One of the top topics over the past few weeks in TMZ/ESPN world (they’re not that different) has been the NFL’s reaction to the actions of the Baltimore Raven’s Ray Rice, who received a two game suspension after a security surveillance video surfaced showing him dragging his fiancé/wife(?) from an elevator. Janay Palmer appeared to be unconscious.
Rice was initially charged with felony assault but the charges were dropped after he agreed to undergo counselling. And the league reaction was criticized for being nothing more than a slap-on-the-wrist.
This will not be the last we’ll hear about this story.
And, as you might expect, everyone has had to weigh in.
So I was not surprised to find out that late last week Connecticut’s U.S. Senators, Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal had sent a letter to the Commissioner of the NFL, urging him to set up guidelines that would apply to events such as this in the future.
Not a bad idea, but why do Blumenthal and Murphy have to get involved?
To put it simply: to get a headline.
For many members of the Senate it’s just not enough to serve in what has been labeled the Greatest Deliberative Body In The World ™ . It’s a pretty sweet deal. Just spend a couple of million bucks to get elected and then the perks roll in: Fact- finding tours to exotic places, a Senator’s- Only elevator, and subway at the Capitol, a swell dining room where great food is served at “early bird special” prices, and when boarding a plane to head back to see the little people in their district, and attend a fundraiser or two, they head right to the gate, and most likely get to board early. In First Class, no doubt.
But what’s missing? Fame! I want to live forever!
You want- no- you need to get on TV.
Ray Rice, or the Washington Redskins. Doesn’t matter, just get the face time on camera.
It was once said that the most dangerous place in Connecticut was that space between then Attorney General Blumenthal and a camera.
Maybe so. I only know he likes to get his name out there.
For years, those of us in the WTIC newsroom knew to expect a fax most every weekday morning. At 11 am. Announcing a press availability at 5pm. And strangely enough, that just happened to coincide with the early TV newscasts.
Live at 5!
And the fact is, this tactic worked. As AG, Blumenthal was the state’s most popular political figure. For 15 or 20 years.
And that explains a lot.
In the film Network, Howard Beale asks why he’s been chosen as messenger of truth.
“Because you’re on TV, dummy!”