Thursday, January 29, 2009

CBC should stop 'asshole-ification' of Hockey coverage...

I'm outraged by this stupidity, not only the use of the term 'pansification' by CBC Hockey Night commentator Mike Milbury and recycled by fellow commentator Don Cherry, but also the CBC's limp response to justified complaints about it.

Milbury coined the expression to describe how the NHL would be lessened should the league heed calls to ban fighting. He has used "pansification" at least twice on Hockey Night this season, in November and again in January. His colleague, Don Cherry, has also made reference to it.

This macho, "asshole-ification" (a new term I've now coined) of CBC broadcasts is really crappy. "Pansification" is straight male code. It's an attempt to degrade or attack any move to clean up violence in hockey by making it seem "gay," inferior or less than manly to do so. And no one wants to be "kind of gay", I'm sure Milbury, Cherry and other macho dudes think.

There's no doubt that many straight men, especially the kind who watch Hockey Night on a regular basis, continue to be homophobic. We still breed them that way, sad to say. I see examples of it every day. It's okay for those queers to be gay way over there out of sight and mind, but not we real men, so the thinking goes.

But even worse is the CBC's pathetic response to a complaint from Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere, or EGALE.

"The point is, it was no way intended to be a reflection on or offensive to gay people," CBC spokesman Jeff Keay said. "I think the colloquial use of the term was something they didn't associate with gay people. The way the language evolves over time, 20 or 30 years ago it would have been seen, reasonably enough, as a direct slur against gay people...But I think with usage now, I'm not sure the association is so immediate."

Give me a break! So if a CBC reporter used the term "niggerization" to describe how crime is going up in a certain neighbourhood, would that be acceptable too because the "colloquial use" of the term "nigger" has evolved in the past 20 or 30 years?

So Keay argues that "pansification" doesn't refer to gay men; it must only refer to less manly, weak men or a somehow watered-down masculinity, men who don't know how to fight and are somehow inferior to real men like Milbury or Cherry? Just like gay men, right? What planet are you on, Keay?

Violence in hockey should be a crime, not unregulated hyper-machismo gone wild. And Milbury and Cherry are homophobes for using this kind of language, and the CBC is complicit for letting it happen.

At least one hockey blogger is of sane mind on this.

I hope the CBC's "asshole-ification" dissipates soon.

*************UPDATE

Don Cherry is sounding very contrite this morning. Good on him.

*************UPDATE # 2 - FEB 1 2009

Thanks to Matt Hayday for the link to this Globe letter from CBC's Scott Moore. The use of the word 'pansification' is no more...

7 comments:

Jymn said...

As an asshole, I resent your term, asshole-ification.

Simon said...

Hi Matt...excellent post. Of course it's a vulgar slur that has been used and continues to be used against gay people. The hockey scene in this country is rife with the most disgusting fake macho bullshit, homophobia, straight escort services, and asshole goons like Don Cherry who make us all look like a nation of rednecks and mentally challenged people.
As for the CBC...their reaction is DISGUSTING. They are the ones trapped in the past. Their coverage of gay issues is practically nonexistent. Their idea of gay programming? Having two queens talk about dresses in the afternoon. Gawd.
They need to be taught a lesson, and this is a good start. Well done...

Antonio said...

sticks and stones may break my bones but worrds will never...

Babylonian777 said...

tell em to fuck off and get on with your life kid.

Matt Guerin said...

That's what I'm doing with this post, Baby...

Skinny Dipper said...

The problem for the CBC is that it is treading a fine line when dealing with the employability of Milbury and Cherry. Yes, they have said nasty things. They might be dealt with privately by the CBC. Publicly, they can't be whistled offside for inappropriate comments because there is always another team that Milbury and Cherry can join: TSN.

Matt said...

Matt,

Nice post. And I don't know if you noticed the letters section in today's Globe, but apparently CBC Sports has decided to back down on using "that word".