NPR Watch (9/20/17) — The Left Lives On Myths, Lies and Fabrications

National Public Radio’s morning fake news program is called “Morning Edition.” They have an anchorette named Mary Louise Kelly. Kelly announced that today was the “44th anniversary of the day when 29-year old Billie Jean King played 55-year old Bobby Riggs in what was billed as the “‘Battle of the Sexes.'”

“Billie Jean King crushed him,” Kelly informed us, “…in straight sets.” That last delivered after a pause for dramatic effect, and in a voice that dripped smugness.

The idea, you see, was the the “Battle of the Sexes” proved conclusively that women could play on the same stage as the men, and be just as goshdarned great as the men. And, of course, beat the men. Because, as mentioned, Billie Jean King crushed Bobby Riggs. And the central mythos of feminism isn’t that women and men are of equal capabilities, but that women are superior in every way to men.

Well, okay. But, was there a back story behind all that Battle of the Sexes stuff? Can we get some background? There sure was a back story, and we sure can get some background! The major part of the back story was in the announcement itself: The 29-year old King was playing the 55-year old Riggs.

At the time of the match, King was an accomplished veteran with many major titles under her belt. However, at 29 years of age, she was aging for her sport. Riggs was a long past-his-prime tennis champ, who hadn’t played serious, competitive tennis in more than three decades. His last championship had been in 1939! The “Battle of the Sexes” took place in 1973, some 34 years later.

Why in the world would anyone arrange a match between a 29-year old champion tennis player and a 55-year old has been? Well, easy: you do that if you want to be pretty sure that the 55-year old has-been will lose. So, the thing was rigged. Get it? Rigged? Bobby Riggs? Only it was rigged against Riggs.

What Mary Louise Kelly neglected to tell anyone was that Bobby Riggs — kind of a grandstanding eccentric, to put it mildly — had tried to arrange this match before, and Billie Jean King had refused to play. That strikes me as a sensible decision. She had everything to lose, if the 55-year old, washed-up has-been were to defeat her.

So, in stepped Margaret Court. At the time, Court was the top-ranked woman player in the world. Riggs actually crushed Court in straight sets: 6-1, 6-2.

At that point, though, after the Court-Riggs match, Billie Jean King could no longer refuse to play Riggs, so the matchup was arranged.

When Mary Louise Kelly announced that King had crushed Riggs, she might have been embellishing a bit. Yes, she did win in straight sets, but in no one set was any “crushing” administered. The final score was 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. Furthermore, at one point in the first set, King was behind in the score, as Riggs was the first to break service.

But, wait, there’s more! Riggs played with a bunch of handicaps against King too! If you read the story about the so-called “Battle of the Sexes” (here) you’ll see no mention of the fact that in both Rigg’s victory over Margaret Court, and his loss to Billie Jean King, Riggs had to defend the doubles court, and was allowed only one serve. These things were whitewashed from history.

Reading the Wikipedia piece further, you’ll note that there have been several of these “Battles of the Sexes,” most of which are mere publicity stunts, and none of which ever simply pitted, say, the top-ranked woman player in the world against the top-ranked man in a simple, straight-up tennis match!

Furthermore, in all these matches, the man either has to play with ridiculous handicaps — like one serve, defending the doubles court, chairs on the court — or agrees to use only trick shots, or some other way to avoid having an actual tennis match. And, in almost all cases, despite all the hoo-hah, the man has still won the match. What any even casual observer is left to understand is that there’s simply no way to get a straight-up tennis match between an equally-ranked man and woman… because the woman wouldn’t have a chance.

The Wikipedia piece also has this interesting tidbit:

In 2013, Andy Murray responded to a Twitter user who asked whether he would consider challenging Serena Williams, saying “I’d be up for it. Why not?” Williams also reacted positively to the suggestion, remarking “That would be fun. I doubt I’d win a point, but that would be fun.” [Red emphasis added]

Here’s another interesting part of the Wikipedia piece:

Another event dubbed a “Battle of the Sexes” took place during the 1998 Australian Open between Karsten Braasch and the Williams sisters. Venus and Serena Williams had claimed that they could beat any male player ranked outside the world’s top 200, so Braasch, then ranked 203rd, challenged them both. Braasch was described by one journalist as “a man whose training regime centered around a pack of cigarettes and more than a couple bottles of ice cold lager”. The matches took place on court number 12 in Melbourne Park, after Braasch had finished a round of golf and two beers. He first took on Serena and after leading 5–0, beat her 6–1. Venus then walked on court and again Braasch was victorious, this time winning 6–2. Braasch said afterwards, “500 and above, no chance”. He added that he had played like someone ranked 600th in order to keep the game “fun”. Braasch said the big difference was that men can chase down shots much easier, and that men put spin on the ball that the women can’t handle. The Williams sisters adjusted their claim to beating men outside the top 350. [Red emphasis added]

