Narratives, Nonsense, And Media-Driven Character Assassination: The Manning Saga Continues

The Washington Post now KNOWS why Peyton Manning “sexually assaulted” former University of Tennessee athletic trainer Jamie Naughright: She “may have” accused him of cheating in class. Scoop!

Well, maybe not. We don’t know, since there are a few pages of Naughright’s lawsuit that the Post claims could be cheating accusations that are not released to the media; but since Al Jazeera recently claimed that Peyton Manning used steroids during the year he recovered from neck surgery in 2011, why, everyone KNOWS that Manning is a cheater.

(Google searches tell me that the Post has taken upon itself to be the anti-Manning vehicle much like the New York Times led the way in media coverage when the NYT was stubbornly backing the prosecution in the infamous Duke Lacrosse Case. The NYT decided to go with the leftists’ narratives on rape and race, and pointedly ignored mountains of exculpatory evidence until its coverage totally ran aground. While the Post tried to pile on, too, including stories like this, nonetheless it could not match the Grey Lady for outright false reporting. However, in the Manning saga, it seems that the WaPo is determined to have Duke Lacrosse II.)

First, and most important, we do not know what was redacted in Naughright’s 2002 lawsuit against Peyton and Archie Manning, because no one is talking, at least not on the record. However, nowhere in the WaPo story does reporter Will Hobson use the code words, “sources said.” Instead, he hints at it using a deposition from the 2002 case in which Naughright’s lawyers interviewed then-University of Tennessee Athletic Director Doug Dickey:

Q: “Were you aware that in 1994 Dr. Naughright was a guest lecturer in a course taught by Carmen Tegano?” A: “No.” …

Q: “Do you recall it ever being reported by Carmen Tegano, or anyone else, that Dr. Naughright had spoken to Carmen Tegano about the possibility of Peyton Manning having committed academic fraud in that course?” A: “No.”

This is a most interesting development, right? Peyton Manning must have “sexually assaulted” Jamie Naughright because she accused him of cheating. So, that also fits the “Manning the cheater” narrative.

However, there is a problem with that, just as there have been major problems with this whole case narrative that the news media apparently does not wish to address. In a recent interview with the Post, Tegano laughed off the idea that Manning had to cheat in that class:

“It was a one-hour pass/fail class that was required of all athletes, and under no circumstances did Peyton Manning cheat. The class was based on attendance … It was an orientation class,” Tegano said. “Do you think he needed to cheat in a pass/fail class? … We’re talking about a man who graduated with one of the highest grade-point averages in his class.”Given that

Given that real-live academic fraud does exist in higher education, and not just at the University of Tennessee, it is easy to make accusations; and narrative-following journalists like Hobson are not anxious to veer off the easy path and search for answers, since most readers (and editors) will believe whatever they write, anyway. And Peyton Manning the cheater is a nice narrative that will allow Hobson and other sportswriters to avoid doing serious research, and it easily dovetails with the Peyton Manning sexual assault narrative.

It is instructive to me that Hobson and other journalists cannot see a bigger picture, as apparently they want nothing to interfere with their narrative-driven logic. It would be quite difficult for an athlete to commit “academic fraud” in a class with no exams and attendance-based grading unless the athlete were to cut a deal with the person taking attendance to mark him “present” even if he were not there. Somehow, I doubt seriously that a person who graduated Magna Cum Laude as an undergraduate at UT would need to cheat in a one-hour pass/fail class in order to pass, especially since other athletes whose academic performances were not in Manning’s league also passed.

At some point, one realizes that we are dealing with nothing less than all-out character assassination by the news media, all because Peyton Manning, who is white, had the gall, the effrontery, to quarterback a team to a Super Bowl win over a Cam Newton-led team that was heavily favored and led by a black quarterback. While as an athlete I can understand the kind of disappointment Newton felt after the loss – and I am not on the hate-Cam bandwagon because of his ill-fated press conference – nonetheless the hatred directed at Manning because Newton received bad publicity truly is amazing.

