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Vixen, Virgin, Victim
August 6, 2012 4:29 PM   Subscribe

In a controversial piece for the New York Times, Jere Longman argues that US Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones garners publicity based "not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign. Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses."
posted by Apropos of Something (113 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Why can't more athletes be more like Jessica Ennis? She rocks on so many levels.
posted by Brocktoon at 4:40 PM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


If advertisers, sponsors, and the media only pay attention to pretty athletes, we should definitely blame the pretty athletes for that.

Because clearly, that's because the pretty athletes are fame-grubbing whores (or, I guess, fame-grubbing virgins, in Lolo Jones case), and is in no way the fault of the advertisers, sponsors or media.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:42 PM on August 6, 2012 [78 favorites]


Exotic beauty? She looks like a pretty run-of-the-mill blondish Caucasian to me; neither particularly beautiful nor at all exotic. As your PT link notes, exotic beauty usually suggests something foreign and ethnically minority, so from a white American POV, we expect dusky skin and dark hair. I guess Lolo'd be an exotic beauty in Uzbekistan, though.
posted by jackbrown at 4:47 PM on August 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Lolo Jones isn't that good, you guys

Given the stats in the Jezebel article, at worst she is the third-best hurdler in the U.S. and the twentieth-best in the world. That's pretty good.
posted by grouse at 4:48 PM on August 6, 2012 [18 favorites]


Did the author forget the part where she's an Olympic athlete?
posted by Foosnark at 4:48 PM on August 6, 2012 [17 favorites]



"Because clearly, that's because the pretty athletes are fame-grubbing whores (or, I guess, fame-grubbing virgins, in Lolo Jones case), and is in no way the fault of the advertisers, sponsors or media."


There's plenty of blame to go around here, including to the athletes who participate in the media game.

Also, jackbrown, Lolo is biracial. I'm just going to stand back and see who gets the endorsement money: cocoa-brown Lolo or chocolate-brown Gabby.
posted by nubianinthedesert at 4:48 PM on August 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses.

And? Seems to me this is the essence of a media-hyped consumer culture. Or, is this another case where the object of ire is supposed to be above all that messiness? She's making a buck using whatever assets she has at her disposal, including both her physical abilities and her beauty, like a good capitalist.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:49 PM on August 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


She looks like a pretty run-of-the-mill blondish Caucasian to me...

Depends. Is a woman of French, Native American, African American and Norwegian descent a run-of-the-mill blondish Caucasian? cite
posted by cjorgensen at 4:52 PM on August 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


That gun tweet made her sound dumb as shit.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 4:54 PM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Look at the U.S. Track and Field women like Jeter, Richards-Ross and Trotter (you know, the medal winners). In track and field exotic seems to be a code word for least black.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:55 PM on August 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Depends. Is a woman of French, Native American, African American and Norwegian descent a run-of-the-mill blondish Caucasian?

She looks exactly Iowan to me. And I lived in Iowa for three years. Note that EVERYONE in the Midwest is (cough, cough) "part Native American".
posted by 3200 at 4:56 PM on August 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


I live in Iowa. There was a publicity stunt where Lolo was going to race a horse as Prarie Meadows. It never went of, but man did I want to see that.

I do go see the camels and ostriches, but those aren't as fun as the idea of a person vs. horse!
posted by cjorgensen at 4:56 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Deadspin piece is great. Is Deadspin always great?

I love this:
The spotlight is a revealing metaphor. I was once put in charge of an actual spotlight for an eighth grade musical (I don't sing) and let me tell you: those people on stage have no control over the spotlight. They don't shine it on themselves and they don't control where it goes.
In case you're curious, here is Lolo's photo from ESPN magazine that makes her a vixen. A 160-pound vixen, apparently. (NSFW, bare back and buttcrack)

Also, this thread is begging for spoilers ( ... but I won't...!)
posted by purpleclover at 4:57 PM on August 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


Well, that's a reasonable criticism. There are, after all, no male athletes cashing in on their winning ways and good looks.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:57 PM on August 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


(I only mention her weight because the blog I linked to mentions it a lot.)
posted by purpleclover at 4:59 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


All I know is that if i looked like that I would be cashing in my looks all the way to the bank. There would be gagglezoomer cat litter, gagglezoomer toothbrushes, gagglezoomer Depends. I would be shameless. And I would use all that money to guy cars and houses for me and all my friends and family!
posted by gagglezoomer at 5:04 PM on August 6, 2012 [29 favorites]


This thread is NOT begging for spoilers. More downforce is exactly what a hurdler doesn't need.
posted by ckape at 5:05 PM on August 6, 2012 [15 favorites]


Ice Cream Socialist: “That gun tweet made her sound dumb as shit.”

Not really. It was a full week after the Aurora shooting, and had not the slightest bit to do with that tragedy. Read the first article; the NYT took it way, way out of context.
posted by koeselitz at 5:07 PM on August 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


I read the NYT article just when it first came out ( so the deadspin/Jezebel commentaries are new to me) and it immediately came off for me as a weird, bitter, petty, and vicious assassination piece though I had never heard of Lolo before. I actually did a double take on whether I was actually reading the Times or not and checked to see if the writer was a non journalist or not.


(sidebar, FWIW, Jessica Ennis is biracial. She's "exotic" and the very model oF an English rose/Northern lass *shrug*)
posted by Bwithh at 5:09 PM on August 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


We did this exact same thing with Danica Patrick, right?
posted by xmutex at 5:17 PM on August 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I was watching an interview with her today right after the race in which the interviewer asked why she looked so intense. She responded by saying that all the haters were getting her down. I had no idea what that meant. On a related note, I was watching the race on NBC, and while two other competitors qualified for the semis, NBC didn't talk about them at all. What the fuck is wrong with US coverage?
posted by gman at 5:18 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


It seems that the NYT previously thought more highly of Lolo, enough to make the subject oF a motion capture interactive feature in mid-July :"How to Win the Hurdles: Lolo Jones Cleared for Takeoff"
posted by Bwithh at 5:25 PM on August 6, 2012


Haha, the deadspin piece staked Longman to the fuckin' wall, directly through the breastbone. What a tool.
posted by kavasa at 5:32 PM on August 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not really.

