Keller @ Large: Edit Out The Binge Drinking

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s become something of a new national pastime, criticizing the news media for reporting stories that we don’t want to hear about for whatever reason.

When a Republican politician’s daughter makes a mockery of the pol’s advocacy for abstinence, coverage of it is evidence of left-wing media bias.

When a congressman gets caught with his pants down on the Internet, reporters who cover it are part of the right-wing attack machine.

When it’s embarrassing to someone we like, suddenly the press is not supposed to cover certain trials, report on political corruption, and so on.

It’s self-serving and foolish.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – let the truth come out, and let the chips fall where they may.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

But that doesn’t mean the media shouldn’t exercise discretion.

We do it every day, the responsible outlets among us at least. It’s called editing.

Stories often never see the light for some compelling reason, and I have no problem with that.

I just think some of that good judgment should have been extended to coverage of some of the Bruins championship celebrations that involved binge drinking by the players.

We saw it in the locker room in Vancouver after Game Seven, not just a champagne toast and everybody getting sprayed, but players guzzling booze in great quantities right there on live TV.

And we saw it yesterday in photos and news accounts of the bingeing that went on when the champs partied down at Foxwoods last weekend, running up a $156,000 bar tab in four hours.

Please, do not send me hate mail.

My love for the Bruins is second to no one, and they have every right to celebrate their accomplishment in any way they choose.

They are all great community role models with the charity work they do and the work ethic they demonstrate.

I just wish we in the media had showed the good sense to not show the binge drinking that followed their triumph.

We ought not to casually allow a message to be sent to the many young kids who worship the Bruins that binge drinking is an essential part of victory.

We had a chance to do them, and ourselves, a favor by turning the cameras aside and omitting certain details, and we blew it.

Maybe next time we’ll get it right.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

  • Groveman

    I agree with you, Jon. Our young are very impressionable. Showing Bruins players acting like idiots will add to our youth’s thinking that this kind of behavior is normal and should be emulated. It is a share that our culture has become so “partying” oriented – they only way to enjoy oneself is to get obnoxiously drunk and disruptive. The media DO need to show some discretion. This is not a “left” or “right” type of issue, but one of what should be “common sense”.

    • Arnnie G. Worcester, MA.

      I think you are over reacting. Yes, the total was $150,000 but $100.000 was for ONE bottle of champagne. The photo that accompanies your comment shows Chara drinking from it.
      There was also another bottle that went for $25,000. That leaves $25,000 for thirty plus grown men plus friends and family celebrating the Stanley Cup. That is not too bad.
      Also, were there any arrests? Any fights? Any battered or abused women? I don’t think so!
      Yes, drinking to excess is not cool but I think the Bruin celebration was not excessive.

    • Jason Wichern

      I suggest parents do their job to teach their children that this sort of behavior is inappropriate. We dont need the news and government to do the job we should be doing as parents.

    • Stoughton Steve

      I haven’t seen any of the Bruins acting like “idiots” as you say but I do agree it is not necessary for the media to show them guzzling alcohol but still, I wouldn’t call it disturbing in any sense.
      I just hope they have enough sense not to drink and drive. I did hear they had limo’s though so hopefully that is not an issue.

      • Groveman

        It is a matter of opinion, and it is mine that consuming alcohol to an excess to celebrate anything is idiotic. I know that it seems to be a part of our culture, but there are some things that are better off not being glamorized. I agree that parents do need to teach their children that this behavior is unacceptable, but the media showing it in this way is counterproductive, sending a mixed message.

    • Joe


      “Obnoxiously drunk and disruptive”? Really?? Please enlighten us as to when they have been obnoxious or disruptive? “Showing Bruins players acting like idiots”. Really?? Idiots? Really??? I guess you have the right to your opinion. However, so do I and that might be the most off base and ignorant opinion I’ve ever heard. Have they been drinking more in the past week than they probably have in the past year? Yes, but do you have any idea what they have just accomplished? Does accomplishing your lifelong goal mean you have to go on a weeklong bender? No, but like it or not in hockey it’s a tradition and a small part of the overall reward for winning a Stanley cup.

      Who was the last hockey player to be arrested for murder, on a drug charge, illegal possession of a hand gun, hitting his wife, rape, dui or shooting oneself in the leg at a nightclub? Or maybe you believe our “impressionable” youth should follow such role models as Kayne West, Myley Cyrus, Lindsey Lohan or maybe the ridiculously hypocritical, arrogant and narcissistic former congressman wiener?

      I guess your definition of being an idiot is someone who busts their arse their whole life, stays out of trouble, tries to do things the right way, understands the meaning of teamwork, accomplishes something that 99.9% of the population could never do all the while never forgetting where you came from and yes, goes on a weeklong celebration involving a lot of drinking and does it in the most responsible way possible. If that’s your definition of an idiot then I hope my kids grow up to be idiots!

