By Arturo R. García
Labor Day weekend brought with it the opening strains of the college football season, and according to Deadspin, Fox Sports wasted no time in going to the bottom of the “coverage” barrel.
In a segment at which only Alexandra Wallace could’ve LOL’ed, “investigative reporter” Bob Oschack set out to give the Universities of Colorado and Utah “an All-American welcome” to the Pac-12 Conference by going to the University of Southern California. The twist being, he only talked to non-white students.
More specifically, Oschack – a comedy writer by trade, if you’re generous enough to call Mind of Mencia “comedy” – focused his mock-report on what appeared to be international students who weren’t football fans. I say “appeared to be” because the students are given a textbook Othering: they’re never identified, nor are their studies mentioned. But that’s not what Oschack is going for here, of course. As Deadspin’s Emma Carmichael put it, “in the world of misguided network television humor, foreign accents and unfamiliarity with good old-fashioned football is funny.”
As Media Matters reported, Asian students made up just over 20 percent of the USC undergraduate student body as of Fall 2010, with international students making up 11.2 percent. About the only thing Oschack got “right” was the fact that USC’s enrollment is more diverse than Utah’s (75 percent white enrollment, according to a “Fast Facts” PDF) and Colorado’s (77 percent white, per CollegeProwler).
Fox quickly pulled the video from its site (although you can still watch Oschack’s compelling – and by “compelling” I mean “creepy wanna-be Daily Show” – report on why Oregon’s cheerleaders are “so f-cking hot”) and issued an apology promising to “review the editorial process” and the usual boilerplate expressions of contrition. No response from Oschack himself, but I’m betting he won’t get the chance to deliver it on any Fox Sports shows anytime soon.
UPDATE 9/7/11: The Associated Press is reporting that Fox Sports has cancelled The College Experiment, the program that aired Oschack’s segment, “effective immediately.”