Presenting Lakers Idiot Metta World Peace

The graphics department at WLS-TV in Chicago had a little fun on Monday airing a piece featuring Lakers forward Metta World Peace (nee Ron Artest). It identified the player as "Lakers idiot."

Depending on your point of view, the people behind graphics packages on news programs should use judgment and refrain from interjecting personal viewpoints into any of the chyrons that make the air.

That being said, this has to be one of the most amusing chyrons in the history of television journalism.

During a sports segment on WLS-TV, the ABC owned-and-operated station in Chicago, a report on the Los Angeles Lakers/Oklahoma City Thunder series included a shot of forward Metta World Peace, accompanied by an ID that read – no, not “Lakers forward,” or even “Lakers player” – but, “Lakers idiot.”

You may recall Metta World Peace spent the first 32 years of his existence as Ron Artest, heretofore known for his role in a brawl at a Pacers/Pistons game in 2004 that led to a suspension for a full NBA season and then some. His new low came on April 22, when he had elbowed a Thunder player in a regular season game.

Certainly, it’s not like the folks at WLS-TV have a dog in this fight. I mean, it’s not like the Lakers eliminated their Bulls. It wasn’t Metta World Peace that caused Derrick Rose’s ACL injury. But whether or not you believe World Peace was due that custom chyron for his infamous basketball incidents, it definitely raises eyebrows that it comes out of the somewhat impartial city of Chicago, as opposed to, say, a TV station in Oklahoma City.

Anyway, Deadspin cites that the clip in question aired on WLS-TV on Monday, May 14 – which was when the Lakers’ semifinal series with the Thunder started, in their first game against each other since that ugly April 22 ordeal. So it makes sense that it would run on Monday. But it’s weird that it hasn’t really picked up much steam until the end of the week.

I’m sure we’re all curious as to who the wizard was in the WLS-TV control room that unleashed this “idiot” gem. In this instance, it shouldn’t matter. I don’t think any viewers were offended – and the only one who likely would have been was clearly not in Chicago to have seen it in real time. So I won’t call for anyone’s head over this. Maybe a docile warning, but nothing more.

This probably wouldn’t have happened in the first place had Metta World Peace not been an – well, you know.

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