Excuse me, but what exactly DID Brent Musburger say that was so wrong?

Here is what Brent said, that, it seems, ESPN felt they had to apologize for.

Sorry I am confused here. Is complimenting someone’s looks now bad? Calling a girl who is lovely, lovely is bad? Sexist? What? Good grief! What has become of us? Are we all so sensitive and given to over reaction? Well, maybe many of us are, but me I say screw that! If calling a beautiful woman beautiful offends you, that is a YOU problem! Get over yourself! Because this woman is beautiful, lovely, hot, desirable, sexy, gorgeous, attractive, and there is not one damn thing wrong with noticing those facts!

UPDATED! Noted Tide fan stands up for Brent!

Why all the outrage? She is indeed Miss Alabama and, the last time I checked, that was what is known as a “beauty pageant.”

While Musberger’s comments may have been a bit gushy, it wasn’t as if he said anything salacious, rude or inappropriate. This involves something I’ve discussed before: Beauty is an objective fact.

Beauty exists independent of our recognition of it. However, in our sexualized “hook-up” culture, male acknowledgement of beauty is presumed to convey sexual interest, a de facto proposition. So when Brett Musberger says Katherine Webb is a “lovely lady” — which she most certainly is — many people hear that as, “I’d hit it.”

Feminism and the concern about workplace discrimination have imposed a new sort of puritanism, a kind of neo-Victorian repression in which even an entirely innocent comment can be portrayed as harassment, as an attempt to “hit on” someone. If all acknowledgements of beauty are viewed as expressions of sexual interest (“drooling,” as some have characterized Musberger’s comments), then a sort of taboo becomes embeded in our customs and habits, and thus has radical feminism triumphed by shaming people into silence. The question is, why?

Rush Limbaugh’s Undeniable Truth #24: “Feminism was established so as to permit unattractive women easier access to the mainstream.”

ESPN actually apologized for Brent Musberger’s comments, as if he were the one sending his digits to A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend. We don’t even know if Webb or McCarron were offended.

Rather — and this is what tells you that a powerful taboo is involved — critical thought is immediately suspended and everyone simply reactsaccording to a culturally normative script, with people saying things they know they’re supposed to say, and everyone is intimidated by fear of being attacked if they ask, “Why all this anger? What exactly did Brent Musberger say that deserves such a firestorm? Why does this ‘controversy’ require an article in the New York Times?”

“It’s extraordinarily inappropriate to focus on an individual’s looks,” said Sue Carter, a professor of journalism at Michigan State. “In this instance, the appearance of the quarterback’s girlfriend had no bearing on the outcome of the game. It’s a major personal violation, and it’s so retrograde that it’s embarrassing. I think there’s a generational issue, but it’s incumbent on people practicing in these eras to keep up and this is not a norm.”

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