Sadly, Norwich, VT native and all-around nice girl Hannah Kearney is no longer defending Olympic freestyle moguls champion. Billed as the favorite and hoping to repeat her gold medal performance from Vancouver, she instead had a tough final run at the Sochi Olympics and ended up “only” winning bronze. It was disappointing to herself and her fans, and certainly wasn’t what she’d hoped and trained for. Perhaps overcome by the emotions of it all she expressed as much in front of the cameras and online immediately after her final run.
Kearney’s genuine reaction as a highly competitive world class athlete who failed to deliver when it mattered the most was about what you’d expect. But it had Jodi Jill, a columnist for the LA Times and Examiner.com, “shocked.” Her panties all in a bunch, Ms. Jill would have preferred if Kearney had followed the example of slighted Oscar nominees and simply gushed effusively over how much fun it had been to be on the big stage, by gosh!
In her Examiner.com column Ms. Jill then proceeds to go unhinged, droning on about how Kearney somehow embarrassed the collective America, insisting that Kearney “does need a lesson in gracefulness and perhaps a discussion about her entitlement issues.”
Whatever, Jodi. You’re certainly entitled to your opinion.
But it’s not clear why anyone should care what celebrity gossip columnist Jodi Jill (“Direct from Hollywood” as her website banner ad proclaims) has to say about the world of sports — a world she evidently doesn’t understand, even on the most basic level.
A rather pathetic and pedestrian writer, Ms. Jill has written a book on “How to Make Funny, Crazy Cat Videos Go Viral” and lists “Disney Desserts” as one of her passions in life. Her main claim to fame is, apparently, her deeply dysfunctional family background, but she’s deftly managed to ride socio-economic awkwardness to professional success. Ms. Jill’s day-to-day professional focus as a writer is the plastic fantastic people who wouldn’t know true emotion if it bit them on their surgically enhanced ass.
Striving to meet their unending need for attention, she fawns and speculates over the stars’ every move, on stage and off. In August of last year she regaled her readers with the minutiae of a virtual cat-fight between two pseudo-humans, a pointless spat between Kim Kardashian and Katie Kouric over something-or-other involving a baby gift and some harsh twitter posts.
It’s interesting to note how Ms. Jill reserves her patronizing finger wagging and moralizing for professional athletes like Hannah Kearney. Her beloved stars, on the other hand, are treated with reverence, and Ms. Jill’s only remark about Kardashian’s emotional reaction to Kouric’s criticism was that, “It’s understandable why Kim Kardashian is so irate as the comments appear unprovoked.”
So, to sum up Ms. Jill’s perspective: Hannah Kearney, professional athlete, expressing her genuine disappointment over her performance at the most important event of her career? Bad. Embarrassing. Shocking, even. Kim Kardashian, reality TV star, throwing a scripted tantrum over something someone said or did or didn’t do? Understandable. Justified.
Ms. Jill is about as far removed from the world of competitive athletics as you can get, which is why it genuinely baffles me that an assignment editor would think it a good idea for her to cover the Winter Olympics. Hers is a vapid and emotionally stunted universe, with recent top stories on her vanity website including “A list of stars that joined Twitter in 2013” and “Towel Art.”
She really should leave the coverage of professional athletes, their performance and their emotional reactions to those who know better — pretty much anybody other than herself. She can’t even keep their names straight (Jason Brown? Jeremy Brown? Some cute young guy in tights out there on the ice). It would be a win-win, because she could then go back to doing what she does adequately enough to earn a living: gush about “Dancing With Stars” while sporting ladywood over the hot boys in One Direction.