Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We'we Hunting Wabbits

That's what Elmer Fudd says when he's chasing after Bugs Bunny. But as we all know, when he actually does take a shot, he never hits what he's aiming at and often causes himself more problems.

I'm starting to view EsPN in the same manner.

As I discussed over the weekend, there were some interesting things said by drunken analyst Dana Jacobson at a roast for Golic and Greenberg earlier this month. Two of them were knocks against ND, which, while unoriginal and not entertaining, are the kind of things you may hear at a roast. The third thing was a knock against Jesus, which is none of those things.

To somehow alter Jacobson's career path over her ND comments, I said, would be stupid considering her lack of insightful commentary and hosting ability hasn't done that already. I allowed, however, for the fact some people might get very upset about her alleged comment "F!@# Jesus".

So what does EsPN do? According to the Chicago Trib, they've suspended her for a week ... for the ND comments.

Who is running things over there?

First, why would they believe she deserves suspension over those remarks? If they wanted to suspend her because she was intoxicated at a company event and acted like an ass as a result, fine, do that. But does anyone out there believe she should sit because she rambled "F!@# Notre Dame" and "F!@# Touchdown Jesus"? I hear worse than that said about my school in my own house sometimes.

Second, the action doesn't address the only thing she said with which people may have an issue. Nobody gives a damn she (not allegedly) said things about Notre Dame. They give a lot of a damn she (allegedly) said something about Jesus, and EsPN doesn't address that.

I use the term "allegedly" because there's some dispute whether the third comment was made. Deadspin's source says she did. A poster on our board claims his brother, an EsPN employee, was at the roast and didn't hear her say that. There's still no video of the event.

But I find it odd EsPN wouldn't be in a rush to gainsay the most damning thing in the whole contretemps. They suspended her for the ND statements, which means she said them (and all sources seem to agree on that). But they're mum on the third statement.

I would think it'd be an easy thing to deny ... after all, if she didn't say it, she didn't say it. Since the Catholic League release came out yesterday, I would expect to see something from EsPN immediately, if not sooner.

I guess we'll see what today brings. No word if the network plans to wield its Uranium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator.

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Anonymous Hoss said...

I wrote ESPN off long ago. I actually remember when they used to be much more about sports, and a lot less about jock-sniffing (their many sports man-crushes are ridiculous), social engineering, and bad analysis. What they've done to Monday Night Football is a national disgrace.

Do I flip through and watch from time to time, sure, but it's still a pretty crappy product that needs to get back to it's roots.

1/23/2008 07:56:00 AM  
Anonymous irish65domer said...

Right on!!
The important distinction between undisputed and alledgedly is the crux of this situation and you nailed it!
Thanks for focusing on the true issue.

1/23/2008 07:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I contacted the obudsman for ESPN and here was a reply...

Thank you for your message. Here is what I know about Dana Jacobsen's behavior at the Mike and Mike roast. On Jan. 12, The Press of Atlantic CIty ran a story that included a description of Jacobsen's drunken behavior the previous night, saying she had made a "fool of herself" on stage, "mumbling along and cursing like a sailor as Mike & Mike rested their heads in their hands in embarrassment." In the wake of that report, ESPN issued a statement saying,"Her actions were totally inappropriate and we have dealt with it." Dana herself issued a statement saying, "I deeply regret any embarrassment I have caused ESPN, Mike and Mike, and any of my fellow roasters. My actions were inappropriate and in no way represent who I really am. I have personally apologized to many of the people involved but know I can never take back that evening. I won't make excuses for my behavior but do hope that I can be forgiven for such a poor lack of judgment.

Then, on Jan 18, posted a report saying a "tipster" alleged that what the Press of Atlantic CIty had only called mumblings included a string of specific offensive and blasphemous statements. Other blogs have picked up that report and repeated the tipster's account, but as far as I can determine, there has been no video confirming the specifics of what she said, and no reports in the mainstream press, on deadspin or on other blogs saying that anyone else at the roast has confirmed the specific quotes attributed to Jacobsen by Deadspin's tipster. I alerted ESPN to the mail I received from you and others in response to the wide dissemination of the allegation.

ESPN issued a revised statement saying,"Her actions and comments were inappropriate and we have dealt with it." Dana expanded her statement, saying "I am very sorry. My remarks about Notre Dame were foolish and insensitive. I respect all religions and did not mean anything derogatory by my poorly chosen words. I also deeply regret the embarrassment I have caused ESPN and Mike and Mike. My actions at the roast were inappropriate and in no way represent who I really am. I have personally apologized to many of the people involved. I won't make excuses for my behavior but do hope that I can be forgiven for such a poor lack of judgment."

