Erin Andrews case a wake-up call for all. Let's hope we wake up.
I've always felt the Internet ranked as possibly the best technological advance of this age. I've also felt it also ranks as the worst. For every great use of it, there's at least one that manages to shine a light on the slimiest elements of our society.
The latter was on full display earlier this week when video of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews, captured by a hidden camera as she walked around naked in her hotel room, found its way on to the web. Worse, it made its way on to Deadspin, previously known as one of the best sports websites in existence. Although its editor removed the video and apologized for his actions, the damage to its reputation is done in my books.
This was a criminal act, if Deadspin somehow didn't notice, and an invasion of privacy of the highest order. It was a virtual sexual assault.
Deadspin was not alone. Less well-known sites also aired the video and the New York Post, which will never be confused with the New York Times, printed a grainy clip from the video.
This wasn't just an example of people showing poor judgment. It lays bare the Internet culture that believes everything is for public consumption, libel is a concept from the past and common decency is something your grandmother worried about. It's a culture that preaches everything is designed for entertainment, whether it's video of people suffering serious injuries doing stupid things or invasions of privacy of the most heinous degree.
It's a culture that made the video the most sought-after item on Google this week.
I've never favoured regulating the Internet. Until now.
WEEKEND RATINGS: What's most interesting about last weekend's overnight ratings isn't so much what's on the list, but what isn't. That would be an MLS game between Houston and Toronto FC on Saturday, which drew all of 51,000 viewers to CBC.
It was a bit of an anomaly -- TFC games are averaging 118,000 on CBC -- but even that season average might not be enough to keep the national broadcaster interested beyond this season. TFC games on Rogers Sportsnet, which shows them mostly on its Ontario and Pacific channels, are averaging 46,000 viewers. The good news is that's up 53 per cent from 2007.
Here are the top-rated sports events in English Canada over the weekend, as always, provided by BBM Nielsen Media Research: