Could we be any less self-aware in the media?
Bloviating all weekend about the "bad optics" created by a security heavy who whisked a Globe photographer from Friday's Best Buddies flag football game.
Clucking about the "bad look" that Brady's arrangement with the charity allegedly creates.
And the truth is, it's a contrived controversy sprung from a contrived controversy, both aiming to vilify a guy as he raises money for the developmentally disabled.
BRADY AND BEST BUDDIES
- Best Buddies officials apologize to Globe for ejecting photographer
- BST podcast: Does incident with photographger make Brady look bad?
I mean Friday -- at the exact same time Brady's playing football at Harvard Stadium to help raise millions to fund programs that help the developmentally disabled -- we are in our studios flailing our arms about needing answers.
Talk about bad optics.
For the hell of it, let’s just revisit the so-called controversy Brady supposedly needed to provide answers about during the Best Buddies event.
(An aside: The people weighing in with advice on how and when Brady should have spoken have likely never attended the Best Buddies Flag Football game. It’s staffed by absurdly overzealous security that puts media in a small, cordoned-off area so that we don’t get overly chummy with Verne Troyer or Guy Fieri. Brady talks for three minutes at halftime and that’s it. He scoots. That a photographer was told to screw doesn’t surprise me in the least. Every year, the event is a coverage poopshow mainly because the PR staff’s enthusiasm in soliciting coverage is replaced by flat hostility from security when you get there to cover it.)
Anyway, the Globe published a story in April revealing that Brady told Best Buddies he wanted to devote time to fundraising for his own foundation. The two sides worked out a deal by which Brady wouldn't have to trim back his time and appearances -- and there are more than just this past weekend -- and Best Buddies sent some of the money Brady was raising to Brady's foundation so he could allocate it to his own causes and concerns. Nothing illegal, nothing improper. The story itself stated that.
As part of a broader look at how charities reward the athletes or celebs who are affiliated with causes, it would have been illuminating. But it came off as a self-righteous smear piece designed to put the whiff of impropriety around Brady and -- in turn -- Best Buddies.
Why? Well, it's just big-game hunting. And it's supposed to say something about the hunter.
Why did the NFL spend $20 million and 20 months smearing Brady, creating evidence, lying, dissembling and preposterously hiding behind the word integrity over deflated footballs that weren’t really deflated? They wanted to show the arrogant Patriots who was boss and Roger Goodell wanted to show the rest of the league's owners he wasn't beholden to Robert Kraft.
Didn't work out so good for the NFL.
Why did the Globe go see fit to insinuate in the headline and lead paragraph of its initial story that Brady was treating Best Buddies as his personal piggy bank when the truth was waaaayyyyy less sinister?
Probably a stew of reasons which likely involve politics, Globe ownership interests and the Patriots refusal to genuflect to the media.
For a publication that won international acclaim for exposing the Catholic Church's coverup for pedophile priests, going after a guy while he's raising millions for developmentally disabled children seemed a bizarre step down the investigative journalism ladder.
I’ve heard Globe writers in the past mention the phrase that, “It is the duty of a newspaper to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."
Somehow this weekend that got twisted into “Attempt to afflict the comfortable while they are in the process of comforting the afflicted.”