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What ever happened to impartiality in the media?
What ever happened to impartiality in the media?

When Packermania crosses the line

I get it: almost everybody in Wisconsin is a Packers fan.

Walk into a bar, you'll see the Packers on TV and assorted team memorabilia slapped on the walls while fans clad in Packers attire discuss whether or not the third-string tight end is better than the opponent's third-string linebacker.

I get it. Go pack go.

But when I turn on the local news and see anchors and reporters sporting Packers gear while reporting on the game, reporting on fans or even just reporting on the weather, I have to wonder if a line has been crossed.

The media is supposed to be impartial. It's rule No. 1. No sides. Period. End of story.

When did it become acceptable for media members to sport team colors on-air? If the individual is a fan, that's fine, but that's something best reserved for somebody's personal life, off-camera. Wearing a Packers tie, acting overly giddy or portraying anything even close to a rooting interest just strikes me as completely unprofessional -- but maybe that's just me.

That said, I give sports radio types a bit of leeway. They're supposed to be the sounding board for the average fan and, to facilitate genuine discussion, a little bit of "homer-ism" is accepted practice. But the second I hear an on-air personality use "we" or "us" to refer to the team in discussion, I'm done and flipping the channel.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like things are going to change -- especially with the Packers on the verge of a Super Bowl appearance. Like storm coverage, I'm told, Packers reports mean big ratings for TV stations so I guess this falls into the "just the way things are going to be" category.

Talkbacks

deb1223 | Jan. 23, 2011 at 4:04 p.m. (report)

Impartiality is a lost cause in the media. HOWEVER, I completely disagree with this article - impartiality in sports - who cares? Every news anchor and reporter is entitled to their opinion, when appropriate. I personally have absolutely no issue with the good natured team backing in sports. Where does impartiality come in? In issues that actually matter!! And yes, I'm a Packers fan - show your support of your team. I have to agree with a few posts - sports are NOT the issues - that's the entertainment part of life!!

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JPT | Jan. 19, 2011 at 6:42 p.m. (report)

I think it is one thing if national news starts sporting apparel but there is nothing wrong with local media showing support for the success of local teams. With how uptight and conservative our country is already, we have to be able to loosen up and have fun when we can. It isn't like they where apparel every news cast, every day? We are 1 game away from the largest sporting event in the United States, I think it's all good!

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wiscoleeds | Jan. 18, 2011 at 10:39 a.m. (report)

Bluehowler...this "culture" you speak of is nothing new or limited to the USA. Live overseas and witness soccer support and fanatics in all parts of the world from Europe to Africa to Asia.
So don't feel too bad.
There's nothing wrong with people sharing a common interest and being excited about something going on in their community.
Cheers
Wiscoleeds

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Observer | Jan. 17, 2011 at 9:14 p.m. (report)

We have newscasters?

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cysterbean | Jan. 17, 2011 at 5:48 p.m. (report)

I completely agree with this article!! People became way too obsessed with the packers - they show signs of bipolar disorder - they get way too excited, and then way too depressed when they end up losing.

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