There is another point to this whole sorry affair that needs to be made, and that involved the Great Big Narrative that has been driving Manning’s post-Super Bowl coverage. According to the media, the Big, Powerful Manning Family viciously destroyed Naughright’s brilliant career by defaming her in a 2000 book. (One of my friends on Facebook excoriated me for my LRC story because, in her words, the Mannings “smeared” the poor woman.) While a few people in the media like Clay Travis have stood behind Manning, most of the media, especially the WaPo and ESPN, have been absolutely craven.

One needs to step back and apply real logic, as opposed to the narrative-driven, two-plus-two-equals-five logic that the media has pursued. Let us go back to the original lawsuit that deals with the 1996 “mooning” incident in the UT training room during spring football drills witnessed by Jamie Naughright (then Jamie Whitted). When she settled with UT for alleges “sexual harassment” in 1997, the Manning affair was one out of 33 points she made in her complaint. It is quite doubtful that the alleged “mooning” business was the reason Whitted received $300,000 from the university.

We also should note that the whole “mooning” incident was heavily covered in the Tennessee media during that time. For all of the false “no one ever talked about this” claims we have read from writers like Shaun King, people did talk about it, and reporters wrote about it extensively. There were no secrets in the media, and I knew some of the writers personally; and to a person, they have said they did not cover up anything.

(As one female athlete who was at UT during that time and clearly supports Manning told me, “It was a men’s locker room, for goodness sakes. What do you expect?” Yes, she admits, the mooning was in bad taste, but one should expect bad taste in that setting and not overreact.)

This controversy passed, but the 2000 book “Manning: A Father, His Sons, and a Football Legacy” has a short passage about the “mooning” incident in which Naughright’s name is not mentioned. He does mention that Naughright had “a vulgar mouth,” and that he was surprised it went as far as it did. (Right after the incident, Manning called Naughright to apologize; and he also sent her a registered letter of apology, but she did not respond.)

At that time, Naughright was director of the athletic training educational program at Florida Southern College. (She earned her doctorate at UT, which is why Shaun King always refers to her as “Dr. Naughright.”) In 2001, Florida Southern demoted her, removing her from her directorship, and Naughright left FSC in December of that year.

Naughright claims that the passage in the book is what led to her demotion, although there clearly would be nothing official from FSC on that subject. Furthermore, she claimed in her 2002 lawsuit that the passage kept her from finding new employment. The 2002 lawsuit, as I noted in my previous article on this case, was the first time she alleged Manning actually made contact with her with his private body parts.

A number of commentators have said that Manning broke a “nondisclosure” agreement regarding the case, yet I don’t think that is the situation. First, and most important, Peyton Manning was not a party to the original lawsuit and was not bound by any agreements made in the settlement between UT and Naughright. I am not aware of any legal agreements that Manning made with Naughright (but would stand corrected if someone were to show such a document to me).

Second, had Manning left out the incident, then many of those same sportswriters who have criticized him for including it would have claimed he was “whitewashing” his career because the original “mooning” was heavily covered in the media. Furthermore, Naughright’s suit against Manning was for defamation, not a breach of any nondisclosure agreements.

One thing should be pointed out: Naughright has had a reputation for vulgar and obscene speech, and I have had contact with people who knew her then and have agreed with Manning’s characterization. Furthermore, it is highly doubtful that, if she were the world-class, “force-of-nature” trainer she claimed to be in her 2002 lawsuit, a few curse words would not have kept her from further employment, given that many coaches in both men’s and women’s college sports are known for X-rated speech. Not only that, but Naughright’s $300,000 settlement with UT was common knowledge in the collegiate athletic world; and if anything would have served as a barrier to her employment in that arena, it would have been her lawsuits.

In short, if the truth is a defense against libel, slander, and defamation, then there was nothing in that passage that defamed Naughright. Furthermore, there is no evidence whatsoever that the Mannings did anything else to damage Naughright’s career. There is no record of phone calls to powerful people, no public statements, no threats, nothing. Had the Mannings engaged in a defamation campaign, as Naughright, her attorneys, and so many in the media are alleging, then where is the evidence? The so-called evidence is a small passage in an obscure book that does not give a false picture of Naughright’s speech characteristics.

