The highly skilled ladies of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority from the University of Arkansas opened a lot of eyes with its outstanding performance in the Sprite Step Off National Finals on Feb. 20 in Atlanta.
The competition was comprised of 80 teams from fraternities and sororities at 40 institutions hungry for that top prize of $100,000 in scholarships. In all, there was $1.5 million in scholarship monies available for the participants in this event that was sponsored by Coca-Cola.
The controversy is racial. You see, Zeta Tau Alpha is an all-white sorority that performed lights out in what is traditionally a competition popular among black fraternities and sororities. Initially, Zeta Tau Alpha was the winner of the competition while the second-place honors went to Indiana University’s Alpha Kappa Alpha. The crowd was audibly upset and booed as rapper and host Ludacris made the announcement. Later, apparently, there was a “scoring discrepancy” announced and first-place honors were shared by the two aforementioned sororities. Maybe there was “scoring discrepancy” and maybe there wasn’t. It does sound a bit odd, but step show performers involved in the controversy hardly seem bothered by the whole thing.
In fact, at least one of the ladies (from Zeta Tau Alpha) indicated she was fine with the result and happy to get some of that scholarship money.
But, what really interests me in this story is the role Fox News, and anchor Megyn Kelly, played in it. Megyn Kelly, in a clip I found at News Hounds, seemed determined to extract a controversy in this situation by implying the “scoring effort” was some kind of affirmative-action-political-correctness adjustment designed to appease some black people who might have been upset with the original result (Zeta’s outright win).
One gets the feeling, that as the conversation played out, Kelly expected something from her guest (Alexandra Kosmitis) that she did not get by the time everything was said and done.
I also found it interesting that Kelly (fair and balanced in the Fox News tradition of “hard news”) declared Zeta Tau Alpha the “winners” during the segment.
Is a step show competition really hard news?
By the way, from what I watched of their performance, that team’s performance was strong.
Give them their props … they stepped their asses off (regardless of who you think won the event).
Indiana Daily Student: