David Wise, 23, who just won the Olympic gold for freestyle skiing, has now made headlines for a different reason: He’s married to a woman, has a 2-year-old and one day wants to be a pastor — and that’s an usual path, NBC deems.
NBC reporter Skyler Wilder wrote: “David Wise is at the top of his sport. He’s always smiling among his friends and competitors, however, he’s not like the rest of the field. He is mature.”
The profile piece also goes on: “At such a young age, Wise has the lifestyle of an adult. He wears a Baby Bjorn baby carrier around the house. He also attends church regularly and says he could see himself becoming a pastor a little later down the road.”
But it was the title the evoked a strong response, Deseret News reported: “David Wise’s alternative lifestyle leads to Olympic gold.”
Critics say the title turns the tables on what’s actually the normal, and paints it as somehow counter-culture.
“Isn’t it fascinating that NBC views a man taking care of his wife and daughter as an alternative lifestyle?” Mollie Hemingway wrote, for The Federalist. “If this is any indication of media views on normalcy, our society is pretty much doomed.”
Twitter posters reacted similarly. Deseret News profiled D.C. Innes’ post: “‘At such a young age, [Olympic freestyle skier, David] Wise has the lifestyle of an adult.’ Huh?” And Julie Dietrich wrote: “@NBCNewYork alternative lifestyle?? Are you kidding me. How is having a wife and child alternative. The kid has character and class.”
• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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