LOS ANGELES: An entire decade cannot be summed up in a few words. That will not stop many of us from trying. The lines between real news and opinion have been obliterated. The lines between hard news that matters and complete nonsense has ceased to exist for several years. If there is one common thread of the Top 10 News Stories, it is the collapse of most American institutions. People and entities, we once implicitly trusted are now viewed with suspicion and contempt.
The ethos of love thy neighbor as been replaced with a cynical win at all costs mentality. A mentality that believes the ends justify the means.
This new Machiavellian approach to everything has led people to be bombarded with what does not matter while remaining ignorant of what does. Although the world in some ways is better than it has ever been, the outlook among too many people is gloom and doom.
The election of President Trump in 2016 is without the biggest story of the decade and will be in the next decade. But that was covered. The Trump presidency is interwoven in all these stories.
Rather than focus on what discredited media outlets try to bore us to death with, let us end the decade by focusing on what matters. The most important media stories are not what is covered, but what should have been covered. And would be covered if the media did their jobs responsibly.
With that, here are the Top 10 Real News Stories of the Decade from 2010 through 2019.
10.) Institutional collapse: Sports
Sports is not supposed to be news. It is meant to be frivolity that unites people. It is meant to be escapism from the news. It is meant to take complete strangers and bond them in rooting for the home team. This feel-good purpose of sports rapidly declined beginning in 2016. That was the year that politics infected sports.
National Football League
The National Football League survived virtually everything until 2016 when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to bend his knee and protest against the playing of the national anthem.
Kaepernick once had a bright future in football, but his play rapidly declined. Only after he turned into a relatively bad football player did he turn to political activism, helped along by his radicalized Muslim leftist girlfriend. Kaepernick disrespected the country that made him a millionaire many times over and divided football fans.
The NFL spent decades wrapping itself in the American flag and avoiding politics at all costs.
Then it faced boycotts from a largely conservative Republican fan base who demanded the players stand for the Anthem. The league tried to put the issue behind them by directing cameramen not to film the protesting players. That led to boycotts from leftists.
Stung by a decline in ratings, the NFL tried to encourage athletes who get rich playing a game show the American flag and our national anthem proper respect. When encouragement failed, the owners resorted to bribery. They gave the players $90 million to spend on social justice causes, and the protests stopped. After nearly three years, ratings finally recovered when it became clear that Kaepernick would never be invited to play in the NFL ever again.
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association has always been more liberal than the NFL, but it used to be apolitical as well. Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan are all Hall of Fame superstars who won multiple championships while remaining totally apolitical.
Michael Jordan’s famous maxim was “Republicans buy sneakers too.”
Coach Phil Jackson was left-wing, but he kept his press conferences to basketball. The new breed of NBA stars from LeBron James to Steph Curry are very liberal and very out-spoken. Coaches Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovitch have repeatedly injected their leftist politics into their media sessions.
This came to a head in 2019 when Hong Kong tried to remain free of Chinese communism.
When one NBA executive sided with Hong Kong, he was instantly pilloried. The same leftist coaches who had an opinion on everything demanded silence. Criticism of China was banned. Human rights no longer mattered. Sports reporter Jason Whitlock brilliantly explained why this was taking place. China ordered Nike to quash anti-China speech.
Nike was desperate to keep making millions of dollars selling sneakers in China. Nike ordered the NBA to stay quiet, and the NBA ordered the players and coaches to only espouse pro-China and anti-Hong Kong sentiments. Only in America could people get rich for dribbling a basketball.
Sadly, the ballplayers were so ungrateful as to side with a communist nation over innocent people fighting and dying to be free.
These political issues have also split along racial lines, with blacks more likely to be in favor of social justice and whites more likely to be against it. The NHL and MLB have largely remained unscathed. Their fan bases are overwhelmingly white. Many of the players are not even American. The NFL and NBA have far more diverse fan bases and mostly American players who focus on American political issues. Cries of “shut up and dribble” are derided as racist.
Politics infected sports, bringing misery to those who just want sports to be about sports.