THE KOBE SAGA
Mitch Albom has an excellent column discussing various angles of this one.
Don’t look now, but cable TV news just wet its pants. The story it prays for every programming day tumbled from the lips of a clean-cut young district attorney Friday afternoon, against a backdrop of the gorgeous Colorado Rockies.
How big a news story is this? Well, considering “adultery” and “false witness” are both in the Ten Commandments, you might call it a story of biblical proportions.
Let’s face it. This is Bill/Monica, O.J./Nicole and Mike Tyson/Desiree Washington all rolled into one. In case you didn’t follow those cases, let me tell you right now what you can expect to hear in the near future. From those who defend Kobe: Hey, he admitted his mistake. It’s a private thing between him and his wife. This girl is a gold digger! What was she doing in his hotel room after midnight? She just met him. She obviously wanted to have sex — and now she wants his money!
From those who defend the girl: She was only 19! She was probably overwhelmed! These athletes think they can have anything they want! Why did he invite her up? Kobe knew better!
From those who argue race: Kobe won’t get a fair trial! This is a lily-white town in a lily-white ski resort! They’re trying to destroy Kobe because he’s a successful black superstar! It’s a white woman and a black man! He’s doomed already!
From those who argue morality: He’s committed a sin against God. Who knows what else he’s capable of?
Well, obviously, we don’t know him. And because of that, in many ways, Bryant has already been convicted. By polishing a certain reputation and now admitting to another, he has done the one thing the public finds hardest to accept: shatter his image. It doesn’t matter if the image was ever accurate. (How many of you now believe Kobe never did anything like this before?) All that matters is that people swallowed one image, and now they are choking on it.