During the broadcast of the Bowl Championship Series national title game between Alabama and Notre Dame, the camera showed Katherine Webb, a former Miss Alabama and the current girlfriend of Alabama quarterback A J McCarron, who was sitting near McCarron's parents. ESPN broadcaster Brent Musburger called the 23-year-old Webb a “lovely lady” and “beautiful,” and said to his broadcast partner, Kirk Herbstreit, a former quarterback at Ohio State, “You quarterbacks get all the good-looking women.” “A J’s doing some things right,” Herbstreit replied. Musburger then said, “If you’re a youngster in Alabama, start getting the football out and throw it around the backyard with Pop.”
Webb’s name began trending on Twitter and her account added nearly 100,000 followers within hours, including athletes like LeBron James.
But some in the feminist community blasted Musburger for being sexist and, of course, "creepy." For her part, Webb did not seem to mind what Musburger said. “It was kind of nice,” Webb told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “I didn’t look at it as creepy at all. For a woman to be called beautiful, I don’t see how that’s an issue.”
Ms. Webb is right, and there is now a noticeable backlash in Mr. Musburger's favor. Dean Obeidallah, for one, has a brilliant commentary on CNN's website about the inanity. He makes a great point: "And let's be brutally honest: If Musburger had been a 73-year-old woman and gushed over how handsome a 23-year-old man was, would there be any uproar at all? Of course not." See here.
A few years ago, feminist icon Germaine Greer did a television special in the UK about the beauty of boys (yes, boys, as opposed to physically mature men). We didn't hear much backlash about that even though the broadcast featured a full frontal nude 18-year-old male model who posed while Greer waxed poetic about -- better sit down for this one -- young male sperm.
“There are many ways in which a boy is an ideal fantasy partner for a woman,” she clucked in her best professorial voice. “Any woman of taste would have a boy for a lover rather than a man. He’s easier to manage. His sperm flows like tap water, which happens to be a biological fact. And quicker recovery time and all that kind of thing. More rewarding in all sorts of ways. Conversation might be a bit lacking, but then, who does it for conversation?”
The male model later talked about the show and said that "as my late Nan . . . said at the time, 'I thought the show was very well made although, for me you did see a little too much of your testicles.'"
If Brent Musburger did anything approaching what Greer did, they'd bring back crucifixion just for him.