Former gymnast Rachael Denhollander is an eminently worthy recipient of Sports Illustrated magazine's Inspiration of the Year award.
Denhollander's stepping forward to publicly accuse Dr. Larry Nasser of sexual assault led to the serial abusers conviction in a court of law. Hot Air notes:
At last check 265 women had accused [Nasser] of abuse, making him (I think) the most prodigious offender of the #MeToo era to date and surely one of the more prolific predators in American history.
Denhollander, however, was overshadowed by SI's choice as presenter of the award: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. It was Dr. Ford who accused now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of attempted rape. The alleged assault took place forty years ago, during a high school summer party.
Dr. Blasey Ford was a sympathetic figure to millions of Americans when she testified before the Senate. It was also evident to many viewers that some traumatic event had taken place in high school.
It just wasn't at all clear that Brett Kavanaugh was involved in Dr. Ford's painful experience. Absolutely no corroborating evidence was presented.
Furthermore, Dr. Ford's supporters often displayed an alarming disregard for due process, a cornerstone of western jurisprudence, in their zeal to undo the Kavanaugh nomination.
Do you smell a publicity stunt?
And, as Beckett Adams observes in the Examiner, it really wasn't that considerate of the recipient of the award, who had a right to expect to be the star of the ceremony:
Worse still, Sports Illustrated has overshadowed the recipient of its own damned award by handing it off to the woman at the center of one of the ugliest and most contentious political fights in the last 30 years.
Do you know what people are talking about this week in newsrooms and on social media? They’re not talking so much about Denhollander or the fact that her testimony led to Nassar’s downfall. They’re talking about the fact that the Sports Illustrated video marks Ford’s first public appearance since her Sept. 27 congressional testimony.
Sports Illustrated made a clearly political choice.