(Yes, her lawyers interviewed people who claimed otherwise, but I can trot forward a list of people who can name chapter-and-verse in favor of Manning’s words. There also is more, including her numerous calls to reporters to a point that some have characterized as harassment. Furthermore, it is doubtful that she was demoted at FSC because of what Manning wrote in the book; and if she did not have a vulgar mouth while working at FSC and was the model employee she claims to have been, then there would be no reason for college officials to demote her, at least for “vulgarity.”)

The sports network ESPN did a documentary in 2004 on the incident, but Manning was not quoted on camera. As part of the settlement of the 2002 suit, there was a nondisclosure agreement, which was why Manning did not make any comments. Naughright sued Manning again, this time in 2005, claiming that Manning made statements to ESPN. However, two months later, Naughright filed for dismissal, with the case allegedly being settled, and the case file being ordered destroyed in 2014.

Again, I must emphasize that in 1996, no one claimed that Peyton Manning made physical contact with Naughright. Instead, she made that allegation in the 2002 lawsuit, but while she had one sympathetic witness (Malcolm Saxon, then a member of UT’s track team), not even he stated that Manning had made contact with Naughright, as she alleges.

For all of the accusations that the “powerful” Manning family “destroyed” Naughright’s career, we are speaking of one passage in a book that was not exactly a New York Times bestseller. Moreover, the passage only said she had a vulgar mouth, and Manning hardly was the only person making that claim.

If Naughright claimed that Peyton Manning had committed “academic fraud,” and if that claim were not true, then it would not be surprising if he disliked her. One would think that if someone were to claim “academic fraud,” then one might pick a real course that had real exams and real grades. Given there was nothing “academic” about this particular one-hour, pass/fail course, it is not difficult to draw the conclusion that maybe Naughright just didn’t like Manning and decided early to go after him.

Let us step back and look at the big picture. Two weeks ago, Peyton Manning achieved what no one believed was possible just a few months ago. He was badly injured and was benched for backup Brock Osweiler, and most observers had concluded that Manning was finished.

When Manning’s injuries had healed enough for him to return to practice, he took snaps with the scout team, which also is known as a “practice squad” or the “taxi squad.” (These are players who are not on the roster and do not play in games. Their purpose is to help the players on the regular team get ready for games.)

Many quarterbacks, and especially future hall-of-famers, would have refused such duty and would have wreaked havoc with the coaching staff. Manning quietly did what was needed, even though such a demotion would have been truly humiliating. However, in the last regular-season game against the San Diego Chargers, Osweiler faltered, and Manning came in and led his team to victory.

He then played all the snaps for the two playoff games and the Super Bowl. Manning, who at 39 is the oldest quarterback ever to have won a Super Bowl, was not spectacular, and he certainly was not the Peyton Manning of even two years ago; but the Denver Broncos won, and that was all that mattered. At least then.

Today, Peyton Manning is being trotted out by the Left as the poster child of sexual violence and worse. That he sexually assaulted no one doesn’t matter when leftists are on a crusade.

To watch the media pile on Manning in the pursuit of what clearly are false charges is a reminder that American journalists have learned nothing from the Duke Lacrosse Case or the faux rape case at the University of Virginia. Instead of applying elementary logic and trying to find out what actually occurred, journalists run after the narratives and create havoc along the way. If lies are trotted out as truth and innocent people run over, who cares? The narrative comes first.

William L. Anderson, Ph.D. [send him mail], teaches economics at Frostburg State University in Maryland, and is an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He also is a consultant with American Economic Services. Visit his blog.

This commentary originally appeared at and is reprinted here under a Creative Commons license

Nike Refused To Let NBA MVP Show His Faith On His Shoes, So He Took Matters Into His Own Hands

Basketball enthusiasts undoubtedly recognize the name, Steph Curry. Curry is the 26-year-old point guard for the Golden State Warriors in Oakland California.

In addition to being an outstanding athlete and basketball player, Curry is also a devout Christian.

Chosen for Warriors during the 2009 NBA Draft, some of Curry’s accomplishments include setting an NBA single-season record as well as runner-up for NBA Rookie of the year for the 2009-2010 season.

