But John Skipper, under whose direction ESPN took this unfortunate turn, is no longer running the network. It turned out that he had an addiction problem. Also, ESPN was hurting financially.
ESPN’s new head, Jimmy Pitaro, issued a directive — stop doing politics. To my knowledge, it has been followed.
Earlier this week, however, an ESPN talk show host named Dan Le Batard violated ESPN policy. He lashed out at Donald Trump over the president’s suggestion that four radical left-wing congresswoman leave the country. He also took a shot at his own network over its no-politics policy:
It is so wrong, what the president of our country is doing, trying to get reelected by dividing the masses, at a time when the old white man, the old rich white man, feels oppressed, being attacked, by minorities. . . .
And we here at ESPN don’t have the stomach for the fight. We don’t talk about what is happening unless there is some sort of weak, cowardly sports angle that we can run it through.
In response, to this rant, which arguably is racist, sexist, and ageist, Pitaro re-circulated his directive. Apparently, he plans to take no disciplinary action against Le Batard, who may never have to pay for dinner again.
Let’s hope Le Batard’s mindless excursion into politics will be a one-off at ESPN. But with the left egging him and others on, I question whether it will be.
When those who are egging ESPN on say they want the network to talk about politics, what most of them mean is that they want it to espouse a left-liberal line. At a minimum, they want ESPN on-air personnel to bash the president and to re-engage in race-mongering.
It’s easy to see why they want this. Non-liberals tend not to watch mainstream media news outlets. Many don’t read lefty organs like the Washington Post.
But a great many non-liberal men are sports fans. ESPN provides a platform for reaching them. The tactic is part of the left’s larger strategy under which there will be no place to hide from its ideological line.
However, if ESPN becomes a platform for leftists like Le Batard, the sounds you’ll hear will be of people switching channels and cutting the cord.