I read all the articles.

"USA Men's Archery lost the gold medal to Italy but that's ok, we are Americans... When's da Gun shooting competition?"

...made her sound dumb as shit.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 5:32 PM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Anyone else also raise an eyebrow at his claiming that Anna Kournikova had "relatively meager skills"?

I mean, I know she is presently considered to have been over-rated because of her looks, but "relatively meager skills"? Kournikova was ranked that World No. 1 doubles player and won two Grand Slam titles in doubles.

Oh, well, I guess if you're also popular for being pretty, that doesn't matter to Jere Longman. Your skills are "relatively meager" until you have proved yourself to his satisfaction. Sorry, Lolo and Anna, you do not meet his exacting standards.
posted by kyrademon at 5:35 PM on August 6, 2012 [16 favorites]


If advertisers, sponsors, and the media only pay attention to pretty athletes, we should definitely blame the pretty athletes for that.

Because clearly, that's because the pretty athletes are fame-grubbing whores (or, I guess, fame-grubbing virgins, in Lolo Jones case), and is in no way the fault of the advertisers, sponsors or media.


This is irrelevant because the author did not blame Lolo.
posted by polymodus at 5:36 PM on August 6, 2012


NEWSFLASH: Being pretty gives you a bump in life

...in other news the numbers in Paul Ryan's budget do not add up but man is he dreamy
posted by slapshot57 at 5:37 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ice Cream Socialist: “...made her sound dumb as shit.”

... because... sport shooting is "dumb as shit"? Or why?
posted by koeselitz at 5:39 PM on August 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Jere Longman: I really want to focus on Lolo Jones' athletic ability but she won't let meeeeee! With all her super sexy pics!

I am reminded of an excellent comment by Miko around the time of the last Olympics, which I think applies here as well.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:41 PM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses.

Well, duh. Newsflash: being a professional female runner doesn't pay shit. You have to pay the bills somehow.

Hopefully Jere Longman never finds out about men's basketball or celebrity tv.
posted by fshgrl at 5:43 PM on August 6, 2012


Yep, Jere Longman is a dummy. Yes, attractive athletes get more endorsement money. That makes it exactly the same as virtually every other profession. You think almost all the actors on those TV commercials are attractive because ugly people don't want to act? No, it's because attractive actors, on average, do better than ugly ones. But surely music is different, right? You don't even need to see the people making music. Nope. Attractive singers do better than unattractive ones.

It's true everywhere (as long as you include "tall" as one of the criteria for men). That sucks for plain looking, short, or fat people. It's not fair. But it also isn't fair for Longman to single out this one athlete.
posted by Justinian at 5:47 PM on August 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


Exotic beauty? She looks like a pretty run-of-the-mill blondish Caucasian to me; neither particularly beautiful nor at all exotic. As your PT link notes, exotic beauty usually suggests something foreign and ethnically minority, so from a white American POV, we expect dusky skin and dark hair. I guess Lolo'd be an exotic beauty in Uzbekistan, though.

She'd blend in pretty well in Uzbekistan, actually.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:49 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


The entire Olympics are an excuse for corporations and politicians to gorge like pigs at a huge money trough, making billions while paying the athletes literally not even minimum wage under the meaningless faux ideal of "amateurism." (A state of being which is incidentally just as meaningless as "virginity.")

Good for her for getting paid any way she can.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:51 PM on August 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is irrelevant because the author did not blame Lolo.

What would you call this then?

Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses.
posted by peacheater at 5:52 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses.

The news media has always focused on arbitrary compelling stories, narratives, or personalities in Olympics coverage. Male or female, this has been true as long as sports existed as a marketable media experience.

This media critic can respectfully cram it where the sun doesn't shine. THIS is the shitty double-standard that women face in our culture, every day. Women who strive for excellence but don't meet an utterly arbitrary (and shifting) standard for physical appearance and presentation are snidely critiqued or marginalized. Women who do measure up to the arbitrary standards are critiqued and dismissed for meeting those vary same standards. Surely, if anyone measures up to the unrealistic demands they must not be true athletes!

That the nation's paper of record would publish a piece like this is a slap in the face.
posted by verb at 5:53 PM on August 6, 2012 [25 favorites]


Yeah, I thought the article was bizarrely mean. Here's an Olympian who has spent her whole life training, through extreme surgeries and other crippling-to-mortal injuries, and she's trying to find a future beyond the hurdles. I kind of hated the VIRGIN headlines because they kept flying around Facebook for a while and I don't really like waking up alone to comments about how awesome and pure anyone is, but man, I can't even imagine dealing with that hurdle fault in Beijing. So she's beautiful and knows it, big deal. Ryan Lochte's abs probably have their own agent by this point.

Because, seriously? OLYMPIAN.
posted by jetlagaddict at 5:58 PM on August 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


...made her sound dumb as shit.
Yeah well this made you sound petty and unlikeable. I think she came out ahead on this one.
posted by kavasa at 6:00 PM on August 6, 2012 [24 favorites]


Oh also regarding her tweet, she was right, so there's that.
posted by kavasa at 6:07 PM on August 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm just going to stand back and see who gets the endorsement money: cocoa-brown Lolo or chocolate-brown Gabby.

Don't you worry about Gabby Douglas, she's about to get many paydays. For starters, she's going to be on the Corn Flakes box, which where I'm from, that's a pretty big fucking deal.
posted by NoMich at 6:10 PM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


She's no Michelle Jenneke.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:12 PM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's true, Lolo is an Olympian and Michelle Jenneke is not.
posted by NoMich at 6:23 PM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm just going to stand back and see who gets the endorsement money: cocoa-brown Lolo or chocolate-brown Gabby.

