The New York Times unloads a nasty attack piece against Lolo Jones, the American woman who came in fourth in the 100m hurdles in London.

Judging from this year’s performances, Lolo Jones seems to have only a slim chance of winning an Olympic medal in the 100-meter hurdles and almost no possibility of winning gold. Still, Jones has received far greater publicity than any other American track and field athlete competing in the London Games. This was based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign.

ASIDE: Don’t people often pay attention to athletes for their off-the-field story, rather than their on-field performance? (If Geena Davis had made the Olympic archery team, do you think that she might have gotten some media attention?) Indeed, doesn’t NBC produce and market the Olympics on that basis at least as much as for the athletics alone?

Why does the New York Times hate Jones? This might explain it:

At the same time, she has proclaimed herself to be a 30-year-old virgin and a Christian. And oh, by the way, a big fan of Tim Tebow.

We’re used to this sort of thing in politics. There we understand that the New York Times has a reason to tear people down, and we’ve come to expect it. But Lolo Jones has no policy implications whatsoever. There’s only one reason for them to give Lolo Jones the hatchet-job treatment: they hate Christians.

(Via Tim Groseclose, who uses the piece as a case study in media bias.)

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