HBO’s Gumbel Makes Report on Kids’ Sports Achievement into Shot at America

Wait, we’re not all winners?

Imagine: liberal HBO airing a program that says we should stop treating our special little snowflakes like special little snowflakes! That fluffing Junior’s short-term self-esteem with those soccer participation trophies may be a long-term mistake. HBO really did it – but Real Sports host and veteran lefty scold Bryant Gumbel couldn’t let the opportunity pass to turn an otherwise constructive segment into a shot at America.

On Real Sports, Bernard Goldberg did a report on why it is vital for coaches and parents in youth sports to stop telling their kids that they’re winners when they aren’t. That heaping praise on kids who under-perform, or outright fail, could lead to big problems for those kids later on in life.

The expert researcher for Goldberg’s report, Dr. Robert Cloninger, professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis, has studied the effects of rewards with rats in mazes. His study found that rats who received food just for working their way through the maze were lazy. “They will not be fast runners to get to the trophy, and they will quit easily the moment they are no longer getting rewarded.”

Cloninger’s research leads him to conclude that children won’t be able to succeed if we pretend that they don’t fail. Cloninger said, “We have to get over the notion that everyone has to be a winner in the United States, it just isn’t true.”

Anything that bucks the cult of self-esteem is a welcome departure these days, cuts against the usual squishy liberal grain of Real Sports. However, show host Bryant Gumbel, perhaps sensing that this can-do big American winning machine segment might earn him a strongly-worded letter from HBO management, decided to put the show firmly back on its liberal rails, by taking a shot at American exceptionalism.

Here’s the tail-end of Goldberg’s report and Gumbel’s smear:

Americans birthed a radically new and free political system and then purged the stain of slavery from it at great bloody cost. They saved the world from communism and National Socialism, and they’re currently all that stands between Western Civilization and a deranged hybrid of 8th century Islamo-Fascism. All the while they’ve while amassing more wealth and lifted more people out of poverty than any other country on Earth.

But to Gumbel, none of that is proof that our competitive culture has produced “good adults.” Instead, he grumbled to Goldberg that “given all the misguided things done or borne of American exceptionalism, where's the evidence that making kids ultra-competitive necessarily made them good adults?”

But Gumbel should take heart. American exceptionalism is all but dead. More than 90 million Americans are out of work and race relations are at their worst in decades. America’s international credibility is currently a joke and the Obama administration is desperately trying to hand nukes to the world’s leading sponsor of terror. We finally have the American un-exceptionalism Gumbel and his ilk always wanted. We’re just like every other snowflake.

Culture/Society Anti-Americanism Sports HBO Bryant Gumbel

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