Two recent events in the world of professional sports offer important insights into American life today.
The NFL story concerns an ad ABC TV showed before Monday Night Football to promote its hit show "Desperate Housewives." As described by USA Today, the ad "showed towel-clad actress Nicollette Sheridan trying to entice Philadelphia Eagles star Terrell Owens to skip the game. He agrees as she drops the towel and rushes into his arms." ABC and the NFL have apologized.
The NBA story concerns the worst American sports riot in memory. At the Detroit arena, members of the Indiana Pacers ran into the stands and fought with fans after fighting with Detroit Pistons players.
Three important lessons:
First, let's finally stop repeating the false notion that big business has conservative values. Big business has no values. Big businesses are concerned with making money for their stockholders. Nothing else matters to publicly owned companies.
Liberals perpetuate the falsehood of big business as conservative for three reasons: They have a materialist view of the world (just about everything is explainable by economic status and motives; it aids in getting people to vote Democrat); many people resent the amorality of big companies; and it seems to counter the argument that the major news media are liberal -- "How could the news media possibly be liberal when they are all owned by large corporations!"
If ABC or Fox or any other network could increase ratings by showing an orgy during "Captain Kangaroo," they would.
Second, it is yet another example of how deep the values divide in America is that liberal commentators overwhelmingly ridiculed concern with ABC showing the raunchy promo right before televising the widely watched Monday Night Football game. From The New York Times sports pages to USA Today's editorial page, there was annoyance with those who objected to the promo, not with the promo itself.
For example, many liberal commentators offered the novel idea that if the football player -- or Janet Jackson -- had been white, few would have objected. The only other liberal annoyance was that a woman was portrayed as a sex object. Nothing about protecting children or the concept of public decency.
Liberal opinion makers tend to have little regard for an issue that deeply concerns most conservatives -- how high or low the decency level of public life is. That is why liberals are more likely to be apathetic toward public cursing as well as to public displays of sexual behavior. Indeed, they consider it the height of conservative hypocrisy for Republicans to order an R-rated movie in their hotel rooms, or curse privately and then object to such behaviors when done publicly.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”