sport” (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 4/5).

DRIVING HOME THEIR POINT: ESPN’s Jemele Hill said, “So I guess Beyonce will be on the cover of a fishing magazine sometime soon" (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 4/6). The Wall Street Journal's Jason Gay: "There is a media deficit in terms of attention paid to women's professional athletics and it's not just exclusive to this cover" ("Crowd Goes Wild," FS1, 4/4). ESPN’s Pablo Torre said Golf Digest “can do whatever they want. It’s a capitalistic enterprise, freedom of speech. But we can evaluate them on how honest and forthright they’re being about their intentions and to get more new people interested in the game is a farcical explanation” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 4/4). ESPN’s Bomani Jones said, “So you’re telling me somebody who actually plays the game can’t get on the cover of your magazine but you can put a woman who dates a golfer and say she’s giving golf advice. That’s the most ridiculous part” (“Highly Questionable,” ESPN2, 4/4).

BE-LABORING THE POINT: ESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg said of the NCAA, “I’ve noticed them working very aggressively to realign conferences to make more money. … I’ve never seen them working very aggressively to address any of the points that the Northwestern kids are bringing up” (“Mike & Mike," ESPN Radio, 4/7).         

OUT OF SIGHT: CBS’ Clark Kellogg, on TNT’s Charles Barkley calling fans idiots for their criticism of the net’s Teamcast, “Well, he’s not on Twitter, so he doesn’t care” (“Kentucky-Wisconsin,” TBS, 4/5).

REPORT CARD: ESPN’s Jay Bilas, on Saturday’s Final Four: “It wasn’t so much about straight A’s as it was about straight cash” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 4/6).

LOVE IT LOUD: ESPN’s Bram Weinstein said of the AFL L.A. Kiss’ home debut, “Thank you, Anaheim. We are going to rock and roll all night, and party every down” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 4/6).

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