Once again a sports hero has fallen – where was the Columbus media

Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, held out as the model of integrity, resigned Monday as the pressure mounted due to a memorabilia-for-tattoo scandal that showed no sign of simmering down. Like all media created heroes, the backlash and piling on has been merciless. Besides the obvious questions about what is true or not, where was the Columbus media when all this was going on?

The start was in December when we all found out that 5 players had traded memorabilia (rings, jerseys, autographs, etc…) for tattoos at a Columbus tattoo parlor. At the time Coach Tressel and Ohio State officials claimed they found out about it in December. The five players were allowed to play in the season ending Sugar Bowl but were suspended for five games to start the 2011 season.

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Media no friend to man with the Golden Voice

You couldn’t miss him. One of the first Internet blow ups of 2011. A homeless man from Columbus, Ohio who gained national exposure for his radio DJ sounding voice. Ted Williams was homeless because of drugs and alcohol abuse that crashed his life and his family relationships. So his sudden fame was one of those great “American dream” stories? Ted was thrust into the media whirlpool and it looks like he will be spit out after the leeches get their fill. 

It started out with good intentions. A Columbus Dispatch reporter takes a video of Ted hustling for money at an Interstate exit. He has a “golden voice” and the video proves it as he does a professional sounding radio air check. Next the right people see the video at the right time and Ted is plucked out of the make shift tent home in the bushes near the interchange and into the lime light. National print, radio, and TV appearances follow as does tons of job offers from companies that see a feel good story any first year marketing major could see.

In the first week of Ted’s new fame no one talked about him getting help for his addictions. He claimed he had been sober for two years but it is very rare that an addict can just go cold turkey like that. When other people have lived in such conditions, like if they were abducted, there usually are mental health professionals who help them transistion back into normal society. Here was a guy who lived a rough life on the streets for more than few years and people took him at his word that he was sober and okay. They didn’t seem to be getting him all the help he needed to acclimate back into regular society.

After the umpteenth article in the Columbus Dispatch about Ted, I tweeted the editor, on January 6th, and asked if Ted would be getting some mental health help.

Me: Do you know if there is any mental health help for Ted Williams – I worry he might slip back to bad habits

Ben Marrison: Apparently #TedWilliams, the #GoldenVoice was offered some type of counseling support today.


So it seems no one addressed his mental health needs for four days. Of course the media got all they needed from Ted with all the appearances and interviews. 

Ted next showed up on the Dr. Phil show and I guess people might say he was getting help then but Dr. Phil McGraw gave up his licence to practice psychology in 2005 and the State of California considers his show entertainment. After the third full show, Ted agreed to go to rehab since he had relapsed due to the stress of his new found fame.

Williams left after two weeks because his manager said he had work in Los Angeles.

All ends well, right? Nope. The Hollywood ending is just that – found only in a movie – especially when it involves a drug and alcohol abuser.

Ted Williams really needs professional help if he is going to really control his addictions

Columbus Dispatch – John McCain – POW

Another funky endorsement of John McCain by the Columbus Dispatch. It seems the reasons used were McCain’s years in the Senate, his “maverickness”, keeping the Democrats from having unchecked power, and he was a POW.

Then there was this funny bit:

At a time when the nation faces serious problems, including international economic turmoil, immigration, health care, war in Afghanistan, nation-building in Iraq and foreign-policy challenges from the Middle East, Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela, the president should have an extensive resume and long experience in grappling with tough decisions. Few new presidents have faced an assignment as tough as the one facing the winner of the November election.

The editorial board of the Dispatch seem to forget that until one is President you can’t have that kind of experience before hand. No President has. It is a special job. In the decisions McCain has made recently – how he has run his campaign for one example and choosing Sarah Palin for another – don’t show a good a light on his supposed ability to make tough decisions.

A good President needs to be able to have some vision of the future and McCain has shown he doesn’t have that.

Then there was this bit:

Among the top problems facing the United States is its dire fiscal situation. The nation has a $10 trillion debt and other unfunded obligations to entitlement programs that total $53 trillion. The federal deficit this year is nearly $458 billion and some project the 2009 deficit could hit $700 billion. Despite these staggering numbers, lawmakers and the president just approved a $700 billion Wall Street bailout that they don’t have the money to pay for. In short, the United States is dangerously overextended at a time when a worldwide recession threatens.

For years, The Dispatch has called on the president and Congress to deal with this massive, mounting debt which threatens the prosperity and quality of life of generations to come. But year after year, the nation’s leaders have kicked the problem down the road.

Seriously confronting this problem will require a president able to call on Americans to make sacrifices for the sake of their grandchildren.

The president will have to ask them to accept cuts in popular programs, tax increases and lowered expectations of what government can afford to do.

Because of the personal sacrifices that McCain has made for the nation, he has unmatched moral authority to call on Americans to take their medicine. If elected, that is precisely what he should do.

For president: John McCain

The thing is McCain hasn’t made that call. He is still promising the moon from the stump. At least Obama has acknowledged some of his plans will have to be changed because of the problems with the bailout.