Whether or not you believe Donald Trump’s “locker room talk” disqualifies him from the presidency of the United States, I’ll leave up to you. Or as Ted Cruz would put it, “Vote your conscience.”
I will point out, however, that this controversy the media has so ginned up, is as typical, inflated due to the party affiliation of Donald Trump. If this audio had been dug up by WikiLeaks and had Bill Clinton playing the role of Donald Trump, the mainstreamers would be passing it off as boys being boys. Welcome to modern America, where truth and outrage are always filtered and calculated by political objectives.
What pushed me past my limit was when the media and Democrats took self-righteous outrage and anger over the locker room talk scandal to outlandish proportions. What passes as hard hitting informative journalism today has multiple media outlets interviewing professional athletes, all of whom have been aghast at what Donald Trump said, claiming that this sort of talk is so beyond the pale that it most assuredly doesn’t take place in their locker room. The not so subtle message being, what Donald Trump said was so bad it makes professional athletes who spend their work days in locker rooms blush in shame just thinking about it. They’re class acts, you see, and he’s not.
It is at this point I have to roll my eyes and click off the TV. As someone who has, through the course of my work life, walked into dozens of professional sports teams’ locker rooms, I say bunk. Although the locker room is a much more PC place these days than in the days of yore, I have seen and heard it all in locker rooms and then some. Graphic sexual talk? Bad language? Ribbing of teammates’ shortcomings unmercifully in a way that would give human resources a heart attack if they knew? Check, check, and check. Several years ago, I clearly remember one locker room attendant telling me the story of several members of a visiting major league sports team having a contest in the locker room to see who was the best endowed.
If you don’t believe me, thumb through an old copy of Ball Four, major league pitcher Jim Bouton’s classic diary account of the 1969 season, to sample some actual locker room talk. If the book were published in our modern ultra-sensitive world, Bouton and his teammates would be banished from baseball and hauled off to a reeducation camp for sexist misogynists.
Despite this all being common knowledge, we have seen hypocrisy on the media’s part in the past few weeks, including a piece by Rob Demetrious of Fox News who quotes LA Clipper head basketball coach Doc Rivers as saying, “There’s not that type of talk in anyone’s locker room,” and includes tweets of several B list athletes who condemn Trump’s “locker room talk” as foreign to any locker room they have ever been in. Within a few clicks on the Internet one finds out, at minimum, the following news outlets have run stories with the same theme: CBS, ESPN, CNN, Boston Globe, New York Times, Hartford Courant, Palm Beach Post, Detroit News, Mercury News and on and on and on. You get the picture. Everyone who has stepped in a locker room in the history of sports has talked like a saint, except of course Donald Trump.
I don’t defend Donald Trump’s comments, but I do want to inject a little sanity in an insane world. Much like a lot of things the media do, the meme they have created regarding what actual locker room talk is has been reported in a way specifically to fit the narrative they want it to fit, and you can be sure they wouldn’t have found or would simply have ignored any evidence that disputes the narrative they want to create.
In this we see what journalism has become. It is no longer interested in antique concepts like balance, facts and the who, what, where, when, and why of the story. Instead it has morphed into something similar to cheesy historical fiction, where it will cherry pick facts that fit the plot and make up the rest to keep the story moving in its preset direction.