Being a professional athlete often leads to product endorsements. Curry had such deal with Nike; however, he decided to change and go with Under Armour in order to have a platform to share his faith.

Under Armour has designed a shoe to be released to the public. Curry is promoting the athletic shoe with a tagline that says, “charged by belief.”

When questioned about the tagline during an interview, Curry said, “Charged by belief has a lot of meaning. It matches with the Under Armour story, being an underdog and having to build from the ground up. It is also about my faith and the belief in my game, despite what others might say.”

Curry was also asked about the meaning of 4:13 that is placed on the tongue of the shoe. He stated that it referred to the scripture verse, Philippians 4:13. The verse says, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

In a time when it seems that the people that should be role models often make mistakes and fail to live up to their potential, many are refreshed to see a professional athlete striving to be the best role model he can be.

h/t: YoungCons

Why Does The Progressive Mainstream Media Hate Peyton Manning?

Shortly after Super Bowl 50 ended with a humiliating defeat for the heavily-favored Carolina Panthers, led by quarterback Cam Newton, Newton and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning shook hands on the field and exchanged greetings and comments, with Manning (who has suffered his own humiliating losses in previous Super Bowls) offering encouragement, then each went his own way. Unfortunately for Newton, he later would have an infamous press conference in which he showed up wearing a “hoodie,” mumbled some answers to questions, and then would walk out after three minutes, leaving the press astonished.

Not surprisingly, the sports media jumped on this – as they would with any other quarterback who had walked out of a similar situation – as Newton, this year’s NFL Most Valuable Player for the regular season, had to eat the same humble pie that Manning ate after the Seattle Seahawks blew out the Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVII. (Manning did not leave his post-game press conferences after his Super Bowl losses, although one figures he would rather not have shown up at all.) While much of the press lambasted Newton for his less-than-stellar post-game performance, Peyton Manning’s father, Archie, himself a legendary quarterback in college and in the pros, defended Newton, saying he fully understood how Newton felt after such a defeat.

In normal situations, the bad press for Newton would have stopped soon, Manning would have had a quiet time before announcing his inevitable retirement, and Newton would be preparing for the next season. However, in this politically-and-racially-charged society, that would not be the case, as a number of black journalists, furious that Manning’s Broncos won the game, decided to go on the attack against Manning.

First came Shaun King of the New York Daily News, who noted the morning after the game that Manning walked off the field after a 2010 Super Bowl loss to New Orleans – when Manning still quarterbacked the Indianapolis Colts. Others chimed in. Manning did not get bad press (actually, he did, and he apologized at his press conference for walking off), so that means that Manning is favored by the press because he is white. Newton, on the other hand, got bad press because he is black. There you have it: Peyton Manning = White Privilege.

Lest anyone believe I am exaggerating, this screed comes from Howard Bryant, a black writer for ESPN:

In the black community, the public has concluded the conspiracy is, yes, that the price of protecting Manning is sacrificing Newton: Because the airwaves won’t cover one, it must be filled by castigating the other. In New England, still wounded and enraged by Deflategate, it concludes the NFL will go after the Patriots, that the league was willing to sacrifice Tom Brady. It has concluded the NFL will go after everyone and anyone but Peyton Manning, who has created a narrative of football royalty — born a prince of a football family, embedded with NFL business partners and rumored as potential Tennessee Titans owner someday. It concludes that the NFL machine will not only avoid investigating him, but it also will trip over itself to protect him.

Bryant adds:

The truth is that in many ways, all are correct, and like with all conspiracies, everyone has to take their piece of it. That racially, the filter of professional sports is this: Black players, who make up the majority (or in baseball, where the near majority is Latino-African American), are filtered through a predominately white season-ticket base and predominately white talk radio-broadcast media machine, and the result is distortion. Maybe the coverage of Newton is payback for an athlete who dared defenses all season to take him down and finally received his comeuppance. Maybe it’s that special alchemy of admiration and hatred fans can have for black athletes. There were people who wanted to see Ali get his a– kicked, others who wanted to see him get his black a– kicked.

