There is a question that has been bouncing around in my head for a few weeks now, in response to the troubles that Iowa's football program has encountered since the end of the regular season.
That question is: does an organization develop an anti-media attitude in response to negative interactions with the media? Or, is it just a natural outgrowth of a conservative organization (or an organization led by conservatives) to develop dislike for open and public airing of business?
I first began considering these ideas when, about 8 years ago, I was in a college class about the modern history of Latin America (by modern, I mean over the last 300 or 400 years). We read a book about possible/probable US government involvement in the overthrow of leaders and governments in Latin America and South America. The case I focused on most was the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile.
As I researched the topic, I read many articles about it from microfilm copies of the New York Times.
I looked at the time period and the atmosphere in the White House a bit more broadly. The White House seemed very tight-lipped about Chile, and that same White House would soon have big problems with Watergate. I asked myself: "Were Nixon and his minions actually trying to cover up American involvement in the overthrow of a foreign government, or were they just pissed off at the media?" It seemed that, only a decade before, the administration of JFK seemed to have a much warmer relationship with the media, during some pretty stressful times (Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, etc).
To me, it seems as though most of the media professionals that cover Iowa sports are people that should be pretty easy to get along with: Morehouse, Hlas, and Dochterman all seem like fair dudes. Although, I would probably not begrudge someone from the Iowa athletic department if they harbored severe hatred for those hacks that call themselves sportswriters and TV sports reporters in Des Moines.
And so, I ask, is the Iowa Athletic Department and its recent, less-than-enjoyable interactions with the media, letting the situation become more and more problematic? Or, is it just a natural outgrowth of an organization where all the top leadership positions (AD, football coach, SID) are held by middle-aged white males?
Finally, I'll throw in a quote from Stoops that really made me realize that I wanted to write this post:
and “they wouldn’t go there.” I love Morehouse, but listening to a press conference with the Nets—a team no one cares about, even in NJ, reporters drill the fucking shit out of those guys. It’s never a, “Well, they wouldn’t go there.”
Iowa is a different culture when it comes to media."