According to media reports ( I know I know), Gabby , after her win, is projected to earn US$1-3 million in endorsement deals per year at least until the next Olympics or perhaps she has a lifetime earning potential of up to US$100+ million (presumably if she keeps winning medals and maintains a clean-cut image etc).

so Lolo has her work cut out for her.
posted by Bwithh at 6:27 PM on August 6, 2012


I wish I liked sport more, so I could read more Deadspin.
posted by Catch at 6:28 PM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I also hate it when exotic beauties pose for nude photos.
posted by snofoam at 6:29 PM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


So much missing the point here. The criticism in op-ed was that she is well-known as a result of a marketing effort that's very clearly tied to her looks/sexuality.

That kind of marketing campaign is perfectly suited for Gawker. Deadspin can promote her as a sex object (ironically by trumpeting her virginity), and Jezebel can deflect any accusations of sexism and misogyny by writing inflammatory headlines.

That kind of marketing campaign also cynically-albeit indirectly-exploits well-meaning, open minded folks. Feminists balk at the (not really there) insinuation that she's only famous because she's hot (Jezebel). Educated men shrug, because of course attractive athletes get more attention.

Slate slams the New York Times with arresting (and social media-friendly) articles.

And then the argument gets taken to Metafilter, with two Gawker articles linked in the FPP.

And Nick Denton laughs, lights up a cigar with a $100 bill, and dives into a pool filled with gold coins.
posted by graphnerd at 6:32 PM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sorry, Lolo and Anna, you do not meet his exacting standards.

Which probably has its genesis in a couple of turned down dates, if not from them, from other pretty "talentless" people.
posted by maxwelton at 6:35 PM on August 6, 2012


Yeah, what bugs me about that article is not the looks discussion, but the reference to Lolo's comparative lack of skills. It's like, "Oh great, let's take another opportunity to put down a woman for being unskilled." The author has no cultural/historical sensitivity to the fact that women have been put down for having no skills, by basically everyone forever. If he had some more sensitivity, he might have thought to add the huge disclaimer that she is in the OLYMPICS and he is a writer dweeb sitting at home, writing about her.

And lol, Anna Kournikova's meager skills? Same.

I see this same behavior among men everywhere. At my techy alma-mater, it was a frequent topic of discussion how a particular good looking woman in the computer science department wasn't quite as smart as other person XYZ. It's a shame that kind of lame discourse gets into the NY Times.

Lastly, what's ultra exotic about Lolo is her name. She has a great name. I think that is a big part of the appeal and marketability. Memorable name.
posted by kellybird at 6:37 PM on August 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


(I didn't intend to put down "men everywhere." I meant some men, in a lot of places I've been to. Not all men, in all places. Not you, dear reader!)
posted by kellybird at 6:41 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


kellybird: Lastly, what's ultra exotic about Lolo is her name.

Really? Because it's derived from her real name, Lori, just like her mother. Lori Jones.
posted by gman at 6:43 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I, for one, don't know anyone who is called Lolo. Nor have I heard of any other celebrity with the name Lolo.

(That is independent of it being a name derived from Lori.)
posted by kellybird at 6:48 PM on August 6, 2012


my only real takeaway from all of this is that the new york times should, one, just shut the hell up, and two, pray for divine intervention at the shrine of r.w. apple, begging to be made journalists again.
posted by facetious at 6:49 PM on August 6, 2012


Not to dump on Kournikova too much, because she could obviously kick my ass at tennis, but she never won any grand slams (singles). Her highest finish in a grand slam tournament was the semifinals at Wimbledon in 1997, she only ever got as high as 8th in the ATP rankings (which, yes, is many standard deviations above the mean for the general populace).

Compared to other women's singles players, she definitely got more attention, indeed due to her looks rather than due to her tennis skills. The great tennis players are always judged by their ability to win grand slams in the singles competitions. This is simply the case. By these standards, she was not a truly great tennis player.

That being said, I do remember her getting injured right around the time she was starting to get better, and that probably contributed to her possibly never realizing her true potential. However, female tennis players have insanely short careers, so maybe she was on her way out anyway? I don't know.

For comparison's sake, Martina Navratilova won 18 singles grand slam championships and 31 doubles championships. She got to the finals at Wimbledon 9 years in a row. Those skillz definitely ain't meager.
posted by King Bee at 6:50 PM on August 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I also think Lolo is a great name. :)
posted by triggerfinger at 6:52 PM on August 6, 2012


kellybird: I, for one, don't know anyone who is called Lolo.

Yeah, I get it, it's a nickname. It's about as exotic as me entering the the Olympics using what my parents used to call me as a kid. Then again, Shithead Jones doesn't quite have the same ring to it.
posted by gman at 6:55 PM on August 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I can't help but read the entire piece as a great big bucket of ridiculously unbecoming envy. It's spewing into my eyes with such ferocity that all I can do is wipe my face repeatedly and try not to commit any typos while describing the ordeal.

Seriously. She's young, she's attractive, she's in the freaking Olympics, she's female, she's making a lot of money. Thus we must hate her. You do generally have to finish (and escape) high school in order to become a journalist, right?
posted by SMPA at 6:57 PM on August 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


graphnerd: "And then the argument gets taken to Metafilter, with two Gawker articles linked in the FPP."

For the record, I wasn't real excited about posting two Gawker links in a row, but I couldn't find any commentary on this piece besides those, a couple of STOP THE LIBURAL MEDIA sites and the religious press. It's gotten some mention on local press in Des Moines, but other than that hasn't particularly blown up as much as you would think given the spurious use of "exotic" and the unsubstantiated "some have said" claims.
posted by Apropos of Something at 7:01 PM on August 6, 2012


gman, I guarantee that if you entered the Olympics with the name Shithead Jones you would get a LOT of press! Maybe not the kind you'd like.

Maybe exotic wasn't the right word for Lolo. The name has marketing appeal:

Lolo is similar to Lolita, which enhances the "Hi I'm a virgin!" theme...
Also, it ends with the letter "o" which is a masculine ending letter, instead of "a" which is a feminine ending letter. That contributes to the semi-queer-athletic-masculine-feminine-sexiness theme.
Plus the name is short and musical, and looks good in print. And it is unusual in that many people don't have it.

