Bob Costas, Men in the Delivery Room and Lance Armstrong

It’s all about Bob in the blogosphere this morning.

A “media mini-revolt” is what the Carpetbagger calls the news that sportscaster Bob Costas bailed on filling in for CNN’s Larry King on “Larry King Live” after Costas learned the show would be dedicated to discussing Natalee Holloway. Carpetbagger notes the rarity of “high profile figures in the mainstream news express[ing] the same frustration with their industry that the rest of us feel” before excusing himself “to check to see if a shark has attacked Michael Jackson.”

Minipundit opines that “it’s about time some people within the media began caring about actual, you know, news,” while Miklb offers “Kudos to Costas” who, he contends, “clearly … wants to do ‘real’ stories” having no doubt had enough “fluff doing ‘feel good’ stories for the Olympics.”

For a different take — and, shockingly, a general defense of Holloway coverage — look no further than GretaWire, the blog of Fox News Channel’s Greta Van Susteren. Muses Van Susteren: “Maybe Costas thought he would leave missing person segments to those of us who have been in the trenches and actually investigated these case[s] or tried them for years.” To Van Susteren’s mind, the media “can either help or spend our time acting holier than thou (‘I would never do such a story … I prefer to do high brow stories.’ Like what? Character assassination [sic] of Judge Roberts for sport?”) She then graciously invites her critics who “can’t find anything to write about except our programming” to give her a call and she will provide them with “a bunch of topics” to cover.

One topic that may not have occurred to Van Susteren was, thankfully, covered in the health section of yesterday’s New York Times: namely the “perilous journey from delivery room to bedroom” — for men. The author of the piece, one Keith Ablow, M.D., introduces readers to “Josh,” “only one of dozens of men who have confided to me witnessing the births of their children has made it difficult for them to be attracted to their wives …” Ablow concludes his column thusly: “Women may want to consider the risks as they invite their partners to watch them bring new life into the world. For some of the passion that binds them together may leave their lives at the very same time.”

In a post titled “The Plural of Anecdote is Not Data,” Jonquil Serpyllum responds: “God bless the New York Times for presenting me with a psychological article about childbirth that does not refer in any way to the woman’s experience. Childbirth is all about the men, really; if it’s too icky for men, then they shouldn’t be forced to take any part.”

Bitch PhD concedes that it is probably “a little unsettling for a man to see his romantic partner in the throes of labor,” but wonders, “does Ablow honestly expect us to believe that a) men are this fragile and b) it’s the woman’s responsibility to consider this fragility and take care of it? I’m sorry, what century are we living in again?”

For a baby daddy perspective, we turn to greg.daddy — writing on “Daddy Types, The Weblog for New Dads,” who scoffs: “Sure, honey, I’ll go into the delivery room with you — if you want me never to be sexually attracted to you ever again. That’s the somewhat dire subtext — um, no, actually it’s the text — of Dr. Keith Ablow’s column in the New York Times.”

Finally, more than one blogger is up in arms over the most recent Lance Armstrong doping allegations published in French sports daily L’Equipe, which reported that frozen samples of Armstrong’s urine collected before the 1999 Tour de France recently tested positive for EPO, a drug that enhances the oxygen-carrying capacity of human blood. Armstrong wrote on his Web site that the newspaper account itself pointed out that the science may be flawed and that there was no way he could defend himself against the charges.

“The jealous, vindictive, Tour de France-losing French are going after Lance Armstrong again,” huffs Little Green Footballs in a post titled, “Lance Drives The French Crazy (A Short Drive).” Matt Margolis at Blogs For Bush — “not one for conspiracy theories” — thinks “it might be more than a mere coincidence that these allegations have suddenly become a public story a few short days after Armstrong had his bicycle outing with President Bush.”

Try as we might to get into a conspiratorial Francophobic mindset, we have a hard time conjuring up a wily Gallic sports editor, tweaking his moustache as he pronounces:

“Zut alors, Pierre! Let’s just bank ziss story on the results of a test of six-year-old frozen urine for zee opportune moment; who knows, maybe someday Armstrong will take George Bush for a bike ride?”

Liz Cox Barrett

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.