That is what I know, so I can neither confirm or deny the specifics of what Jacobsen said, but her own apology indicates both the offensiveness of her remarks, that they at least had the tenor of religious slurs, and that she deeply regrets her behavior that night. Her remarks were not made on air, but they were made at an ESPN-affiliated charity event. They have tarnished her reputation and ESPN's, jeopardized her career, and whether there will be any further ramifications of the events of that night may well depend on how people respond to her plea for forgiveness.

Thanks again,

Le Anne Schreiber

1/23/2008 08:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Rick Mariano said...

You say that a knock against jesus is not unoriginal...unfortunately, knocking jesus or people believing in him is very unoriginal, and the last acceptable bigotry there is.

1/23/2008 08:20:00 AM  
Anonymous The Beef said...

ESPN is hoping that this goes away, but I don't think it will. While I don't think this will be a major scandal, it will be prolonged by their poor handling of the matter.

I disagree with a few points. I am just as offended at her comments about TD Jesus and about ND as I am her comments about Jesus. Jesus is Jesus. If Mike Golic would have stood up and stated "F-- Israel" or "F-- Ann Frank" or "F-- the Temple Mount" he wouldn't be employed any longer.

ESPN forced out Rush Limbaugh over a comment that needed some serious inference to be deemed offensive. Its parent network forced out
Howard Cosell over an offensive remark, despite the fact that he had a strong record of supporting racial equality during the 60's and 70's and there was ample evidence that his remark was not made with malicious intent. Recently, Dog Chapman had his show cancelled because he uttered racial slurs in a situation completely unrelated to his employment or relationship. Jimmy the Greek was canned for stating a historical fact in a private setting because it carried racial undertones.

For an on-air personality to act the way she did at a company sponsored event and then issue profane statements about about a religious institution, a religious symbol, and Jesus himself is indefensible and much more serious than the comments made by any of the people mentioned above. The difference is that they were high-profile people and most sports fans don't know who this woman is.

1/23/2008 09:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Kevin T said...

In the _Chicago Tribune_ article this site links to, Jacobson is quoted as saying, "I am sorry. My remarks about Notre Dame were foolish and insensitive. I respect all religions and did not mean anything derogatory by my poorly chosen words."

If her comments were merely limited to comments about the school (as numerous posters have noted would be appropriate at a roast), there would be no reason for her to mention her "respect [for] all religions." Certainly a jab at a rival of her alma mater -- at a roast -- would not be sufficient grounds for suspension.

ESPN's PR department is doing what, sadly, most companies nowadays would: giving the appearance of addressing the issue by suspending her while sidestepping media fallout by mentioning the real reason for her suspension.

1/23/2008 09:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Learn it.

Live it.

Love it.

There is no need for ESPN when other news sources do good work and bring to live illegal activities of bad schools.

Credit for good work should get rewarded in the face of ESPN's terrible work.

1/23/2008 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This story will indeed die quickly. Unfortunately, the only sports media outlet that seems to thrive on salacious stories is the very same outlet that is now the story. EsPN will quickly side-step this controversy to stories that won't damage its image.

1/23/2008 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that she is getting way too much credit or attention for her comments about ND, but who really cares what her views are on Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is slammed and put down every minute in our everyday lives by our own actions, thoughts and deeds. If should would have said F*** Mohammad their may be a hit out on her, and some Christian fundamentalist may have this point of view also, but Christ teaches us to pray ,forgive and to love.

I know these are hard things to do with the evil empire (Disney) trying to shove garbage into our children’s minds every second they get but Jesus demands that we do them.

ND nation is certainly above anything this woman has to say.

Go Irish!


Leo T

1/23/2008 11:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that Pac-10 officials are reviewing the video for undisputed evidence of Jesus slurs. Expect no penalties for Jacobsen.

1/23/2008 12:01:00 PM  
Anonymous cowtown28 said...

This is a sad display by Dana Jacobsen, however, as a Catholic, I say forgive her and forget it. ONCE.

1/23/2008 12:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with most of this, especially about EsPN needing to get back to its roots. However, we live in America, and as distasteful as her comments were, she has a right to say what she wants. It's on her conscious.

1/23/2008 01:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a roast, get over it.

1/23/2008 01:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the beef...Are you seriously comparing saying F--- You to a Holocaust victim to be the same as saying F--- ND. Get some perspective.

1/23/2008 01:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a roast, get over it.

Amen brother. Get a life the rest of you.

1/23/2008 01:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how is knocking Jesus or those that belive in him bigotry?

