Slaying Our New Salem Witch: Donald Sterling On The Cross. What Is This All About?
By Danny Schechter
New York, New York: I just have to weigh in on the racism story of the week: the strange and still unexplained saga of the owner of the LA Clippers, now banned from Basketball and pronounced big bad racist of all time.
In the end, this story is not just about billionaire Donald Sterling, hardly an attractive personality, whose big foul mouth brought down his world. It may have other collateral damage.
We used to live in a country that respected privacy and the right of people to have and express personal opinions, however odious. We used to call it free speech and spoke of it as a First Amendment Right, the right that made America America.
Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now know that the NSA, the world's biggest electronic eavesdropping agency has been allowed to intercept our phone calls, monitor our computer communications and big foot into our lives in ways we are just becoming aware.
And, now, we have to also recognize that it's not just the government we have to be afraid of.
Private corporations and even individuals with recording devices can intrude into our personal space, capture our interpersonal conversations, as nasty or inelegant as they often are, and then leak them to tabloid media out to embarrass and humiliate by blasting prejudices and dark feelings out into a cynical world.
That's what happened to Mr. Sterling. One day he was on the top of the world with a basketball team he's owned since l981, in the playoffs, with a beautiful younger woman on his arm despite his separation from his wife. He had it made.
Today, for what he was overheard saying, Mr. Sterling has been unmade, bum rushed and banished from his own team and industry, fined $2.5 million dollars, and now we read that David Geffen wants to buy the team.
As media cheerleaders praise the NBA for being tough is anyone really investigating all this and looking at motives behind this LA drama that's better than any reality show or movie produced there?
Was he set up by his avaricious "girl friend " who has taken him for millions in cars and property, or could all this have been part of a well engineered coup to wrest the company away?
Who else was involved? The "GF" says she didn't leak the tape.
Don't you think we should find out?
What are the ethics of secretly taping someone without permission, and then, for TMZ or whoever to air and hype the conversation?