      • Groveman

        Joe –

        No, what the Bruins are doing is not murder, wife beating, etc. I am not trying to equate drinking with any of those crimes, and you know it. It is idiotic to drink excessively. Period. It sets a bad example. Period. Children are impressionable. There is no need to see this on television. I do not care how hard they worked to get it. It is a foolish way to act. They are entitled to do it, as long as no one is harmed, but it should NOT be televised.

  • BC

    I agree!! Thanks for saying it!

  • andyme

    I agree, why do we need to see everything. Doesn’t $156K seem a little high, about $5200 per person for a four hour binge, or $1300 per person per hour, we need to get real with people hurting in this economy.

    • Cam

      If you look at the actual bill which was shown in a few places, there was over $7000 in tax and $25,000 gratuity. And $100,000 was for the one big bottle of champagne. If you take all that out, it doesn’t seem as excessive. It still is a lot though. But this is a once in a lifetime thing and the players should be able to have fun and enjoy it with friends and family. I didn’t see where any of the players were excessively drunk or doing anything obnoxious.

  • SR

    I disagree. You’re forgetting the refined composure and true sportsmanship that the Bruins showed both on and off the ice throughout the entire postseason. Look what the City of Vancouver did after they lost! Over 1-million faithful showed for the parade last Saturday and nary a negative situation from the general public because fans showed the same composure and sportsmanship as the team. There is a time and a place for everything, and a celebration for such a life accomplishment is such an occasion. The fact that it was shown in the media does not send the wrong impression to youth, but proves that a work-hard play-hard attitude is a positive attribute.

    • Groveman

      “Playing hard” after “working hard” does not have to mean excessive drinking. People can be excited and exuberant in many ways that are not harmful to themselves or to others. Toasting with a glass of champagne is one thing; guzzling the alcohol is another, and many children WILL emulate that behavior, despite parental guidance, because they look up to these athletes are “role models”.

  • Pete

    Who cares? Get over it.

  • Mr Jay

    too late, i work at a hotel and parents drinking heavily who have children involved in hockey tournaments is the norm. I do not know why, but the parents teach the kids sports and beer go together.

    • dk

      sports and beer DO go together, how do you think all pro sports teams make money?

  • dk

    meh I was binge drinking when they won it.. and all the games before too..

  • Ron

    Well Said Jon

  • Jason Wichern

    Whether the real news media ignores the drinking story, it would still come out on blogs and websites that arent traditional news outlets.

    And if the real news media doesnt cover a story Deadspin does (or sites like it), then they will get blasted for ignoring the story, get blamed for any number of biases, and be left in a no-win situation.

    I dont believe because the Bruins went binge drinking, kids will now begin themselves. Most mid to late teens want to drink and party anyway. Its more about access to alcohol and drugs, and education from PARENTS the danger of using and abusing drugs and alcohol. It is a teachable moment for PARENTS. Whether PARENTS choose to actually do their job as a PARENT is up to them. Its not up to the media to be the PARENT for society.

    Sanitizing the news wont help. Kids are more impacted by the constant negative stories about our government, crime, poverty, and war.

  • J

    Since when ISN’T binge drinking fun after winning a national Hockey title? These guys were celebrating the only way they know how…as long as nobody gets hurt…who the eff cares. PS>I’m sure they celebrated in lots of other ways which were in fact “too hot for TV”

  • Denise Zadina

    As long as I can remember the crazy drinking locker room scenes have always been televised after a championship, no matter the sport. In the 70’s there was a lot more than just alcohol, but those scenes weren’t aired because the cameras were turned off to give the players some privacy. My question to the media is why are they being followed days after the win? These guys have been in the spotlight for months and under a lot of pressure. Don’t they deserve some crazy time on their own without cameras following them? Who cares what their bar bill was as long as it was paid? Most of these players are in their 20’s and 30’s making very good salaries; why shouldn’t they party and celebrate their huge achievement? As a 50+ woman, I don’t think the Bruins were out of line; the media was. Leave them alone! Congrats to the Bruins!

  • seanh99

    Is it binge drinking just because of the amount of the tab? These guys are hockey players and they drink (suprise). They are adults and have been able to do their jobs. We the public expect the locker room celebration. I wager that less drinking happened in the locker room or foxwoods than on Causeway St. After the game was won. WBZ showed a lot of drunks on the morning news the next day…

  • chrissiedahlstrom

    I couldn’t agree more with this article! It is okay to be celebritory after such a victory but why do we have to see it days later? Isnt’ the locker room scene enough? Little kids are watching with big eyes how their heros behave. Put the cameras away already!

    • Joe

      Chris, Your right, kids are watching how their heros behave and they just witnessed how you should behave and how important teamwork is. If my kids grows up to act like these guys did throughout the playoffs instead of people like myley Cyrus, kayne west or former congressman weiner then I will be a very happy and proud father!

      • Joe

        ps. Are they perfect? No. However, neither are you or I.

  • Joe

    Jon, I agree and disagree. That sounds like I’m straddling the fence so let me explain. First, as a parent, I don’t want my kids drinking before their old enough and when they are of age, I don’t want them to binge drink. Have I participated in binge drinking when I was younger? Yes. Am I proud of it? No. However, it wasn’t because I saw athletes doing it, it was because I was young and stupid.

