An Exhibition of Conservative Paranoia
Exhibit 73: Body-Slammed At The MRC
Mysterious Media Research Center sports blogger Jay Maxson rages against ESPN magazine's "Body Issue" featuring naked athletes -- then dances on the magazine's grave.
By Terry Krepel
Like any loyal Media Research Center employee, mysterious sports blogger Jay Maxson has a long list of people he hates, with Colin Kaepernick and the LGBT community at the top of the list. Maxson also hates ESPN as well for committing the sin of acknowledging that the sports world isn't exclusively about sports.
Maxson hates ESPN so much, in fact, that he (or she -- remember, we know nothing about Maxson, not even his or her gender) attacked ESPN's magazine for its "Body Issue," which features top athletes naked but with naughty bits artfully concealed. Maxson ranted after the 2017 issue came out:
It seems this crass outfit is intent on shocking people and distracting sports' fans attention away actual sports. Now when families attend a sporting event, their children may remark about the athlete that actually has his clothes on.
Maxson did concede one inconvenient fact later in his post: that this is not the first Body Issue, but the ninth. Maxson didn't concede, though, that the Body Issue is such a nonissue at the MRC that even the outlet that published this manufactured outrage had little problem with the Body Issue until Maxon wrote about it. Before this post, there had been exactly two NewsBusters posts referencing the Body Issue: a 2012 post (on the fourth Body Issue) by Ryan Robertson huffing that it might be "time for ESPN Magazine to don the 'plain brown wrapper' and move to the very top back of the magazine rack where curious youngsters can’t catch a glimpse," and a 2016 post by pseudonymous blogger "Bruce Bookter" ranting the issue featured a transgender athlete.
Maxson ranted again about the "Body Issue" in 2018, declaring that it's worse than Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue despite the fact the SI swimsuit models aren't even athletes:
It's a well-known fact that ESPN doesn't always stick to sports. And this week The Worldwide Leader in (Liberal and Naked) Sports will prove again that it doesn't always stick to clothed athletes either. ESPN is unveilingdisrobing is a better word choiceits 10th edition of the Body Issue (online and in its magazine), and 16 current and former athletes will be featured without a stitch of clothing. For the past few days, the network website has been titillating viewers by featuring nude photos from an archive of the past nine years of body issues.
Maxson then tried to link the "body issue" to allegations of sexual harassment against ESPN employees, telling ESPN that if one allegation goes to trial, "you might want to downplay the Body Issue." But Maxon offers no proof of a link between the two that exists outside his/her fevered, nudity-addled brain.
When ESPN announced in April that it would stop publishing the print edition of the magazine later this year -- but not before only final "Body Issue" -- Maxson was eager to dance on its grave with a special meltdown directed at, yes, those nekkid athletes:
Come September, ESPN The Magazine will take its place in the ash heap of history. The Worldwide Leader in "Progressive Sports and Naked Athletes" is discontinuing the magazine this fall, after 21 years in operation, but will make sure it ends with one final edition featuring nude athletes. When its business was flagging, ESPN The Magazine merely resorted to glorifying athletes out of uniform, and the strategy still didn't prevent it from going under.
Reprising his anger at people in sports who commit the offense of talking about things that don't involve sports, Maxson also huffed that "ESPN The 'Woke' Magazine is where one could go to read about U.S. Olympian fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad saying minority athletes must look up to (disgraced) 1968 Olympic protester John Carlos, Kaepernick, Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe and so many activists in the WNBA."
By contrast, Maxson was never bothered by fleshiness of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue. Perhaps fearing the loss of something to write about with the ESPN magazine's imminent demise, Maxson redirected his ire at SI's swimsuit models:
The idea of actually covering sports has become so passé for two iconic sports media organizations that they've devolved into a lusty competition to determine which can one-down the other in so-called artistic nudity. ESPN presents full buff arrays of athletes "performing" their respective sport, and Sports Illustrated is pulling out every PC trick in the book hijabs and burkinis, painted ladies and politically correct subjects bearing virtue messages on their naked flesh to gain attention. All in the name of progressive art moving sport and society forward toward the nirvana of diversity.
Maxson was put out that SI's models include a plus-size woman -- purportedly evidence that SI is "trying to divert readers' attention from the fact that the magazine is leaving sports to the wind, wallowing in PC and starving for relevance" -- and an out lesbian. But Maxson was really freaked out by one particular model:
The conflicted messages of the 2018 SI "#MeToo" Swimsuit photos cannot go unmentioned either. That's when several women posed completely naked with words written on their bodies. Aly Raisman, the Olympic gymnast who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of former Team USA Dr. Larry Nasser, inconceivably disrobed for this issue. Her body was "tattooed" with the words "abuse is never okay," "live for you" and "trust yourself." She's figuratively saying "I was abused ... but look at my body!" Unbelievable.
Actually, Raisman is saying that "being a survivor is nothing to be ashamed of, and going through a hard time does not define you," and that "women do not have to be modest to be respected. We are free to draw confidence and happiness in our own way, and it is never for someone else to choose for us or to even judge us for that matter."
Clearly, Maxson is more than happy to judge and demand that Raisman live her life the way Maxson -- and only Maxson -- deems appropriate.