So, it’s known that the women can’t stay with the men in a straight-up tennis match. It’s known throughout tennis. McEnroe said it outright and Serena Williams even said that she doubted she’d win even one point against Andy Murray. Serena further says that she couldn’t beat any man of the top 350 in the world.(1)

Update: 9/21/17

NPR followed up yesterday’s little announcement of the anniversary of the “Battle of the Sexes” this morning  with a feature about a movie based on the event. In today’s piece, the very same Mary Louise Kelly mentioned above, interviewed the husband-wife team making the movie.  Kelly mentioned the incident that we covered in these pages (here), in which John McEnroe called Serena Williams the “greatest woman tennis player in history,” but said that she wouldn’t be ranked as high as #700 on the men’s tour.

NPR’s Kelly asked the movie directors about McEnroe’s remark and the wife side of the duo replied that she was surprised to have heard it. She further said that she knew McEnroe to “be a progressive guy.” However, at no point did anyone ever address the simplest, most obvious question: Is McEnroe’s statement true or false?

I’ve still never heard it addressed anywhere. Yet, it’d be the easiest thing in the world to prove or disprove. If you read our above-linked essay on the topic, you discover that McEnroe also said that they should just do it… arrange a straight-up tennis match between a top-ranked woman and a top-ranked man.

Here’s another interesting link. And a very interesting passage from the linked feature:

I think Serena would get beaten by the #2,000 male ATP player.

A similar question was once answered by an ex College Player and Satellite player: Laurence Shanet’s answer to Which ranking should a male tennis player be to lose with the #1 female player?

Female pros play male players all the time. They seek out male college players as practice partners precisely because they give the top women all they can handle. At full gas, any top ranked Division 1 male college player will routinely beat the world’s top female professional players quite comfortably, and most of those males can’t even get a computer ranking. [Red emphasis added.]

All this is fun to chew over and speculate about, but there’s a deeper point, and it’s in our headline: What McEnroe said was simply… true. So NPR treated an actual true statement as something that only a retrograde, backward, out-of-touch, woman-hating moron would say. In other words, to be “progressive,” you must learn, repeat, protect and live… myths, lies and fabrications.

— xPraetorius


(1) It may be churlish to point this out, but there’s another really good reason, besides left-wing ideology and feminism, why you’ll probably never see a straight-up tennis match between an equally-ranked man and woman player: money.

The women are constantly griping that they don’t make as much money as the men. Well, if it were revealed that the best woman in the history of women’s tennis couldn’t beat the man ranked 350th in the world, any claim to a whole bunch of extra money would have significantly less credibility.

Serena Williams is a millionaire many, many times over, with lavish mansions and lucrative television and sponsorship contracts. To make ends meet, the 350th ranked male tennis player in the world probably has a second job in which he frequently says, “Would you like fries with that?” I exaggerate that last, but not much.

5 thoughts on “NPR Watch (9/20/17) — The Left Lives On Myths, Lies and Fabrications

    1. I agree, Tricia! The NPR response was particularly funny. They kind of had to take McEnroe somewhat seriously. He was many-times a major champion, after all! So, NPR’s people focused on his on-court eccentricities — which were many — and called him “a brat.” Again, they simply failed to address whether what he said was true or not!

      It would have been simple. They do it all the time. They frequently say something like “[Conservative or Republican here] said [thing he or she said here], which has been debunked by [ultra-left-wing organization here].”

      If they really thought that what McEnroe had said was untrue, it would be child’s play for NPR just to sneer it away, as they do with anything else they believe has been convincingly debunked.

      But they didn’t.

      That means they know that what McEnroe said was true. But, since it was a truth that is hostile to the feminist narrative, they’d never, ever, ever, not in a million>i> years… say it. It’s funny about the Left. They have no regard for what is simply true. If it doesn’t fit their preferred reality, or their narrative, or their worldview, then they simply ignore the truth, or declare it false, or repeat the exact opposite as somehow “the truth.”

