Watched Erin Andrews‘ interview on Oprah today, which was shoehorned between two other interviews on the show.
When it was first made public that Andrews would appear on Oprah, I wrote a piece questioning her motivation. If she wanted the whole thing to go away, why introduce the story to millions who didn’t previously know about it?
After the watch, my take-away is different. Much different.
Two things struck me.
1) Her main message, though never said directly, was to ask the media, paparazzi and bloggers to leave her alone. By showing how the nude video episode wrecked her and her family’s lives, she appealed to the media’s common decency.
Naive on her part, to say the least. With many big media outlets, paparazzi and bloggers, you’re dealing with wretches and social cripples who have no concept of common decency. She would’ve been much better off not showing herself as vulnerable, as that only emboldens the many miscreants in the media.
2) The interview actually did come off as cathartic. Allowing her to air her views in public on the biggest stage she could find. Get it out there and then never talk about it again. After watching, that does now make sense.
Lastly, Andrews said she was resigned to the videos and screen shots being posted on the Internet to the end of time. I don’t agree that the distribution of the videos can’t be successfully policed. Not completely, but at the very least removed from top Google search results. I believe to this day that if Andrews had ignored the whole thing, it would’ve died a much quieter death. The more she acknowledged the videos, the bigger it became.
But you certainly can’t blame her for freaking out when she saw the videos, and it would be very difficult for anyone in her situation to ignore them going forward. I’m not criticizing her for the way she handled all this, but I do think the p.r. damage could’ve been mitigated more effectively.
I’ve changed my mind about why Andrews did Oprah. I don’t think it was intended to promote herself to the entertainment world - as a prelude to leaving sports. I really do think she’s still an emotional wreck and just trying to cope. And going on the record in public to a vast, empathic audience now does seem somewhat sensible.
But having appeared on Oprah, Andrews has now given the news of her violation a fresh set of legs. She shouldn’t be surprised to see media/blogger low-lifes and paparazzi once again appearing in her day-to-day.