Monday, March 15, 2010

Erin Andrews/DWTS
I just read Don Ohlmeyer's latest Omsbudsman piece on (OK, that's not accurate. I skimmed it. I let my eyes pass over it. I... OK, fine. Zach reads column in full.)

OK, first off, Ohlmeyer is best known to most people as the guy who helped get Norm MacDonald removed from Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update. No disrespect to him, but I'd prefer journalists being media critics, not guys with entertainment backgrounds.

But my main concern is that while Ohlmeyer touched on Tony Kornheiser's suspension, Olympics coverage, Tiger Woods and web-premium content, he DIDN'T address something that, as a journalist, rubbed me the wrong way.

That was the news earlier this month that Erin Andrews would appear as a contestant on ABC's Dancing With the Stars.

Andrews is a popular sideline reporter for ESPN. She has done baseball, basketball and football, and appears to be well-liked by most in that role.

But my understanding is that by working in a news capacity makes you a journalist, not a celebrity. I also was annoyed when I saw Andrews on a Sony commercial earlier this year with Peyton Manning and Justin Timberlake.

This is not an Andrews issue. CBS' James Brown appeared in the Sony commercials last year, and Kenny Mayne was a contestent on DWTS a few years ago.

ESPN and ABC are owned by Disney. Maybe there's intentional cross-promotion with Andrews -- certainly an attractive woman-- being on the show, maybe not.

But the fact that Andrews would agree to it, that there wasn't a flatout rejection by ESPN of the idea, and that the question wasn't even raised in Ohlmeyer's column, is concerning.

How does one appear on commercials and dancing programs and still maintain credibility when giving information?

It's a question few seem to want to answer.

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At 5:06 PM , Blogger Vince said...

Y'know, this is right up there with Capt. Renault being shocked, SHOCKED that gambling goes on at Rick's.
ESPN has been more, um, personality-driven than actual coverage-driven pretty much since they were taken over by the Mouse in the late 1990s. To pretend that the on-air talent there are journalists instead of personalities or eye candy is naive.

At 10:03 PM , Blogger Zach said...

Fair point. I can't pretend to be shocked by these events. But I can sure complain about them.

However, in Ohlmeyer's column, there is a line called "the soul of journalism." It was the fact that the Andrews situation wasn't even brought up that irked me the most.


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