      What’s also funny was the original piece that we reported on in these pages several weeks back. In that piece we said that Lulu Garcia-Navarro, the NPR droid who bizarrely asked McEnroe why he wasn’t declaring Serena Williams to be the best tennis player — of either sex — of all time.

      How, on earth, could an allegedly educated woman, as an NPR reporter is supposed to be — not know that there isn’t a top-ranked woman in the world who could beat a top-ranked man in straight-up tennis? You know, where they’re both actually playing the same game? Garcia-Navarro seemed genuinely shocked that McEnroe said what he said.

      This kind of simplistic understanding implies that Garcia-Navarro has swallowed all the other left-wing codswallop she’s heard absolutely uncritically!

      I guess reporters aren’t much for doing things like research, or intellectual growth, or reading, or questioning, or testing hypotheses, or demanding evidence… if what they’re reporting on doesn’t fit with their preconceived notions.

      The funny thing is that I love women’s sports! I was a long-time athlete and appreciate all the wonderful things I gained from all that I did. Great, lifetime friendships, lessons in sportsmanship, learning how to win or lose gracefully, empathy, not to mention better health and fitness!… all really important life benefits!

      None of those wonderful opportunities for personal and healthful growth should be denied to anyone!

      My only problem is that the feminists turned sports into a brutal zero-sum game. Their whole thing was to take from the pot of money, fame and prestige that men were getting… without increasing the pot, and without earning it by competing for it on an actually level playing field. Sports are where that metaphor actually comes from, after all!

      Hence, we always hear a whole bunch of hooey about how “Well, the women’s game is a different one… less dependent on strength, quickness and reflexes, and more centered around strategy and gamesmanship.” Or the like. Which is all fine, but does that mean they can beat the men at the sport? If not, then they’re simply not as good at it. That’s all there is to it. Sports are very objective things. The score is the score is the score is the score. And how you obtain that score is the same for everyone who plays the game.

      A completely valid point is that most of today’s sports are designed to test the male physique. In nearly all sports, size, strength, agility and quickness are all big advantages. The women can’t possibly hope to compete, on a large scale, on an equal footing with the men!

      The correct answer to unequal opportunities in sports for women was either to (1) tweak existing sports to favor the female physique, or (2) to invent new sports, or (3) both. We’ve been doing #’s 1 and 2 for a long time. Hence: softball, different rules for tennis, field hockey, the “ladies’ tees” in golf, women’s gymnastics, and the like. And that’s all worked wonderfully well to give women the same great benefits of sports that men obtain. However, that doesn’t feed the silly, feminist narrative that women can do anything men can do, and better.

      Feminists chose #4 as well: pretend that women are every bit as good at all sports as men, which is why today we have tennis, golf, basketball, soccer and other announcers all falling all over themselves to rave about the greatness and the athleticism of the women. However, time and time again, there are objective measures that make this all look so silly. • The women’s winner of the Boston Marathon consistently finishes more than three miles behind the men’s winner. • Women swimming champions always register slower times than the men. • Women don’t do the same gymnastics routines as men, because there are simply things that the women just can’t do. And so forth…

      I have a dear friend who was a key player for the 1995 National NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion UConn Huskies. She admits candidly that even the best women’s college teams likely wouldn’t beat a good High School boy’s team. She can’t say it publicly, because she’s now a prominent commentator for women’s college basketball.

      The point in all this is simple: Things like the truth, and reality are incompatible with the Left, because they never fit with the Left’s desired version of reality. Women’s sports are simply a victim of the Left’s aversion to the truth. It’s a real shame.


      — x

    1. Thanks, Philip Augustine! I apologize! I promised you a visit to your outstanding blog, and some rhetorical support. I’ve so wanted to get there because I understand that there have been other visitors less congenial than those of our sort!

      I love what you write, and want so much to comment in support, but have to await opportunities that have not, recently, presented themselves! Again, my apologies.

      About your comment on Lebron. Yep. On the nose. To repeat myself just a bit: My friend from the 1995 National Champion Women’s UConn basketball team was quite honest: they couldn’t have beaten a good boy’s high school team, let alone a team with anyone like Lebron James.

      Looking forward to another trip to your outstanding blog!


      — x

      1. Thanks for the reply, Also, your comment reminds me of when I was in 8th grade, the local high school girls varsity team would come scrimmage us to give them tougher competition, we were both regional Champions that year, but what was actually shocking to me at the time is that the scrimmages weren’t close. We’d beat them by over twenty.

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