[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/24/andrews.erin.gi.art.jpg caption="ESPN commentator Erin Andrews reports as the Pittsburgh Panthers upset the University of South Florida Bulls on October 2, 2008 in Tampa, Florida."]
A horrific invasion of privacy. Sexual assault. Even rape.
That's how some women have described the nude pictures secretly taken of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews. And some sports bloggers are issuing mea culpas for having promoted Andrews as a "sports hottie."
Andrews was videotaped by a peeping tom in her hotel room without her knowledge and the blogosphere has been buzzing about it for days. Andrews' attorney is threatening legal action if anyone continues to post the videos online, but some, like the site "Dailymotion.com," persist.
And while her lawyer wants whoever took the pictures to be criminally prosecuted, others say many more are guilty. "I do think we're all complicit in a culture that objectifies women, that is interested in seeing titillating videos of women who don't know they're filmed," says Jessica Valenti of feministing.com.
Indeed, Google says searches for "Erin Andrews" and "Erin Andrews video" have risen more than five-thousand percent in the past few days. The blog "Sports Media Watch" says for years there's been a "...national stalking of Andrews.." online by those who turned her into "a body that exists...for...leering at."
Even an inadvertent ESPN shot of Andrews' behind got half a million hits on YouTube. ESPN calls Andrews one of the premier sports reporters in the business; but some charge the network stoked the fire too, by playing up Andrews' looks. "Anyone who's watched our coverage would know otherwise," says ESPN's Josh Krulewitz.
And some of those she covered didn't help either. She was hugged during an interview on air; a college football player danced lewdly behind her at a game. Through it all, by many accounts, Andrews dealt good-naturedly with those who objectified her.
Christine Brennan, who covers sports for USA Today, says she supports Andrews 100 percent. But Brennan cautions all women broadcasters: "Play to the 12-year-old girl and her mom and dad on the couch. Don't play to the frat house. Do everything you can to make sure that those wackos do not interfere in my life."
Some sports bloggers are showing remorse over the incident. A blogger on "Deadspin.com," which was linked to the months-old video last week, put it this way: "Was I ever over the line? Was (COACH) Bruce Pearl when he hugged her?...Was ESPN....when they realized that attractive women on the sideline helped ratings? Did I contribute to this awful thing that happened? Did all of us? I don't think so...But...if I ran into her on the street today ... I'm not sure I could look her in the eye. I'm not sure anybody could."
What do you think? Who is to blame for what happened to Erin Andrews?
Filed under: Just Sayin'
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