1/23/2008 02:48:00 PM  
Anonymous NavyJoe said...

It was a roast, get over it.

We live in America people; she can say what she want.

Also, she's not Catholic, so it's not exactly blasphemous for her to say "F- Jesus" since she obviously doesn't consider Jesus to be God.

Leo T, what's your problem? Did your parents never take you to Disney World when you were a kid? Get off your Christian High Horse, come down to Earth, and say hello to the millions of people in the USA that have been entertained by Disney over the years. Just because Disney doesn't have overarching religious themes doesn't make VeggieTales more worthy The Lion King.

1/23/2008 03:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not too upset that she said **** ND and **** touchdown jesus. It's a roast. But if she said "**** Jesus" she needs to be suspended for longer than a week.

1/23/2008 03:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Navy Joe,

No high horse here, we’ve all been looking up to the Disney god all of our life’s.

I would no more watch the Veggie Tales any more than I would the Lion King…in my opinion they both are regurgitated and while pulling our emotional strings the grand puppeteer Disney marches us all to Walmart and ToysRus to purchase toys made by child labor in China…Disney is in so many markets and airwaves we have to be careful to what they are selling and what we are buying, news, products, lifestyle…etc.

So many of my children’s friends are so quick to run off to the mall to purchase the latest this and that…while poverty, war and injustice abounds around us.

I try to teach my children that there is more to life than Hannah Montana, and while doing so my wife points out, while I am watching a game on ESPN, who owns the channel.

That’s why I take my kids to local high school and college games for sports entertainment now, no 30 second ads or overpaid spin doctors…just the beauty of the game.

A little off topic, but had to clarify my statement.

Go Irish!

Leo T

1/23/2008 04:19:00 PM  
Anonymous The Beef said...

Anonymous- I don't see anything in my post about saying anything to a Holocaust victim. Ann Frank is an important person in Jewish history. Jesus is a pretty important person in Catholic and Christian history. Both faced religious persecution. Why is it OK to slur one and not the other?

Also, to the rest of you, she absolutely has the right to say what she wants. She also has to deal with the repercussions of what she says. As did Jimmy the Greek, Fuzzy Zoeller, Dog Chapman, Imus, Rush Limbaugh, and countless others.

I don't care if this was a roast. Ask Ted Danson about how his career was affected when he acted inappropriately at a roast.

1/23/2008 04:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the idea of Touchdown Jesus IS pretty ridiculous and you really can't blame Domer Haters for considering it fair game. As for F**K Notre Dame, that's a different story and I'd vote for a few celestial emerods straight up Dana's B*G, F*T, A*S

1/23/2008 06:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what is wrong with Notre Dame fans. I am a huge Notre Dame Fan, even though I am a student athlete in the Big East not at ND, and everything being said here is exactly why I get called what I do. We are always trying to "be the better person" and claiming we dont care what people say about Notre Dame. But instead of worrying "what ESPN punished her for", just get over it. She was punished. No one really cares what some drunk reporter says anyway. the fact that we are still even talking about this, let alone complaining about, is pathetic. it just shows why every school hates us. Grow a backbone and stop being so pettite

1/23/2008 09:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike ND '73 said...

To Anonymous -
Congrats on your staus as a Big East student-athlete. Tho' I hear and respect the general gist of your message, I think it important to recognize that what most people who have commented on this these last two weeks on various web blogs have been disturbed/incensed about, are not the remarks that were directed at ND, but rather the alleged third F@#! comment. Most of us could not care less what this third-rate sports TV person thinks or might say about ND. However, to then extend her drunken tirade onto the central figure of all Christian religious tradition/history IS unacceptable, and deserves vigorous retort. As others have commented upon here(see above), poorly thought out verbal mis-steps of much less serious nature, have resulted in much swifter and more severe responses from the employers involved and the general public in the past. And if you feel no one should respond since this is just about religion, then I'd invite you to consider what the reponses would be, had her comments been made about the central figures in the religious traditions followed by Sandy Koufax or Mohammed Ali, and what you would think about her comments then. best of luck throughout the remainder of your college career.

1/23/2008 09:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a second...

I strongly dislike Dana Jacobsen. Her constant "Rah Rah Michigan" act (and her horse teeth) make me want to puke. And I, too, have grown sick and tired of ESPN's ridiculous, hypocritical way of covering/making sports news.

BUT... Why the outrage here without substantial proof that she actually said "F*** Jesus"? I have heard reports that she didn't actually say that last part.

