For most video game players, the appearance of political figures as basketball stars in the Wii version of NBA Jam is all in good fun. Fox News, however, takes anything that involves fairness and balance very seriously.
When Jon Scott and Jenna Lee of Fox's Happening Now had the opportunity to talk about the game with Peter Moore, president of the EA Sports division of Electronic Arts, the question that weighed most heavily on Lee's mind was, "Is this a bipartisan game though, Peter?"
According to ESPN, "Throughout the history of the 'NBA Jam' franchise, some of the most popular players in the game weren't players at all, but hidden characters from politics and pop culture like Bill Clinton, DJ Jazzy Jeff and even George Clinton. EA Sports' new 'NBA Jam' game for the Wii is about to top them all, however, as in addition to a hidden team of Beastie Boys, there is an unlockable team of Democrats, featuring President Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Al Gore, as well as a team of Republicans that includes George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, John McCain and Dick Cheney."
"Instead of talking about all of these serious world issues, it's kind of fun to see the lighter side of politics," creative director Trey Smith told ESPN. "And just like we have the dunk faces of the NBA players where we grabbed high-resolution pictures of their game faces, we did the same thing with the politicians. We found these pictures that showed off the emotion of all of these politicians, and some of them are classic. Dick Cheney has the Darth Vader snarl. Obama makes some great faces, and the politician dunk faces are some of the best dunk faces in the entire game. Sarah Palin is hilarious in the game. She has a beehive haircut and a helicopter dunk that is just awesome."
"I like how Sarah Palin's hair doesn't even move, as she's in perfect condition there," was Lee's first comment on the footage of the game. But she went on to question whether the game was really bipartisan "because I read the president has some special skills. Do any of the Republicans have any special skills?"
"We try to be non-partisan in what we do," Moore replied diplomatically, "but at the same time, the president -- who as you know is a pretty good hoops player himself -- we try to represent his skills there. So the president does have some special skills, but you'll have to buy the game to find out what they are."
Video game news site Joystiq was less polite than Moore. "You see," the site commented, "President Obama, in addition to actually playing basketball, not being ancient and being president of the country, has some special moves in the game, clearly illustrating political bias on the part of the liberal fat cats at EA."
"In the interest of defusing this tense political standoff," the site added, "we'd like to point out that Ms. Palin appears to have her own special move: playing men's basketball."
This video is from Fox News, posted October 7, 2010.