Marketing gold star!!
posted by kellybird at 7:06 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lastly, what's ultra exotic about Lolo is her name. She has a great name. I think that is a big part of the appeal and marketability. Memorable name.

Hope Solo has no idea what you're talking about.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 7:11 PM on August 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


kellybird: I guarantee that if you entered the Olympics with the name Shithead Jones you would get a LOT of press! Maybe not the kind you'd like.

Yeah, after my last place finish, "Annnnnd... Shithead Jones craps another one. A real stinker. Damn, he got wiped by the competition."
posted by gman at 7:14 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's true, Lolo is an Olympian and Michelle Jenneke is not.

Did you notice Jenneke's winning time in that video that went viral? 13:53. Of the 24 Olympic hurdlers out of 48 who made it through the first round, the slowest qualifying time was 13:51.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:15 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ women can never win, even when they do.
posted by whoaali at 7:18 PM on August 6, 2012 [19 favorites]


She's a very talented athlete whose exposure is probably a little out of proportion compared to the other very talented athletes competing because of some marketable aspects about her, the marketability of which is kind of troublesome, but that shouldn't diminish her accomplishments.

Did I get it right?
posted by Navelgazer at 7:26 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Marketing gold star!!

For certain values of star, sure.
posted by Wolof at 7:28 PM on August 6, 2012


> "Not to dump on Kournikova too much ..."

Look, I think it would have been perfectly reasonable to say "Anna Kournikova became as or better known than other tennis players who had signifcantly more successful careers" because of her looks or because of successful marketing or because of whatever.

Saying that a tennis player who was at one time ranked in the top ten worldwide for singles and number one worldwide for doubles just before her career-ending injuries had "relatively meager skills" is friggin' ridiculous.

And the whole article is filled with that kind of thing. Lolo Jones' fame is based "based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign." "She stumbled home in seventh place." "She barely made the 2012 Olympic team". He's talking about one of the top 20 hurdlers in the WORLD.

Just as with Kournikova, saying she has garnered more fame than other athletes with more successful careers is true. Saying her fame is "based not on achievement" at all is insulting.
posted by kyrademon at 7:32 PM on August 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


sport shooting is "dumb as shit"? Or why?

I guess there are two ways to consider this. There's considering it within the vacuum of the Olympics, and there's considering it within the world.

It diminishes the efforts of her compatriots who didn't win the archery gold. It implies that their sport is less legit than the gun events. It also pooh-poohs the Italian victory, which is not classy. It tells us that the real shooting is yet to come.

How words are received by the world is a concern for smart people. So even if we exist in a vacuum where telling people Americans kick ass at guns means only within the auspices of the Olympic shooting meet, we owe ourselves and others a moment to decide how we sound to people who don't breathe our rarefied air.

That lack of reflection, so soon after the gun tragedy du jour, does not mean that Jones was making an off-color comment about America's gun death circus. It does mean that she didn't consider how a tweet combining sore losing and chest thumping might sound to people who are tired of Americans and our guns.

To me, that apparent lack of reflection sounds dumb as shit. It may go with the territory of using Twitter; I see a lot of tweets that make me wonder if so-and-so realizes they just sounded dumb as shit. If there's anything I'd blame, it's probably Twitter, certainly not sport shooting.

Yeah well this made you sound petty and unlikeable.

Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the
issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 7:34 PM on August 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Saying that a tennis player who was at one time ranked in the top ten worldwide for singles and number one worldwide for doubles just before her career-ending injuries had "relatively meager skills" is friggin' ridiculous.

I guess it depends on what your comparing her skills to. Relative to other world-class tennis players, her skills might have been considered meager. Relative to Jere Longman, on the other hand...
posted by asnider at 7:38 PM on August 6, 2012


Lolo's photo from ESPN magazine

Not to get all "if all her friends jumped off a cliff, she should, too" here, but there's something like two dozen other athletes posing in that issue. Where's the controversial NYT articles about them?
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 7:39 PM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Let's just agree that a person can send a not particularly reflective or sensitive tweet without quite making her seem "dumb as shit."
posted by BobbyVan at 7:40 PM on August 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I am reminded of an excellent comment by Miko around the time of the last Olympics, which I think applies here as well.

A little off-topic, but I just clicked over to check it out and Jesus H this thread made my skin crawl. Thank you for cleaning up your act, MeFi.
posted by milk white peacock at 7:42 PM on August 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


Let's just agree that a person can send a not particularly reflective or sensitive tweet without quite making her seem "dumb as shit."

Saying things that aren't particularly reflective or sensitive sounds dumb to me. However, by pointing this out in the neither reflective nor sensitive manner that I chose, I myself may have sounded dumb as shit. Lesson learned.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 8:02 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't want to wade through what sounds like a petty NYT article, but that Pyschology Today link was quite interesting. (Never thought I'd say that....)

"Racial microaggressions" is, I think, an excellent term to describe a lot of the bullshit I have to deal with nearly every day, even in a city like Austin. I think you could extend the term to other areas as well: e.g., the author of the NYT article is also engaging in some gender microaggressions towards Jones.

steer clear of Shithead jokes, considering its origin in pretty explicitly racist comedy

Damn, I never knew that. Learn something new every day here on this Metafilter thing.

Thanks for the post, Apropos of Something.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:24 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


kyrademon, in the context of the article as a whole, yes, that is pretty cloying. The key word though is "relatively".

The number 8 ranked men's tennis player right now is Juan Martin del Potro. He has relatively meager skills compared to Federer, Djokovic, and Nadal. Tim Tebow was a starting quarterback in the NFL last year (essentially rendering him as one of the top players in that position in the world). His skills are meager compared to that of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees. I know for an absolute fact that Tebow is a better quarterback than I will ever be. I do not hesitate to call his skills meager.

A professional athlete ought to be compared to other professional athletes in their sport. By that metric, Kournikova had relatively meager skills compared to the top players of her day.

I'm scoffing at folks who are acting like Kournikova ought to be thought of as one of the greatest female tennis players of all time. That is quite insulting to the women who have actually achieved greatness in the sport, but aren't as instantly recognized for their greatness because they don't fit the "beauty profile" or whatever that Kournikova did.