I won't judge anybody for getting upset about it if she did say it-- and I do think they should have come down harder on the "F*** ND" and "F*** TDJ" anyway-- but how can we get so upset with ESPN for not coming down hard enough on that particular statement if we can't be sure she said it?

1/23/2008 10:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike ND'73 said...

Anonymous -
From the text of her "apology," as reported in several sources(see above), she clearly said something derogatory about a religion. What else can we therefore conclude? Plus, ESPN's failure to release the tapes of this part of the roast only confirms that they feel there is something that should not be disseminated, and we all can safely conclude that it's not derogatory remarks about ND (which in recent years have occcasionally been a staple of ESPN fare....think Willingham).

1/23/2008 11:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I understand the logic here. Because we live in a society where political correctness is the norm, and overreaction often occurs we should feel aggrieved as Catholics when she isn't punished as ham-handedly as in other situations?

That just seems nonsensical and I seriously doubt Jesus is offended by her drunken statement. Nor do I CHOOSE to take offence. This is a non-story. Newsflash, people say stupid asinine things when they're drunk and there has been NO VERIFICATION that she actually said F*** Jesus. I can't believe I just wasted a half hour looking into this.

1/24/2008 12:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Mesto said...

I think we all do know it was a roast. I think most people know roasts are offensive, but they're also suppose to be funny. Mocking someones religion is not funny, especially when its a different religion than your own.

We also know we have freedom of speech in the country. There is also consequences for our actions that go along with our freedoms.

I think firing her for this is a bit much, but a months suspension and a sincere apology and not the standard celeb rubber stamp one doesn't seem overboard.

1/24/2008 02:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What she did was bad enough to get others fired in a similar situation. That said, I'm with the University of Notre Dame's position. Forgive her. Now lets get on, (not "move on") to more "important" things like recruiting! Mike

1/24/2008 03:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so what if she said "fuck jesus"?

this country has officially been pussyfied.

1/24/2008 09:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can forgive the F*%@ ND, there will always be haters. They do help our ratings. I can forgive F*%@ Jesus, He can handle himself. But why pick on the most important mural of our times?

1/24/2008 09:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geetar, Your insight is exceeded only by your wit, as always. Nice article. Nice closing.

1/24/2008 10:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the reason why we are pissed is that ESPN has the power to dodge this story (which might be best forgotten), while at the same time they continue to MAKE(not report: ) news concerning the Kelly Tilghman comment. I think that most of us would like to see if ESPN can take what they consistently dish out.

1/24/2008 01:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't agree, Mike ND'73...

We can't necessarily infer from her apology that she did, in fact, say "F*** Jesus." All we can infer is, as you said, the fact that she said SOMETHING about religion. Undoubtedly the "F*** TDJ" comment would fall into that category enough for her to feel the need to apologize. Just look at some of the comments in this thread. You could easily infer that her "religious" apology was made to satisfy the folks who are upset about the "TDJ" comment.

All I'm saying is, get mad/offended/upset about the ND-specific comments all you want, but if we don't know with more certainty that she specifically said "F*** Jesus," then it just comes across like we're looking for something to get offended about.

Like I said, I don't like DJ and I don't like ESPN, but complaining about a lack of punishment for a comment that one don't even know was made not only gives off a strong whiff of insecurity, but it also looks like "we're" out trying to be offended.

1/24/2008 09:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't agree more about the Tilghman issue, Anonymous. It's ESPN hypocrisy as it's finest. I mean, can you imagine DJ saying, "F*** [insert minority here]" and living to tell about it? Quite frankly-- and I'm completely serious-- she'd have even been fired if she'd have said "F*** Tyrone Willingham." There's no doubt in my mind.

1/24/2008 09:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you pay attention to ESPN, then you're far number in the brain than this chick has ever been.

1/25/2008 05:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. I posted earlier as the big east athlete. I really can't believe this is still an argument. WHO CARES WHAT A REPORTER SAYS? she can think what she wants. But we all know what happens if she believes what she actually said. All i wanted to say is that the way we complain and cry about everything is the reason notre dame is hated by everyone. Who cares if she said what she said about jesus. let it be. all we know is that its not good news for her. Plus she was drunk. She gave an apology. she was penalized by her employer. give it up. discussing the pettite shit is why we are hated.

1/26/2008 01:38:00 AM  
Anonymous PleasantonIrish said...

She's a Michigan grad. Who cares? After a number of visits to ND games in Ann Arbor, it is exactly what I'd expect from someone with a UM education. All she did was come out of the closet. Maybe next roast Mark May can fill in for her and we can get the Pitt perspective.

1/26/2008 05:18:00 PM  

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