Dwight Howard and the “new” Media

The other day I was in a tiny shop in Winter Park, and the sales woman was making small talk, and asked me what my major was. When I told her Radio-Television she made a face and said,”The media ruins everything…no offense dear.” Which of course I found a little offensive, but it made me think about what could have possibly jaded her into making that comment.

Later that night I watched an 11 O’Clock newscast, where intense rumors about Magic superstar Dwight Howard were making headlines yet again- and then her comment began to seem less offensive to me. I could not imagine being a celebrity or simply under the scope of the media, and having every single thing you say or do be analyzed to the point of leading a hometown newscast while you’re thousands of miles away.

I can not believe I am putting this out on the internet for all to see, but I’m going on record saying that I feel bad for Dwight Howard. Until this morning (July 2)  he had not released any form of statements on his own behalf, about any of the drama surrounding his last few months with the Magic organization. He had let the media speculate and take any form of “tip” or “story” and RUN wild with them. A news personality said “The only person not talking about Dwight Howard right now… is Dwight Howard.”

I feel this situation is the perfect example of the “New Media” James Fallows refers to in an article about how media coverage has changed. Especially how the focus is now “minute by minute” and lost long term focus.

Could Dwight Howard have prevented this “Dwightmare” by speaking up sooner, or even once? Yes. But if you were Howard would you want to come out and speak to the people who had been burning you and criticizing your every move? I wouldn’t.

Until this morning I considered Howard to be a “diva” and needy and not a good fit for the Orlando Magic. But after reading multiple timelines and trying to put myself in his position, I think I would ask to be traded and after being burned so many times, I would try and keep quiet too. The organization left him essentially alone after their former head coach confirmed he tried to get him fired- and Howard sources and the Magic have been telling conflicting stories ever since.

I am glad to see Howard finally make a move and confirm something to the media, regardless of what it means for the Orlando Magic. The problem is the battle between the “transformed, verbless headline media” and Howard is so unbalanced, that no matter what he says or does Howard will be analyzed to the point of no return.

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