    Our society has been going down the proverbial toilet for a while. This is evident in the dawn of reality shows, technology & social media, childhood POP stars dressing like strippers, push up bikinis for 12 year olds, short shorts for 12 year olds with “HOT or CUTIE” written on the but and the overall envelope pushing and adult connotations within prime time programming.

    In comparison we have hockey players celebrating the accomplishment of a life long goal that some will never achieve. Men that since childhood have spent their whole lives practicing and whose parents sacrificed a lot of time and money helping them along the way. Men who are in the most amazing physical condition that a human body can be. Men that are tough guys on the ice and the nicest most approchable normal guys off the ice. Ask any sports reporter which players of the 4 major sports are the nicest and most accessible and the answer will be hockey players.

    After winning the cup the bruins followed a long standing tradition of partying their buts off for a week or so with the cup. After years of training, broken bones, faces, stitches , playing hurt and always trying to do things the right way it finally paid off. We can’t imagine what that moment feels like.

    But I do know one thing for certain. I would much rather have to explain to my 13 year old why these guys are binge drinking for a few days than have to explain the mtv show “sixteen and pregnant” . Or try to explain why myley Cyrus was smoking some “herb” on youtube. Or why the guy who sings the song “i want to be a billionaire so bleeping bad” isn’t a role model. Or why my daughter can’t dress like the “girls” she sees on tv and why she can’t watch certain shows that aren’t appropriate. Or why I want my son to come to work with me this summer at my business because money doesn’t grow on trees. Or why we have parental blocks on the tv and computer. Eventualy, thanks to our former president, why oral sex is still sex. Or why a bunch of punks in Vancouver video taped themselves destroying their own city and beat up a guy trying to defend his property. Or why its not ok to fight but if you have to you do it one on one, not ten on one, and use your fists not a knife or a gun.

    So, compared to all that, having too explain the partying that went on was easy. First, I told him that they were adults and old enough to drink, they had a police escort and nobody was driving and that they had people around them making sure nothing went to far or got out of control. That this isn’t how they normally act and the only reason they are doing this is because they worked their whole life for this one moment and it may never happen again. Finally, I told him that if you work really hard and do things the right way you can accomplish almost anything you want in life. And for once I was able to point to something positive coming over the air ways.

    Jon, I am a big fan of yours and I normally agree with your views but if you feel the media should show discretion and edit certain things maybe the media can start with its own programming, advertising and overall lack of BASIC moral and social values. Sure, its my job as a parent to raise my kids the right way and not let them watch certain programs and I try to do that the best I can. However, a little help from the media would be nice! Maybe the media should take a page from the bruins on how to do things the right way!

  • jaygee

    They do it in baseball, basketball, football and every other team sport that I know of so what’s the problem? We don’t have to hide such behavior because kids know all about it anyway from watching adults all their life. Many kids are smart enough not to take up smoking, drinking or sex when they are teenagers but you will always have those who will try anything.

  • Rusko

    Do you think kids are going to go out and drink $90000 bottles of champagne now?

  • alan

    If parents do their job correctly, children would understand what they are looking at. When dad gets a promotion he and his wife go out and celebrate……. Probably drink, even have sex after, too!!! Heaven forbid! The problem is the media makes a big deal out of the Bruins celebration and promotes it in front of hundreds of thousands of kids to see. Did the Bruins drink and drive? Was it a closed party? Wedding….. graduations….. Everyone has done it, except, the MEDIA wasn’t there to publicize it!!!

  • A Proud American Bruins Fan

    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation with liberty and justice for all.

    Is this the main stream medias idea of selective editing? Way to go nbc! Maybe next you can have your boy sorros lobby congress to remove “IN GOD WE TRUST” from our currency or replace all the crosses at
    Arlington National Cemetery with politically correct plaques. Note to all the sorros puppets in the liberally biased PC media outlets and other groups who side with atheists over common sense. Keep poking the sleeping mama bear. Eventually, she will angrily wake up and fight back with historic vengeance. Ask Vancouver how that worked for them!

  • TinCambridge

    Keller, what is wrong with you?, no seriously.

    They weren’t binge drinking, they were celebrating!! Get a grip, you need a day out of fun, loosen up your tie, it’s cutting off oxygen!!!

  • mikey

    I’m wondering what a $100,000 bottle of champagne taste like. Fat chance I’ll ever find out.

  • DrStrangelove

    What’s more newsworthy – A Championship team blowing $100,000 on one bottle of champagne or indulging in 10,000 bottles at $10 each? (Don’t blame me if my math is off – I was binge drinking with the Bruins.)

  • Bruins Chara Says Bar Bill Exaggerated, ‘Nowhere Near Actual Price’ « CBS Boston

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    […] Keller @ Large: Edit Out The Binge Drinking June 28, 2011 – Posted by admin Keller @ Large: Edit Out The Binge Drinking We had a chance to do the Bruins, and ourselves, a favor by turning the cameras aside and omitting certain details, and we blew it. Read more on CBS Boston […]

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