One should understand that this is not the opinion of black players in the NFL. Manning – for all of the hateful press he has received from people like Bryant – has been popular with teammates, both black and white, with both the Colts and Broncos. He has been well-liked in the communities where he has lived and has contributed much off-the-field. For example, the Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis is named after him, and that is not because he threw some touchdown passes while playing for the Colts.

Yes, all prominent people have their image makers and protectors. Manning didn’t invent the publicist, nor is he the only person ever to have had a public relations machine behind him. One only has to follow the political careers of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to know that PR matters, and it matters greatly.

As hateful as Bryant’s column was, however, it didn’t match the broadside that King would launch a few days later, in which King would allege that Manning is so evil and so depraved that he probably should be in prison. He wrote:

Thirteen years ago, USA Today obtained 74 pages of explosive court documents on Peyton Manning, Archie Manning, the University of Tennessee, and Florida Southern College that revealed allegations of a sexual-assault scandal, cover up, and smear campaign of the victim that was so deep, so widespread and so ugly that it would’ve rocked the American sports world to its core.

He added:

…as his career winds down, we’re left to grapple with the reality that there is credible evidence that Peyton and the Manning family knowingly, willingly, wantonly ruined the good name and career of Dr. Jamie Naughright, a respected scholar, speaker, professor, and trainer of some of the best athletes in the world.

Manning, wrote King, “…sexually assaulted a girl in college.” Wow. Sexual assault! Why didn’t we know about it?

Actually, we did. We knew a lot about it, and we knew (1) Manning did not sexually assault anyone, and (2) he and his father did not conspire to destroy Naughright’s career.

Before going on, we must deal with some narratives that journalists – and especially the black journalists that are leading this anti-Manning pack – have created.

Narrative #1: Peyton Manning sexually assaulted Jamie Naughright in February 1996 in a training room incident when he was a junior at the University of Tennessee

According to the accounts given at that time by Naughright (then Jamie Whitted), Manning, and others who were in the UT training room at the time, Manning, who then was 19, allegedly “mooned” another athlete while Naughright, then the university’s Director of Health and Wellness was working on Manning’s injured foot. While Naughred saw his rear end and everything else attached, Manning did not touch her; and no one, including Naughred, claimed any differently.

Note that Naughright signed a legal affidavit in which she said Manning never touched her with his rear end or other private parts, and no witness contradicted her. (One athlete did say later that Manning was not “mooning” him, but he did not claim that Manning “teabagged” Naughright, either. One is left to believe that perhaps the “mooning” was intended for Naughright.)

Whatever happened between Manning and Naughright (who clearly never liked each other), no one at the time claimed there was a sexual assault. When she left UT, she received a settlement from the university, and the Manning incident was part of that payment. However, nowhere in any legal papers at that time was there a mention of sexual assault. (Among the money she allegedly received, Naughright also requested and was given a watch that was given to Tennessee players when they played in the 1996 Citrus Bowl in which Tennessee beat Ohio State, and a ring from the men’s track team’s 1991 NCAA outdoor championship.) I also add that Manning immediately tried to apologize, leaving a message on her answering machine and sending her a registered letter – to which she did not reply.

Although one can fault Manning for bad judgment and – as he self-described in his book – “way out of line” behavior, he was not charged with anything. There was no police investigation, and his coach, Phil Fulmer, did impose disciplinary measures, including making Manning run at 6 a.m. for several weeks and banning him from the athletes’ “training table” for a long time. This would not have been an appropriate punishment had Manning actually committed sexual assault, but it probably was appropriate for the incident and to a former Division-I athlete like me (track and cross country, University of Tennessee 1971-75); I have seen athletes be punished less for having committed worse acts.

So, where does the “sexual assault” accusation fit in? When Manning published an autobiography in the early 2000s, he foolishly brought up the incident but did not mention Naughright by name, only saying that she used a lot of “vulgar language.” Naughright claimed that shortly afterward, her then-employer, Florida Southern College, fired her.