Svetlana Kuznetsova has actually won some grand slams and was ranked as high as number 2 in singles and 3 in doubles (she also won 2 doubles grand slam championships, same as Kournikova). Her most recent championship was in 2012. Do you even know who she is?

Serena Williams absolutely crushed Sharapova this last weekend. Know what people were talking about, instead of her amazing dominance? That she, a black woman, did a "gang dance" after she won the gold medal. What the hell. It's fucking bullshit all around.

I think in essence we agree, but if I had to rattle off 20 of the best female tennis players of all time? I'm not going to mention Kournikova, and neither would anyone who follows tennis. (That list is mixed men's and women's, but of the 38 women on the list, she ain't there.)

Yes, Kournikova did achieve some success in her sport (being ranked in the top 10 is very good, being ranked number 1 in doubles is quite good). No, she is not a great tennis player, and I think one would have to be insane to argue otherwise.
posted by King Bee at 8:30 PM on August 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


A little off-topic, but I just clicked over to check it out and Jesus H this thread made my skin crawl. Thank you for cleaning up your act, MeFi.

The thread is a different topic, yes, but the part of Miko's comment I wanted to highlight was this:

She sought attention for excelling at a difficult sport, and I agree that she worked hard for it. Sorry to rain on the irony party, but this IS what it's like for a girl: no matter how good you are at what you do, you can never escape judgement, one way or the other, for the reaction of men to your physical appearance.


In the last week or so I've seen in my newsfeed stories about women Olympians' weight (this is such a normal thing that I'd frankly be surprised if it didn't come up), their hair, their asses, referring to Olympic women as "girls" and who knows what else. And these are just the front page stories that come up on my normal various news feeds, I don't go searching for these.

And then this guy writes this total fucking demeaning article about Lolo Jones, sadly saying the poor girl "is not assured enough with her hurdling or her compelling story of perseverance" so she's falling back on those old female wiles we're all so familiar with - she'll "be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself". But that's women for ya, amirite??

Oh and despite what he just said about her not being confident enough with her talent he then goes on in a super bitchy way to say "Not always the most confident athlete, Jones has acknowledged battling doubt all season. Her modest times show it." and "If there is a box to check off, Jones has checked it. Except for the small part about actually achieving Olympic success as a hurdler." Oh, snap! FUCKYOU

Amongst all this garbage, he sadly laments "Women have struggled for decades to be appreciated as athletes." and "Victory alone is often not enough for women", before he smashes it home with his final insult to Lolo "Back in position to undress her opponents, not herself. "

He fails completely to see that the reason that women fail to be taken seriously has very little to do with how the women themselves act and a hell of a lot to do with how people like him treat them. He's part of the very problem he's talking about and totally fails to see it.

I mean....seriously? This reminds me a little of the guy who said geek girls were faking it to get attention. Mostly because if they were pretty, they didn't count. So yeah, Miko's right, nothing a woman does really matters more than how she looks. It doesn't matter what we're talking about - women will always be criticized for being too pretty, sexy, fat, tall, ugly, short, dark, light, etc. When are we going to stop putting the responsibility on women to look or act the "right" way for whatever the occasion is and realize that it is how we react to the women that needs to be changed. As a society we are still very firmly entrenched in the mindset that women need to act or look a certain way to be taken seriously. Often that way is a total counterintuitive labyrinthe mindfuck that no one can figure out. Like a woman who is too beautiful often finds it hard to be taken seriously in business. But if she's too ugly, she'll never get promoted. If she's too quiet, she's not confident enough, if she's confident she's a bitch. We're seeing the same things with the Olympians who are too muscular, too fat, not feminine enough, too sexy (and using their sexiness! according to the fantasy world of Jere Longman). I mean, the Williams sisters have been dealing with this shit for years. It's like the fact that they're champion tennis players are almost secondary to their bodies and their fashion choices. It is all such a massive clusterfuck I can't even get my head around it. How about this? How about instead of telling female athletes to not do something that will open them up to comments about their looks and by extension, their behavior (VIXEN!); we instead decide that we ourselves will not talk about women athletes (or any women) that way? By that I mean that we make a concerted effort to honestly evaluate or judge a woman based on the actual merits of the thing she is actually trying to accomplish? All this other stuff about her bikini shots or her saying she's a virgin don't actually matter and they didn't matter until Jere Longman made it matter. Before she was one of many good looking athletes who have been photographed in bathing suits, most of whom have the main focus on their athletic ability. And she would have stayed that way until he made it about her being a vixen, a sexy minx. And he made it out to be her fault - if she wouldn't have posed for a magazine cover/been so sexy/said she was a virgin, I could take her seriously! She didn't do that, he did. As an athlete she did nothing inappropriate or out of line. He created that persona for her and then goes on to shame her for it.

What I think is here is a clear case that we are asking them to change to fit some unknowable ideal of what they should be, instead of admitting that we are wrong and that it's wrong to comment on gold medal winner Gabby Douglas' hair or speculate about Lolo Jones' intentions because she's beautiful and sexy. Instead Jere Longman has to write an aggrieved and totally offensive article like he's the boy she shunned at the school dance and now he's getting his revenge by writing a nasty, bitchy article about how she's not that great anyway. I mean, fuck this guy .

I have very little hope of this kind of thing ever getting better for women.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:46 PM on August 6, 2012 [39 favorites]


Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses."

That's pretty rich, coming from the New York Times. I don't recall them having a problem with acting like that when it was time to shill for a war.
posted by mhoye at 9:52 PM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


In the last week or so I've seen in my newsfeed stories about women Olympians' weight (this is such a normal thing that I'd frankly be surprised if it didn't come up), their hair, their asses, referring to Olympic women as "girls" and who knows what else. From one of those links:
Olympics women's beach volleyball photos too sexy, critics claim

20 photos
View the full slideshow

posted by grouse at 9:53 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


This Times article is horrendous, but I do think there's an interesting story in, Hm, Why Is Lolo Jones So Famous, When There Are Better Athletes? I'm pretty sure the answer is a combination of "because she wants to be" and "because she's more interesting." One part of this article that I found curious was the quote from Dawn Harper (who is amazing, of course).
At one point, it was frustrating, Harper said, adding that she resolved the matter through prayer. [...] Yet Harper acknowledged being startled by the extent to which Jones has revealed details about her own dissolute childhood in Des Moines. Her father spent time in prison. Her family lived for a period in a Salvation Army basement. She had a brief and desperate career as a child shoplifter.

