Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sex and the old sportswriter

Y'all watch this video, then all y'all tell me whether the amalgamated foofarah below accurately represents what happened at LSU's weekly football presser with Coach Les Miles.

Here's the incompetent reportage -- Aw, hell, I was supposed to let you make up your own mind . . . you go ahead, ignore my editorializing -- from the hometown rag, The Advocate, as it throws an 86-year-old alumnus under the team bus:
An offbeat exchange between LSU football coach Les Miles and a retired Advocate reporter led to some awkward moments Monday at Miles’ weekly news conference.

Near the end of Miles’ question and answer session, former Advocate sportswriter Ted Castillo asked Miles about being interviewed by ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews.

“What is it like to be, and you can take the Fifth (Amendment) on this, but what is it like to be interviewed by a sweet, young thing like Erin Andrews?” Castillo asked.

Miles responded by saying: “If they had given that job to some old, big, ugly man, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. But what a joy it is to represent LSU in the postgame with victory and to celebrate victory in a postgame interview with a very talented, very attractive woman.”

Andrews was the subject of a celebrated invasion of privacy incident in 2009 when she was secretly videotaped in the nude through peepholes in her hotel room. Michael David Barrett pled guilty to interstate stalking and admitted he shot videos of Andrews on at least two occasions.

Barrett was sentenced in March to 27 months in prison.

The case became the subject of a follow-up statement by Castillo.

“You know they nabbed the guy who was filming her through the keyhole,” Castillo said to Miles.

“I’m not going to go there, Ted,” Miles replied.

“What I’d like to know is how that guy pulled that off,” Castillo continued, “because I’ve been peeping through keyholes for years and I’ve yet to see anything but a blank wall.”

Miles responded: “Ted, damn if I’m not impressed with your candor. I’m with ya,” before moving on to a question on a football-related topic by WBRZ sports director Michael Cauble.

Castillo, 86, worked for The Advocate from 1948-91 and for several years after that wrote stories for the newspaper as a freelance writer.


ESPN’s Josh Krulewitz, vice president of public relations for college and news, did contact The Advocate and LSU seeking to learn more about what was said.

Contacted on Monday night, Krulewitz said: “We’re not going to dignify those offensive questions with a response.”

Miles called Andrews after the incident became public to offer his support and encouragement, according to Bonnette. Bonnette said Miles was sensitive to and supportive of Andrews’ situation.

Since his retirement, Castillo has frequently attended LSU sporting events and news conferences and often asks questions and offers his view on topics at Miles’ weekly media gathering.

“I consider Ted a longtime fixture in the media in Baton Rouge, and I have never considered it my position to block his participation in our news conferences,” Bonnette said. “In the past he has generally asked good questions. Coach Miles has enjoyed his relationship with Ted. He only sees him about 12 times a year, and he respects Ted and understands that he’s been around a long time and has a history about LSU to share.

“But that being said, what happened (Monday) was unfortunate and something that we don’t condone.”
NOW WE move from the newspaper realm to that of the Internet's East Coast snark patrol, where liberal hipsters all congregate to gratuitously make fun of people not like them.

There, something like t
he humanity of an old man is unimportant. Gotcha -- and only gotcha -- is all that need govern the actions of media professionals here.

What do you know? Noo Yawk hipsters and The Advocate's Baton Rouge Bubbas actually have something in common.

(Dammit, there I go again. Strike that. Again, you go on and make up your own mind here.)

The first of these Internet entries comes from Asylum:
This is how we want to spend our (imaginary) retirement: asking LSU's football coach insane questions about Erin Andrews at the post-game press conference.

Andrews, a "very attractive" journalist for ESPN, interviewed LSU Coach Les Miles, prompting 86-year-old retired sportswriter Ted Castillo to ask, "What is it like to be -- and you can take the Fifth -- interviewed by a sweet, young thing like Erin Andrews?"

Castillo's voice is something akin to what you hear in your mind when you read phrases like "You boys ain't from around here, are ya?" Miles could only respond with: "What a joy it is to represent LSU in the postgame with victory and to celebrate victory in a postgame interview with a very talented, very attractive woman."
THIS ONE'S a follow-up from Deadspin:
We have video of the bizarre line of questioning Les Miles dealt with during his "Lunch With Les" press conference this morning. Furthermore, we've ascertained the identity of the mysterious "Ted" who is so curious about Ms. Andrews.

The "Ted" in question is Ted Castillo formerly of the (Baton Rouge) Advocate. He has a reputation for asking off-the-wall questions, and judging by Miles's reaction, as well as the rest of the room's reaction, we don't doubt that for a second.

AND HERE, from Down South, Mr. SEC gets into the act:
A retired sportswriter for The Baton Rouge Advocate has stirred up a controversy by asking Les Miles what it’s like “to be interviewed by a sweet, young think like Erin Andrews.”

In case you haven’t seen, the exchange has already made national news on sites like

Here’s a little background: Ted Castillo is an 86-year-old man. LSU allows him to still take part in media events. According to Deadspin, “He has a reputation for asking off-the-wall questions.”

Miles took the “sweet, young thing” question and responded as follows: “If they had given that job to some old, big, ugly man, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. But what a joy it is to represent LSU in the postgame with victory and to celebrate victory in a postgame interview with a very talented, very attractive woman.”

Better answer? “Come on, Ted. I’m not going there. Andrews does a very good job.”
I THINK we are agreed that Ted Castillo committed a serious breach of political correctness, forgetting this isn't 1967 and that humor is no laughing matter, Mister.

All right, I get it now. I have been enlightened.

The old codger committed the sin of letting time pass him by. Frankly, he should have known it's inappropriate to objectify beautiful young women . . . and especially to joke about their good looks.

He forgot (if he ever knew) that it's what's inside a woman that's important. He was oblivious to Andrews' reportorial skill, which
is the only thing one needs to know -- or notice -- about her. Frankly, in this enlightened age, we rightly realize how terribly wrong it is to objectify any professional woman.

It is the content of her mind and her heart that matters . . .
not the content of her double-D cups.

Pity Ted Castillo, who must make sick, sick comments at football press conferences, humiliating a proud educational institution and offending the dignity of Erin Andrews and a serious journalistic institution like
ESPN. It is not unreasonable to demand an answer from the octogenarian as to why he must speak inappropriately in public instead of privately downloading Internet pornography like everyone else.

THIS SAD -- and, frankly, deeply troubling -- incident has at least served to highlight the plight of young professional women and the daily struggle they face in a society still ravaged by sexism . . . and randy old farts. This, one hopes, is a wake-up call for America.

It is time we take Erin Andrews seriously, and it's time we take sex completely out of any discussion of this talented sports-journalism professional.

IT IS TRULY . . . a . . . despicable thing . . . that . . . Ted . . . Castillo has . . . done. It is . . . high . . . time -- Holy mud-wrestling mother of God! -- that . . . the LSU athletic . . . department stands up for . . . the dignity of -- Ow! Mamacita! -- women and . . . takes Ted Castillo -- Hubba! Hubbahubbahubba! -- out of . . . its . . . pressers and . . . puts him -- pant pant pant -- out . . . to pasture.

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