In return, Naughright filed a breach-of-contract suit against Manning and his father, and it was in that lawsuit that she claimed Manning placed his anus and genitals on her face. This also is the lawsuit from which King copies word-for-word (although not attributing those words to the document itself) and claims to be totally factual.

Sportswriter and television journalist Bob Kravitz has a different take on this situation, writing:

For one, the document that the writer, Shaun King, cites is a 74-page “Facts of Case’’ document that was written by Naughright’s lawyer in order to make the case against Manning. It is, by definition, a one-sided document; that’s why she’s paying a lawyer to make her case and make it stick. Maybe it’s true that Manning did more than simply moon a teammate in the locker room that day; maybe he did, in fact, stick his naughty bits in Naughright’s face, which would be a reprehensible act that goes far beyond playfulness. But you have to remember, this is her lawyer’s document.

We never saw the other side of the story, Manning’s side, which would be in a document written by his lawyer.

Here is the problem, as I see it. Naughright claimed under oath that Manning did not touch her with his privates in 1996. Several years later, she claimed under oath that Manning did touch her. One of those sworn statements is false, and suspicious people just might think that the second statement is the false one.

Indeed, had Manning actually “teabagged” Naughright in 1996, that would have been a crime; and in one well-publicized case in 2011, an Alabama fan “teabagged” a drunk, passed-out LSU fan in New Orleans after Alabama defeated LSU in the national championship game. The defendant received two years in prison after a guilty plea.

In Manning’s situation, however, there is serious doubt as to Naughright’s truthfulness, given that someone who actually had been “teabagged” would not have reacted as calmly as Naughright allegedly did following the incident. I repeat, we do not have credible evidence that Peyton Manning sexually assaulted Jamie Naughright in the UT training room.

Narrative #2: Jamie Naughright is a world-renowned and world-respected trainer, “an absolute force of nature in the University of Tennessee’s sports program,” according to Shaun King, and her conduct always was forthright

In describing someone as he did Naughright, King fails to tell the reader that Peyton Manning was not the only person to present negative views of Jamie Naughright. At least one former UT athlete who knew Naughright fairly well described her as “the most vulgar person I have met in my life thus far.”

People I know have described other incidents that are disturbing, and we know that Naughright talked to both journalists and other people in violation of the consent agreement she signed with the University of Tennessee when she left. (I also have a daughter who was an athlete at UT during the time, and she has confirmed what others have told me regarding the “incident” and about Naughright.)

One must remember, as Kravitz pointed out, King pretty much is citing word-for-word what Naughright’s lawyers wrote, as opposed to how others might have viewed the situation. Although she obviously was talented at what she did in the training world, to claim she was a “force of nature” for the athletic program at UT is, to put it mildly, an exaggeration. I have no doubt that she was talented and intelligent, but talented and intelligent people can wear out a welcome quickly through bad behavior.

(I am reminded of a time in 1989 when I ended up at the breakfast table during a conference with Fran Tarkenton, a legendary NFL quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings turned TV star and motivational speaker, who later would be speaking to the conference attendees later that morning. Within 10 minutes of listening to him brag about himself, a friend and I excused ourselves and left the table. Not all celebrities make desirable company.)

Furthermore, we are expected to believe the following claim: Jamie Naughright, a world-class trainer, was “starring” in her role as a trainer at Florida Southern College when the Manning book came out. Even though Manning’s book didn’t name her, the book supposedly so influenced the Florida Southern powers-that-be that they fired her on the spot, despite Naughright’s sterling record and despite the fact that they had a world-class trainer working for them.

If the reader believes that story, then I have some real estate joining Brooklyn and Manhattan to sell you. My sense is that there were other factors involved, but Naughright saw the opportunity to extort money from the Mannings and, indeed, received an undisclosed settlement for her efforts.

For all of King’s efforts to present Naughright as a world-renowned trainer whose personal and professional lives were destroyed by the vicious, vindictive Mannings, others present a different picture of her. In a recent lawsuit she filed against fashion designer Donna Karan, the court dismissed the suit after Karan’s defense depicted Naughright as a “serial litigant.” Granted, just as Naughright’s lawyers sought to turn Peyton Manning into a vicious, sexual predator, Karan’s attorneys have also painted an unflattering picture of Naughright; and if we disbelieve the latter (even though the proof is in the number and kinds of lawsuits filed), then we should at least look closely at the former.

