We don't touch on New York Post media writer Phil Mushnick too much because the man simply hates everything. It's hard to classify him as a professional troll because it's not like he's doing this gimmick for pageviews or Nielsen ratings points. It's not as if he stumbled into something that made him a lightning rod. He's just a curmudgeon who hates everything. It's who he is.
One of his longtime targets has been Erin Andrews. EA has been criticized by Mushnick over the years because of how her looks are incorporated into her job and how she can't be a serious journalist because of it. In a recent column imagining a curmudgeonly conversation with former NY Post curmudgeon Dick Young about the sanctity of baseball (a favorite topic amongst curmudgeons), he included this snipe at Andrews at the end of the column:
"Now I get it. Judging from her latest publicity shots, Erin Andrews, first with ESPN, now with Fox, still wants to be regarded as a serious journalist — who dresses like a casino cocktail waitress."
That's just unnecessary. Casino cocktail waitresses are people too. Bob's Blitz has a photo and Vine of the publicity shots from EA with Fox that appear quite normal.
You see, Mushnick is a bit obsessed with Andrews' wardrobe. Earlier this year, this is what Mushnick wrote about one of EA's outfits...
"Here’s the deal, Erin Andrews: Drooling, tweet-twisted males will cease objectifying you as a sexual object, and perhaps even regard you as a serious broadcast journalist — as you’ve insisted all folks should — if you provide some evidence that you wish to be regarded as one.
While with ESPN, Andrews was the victim of a horrifying, highly publicized crime: A man covertly videotaped her while she was in her hotel room. He was convicted, sentenced. Good.
But since that episode, Andrews’ sincerity in being regarded as a serious TV journalist — and her choice to be a spokesperson against the objectification of women — has been betrayed by her own choices and professional behavior."
And from 2010, another crack at Andrews not being a "serious journalist"...
"In the days following the appearance of those surreptitious hotel room videos, ESPN aggressively characterized Erin Andrews as a serious broadcast journalist who was a sexually objectified victim of a horrible crime. Then came that GQ photo spread, then "Dancing With the Stars."
Ya think, if ESPN knew what was coming, it would have left out the "serious journalist" part?"
Thankfully for Mushnick and his obsession over EA's clothes, he doesn't work for ESPN and his name isn't Tony Kornheiser.
The TV industry gets plenty of deserved criticism for prejudice about attractiveness, especially when it comes to women in sports. It should run both ways though. Maybe I missed it, but I don't recall Erin Andrews dressing provocatively to draw viewers to the Fox college football pregame show last year. Like anyone else, people should fairly judge EA because of her abilities as a host and reporter, not because of what she's wearing or her looks.
I hope this isn't news to anyone living after Colonial times, but Erin Andrews, Michelle Beadle, Sam Ponder and others shouldn't have to wear long sleeves and dresses down to the ankles to be taken seriously.
Let's not forget: many of us have already seen what she is underneath thanks to some lunatic snoop. All we have to judge now is her actual work.
What female sports journalist on tv, isn't pretty? They all dress the same! Lauren Shehadi, Hannah Storm, Jenn Brown, Charissa Thompson....the list goes on and on. People that complain about this are ugly women or men that have never dated a pretty woman. Jealousy!!
Are you seriously arguing that Erin Andrews doesn't use her looks and sex appeal to advance her career?
And are you seriously arguing that EA doesn't dress provocatively?
I get why she does it and it's part of the biz, but let's not pretend she's Robin Roberts or something.
I certainly get the sense that Mushnick has an axe to grind against a lot of people and EA is one of those. But let's be honest here. EA got to where she is by working her looks for every edge. She was OK at sideline reporting, but seeing her now hosting shows is just cringe-worthy. Maybe she will learn and get better. But right now her work lends some credence to Mushnick's main point, though not to the way he says it.
When the "newspaper" that publishes Phil Mushnick's column stops "objectifying" women, including in ads on the same page on which his column appears on the website, I may be inclined to take his rants, or him, seriously. But I note that the Post barred commenting on the website, reminding us anew that people who live in glass houses shouldn't do much of anything.