Monday, August 06, 2012

What did Lolo Jones do to the Old Gray Lady?

Deadspin asks the question:
This morning's New York Times sports section has an article about Lolo Jones, the virgin hurdler you're probably somewhat aware of titled, "For Lolo Jones, Everything Is Image." The thrust of the article is that the attention the media has lavished on Jones is not commensurate with her achievement, and (this part is key) Lolo Jones is somehow at fault for that. Basically, that Lolo Jones is a #fraud.

The piece says that Jones's popularity "was based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign." Jones, suggests the article, wants attention for herself and the products she endorses, and this desire sets her apart from other famous athletes...somehow.

The article situates Jones within centuries of struggle for acceptance of women athletes, and pretty explicitly calls her a traitor to her gender for garnering attention with sex appeal. The New York Times points out her pose for the ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue, three years ago, and her cover for Outside magazine, where Jones could be seen "seeming to wear a bathing suit made of nothing but strategically placed ribbon." They link to the cover. It's a big ribbon. At the same time, says the article, "she has proclaimed herself to be a 30-year-old virgin and a Christian," as if the cover of Outside magazine was a close-up of her punctured hymen, or her ESPN The Magazine pose showed her shooting up inside a flaming pentagram.

And there's the real rub, that Deadspin is missing.

Image: Deadspin
Let's not forget what all went on this week--as if we could--with Chick-Fil-A, where, yes, among other chowder-headish responses to the trying notion that an executive of a private company actually express a personal opinion about a political issues that heretofore a majority of voters have agreed with, the demand that Chick-Fil-A be consistent with their “anti-homosexual” values and stop serving “homosexual” chicken at their restaurants. And then there's Sarah Silverman's indecent proposal to a Romney backer.

So now here comes Lolo Jones (no pun intended), an attractive athlete about to begin competition in the Olympics and who claims to be a virgin and a Christian. The Times' problem isn't that she's an attention-mongering athlete unworthy of the attention, it's that the Times is as obsessed with pelvic issues as the rest of the left. It is that simple.

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