As I do a few times a week, I went to the gym yesterday afternoon to do some laps in the pool. No, I didn’t join as a New Year’s resolution. I’ve been a member for years, but this was the first time I saw something in the locker room I disapproved of (other than the usual old men walking around wearing nothing but shower sandals).
The men’s locker room has two TVs that are on all the time. One is usually tuned to ESPN, the other to Fox Sports Midwest. There are very few live sporting events televised in the middle of a weekday other than international soccer matches, so it’s usually a sports talk show with a panel of anywhere from two to six people arguing about fantasy Olympic judo teams, lacrosse draft picks, and why the Rams suck again. I can’t help glancing at the screens, but don’t pay much attention as I change into or out of my clothes.
However, yesterday, one of the TVs was tuned to Fox News Channel. If you’re a regular reader of this site, you know how much I detest that entire propaganda operation, even during the dayparts when the hosts are allegedly “real news” people. But the network we were forced to watch wasn’t the problem. I wouldn’t advocate for the TV to be switched to CNN or MSNBC, either.
Like every poker room I’ve ever played in, the gym locker room should be a No News Zone. There are plenty of opportunities to stay up to date with the world before and after a workout, but for the hour or so I’m there, I don’t want to hear it, see it, or inadvertently catch other members discussing it. We’re all there to get our heart rates up because of physical exertion, not due to some ginned-up controversy or the latest stupid claim spewed by this or that politician, media figure, or whoever. Leave that stuff outside!
I did my best to ignore the TV as I changed quickly and went to jump in the pool, where being immersed in the water did an excellent job of blocking out everything else. Ahhh.