Narrative #3: The resurfacing of the Naughright allegations against Manning completely destroy the “squeaky clean” image that Manning’s PR Machine and the NFL have meticulously crafted through the years

King writes:

…the documents were sent to me on Tuesday, two days after the Super Bowl, it was immediately clear to me that had the world actually known what they contained, it’s doubtful that Peyton would have ever been the “swell, golly, gee-whiz” pitchman for Nationwide Insurance, DirecTV or Papa John’s Pizza. Certainly, evangelical op-eds calling him “squeaky clean” and positioning Peyton as the arbiter of all things good and decent in the world simply wouldn’t be the case.

Say what one will: Peyton Manning and his “handlers” never have tried to present him as an older version of Tim Tebow. Manning has performed a number of good deeds in his career, and many of them have not been done under the glare of publicity. People have told about receiving notes and letters from him providing encouragement and more, but the stories came from the people on the receiving end, not Manning or his so-called PR machine.

Writes Bob Kravitz, who knew Manning well when he played in Indianapolis:

There’s this notion that Manning has held himself up as some kind of holier-than-thou demi-god and has used that reputation to make mega millions as a corporate pitchman.

I would take issue with that.

Manning has never, at least to my knowledge, attempted to make any kind of case that he is morally and ethically superior to anybody. He has not spent his life attempting to tell people how to live their lives, has not worn his religion on his sleeve. If fans want to believe that he’s some holier-than-thou athlete who’s above reproach, that’s their choice. But in all the years I’ve known Manning, he’s made it clear, at least to me, that he’s made missteps in his life, just as we all do.

If Manning was selling me on a lifestyle, if he was Tim Tebow or someone like that, I would find these latest “revelations’’ quite concerning and hypocritical. But he’s not selling me on a lifestyle. He’s selling me credit cards. He’s selling me pizza. He’s selling me just about everything there is to sell in today’s market.

Kravitz goes on:

But I will say this, too: He’s done so many good things for people, so many things you’ve never heard about, it would make your head spin. He may have screwed up badly in the Naughright case, but he has spent most of his public and private life doing good works. Some of them have been widely reported. Most have not. On balance, yes, I would say that Peyton Manning is a very good person. And if that makes me part of the whole Indianapolis butt kisser’s club, so be it.

If he had a bad moment – and it’s possible this occurred the way Naughright’s lawyer suggested it did – he has, on balance, had exponentially more good moments. I’ve never felt you judge someone based on one of the worst, if not THE worst, moment of their lives.

Unless, you know, they murdered someone or did something else that could be deemed unforgivable.

Again, this happened 20 years ago, when he was still a teenager. It was settled 13 years ago. And everything you may have read in the Daily News piece came from a source who was specifically paid to make the case against Manning. Until I get a chance to read Manning’s side, or hear from Manning or his representatives, I will suspend final judgment – to the degree that’s really necessary after all these years. (Emphasis mine)

I repeat, the only persons claiming that Peyton Manning is not the golden child he supposedly claims to be are journalists like Shaun King, Sarah Spain, and Howard Bryant, along with the whole gaggle of journalists and bloggers that soon will pile on. No doubt, we will see a hate frenzy by the media because the media is very good both at presenting false narratives and then “destroying” other false narratives.

Please understand how this whole thing originated. Some journalists were unhappy because Cam Newton was skewered after his Super Bowl loss, despite the fact that both Peyton Manning and his father, Archie, stood up for Newton and praised him. That was not good enough, and especially for some of the black journalists who always have held an inexplicable hatred for Peyton Manning ever since his college days.

Someone had to pay for Newton’s self-inflicted wounds, and it was Peyton Manning. Thanks to the Manning-haters in the media, Peyton Manning now will be depicted as a rapist or worse (which he clearly is not) and a force of evil that was overrated as a quarterback and overrated as a human being, and who owes his entire status to his “white privilege.” Never mind that he was the NFL MVP five times, and that he holds many NFL passing records, along with two Super Bowl championships. He deserves much better, but don’t count on the Progressive American media to pull back and look for the truth. No, the media prefers juicy narratives – even if false – to what might be true.

