10 Reasons ESPN is MSNBC With Better Video

ESPN is the latest on the dump Trump bandwagon. The network is pulling its July 14 ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic from Trump National Golf Club over Donald Trump’s comments about Mexican illegal immigrants last month.

The only surprise here is that it took ESPN so long to join NBCUniversal, Univision and Macy’s in punishing the billionaire GOP hopeful. ESPN, after all, is an exquisitely liberal outfit and has been for a long time – like MSNBC with cool video clips and catchphrases. True to form, its statement about moving the golf tournament included fluffy boilerplate about “diversity” and “inclusion of all sports fans. Except, of course, those who don’t want their favorite games served with a heaping side of lefty social commentary.

To watch ESPN is to be reminded that liberal groupthink isn’t just a problem in “hard news” organizations. Here are 10 reasons why.

  1. Courage for ‘Caitlyn’The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is going to ‘Caitlyn’ Jenner, beating out a double amputee Iraq vet who competes in Crossfit races and Dancing with the Stars.
  2. Sam the Sham – Gay football player Michael Sam’s NFL career went as far as his on-field talent could take him, but it wasn’t for a lack of cheerleading and highchair pounding from ESPN, which elaborately planned its broadcast of Sam kissing his partner.
  3. Lefty Bullpen – People are policy, and ESPN’ boasts toxic liberal blowhard Keith Olbermann, while ombudsman Robert Lipsyte hails from The New York Times and Mother Jones.
  4. The Race is to the Race-Obsessed – When St. Louis Rams players made the phony Hands-Up-Don’t-Shoot gesture before a game, ESPN’s Howard Bryant approved, while host Jemele Hill bemoaned “a mentality in our society that it’s ok to … kill black men period.”
  5. Foul (Corn)Ball – In 2012, Rob Parker wondered on First Take (with full knowledge of the show’s producers) if Redskins QB Robert Griffin III was a “brother or a cornball brother” (ie. sufficiently black).
  6. Drop the MascotOutside the Lines host Bob Ley compared the Washington Redskins’ name to slavery and Jackie Robinson, while  Olbermann was predictably bombastic.
  7. Throw them to the Lions – When NBA player Jason Collins came out as gay, Chris Broussard said his faith taught him it was a sin. ESPN issued a corporate apology.
  8. Par for the Course – In 2011, PGA pro and analyst Paul Azinger tweeted “Potus has played more golf than me this month. I’ve created more jobs than him.” ESPN publicly rebuked Azinger.
  9. Hooking it Left – Pardon the Interruption hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon played golf with Obama. Kornheiser recently attacked Marco Rubio for having been a gullible 8-yr-old.
  10. A) Rushing Offense – In 2003 Rush Limbaugh controversially said on NFL Sunday Countdown that the Eagles’ Donovan McNabb was overrated because the media wanted a black QB to do well. Rush resigned. ESPN accepted.
    B) In 2009, when Rush joined a group interested in buying the St. Louis Rams, Wilbon said Rush “may be a straight up bigot” and called him “universally reviled by African-Americans.”

With that much proof of ESPN’s leftward tilt, it’s pretty clear why Disney CEO Bob Iger had to defend ESPN and ABC News in 2013 from shareholder charges that “liberal bias pervades Disney's media outlets.”

It’s also clear ESPN won’t change anytime soon, since ombudsman Lipsyte said, “I don’t think ESPN is actually shoving enough of that stuff in enough faces often enough. The coverage of issues that jump the white lines tends to be hit-and-run, treated as isolated events rather than as a web of Jock Culture attitudes and politics that are connected and need continual attention.”

Enjoy the game.

Matt Philbin
Matt Philbin
Matt Philbin is Managing Editor of MRC Culture