21 April, 2014


A Veteran Media Voice Speaks Out Against Sufficating Skins Coverage

Did you know that WRC News4 anchor Jim Vance has been with that outlet since 1969? He’s seen a lot in that time in the nation’s capital, but apparently this summer he’s already seen more wall-to-wall Redskins’ coverage than even he can tolerate. He has a weekly videotorial known as ‘Vance’s View,’ and in its most recent iteration, last week, he went off on local media for their paparazzi coverage of the Burgundy and Gold preseason at a time when the Nationals are making Washington baseball history.

“RGIII and the Redskins have been dominating local sports coverage for weeks now, way out of proportion in my view to the place they deserve — to the place they’ve earned — on the current D.C. sports landscape,” Vance thundered.

Vance’s view here is appropriately premised in embarrassment, outrage, and ire; in any July local sports media can be counted upon to carry out a feeding frenzy in Ashburn worthy of Discovery’s Shark Week. But late this July the Nats truly are the story of baseball, beautifully built, game battlers through an extraordinary litany of injuries, and postseason play for them seems a strong likelihood. Couldn’t we make an exception just this one summer, Vance seems to be saying, with respect to Skins overkill?

We’ve made pleas in this space for years for more balanced sports coverage in this town, with a particular call for elevating hockey’s coverage, believing still that no town can earn the revered designation of authentic sports town when proportionality of coverage is so askew. Unfortunately, the Caps these days aren’t much making a claim for impassioned beat coverage. But we commend Vance for his powerfully articulated principle in this matter, and we second his call to give greater due to that other team in red, white, and blue.

A tip of the ballcap to the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg for calling due attention to this rare act of courage against Snyder sycophants among big local media.