Bob Costas, Adrian Peterson, and Half-Assed Reporting


by Pauline Wolak

Hey Bob, thanks for the halftime lecture. I’m sure Redskins fan everywhere appreciated the insinuation that they’re racist for sporting the team logo. All that whining, even after you pointed out that pretty much no one, including Native Americans, are offended? Really? Way to go, Mr. Costas. I’m so glad you took the opportunity to run from a very real, very sad issue to take up one no one gives a d*mn about.

Meanwhile back in South Dakota, funeral plans are underway for two year old Tyrese Robert Ruffin. His tale is a familiar one. Mama moves the boyfriend in. Boyfriend is left in charge of a child he doesn’t give a d*mn about. Hours later he’s in a coma. No one, except perhaps Mama, is surprised to hear about boyfriend’s criminal past.

Joseph Patterson had a substantial arrest record before he beat Tyrese to death. Several assaults that included a woman and her three year old would raise red flags with most people. That he got near another child is criminal. Most of the time we hear these cases and our first reaction is, “what the hell was the mother thinking,” quickly followed by, “where the hell was this kid’s dad?”

Apparently he was in Minnesota, preparing for a football game.

The real tragedy is we wouldn’t even KNOW Tyrese were it not for his famous sperm donor “father” Adrian Peterson. The media, of course, ate it up. USA Today ran a story that mentioned Peterson in the first paragraph. They didn’t get around to naming the victim until the fourth. CNN ran a story headlined “Adrian Peterson plays through the pain of son’s death.” The AP, Reuters, Fox … they all ran stories about “Adrian Peterson’s son.” The sympathy poured in from every source possible.

At first I was horrified that Peterson chose to play so soon after the death of his son. But I reasoned it. It’s his way of coping, right? Everyone grieves differently. Still, burrowed in my mind was the fact that Tyrese essentially died alone. The only person to give him comfort was his mother. And she’s the one that invited a monster into his world, destroying it. It was as if Peterson had no emotional connection to him.

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