“I’ve had family issues as well, but I’m not willing to say all of them just so it can be in the papers,” Harper said. “I don’t want that for myself or my family.”
That's fine, you absolutely do not need to disclose any of your business to anyone, but...we don't get to begrudge Jones her willingness to disclose hers. If you want to be a celebrity in addition to being an athlete, you have to do that couch time on the morning shows, and the radio interviews your publicist sets up, and the photo spreads and the tweeting and you have to be the media package that the public wants — and you have to be interesting, which for most people means a nonzero amount of dirty-laundry airing.
posted by Charity Garfein at 10:46 PM on August 6, 2012


[Shithead/name derail deleted; maybe better for Metatalk or email.]
posted by taz at 11:45 PM on August 6, 2012


It's pretty sad to read a 29-tear-old still talking about her virginity like it's nothing more than a bloody present for someone. "I wouldn't put out"? What are you, fourteen? Hey... you know sex is for you, too, right?
posted by Decani at 12:18 AM on August 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


29-YEAR-old. Duh.
posted by Decani at 12:19 AM on August 7, 2012


Nor have I heard of any other celebrity with the name Lolo.
Lolo is French kid slang for breasts so one "celebrity" has used the name before (NSFW), tragically so. This little linguistic happenstance helped to make Gina Lollobrigida popular there too.
posted by elgilito at 3:33 AM on August 7, 2012


Even though I'm certain that there are more deserving athletes than Ms. Jones, Mr. Longman seems to have forgotten than we are living in the Age of Snooki. There are much more outrageous examples out there of celebrity for celebrity's sake than Lolo Jones.

In his next article, he'll probably address the increasing commercialisation of the Olympic Games...
posted by Skeptic at 4:14 AM on August 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well apparently she only had the second fastest qualifying time going into the semi finals......
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 5:25 AM on August 7, 2012


~I'm just going to stand back and see who gets the endorsement money: cocoa-brown Lolo or chocolate-brown Gabby.

~Don't you worry about Gabby Douglas, she's about to get many paydays.


Not if FOX has anything to say about it...
posted by Thorzdad at 6:04 AM on August 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


What nailed it for me about Longman's piece was this dog-whistle of a sentence: "And oh, by the way, a big fan of Tim Tebow." What's the point of this, other than to telegraph a wink to those he presumes to be his fellow craft beer drinking members of the vaguely left-wing male sports "intelligentsia" -- the guys who actually know the difference between Mitch Albom and Mike Lupica -- and tell them that if nothing else, it's OK to hate Lolo Jones because she likes a seemingly devout, successful football player.

Nothing frustrates this particular type of sportswriter more than an athlete who frustrates their narrative of the sports industry as all-corrupting and competitors as greedy, depraved cheaters. So you can see the implicit appeal of making a villain out of a woman who talks about the importance of virtue...
posted by BobbyVan at 6:21 AM on August 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses.

What's interesting to me is that she looks kind of like Rashida Jones (no relation), who is also biracial and has recently spoken to the flipside of her innate, uh, ambiguity:
I didn't really fit into one thing. I was too quirky to play a lead girl but I was too exotic to play the stable best friend. ... I would try out to play women of color and they'd be like, 'You're not dark enough.' And then I would try to play a surfer babe and they'd be like, 'You're too exotic, we want somebody who kind of looks like the girl next door.'
So I guess the upshot is: if you're an athlete and you can pass for pretty much any type in seeking endorsements, it's bad because your appeal is cynical; if you're an entertainer and you don't absolutely fit any one type when seeking roles, you can't appeal to others' cynical preconceptions. Yay.
posted by psoas at 6:54 AM on August 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


What the fuck is wrong with US coverage?

Leave us alone, we're just teenagers!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:07 AM on August 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's the point of this, other than to telegraph a wink to those he presumes to be his fellow craft beer drinking members of the vaguely left-wing male sports "intelligentsia"

That's a really weird bucket of projection. When I'm making up that kind of backstory, it's usually for fiction.

I mean, shit, man, you can hate sportswriters all you need (I do) without conflating your guess to their politics and what beer you think they drink.
posted by COBRA! at 7:19 AM on August 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'll just say that Longman knows his audience, and tying Lolo with Tebow primes his Sunday New York Times readers to dig in for a satisfying takedown of a sanctimonious hypocrite... Tebow has tons of baggage, and he's a convenient albatross to hang on her neck.
posted by BobbyVan at 7:26 AM on August 7, 2012


I'm in a cynical mood:
Olympics is now "reality" t.v. taken up a notch as the athletes determine the results rather than a director or scriptwriter (unless you're a Norwegian referee in the US/Canada Women's football/soccer match).


Purpose of Olympic "games"...

90%
Promote sales of sponsor's products and services. Identify new "stars" to promote products and services in the future. Promote potential stars using "reality" t.v. based vignettes that oversimplify and promote athletes as achieving success "against all odds". Make you identify and want to be them...and go buy their energy drink.

10%
"Athletic achievement" (and the ambiguous term "Olympic Spirit")
posted by incandissonance at 8:15 AM on August 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


BobbyVan, possibly that is true, but in the case of this lefty reader, at least, all Longman has done is make himself look like a total dick.
posted by kyrademon at 8:51 AM on August 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Given the stats in the Jezebel article, at worst she is the third-best hurdler in the U.S. and the twentieth-best in the world. That's pretty good.

And yesterday she posted the second-best time in the qualifying field. I hope she medals.

