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General News    H4'ed 7/10/14

The World Cup Spilleth Over: As the Soccer Games End, Political Ones Begin

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All of these injustices were inflicted with the intent of an anticipated World Cup win overshadowing the inequities. The Brazilian government was banking on the forgiveness of the people for their corruption and scandals surrounding the World Cup in exchange for a 6th title. Instead of the trophy, all the Brazilian people have is a demolished, dispirited national team."

As politics increasingly becomes spectacle with the media all too happy to cash in by sucking up the advertising dollars that comes with big sporting events, these issue are buried with distracting images of beauties in bathing suits. TV directors now go for what they call the "honey shot" to showcase pretty girls in the stands.

There's plenty of intercutting done to create a sense of tension--and nail-biting by fans, with a continuing focus on gladiatorial physical contact on the field, the more hurtful, the better.

It all goes back to the Wide World Of Sports format invented by Roone Arledge for ABC that turned sports into shows adorned with these stirring words: "T he thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat... the human drama of athletic competition..."

Soon ABC killed that format as sports rights became more expensive to buy and created an advertiser-supported specialized sports channels, ESPN when cable bested broradcast.

Today, that network offers Apps to give fans more digital choices and reruns. As license fees escalated so has the cost of advertising. ESPN is now a brand to sell brands in the increasingly commercialized sports world that started as amateur events where athletes competed for fun and glory, not obscene salaries.

Forget the impressive ideals of global harmony. Ratings and revenues are the driver with minimum attention paid to celebrating diverse cultures or teaching the world about the world. No wonder there is so much unreported corruption on all sides. The World Cup does not belong to the world.

News Dissector Danny Schechter works on Mediachannel.org and blogs daily at newsdissector.net. His latest book is Madiba A-Z: The Many Faces of Nelson Mandela. (Madibabook.com)

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News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.
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