Something remarkable briefly occurred this week: The mainstream media stopped fighting with the Trump administration and began fighting among themselves!
The brouhaha started Wednesday when The New York Times ran a report claiming that the Washington Redskins’ cheerleaders suffered sexual exploitation during a trip to Costa Rice in 2013. Without naming any names, the error-prone news outlet cited “cheerleaders” who said that during a photo shoot, they were required to pose topless or in body paint.
“Given the resort’s secluded setting, such revealing poses would not have been a concern for the women — except that the Redskins had invited spectators,” the Times wrote.
The paper further claimed that some of the cheerleaders were required to “escort” several of the team’s donors to a nightclub.
“Their participation did not involve sex, the cheerleaders said, but they felt as if the arrangement amounted to ‘pimping us out.’ What bothered them was their team director’s demand that they go as sex symbols to please male sponsors, which they did not believe should be a part of their job,” the Times reported.
This otherwise disturbing story took a stunning twist Friday when NBC’s “Today” brought two former cheerleaders from the Washington Redskins on air to share their side of the story.
“All optional. Voluntarily. Some girls were excited to do those things. In terms of being an escort, that was never a perception I had. I think that being friendly and receptive and welcoming to sponsors is completely different than being an escort,” former cheerleader and team captain Charo Bishop said.
While she refused to “discount experiences that other woman had on the team,” she insisted that she had personally experienced a perfectly fine evening.
“For me, it was a relaxing night with my friends. A fun night with my friends. To put it into context, the women were not selected by the sponsors to escort them to the club. We were always with someone we knew. We were always together,” she said.
Former team captain Rachel Gill occurred, adding that the terminology used by the Times — “escort” and “pimped out” — was patently false.
“It’s absolutely not what happened,” she said.
It’s what occurred after this bombshell interview aired that really took the cake, though: The Times posted a scathing tweet basically blasting the network for not having obtained permission before exposing its shoddy reporting.
Mad, are we?
Yet judging by a shocking statement issued this week by Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen, the Times is no position to act indignantly.
“Based on the dialogue we’ve had with a number of current and former cheerleaders over the past 48 hours, we’ve heard very different first-hand accounts that directly contradict many of the details of the May 2 article,” Allen said.
It looks like the outlet’s “rock solid” reporting wasn’t so solid at all. Sad, but NOT surprising!
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