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by grouse at 8:57 AM on August 7, 2012


Who is Jere Longman?
posted by sfts2 at 9:01 AM on August 7, 2012


What does it matter that Lolo Jones "barely" made the Olympic team? She made the team! This woman is an Olympic athlete. Even if she doesn't win the gold and she is not THE FASTEST hurdler, she's still in the top of her field and worth following.

Do we really believe we should ignore everyone but the gold medalists? If you aren't the winner, does that mean your efforts count for nothing at all?

That photo finish in the men's 200m butterfly, the one where Michael Phelps tied up the Olympic medal record? Not worth watching, because Phelps only got the silver in the race.

And wow, those Canadian soccer women suck, amirite? They lost 4-3 to the USA. Never mind that it came down to extra time and the calls were questionable and they've been running the game on a loop on the cable channels because it was so incredibly exciting! Who wants to see losers play?

If Lolo is getting lots of press, good for her. She is smart to take advantage of all the publicity, because how else is an athlete supposed to pay the bills these days, other than sponsorships? What is she supposed to do, deny interview requests because Jere Longman is tired of seeing her face?

If you feel like the women who perform better aren't getting the attention they deserve, Longman, how about you write more stories about them instead of making yours all about Lolo, too? It's not any of their names you put in your headline.

Also, where do you get off criticizing her because she poses nude (or in a sexy bathing suit) and also self-identifies as a Christian and a virgin? What, do you think the two things can't possibly co-exist because it contradicts your narrow-minded views of women? Only room for madonnas and whores in your world? Sounds like your problem, not hers. Maybe we should go back to displaying bloody sheets after wedding nights to confirm that whole virginity thing to your satisfaction. Sheesh.

The only criticism I do agree with was of the Tweet Jones made. Yes, that was bad. A flippant remark that both disrespects the archery competitors and adds to the world's perception of Americans as arrogant AND gun-happy, barely a week after the Denver shootings is clumsy at best. The phrasing made my grind my teeth until they hurt (though I assume she wrote "Da" instead of "The" to stay within the 140-character limit. I really, really hope that's why).

Even so, judging her by that one tone deaf sound byte is pretty damned petty, especially when, according to Longman, we've got Lolo Jones quotes all over the damned place about her tough childhood and all the obstacles she's faced to get where she is now.

Which is at the frickin' Olympics.

TL;DR: what grouse said. Christ, what an asshole.
posted by misha at 9:48 AM on August 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Pfft, everyone knows "Lolo" is a boy's name anyway.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:33 AM on August 7, 2012


With this op-ed, and one last week about dropping Algebra as a required subject for kids, I'm starting to believe that the NYTimes is trolling hard for page views. It seems to be a successful strategy.
posted by Stu-Pendous at 10:50 AM on August 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


And yesterday she posted the second-best time in the qualifying field. I hope she medals.

She posted the second fastest time in the heats because contenders don't go all out in the heats. She was lucky to qualify for the final today and won't medal unless half the field falls down. It's worth asking why she gets more attention in the American media than her fellow Americans who are better than her at her event. The NY times piece is something of an overreach insofar as it attributes unflattering motives to Jones with little evidence, but it appears at least to be asking an interesting question. (I personally wish that the American media would pay more attention to non-American and likely gold medalist Sally Pearson, but that is consistent with usual American media biases and isn't much of a mystery). It doesn't seem to me that the NY times piece deserves the disdain hurled on it in this thread, but then again it is an article posted to Metafilter, so I'm not sure why I read the comments expecting to find out anything except why it sucks.
posted by Kwine at 12:12 PM on August 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why is anyone picking on Jones? Her tweet about "da guns" seems like it was meant to be funny and says nothing even slightly offensive. We have a gun culture in the US that doesn't include everyone and not everyone is proud of, but it is famous.

I would bet that the Times is picking on her because she's a christian virgin. I think it's silly, but hey, that has got to take some serious discipline on top of being a top tier athlete. I have a lot of respect for that.

To say that she has some kind of racism/sexism-perpetuating "exotic beauty" is a reaaal stretch. She is beautiful and OF COURSE she's going to get a lot of attention as a world class athlete. This would only be a bad thing if she was given a medal unfairly, but that isn't going to happen.
posted by hellslinger at 12:36 PM on August 7, 2012


Tebow has tons of baggage, and he's a convenient albatross to hang on her neck.

Eh, she's the one who came out and said she wanted to take him out on a church date, so it's not like Longman pulled that completely out of left field.

In the sports world, people were hypothesizing about a Tebow/Jones (or, if I may, Lobow) romance back in June when this first hit. He's referencing that.
posted by King Bee at 1:23 PM on August 7, 2012


If she were a guy this editorial would most likely not have been written. Criticism of outspoken and showboating sport celebrities is common. Criticism of outspoken and showboating sport celebrities who are women tend to be much more harsh.

The bottom line is how she performs. Four years ago she should have won the gold - but, of course, she fell. She may not win now but she is in a high profile Olympic sport. In my opinion, even if she wasn't attractive and outspoken she would still get good coverage. But being attractive and being an athlete who should have won but didn't puts her in a category that the media likes to exploit. Is that her fault? And btw her posing nude is hardly rare. Many athletes do it for the ESPN body issue.
posted by Rashomon at 1:24 PM on August 7, 2012


If she were a guy this editorial would most likely not have been written.

Which is why nobody has ever written excoriating articles about Tim Tebow.

I think the editorial is stupid but c'mon, talking shit about male athletes is just par for the course.

Tebow does suck, though.
posted by Justinian at 1:26 PM on August 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


If she were a guy this editorial would most likely not have been written.

Echoing Justinian, Tebow is the epitome of an athlete who is popular even though he is terrible. People talk shit about him constantly. Just yesterday (I think), Boomer Esiason (former QB and current analyst) actually said the Jets should cut Tebow (even though they just traded a draft pick for him). So, indeed, there isn't the "sex symbol" dynamic here, but there is the "this guy sucks and shouldn't be popular, but is for reasons outside his sport" angle.
posted by King Bee at 1:29 PM on August 7, 2012


I think the editorial is stupid but c'mon, talking shit about male athletes is just par for the course.

