Monday, March 12, 2007

So is she, or isn't she?

High-profile lesbian Web site afterellen.com jumped on the Pokey Chatman story this weekend with a story (read it here) saying that the LSU women's basketball coach's surprise resignation and ensuing reports that she had an affair with a former player "has turned the media spotlight on closeted lesbians in women's sports."

Also over the weekend, the daily newspaper in Baton Rouge - which happens to share a name with the national gay magazine The Advocate - FINALLY reported the reason for Chatman's sudden departure, a full four days after the affair was disclosed by The Times-Picayune, ESPN.com, The New York Times and much of the rest of the Western world.

It's not that reporters at the B.R. Advocate didn't try to drop a few hints while they were scrambling to catch up with everyone else. In a Thursday sports section column, writer Scott Rabalais asked this loaded question: "Why, after almost 20 years with a school that became so intertwined with her life, has Chatman decided to ride her Harley off into the sunset?"

Why invest in gumshoe reporting when an overused stereotype can do the trick?


2 comments:

Scamp said...

Sometimes what looks like a stereotype is simply a fact.

Dana “Pokey” Chatman
Head coach, LSU women’s basketball team Age: 35

Pokey Chatman is a busy woman. She doesn’t have many hobbies because she doesn’t have spare time. “What we do never stops,” she says. “We don’t have bankers’ hours. We’re on call 24 hours.

“When I do get a day off, friends call and say, ‘What do you want to do?’ All I really want to do is get a little rest, listen to some jazz.”

Or take her Harley out for a spin. She rides a 3-year-old Softail Standard.

http://www.businessreport.com/assets/promos/2004-40u40.pdf

John H. said...

I wasn't surprised by The Advocate's delay in covering that angle of the story. In fact, I expected it. I've noticed several times over the years when The Advocate did not report, or was slow to report, a negative and especially controversial charge against a popular public figure when the matter was related to the person's private life.

I've often wondered why. Is the paper afraid of a lawsuit? Do they fear a backlash from their readers for a perceived smear against a popular figure? Or do they sympathize with the figure and hold back out of the kindness of their hearts? Yeah, I know, that last one's a bit hard to believe.