When is a Graphic Too Graphic?

↵If you haven’t seen Foxsports.com’s graphic to go along with Jason Whitlock’s missive about who to blame for the Erin Andrews situation (Cliff’s Notes: it’s those darn racists over at Deadspin yet again), well, we have it for you right here. ↵

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↵I’m not sure there’s a more appropriate graphic in the history of the internet for a column by someone like Whitlock talking about a sensitive subject like criminal voyeurism. ↵

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↵Whitlock is the guy who earlier this month wrote that one of the greatest tennis players of all time could be even better if she’d only lose a little bit of that butt. I believe he termed it an ‘oozing pumpkin.’ Delicious. It stands to reason, then, that Whitlock wouldn’t handle this story with the same sensitivity as other national columnists might. Calling Andrews ‘Barbie’ on more than one occasion in a column talking about a crime where she was illegally filmed in the nude isn’t exactly showing support for a fellow media personality. ↵

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↵Basically, like many Whitlock columns, his rant delves completely off point and onto the one topic for which he’s become the resident sports expert: racism. Whitlock didn’t go so far as to wonder if the reaction would have been different if, say, Lisa Salters was filmed in that hotel room. But Whitlock did manage to blame ESPN, Deadspin and notable Stu Scott-blocker AJ Daulerio, Ben Roethlisberger and, if I’m right, ESPN three more times, in large part for their racist leanings in covering (and not covering) certain stories this week, and the banning of the New York Post for printing the Andrews images on their front page. ↵

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↵The situation with the Post does bring us back to the original point. What the paper put on their cover was heinous, and a case can be made that their publication of those images re-victimized Andrews far worse than when the story first broke across the blogosphere. How graphic can a graphic be before that graphic is too graphic? While the image of Whitlock peeking through a keyhole staring at Andrews in a ball gown with ample skin exposed can be construed as gratuitous, it is far too hilarious not to laugh, right? It’s completely inappropriate and is completely mocking and making light of a terrible situation one of our colleagues is going through, but man if it isn’t chuckle-worthy every time you see it. ↵

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↵There are so many questions that arise from a simple 335x220 pixel graphic billed as "The ‘Hole Story." Fox could have used a more clothed shot of Andrews, but chose one with just a hint of potential nudity. What’s the deal with the bed in the background? And what is up with that photo of Whitlock? It’s so creepy, it’s almost like the photographer told him it would one day be used in a Peeping Tom graphic on the front page of a national sports website. ↵

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↵Last, and perhaps most importantly, how big is that door?!? Whitlock is no small man, so for nearly his entire face to be able to fit through the key hole, either that door must be 12 feet tall or someone at Fox was playing ‘Honey I Shrunk the Race-Baiting Columnist!’ ↵

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↵An email sent to Whitlock for comment on the graphic used has not been returned at the time of this post. Let’s hope he’s OK and not stuck on an ant trying to avoid the lawnmower right now. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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