On Sunday in Minneapolis, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII. From start to finish, players on both teams fought hard but the game did not inspire men across America to beat their wives and girlfriends. That was the narrative 25 years ago leading up to Super Bowl XXVII in Pasadena.
A coalition of “women’s groups” held a press conference to announce that Super Bowl Sunday is the “biggest day of the year for violence against women.” Former child actress Sheila Kuehl – she played Zelda Gilroy on “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” – of the California Women’s Law Center cited an Old Dominion University study finding that beatings and hospital admissions rose 40 percent after Washington Redskins games. Linda Mitchell of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) appeared at the press conference and a mass mailing from Dobisky Associates warned women “don’t remain at home with him during the game.”
Psychiatrist Lenore Walker, author of The Battered Woman, appeared on “Good Morning America” touting ten years of data showing sharp increases of violence against women on Super Bowl Sundays. The day before the game, Linda Gorov of the Boston Globe reported that on Super Bowl Sunday women’s shelters and hotlines are “flooded with more calls from victims than on any other day of the year.” Across the nation, Gorov wrote, such calls reported a 40-percent climb. In similar style, a Toronto Star writer opined, “the Super Bowl’s most brutal hits will occur in living rooms across Canada and the United States.”
Before the game, NBC sports and the National Football League aired a 30-second announcement, produced by the Philadelphia Coalition on Domestic Violence, proclaiming that “domestic violence is a crime.” Michael Lindsey of the advocacy group Third Path told Robert Lipsyte of the New York Times that the announcement “will save lives. It will give people the permission to call for help. The same way so much violence in football gives people permission to batter.”
“If Super Bowl tradition holds,” Lipsyte wrote, “more women than usual will be battered today in their homes by the men in their lives; it seems an inevitable part of the post-game show. A big football game on television invariably becomes the Abuse Bowl for men conditioned by the sports culture to act out their rage on someone smaller.” Practically alone in the establishment media, Ken Ringle of the Washington Post took the trouble to investigate the claims.
Battered Women Who Kill author Charles Patrick Ewing, quoted in the Dobisky release, told Ringle, “I never said that,” about the increase of violence on Super Bowl Sunday, and “I don’t know that to be true.” Psychologist David Silber of George Washington University, an expert on domestic violence, told the reporter “I know of no study documenting any such link.”
Ringle called Janet Katz, co-author of the study cited by Sheila Kuehl on the alleged rise in beatings and hospitalizations after Redskins games. “That’s not what we found at all,” Katz told the reporter. Linda Mitchell of FAIR told Ringle she knew Keuhl was misrepresenting the study but as for challenging her, “I wouldn’t do that in front of the media.”
Lenore Walker referred Ringle’s calls to Michael Lindsey, who said, “I haven’t been any more successful than you in tracking down any of this.” The Boston Globe’s Lynda Gorov said she never saw the study about the 40 percent jump in domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday. Gorov had only been told about the study by FAIR, supposedly a media watchdog.
On the academic side, Who Stole Feminism? author Christina Hoff Sommers was one of the few to challenge the 1993 Super Bowl hoax. Sommers took issue with those who use “manufactured data,” view America as an oppressive patriarchy, and look the other way at genuine abuse in other countries. “In Pakistan and Iran,” Sommers told the Daily Caller, “they will defend their societies by saying women are imperiled in the West, that women are beaten — especially Super Bowl Sunday! — there can be no distinction between women who are free and are oppressed.”
The old-line establishment media have trouble with that distinction, and with anything less that worshipful of Islam, which actually mandates wife-beating. The establishment media also have trouble distinguishing truth and falsehood. With no evidence, they churn up hysteria about Russian collusion to steal the 2016 election. In that cause, they serve as a public relations agency for leftist Democrats and the Deep State.
Both the New York Times and Washington Post opposed the release of the intelligence memo about FBI and DOJ collusion in the surveillance of U.S. citizens. On such key issues, the establishment media don’t want readers to see the data and make up their own minds. So when it comes to truth and transparency, the establishment media are worse than in 1993, when they eagerly retailed the “day of dread” hoax for Super Bowl XXVII.
For the record, millions watched as the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills 52-17. The game did not inspire men to beat their wives and girlfriends.