"talking shit about male athletes" is par for the course. As far as I can tell, however, articles about Tebow haven't wrapped their central thesis around the idea that he's exploiting his boyish good looks to get ahead of his more talented teammates.
posted by verb at 1:31 PM on August 7, 2012


As far as I can tell, however, articles about Tebow haven't wrapped their central thesis around the idea that he's exploiting his boyish good looks to get ahead of his more talented teammates.

Tebow running shirtless in the rain to get attention
posted by King Bee at 1:33 PM on August 7, 2012


Also: Eli Manning suggests NY Giants backup David Carr run shirtless like Tim Tebow to get coverage
posted by King Bee at 1:34 PM on August 7, 2012


She was lucky to qualify for the final today and won't medal unless half the field falls down.

And after all the sturm und drang she finishes 4th, a tenth of a second behind the bronze. Guess only one of the other runners had to fall down for her to medal.

4th is pretty damn good!
posted by Justinian at 2:11 PM on August 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


>> As far as I can tell, however, articles about Tebow haven't wrapped their central thesis around the idea that he's exploiting his boyish good looks to get ahead of his more talented teammates.

Tebow running shirtless in the rain to get attention


Yeah, did you actually read that article before linking to it? And compare it to this bizarre NYT hit piece?
"I tell him, 'I don't know how you do it,' " said Schilens, who has received calls from friends who want him to ask Tebow for an autograph. "I've never seen anything like it. The fans around here love him. The moment he steps on the field, the fans are just fascinated by him, and rightly so. He's a good dude."

After a lukewarm reception Saturday for the public practice, Tebow received a huge ovation Sunday when he scrambled out of the pocket and ran up the sideline closest to the bleachers -- the first true Tebow moment in training camp.

In the meeting room, Tebow is attentive and curious, according to teammates. They say he's usually one of the first players to raise his hand in the classroom, asking questions of the coaches.

"Having Tim has been fantastic," third-string quarterback Greg McElroy said. "He's such a positive guy, he's such a worker. It's fun to see him. You hear all the stories about him, from college and the NFL, and now I finally get a chance to spend a little time with him."

...

Sanchez has outplayed Tebow after three practices, but that shouldn't come as a big surprise. Tebow isn't known as a strong practice player, but he never lets up and keeps on smiling amid intense media scrutiny.

"Half you guys wouldn't be here if it weren't for him," Scott told a crowd of reporters. "He takes it in stride and never lets if affect his relationship with his teammates. We know it comes with the territory. We're able to deal with it. It's New York. We can handle anything."
That is not an article about Tebow "exploiting his looks to get ahead of his more talented teammates," it's a story about how fucking awesome Tim Tebow is, about how everyone loves him, and how hard he works for his team and his fans. The mention of him running in the rain with his shirt off is in the context of "gentle ribbing" he received for showing off his physique. The article concludes by scolding the press for their obsession with Tebow, and praising him for "keeping his head on straight" and focusing on the game despite their feeding frenzy.

Compare this to what was said about Lolo Jones:
Jones has received far greater publicity than any other American track and field athlete competing in the London Games. This was based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign. Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses.

Women have struggled for decades to be appreciated as athletes. For the first time at these Games, every competing nation has sent a female participant. But Jones is not assured enough with her hurdling or her compelling story of perseverance. So she has played into the persistent, demeaning notion that women are worthy as athletes only if they have sex appeal. And, too often, the news media have played right along with her.
Are you really suggesting that the two articles are comparable?
posted by verb at 2:27 PM on August 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Lolo Jones gave an emotional, at one point tearful, interview with Savannah Guthrie on NBC's Today Show.
“They didn’t even do their research, calling me the Anna Kournikova of track. I have the American record. I am the American record holder indoors, I have two world indoor titles. Just because I don’t boast about these things, I don’t think I should be ripped apart by media. I laid it out there, fought hard for my country and it’s just a shame that I have to deal with so much backlash when I’m already so brokenhearted as it is.”
posted by BobbyVan at 6:03 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I get it, it's a nickname. It's about as exotic as me entering the the Olympics using what my parents used to call me as a kid.

Kinda like Gabby Douglas and Aly Reisman, I guess.
posted by aught at 6:23 AM on August 8, 2012


Pretty sure this is just a grudge from the two U.S. women who beat Jones (Dawn Harper and Kelli Wells) being played out on the pages of the NY Times. Watch the NBC interview from earlier today where they air their displeasure at the attention she got instead of them.

It's like some awful middle-school lunch table smack down, and a NY Times reporter decided it'd make good ink.
posted by thomsplace at 8:51 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Response from NYT Ombudsman / Public Editor
posted by Bwithh at 10:50 AM on August 9, 2012


Lolo Jones Has Two Black Shadows
What makes the story interesting is that the Times got a few things right—and much more wrong—and that the Internet missed out on the hidden subtext: If Jones looked black, this article wouldn’t exist. She’d be treated no differently than Harper or Wells. Yes, she would still have a very compelling history no matter her color. But right or wrong, her looks dominate the narrative. And if she looked black, that wouldn’t be possible. Black hasn’t always been beautiful, says Ketra L. Armstrong, a professor at the University of Michigan who specializes in sports marketing/consumer behavior.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:42 PM on August 10, 2012


Lo Blow - The New York Times’s transparent hit job on Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones
A common tactic employed by biased political journalists is, rather than directly expressing an opinion in a story, to find an expert to state that opinion. As Bernard Goldberg noted in his 2001 book Bias, “Here’s one of those dirty little secrets journalists are never supposed to reveal to the regular folks out there in the audience: a reporter can find an expert to say anything the reporter wants—anything! Just keep calling until one of the experts says what you need him to say and tell him you’ll be right down with your camera crew to interview him.” Longman quoted only two people in his article. Though Jones is one of the most respected and popular athletes in track and field, somehow all of their quotes were critical of her.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:39 PM on August 13, 2012


Global Media: YARGH HERE'S A 26 PAGE MAGAZINE PIECE JUSTIFYING OUR RAGE ok fine we have no reason
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:47 AM on August 20, 2012


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