William L. Anderson, Ph.D. [send him mail], teaches economics at Frostburg State University in Maryland, and is an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He also is a consultant with American Economic Services. Visit his blog.

This commentary originally appeared at and is reprinted here under a Creative Commons license

Rob Lowe Said One Thing About Cam Newton’s Post-Game Tantrum And Instantly Got Ambushed

Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers have seen better days. Their 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos is only the second loss for the team since the 2015-16 season began.

Talking to the press, Newton said, “We’ll be back.” “We got outplayed, we got outplayed bro,” he responded when a reporter asked what happened to the Panthers. Newton kept his comments short, apparently wanting to cut short the press conference. After a long sigh at one point, he said, “They just played better than us. I don’t know what you want me to say. It’s like, they made better, more plays than us, and that’s what it come down to. I mean we had opportunities. It wasn’t nothing special that they did. We dropped balls. We turned the ball over, gave up sacks, threw errant passes. That’s it. They scored more points than us.”

One reporter then said: “I know you’re disappointed not just for yourself, but for your teammates. It’s got to be real tough. Because you guys talked about how you’re a band of brothers coming in, and this has to be really tough for everyone involved.” With that comment, Newton said, “I’m done,” got up and walked out.

One could say Newton, the 26-year-old star of the Carolina Panthers, seemed to wear his feelings about the game on his shoulders. But that didn’t stop critics from slamming his post-Super Bowl press conference. The Fox News sports commentators said Newton “didn’t do himself any favors after that interaction with the press.” Apparently, Newton’s one-word answers to questions and his sudden departure drew the consternation of the press and others.

Hollywood actor Rob Lowe jumped on the bash-Newton bandwagon by tweeting, “Wow. What a press conference from Cam Newton. So gracious!So classy! So humble! What an example to kids! Just like Peyton. #dab #SuperBowl.”

The backlash against Lowe was immediate. A woman by the name of Amber fired back at Lowe by crudely tweeting, “@RobLowe he gives balls to 16 year old kids and you slam your balls against 16 year old girls.” She is apparently referring to Lowe’s 1988 scandal in which a videotape was made of the actor having sex with two women, one of whom lied about her age (she was 16).

The actor-bashing kept on going in social media. One person may have described the tweeting wars best when he tweeted: “@RobLowe Oh like you were when you were 26 and got caught with that underaged girl? Your white privilege is why you aren’t in prison now!”

Football Star Peyton Manning Gets Last Laugh Against Al Jazeera With PERFECT 12 Word Jab

On Wednesday, Al Jazeera announced it was shuttering its American news channel, Al Jazeera America. The news came as a surprise to employees; but to one famous athelete, vengeance apparently couldn’t have been sweeter. Peyton Manning, starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos, was seemingly ecstatic to see Al Jazeera America close up shop.

At issue was an Al Jazeera expose that accused Manning of being involved in a performance enhancing drug (PED) ring. The report claimed the Guyer Clinic in Indianapolis supplied Manning with the PEDs. Pharmacist Charlie Sly stated the shipments of human growth hormone (HGH) were sent to Manning’s wife, Ashley, in an effort to disguise the possibility that Manning was using. There was one huge problem with Al Jazeera’s report: it was possibly fabricated.

In a YouTube response to the Al Jazeera report, Sly said, “I am recanting any such statements and there is no truth to any statement of mine that Al Jazeera plans to air. Under no circumstances should any of those statements, recordings or communications be aired.”

Sly stated he was unknowingly being recorded and had not consented to being videotaped. It is unclear whether or not the news story that Al Jazeera ran on Manning, or Manning’s subsequent plans to sue Al Jazeera, had anything to do with its demise; but it brought out a bit of sarcasm in Manning when he heard that the network tucked tail and ran.

When asked for comment about Al Jazeera’s decision to cease operations in the U.S., Manning responded, “I’m sure it’s going to be just devastating to all their viewers.”