Jimmy Traina attended this week's "ESPN Upfronts" event in Manhattan. The liberally slanted Sports Illustrated author of the "Extra Mustard" column described it as an opportunity for ESPN "to get companies to spend money on their shows." In his recap of the Upfront, he ridiculed the notion that ESPN has a liberal bias.
"The biggest plus for (ESPN President Jimmy) Pitaro and the network on Monday is that there was not a single mention of politics or the ridiculous perceived 'liberal bias' of ESPN," Traina wrote. "The further ESPN can get away from that nonsensical narrative, the better for them."
That's an indefensible claim and ESPN will need to dramatically re-shape its entire organization to shake its liberal tag. Traina is not following the same ESPN that I do. A review of The Worldwide Leader in (Liberal) Sports shows an undeniable and overwhelming bias.
Look at ESPN television's talk show programming. It's brimming with contempt for conservatives and Republicans. Ivy Leaguer Max Kellerman is about as far as one can get from political neutrality, evidenced by this outlandish statement:
"The fact of the matter is that Donald Trump was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan. That’s a fact. I’m not making that up. And that there was an appeal to white nationalists. How else can you say these things?"
Kellerman also ripped the World Series champion Houston Astros for visiting the White House, and he demanded that Notre Dame University discontinue its "offensive" Fighting Irish mascot. His First Take show co-host Stephen A. Smith clearly resides on the Left as well. Almost everyone with an opinion on ESPN TV supports the disrespectful anthem protests—hardly a conservative position.
Former SportsCenter co-hosts Michael Smith and Jemele Hill ripped into the Republican President Trump, and Hill tweeted he's a "white supremacist." ESPN's Michael Wilbon (seen in photograph above) said last year that Dallas Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones is akin to a "plantation owner" for saying his players should stand for the national anthem. Katie Nolan went on a cable TV show a few months ago and said President Trump is a "f------ stupid person."
Then there's ESPN Radio. Jeremy Schaap, host of the The Sporting Life show, is as liberal as they come. He's a blatant activist for all things LGBT, too. Right after the 2016 election, ESPN radio programs were abuzz with anti-Trump sentiments. There's more to ESPN's liberalism, too.
ESPN W is basically a promotional tool for lesbianism and transgenderism in women's sports. Katie Barnes "(they/them/their)" covers LGBTQ issues, women’s basketball and MMA. Last year, she, er uh, "they/them/their," introduced readers to G Ryan, a record-setting member of the University of the Michigan women’s swim team who identifies as “genderqueer, non-binary.” Barnes wrote about crying when she learned WNBA star Sue Bird is lesbian. Today ESPN W's Mechelle Voepele is promoting the WNBA's financial support of GLSEN and Planned Parenthood through the "Take a Seat, Take a Stand" campaign.
ESPN's blog The Undefeated is a racial grievance site featuring some of the nation's finest race-baiters. There's Jemele Hill, William C. Rhoden, Clinton Yates and others. They all hate Trump. ESPN and The Undefeated have both had love affairs with Democrat presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
What's ESPN got going on the conservative side? Will Cain on television. And that's it.
Two things are certain about this network: 1) ESPN is waaaaaaaaay out there on the left side of the political spectrum; and 2) it's unbelievable that Traina could make his ludicrous claim with a straight face. ESPN isn't even denying its bias, so I can't imagine why Traina tried to do so.
Jim Brady, the former public editor of ESPN, pegged it accurately last year when he wrote:
"No sports media company has embraced diversity and inclusion more than ESPN. But what the company needs now is more diversity of thought. The company's left-wing conformity is at the heart of the firestorm surrounding Jemele Hill, President Donald Trump and ESPN's failed attempt to navigate the tricky waters of sports, politics and pop culture."
Also, ESPN long-timer Bob Ley admitted the network is liberal because it's headquartered in the liberal state of Connecticut.
Finally, there was a poll last year conducted by Barrett Sports Media, that revealed 60.8 percent of respondents said the network has a "left-leaning agenda." Only 3 percent said ESPN tilts right politically. Despite Traina's absurd claim, if you look across the span of its network, ESPN is awash in liberals spewing liberalism.