Everyone Deserves Blame for Erin Andrews Video Fiasco
First comes the obligatory condemnation. To the pervert who shot the peephole video of Andrews undressing in her hotel room -- may you spend the rest of your life in a Turkish prison cell with your eyes pried open and nude posters of Tony Kornheiser glued to the wall.
To the editors at Deadspin, the New York Post and every media outlet that's exploited this story, may someone shoot peephole video of your next bathroom visit and post it all over the Internet.
To the approximate 4.9 billion people who've spent the week clicking around the web looking for the video, may your hard drives go permanently soft.
Wait, I'm in that group. I could say I was only doing research for this column, but the fact is I was more than willing to stop mentally undressing ESPN's sideline babe and watch the real thing.
My guess is you were, too. If not, I commend you and hope things are going well at the monastery.
The fact is only one person committed the crime, but almost all of us have contributed to this revealing peep at our culture. That includes ESPN.
Andrews in no way deserved this video violation. Imagine every time you check into a hotel room for the rest of your life, the thought of a sicko surveilling you will creep into mind.
Andrews is a professional sideline reporter who has paid her dues, but let's be honest -- her popularity isn't based on how she questions Frank Beamer. All those frat boys in the stands are hooting because she's the two-time defending champ in Playboy's Sexiest Sportscaster contest.
Andrews can't help that she's attractive any more than Dick Vitale can help that he's bald. But like Vitale, her looks are part of her act. She could try to play them down, but she knows what makes TV's wheel of fortune spin. So she's gladly ridden the hot-blooded wave to the top.
As for ESPN, you can't blame the network for turning Andrews into a star. You can laugh when the TV executives say they value hard-nosed women reporters over tele-babes. Not all of ESPN's women are Playboy material, but you won't see a female Hank Goldberg anchoring SportsCenter anytime soon.
Andrews is the sexy red cape ESPN waved in front of its snorting male-bull demographic. We shouldn't be shocked that some animal finally got tired of stomping its hooves and actually charged. Maybe that's not a good analogy since a bull would at least face its victim head-on.
Videotaping someone through a peephole takes this to a new level of creepiness. But without the video, we wouldn't have been able to see how low people will go these days.
Deadspin first linked to the mystery site where the video was posted. At least the popular blog later apologized, which is more than we'll ever get out of the New York Post. It posted portions of the video on its Web site, with only Andrews' most feminine features blacked out.
That should take this year's Pulitzer Prize for Pandering, though it's become quite a competitive category. Just about every site from Sports Illustrated to AOL to your local paper has some sort of cheerleader or bikini photo gallery. The Internet has largely reduced journalism to whatever will get hits.
Forget health care, the economy or Harry Potter, "Erin Andrews Video Peep" has been the hottest search on Google all week. It's so popular the Internet underworld has created a virus that will infect computers that click on the video.
It's a fake that dupes people into handing over their charge card number to buy a security program. That has prompted a whole new round of stories on Internet security, most leading with the Nude TV Babe hook.
Everybody is getting a piece of this action. I'd say modern society has lost its moral compass, but I'm sure cavemen would have been doing the same stuff if they'd had sports, TV and the Internet.
Sex has always sold, it's just that there are so many more places peddling it. If you look at this particular item through a peephole, you can blame a single pervert. If we pull away and look at the big picture, a lot of us have a black eye.