Friday, December 08, 2006

Coach Rod

I never thought he would leave. I felt certain that he was using the opportunity and the leverage of the Alabama offer to get some things he wanted for WVU and his assistants. Listening to him today, it sounded like he considered the offer seriously. He might be saying that just to mend fences with the Alabama folks or he might believe that he seriously considered it, but I think he's a West Virginia boy and he was never very close to leaving.

But the thing that most impressed me about this episode was the way people were so quick to believe what the media published in spite of the facts in evidence. People were looking for the lies in Coach Rod's words when they should have been looking for the truth. The lies, as it turns out, were in the headlines as they usually are. Our 24/7 news cycle, even sports news, has created an alternate reality. If a news agency - any news agency, even the Bugtussel Gazette - reports something, then other news agencies immediately cite "published reports" and put their own version in print or broadcast. Soon each agency begins citing every other agency's report and then the citations are lost because the item has acheived a reality of its own. It is now a fact that demands refutation from authoritative sources before it will die. Even though the original "news" item had no authority in its creation, its defeat requires mutliple authorities.

This has happened over and over with political stories since the dawn of the CNN era. Of course, Bill Clinton didn't help matters any with his "It all depends on what the definition of 'is' is" crap. That whole affair (literally) created a whole new dimension of skepticism about the words of public figures.

Anyway, I'm glad that the coach is sticking around.

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