At one time officially, and since then unofficially, the “S” in “ESPN” stood for “sports,” and, according to Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum, that’s entirely fitting. As for the frequent complaint from conservatives about the channel’s liberal bias, Drum says, “I don't really get it...I'm not a heavy ESPN viewer, but I watch enough to have some sense of its political leanings. And I haven't really discerned much. Mostly they seem to call games and then argue about whether Tom Brady can play football into his fifties. You know, sports stuff.”
ESPN Public Editor Jim Brady on Election Eve surveyed complaints that the sports network had gone overboard with liberal pieties, frustrating long-time watchers by injecting politics onto the playing field. He agreed with conservative complaints that ESPN had shifted leftward, though the company brass and at least one outspoken lefty personality didn’t see a problem: "One notion that virtually everyone I spoke to at ESPN dismisses is what some have perceived as unequal treatment of conservatives who make controversial statements vs. liberals who do the same."
Curt Schilling is still bringing the heat against his former employer. In an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show on NBC, Schilling let fly with a scathing rant about why he got fired, and the hypocrisy of ESPN.
ESPN, not content to cover sports, wants in on the burgeoning social-justice market as well. In “Waiting for LeBron," an ESPN magazine essay, Washington Post reporter Eli Saslow pondered why Cleveland Cavaliers basketball legend LeBron James backed off his brief anti-gun activism. Saslow’s histrionic analysis of James “the athlete and the activist” makes it clear that LeBron has (somehow) let both a grieving father and his home city down, by only going halfway in fighting racism and police shootings and gun violence in general, while noting in a single sentence that James, who lives in a gated mansion surrounded by bodyguards, likes to fire guns himself.
Confess! Confess! Curt Schilling, the Boston Red Sox pitching ace turned sports media personality, was canned by ESPN after sharing a post on his Facebook account against allowing transgenders to choose which bathroom they use. New York Times reporter Richard Sandomir wrote up “ESPN Fires Schilling Over an Offensive Post” for Thursday’s sports page, then put on his moralistic liberal columnist cap for Friday’s follow-up: “Contrition Continues to Elude Schilling.” The libertine liberals at the New York Times became positively moralistic in its own Facebook blurb promoting Sandomir’s column: “Curt Schilling’s response suggests he may not comprehend the ramifications of what he did.”
On Thursday, both NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America reveled in ESPN firing baseball analyst Curt Schilling after the former all-star pitcher objected on social media to liberal demands that transgender people be allowed to use whichever bathroom they choose. At the top of Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie announced: “He's out. Former all-star pitcher Curt Schilling fired by ESPN after another controversial post to social media. What he said this time that could cost him his job.”
Justin Moyer contended that ESPN's firing of former baseball pitcher Curt Schilling "seemed destined" in a Thursday article for the Washington Post, which detailed the supposed "radicalization" of the former Phillies player turned "conservative loudmouth." Moyer spotlighted how "Schilling went fangs out" after Tweeting out a controversial image that "many deemed transphobic." However, the reporter didn't disclose his possible stake in this issue, as he moonlights as a cross-dressing musician in a rock band.
USA Today Sports wants you to know that they believe it’s very important that everyone has a right to say whatever it is they believe. Right before they accuse you of causing transgender people to commit suicide because of your beliefs.
Promoting his latest book Wednesday night on Newsmax TV, longtime sports writer and Washington Post columnist John Feinstein surprisingly went off the liberal reservation and told host Steve Malzberg that ESPN Radio 980 personality and Pardon the Interruption co-host Tony Kornheiser “should probably have gotten” suspended for comparing conservative Republicans to ISIS back.
Word on the street is that ESPN is planning to lay off "200 to 300" employees in the coming months.
The go-to euphemism surrounding the impending layoffs, according to Variety's Brian Steinberg, is "the changing media landscape," primarily the "cord-cutting" phenomenon. In July, the Big Lead blog, in discussing Keith Olbermann's expected departure from ESPN, explained that "millennials are eschewing expensive cable TV bills and streaming everything online." While that might explain flat viewership or even a modest decline, cord-cutting is only a minor part of the problem. Someone needs to explain why ESPN's ratings have fallen by a stunning 30 percent in the past 12 months.
Sarah Palin let fly with a near dissertation-length slamming of ESPN Friday morning for their suspension of Curt Schilling earlier in the week.
Schilling had tweeted a graphic comparing the number of Muslim extremists in the world today to the number of Nazi extremists in Germany in 1940. Though, the tweet was distorted by the MSM to make it appear as though Schilling was comparing all Muslims to Nazis, resulting in Schilling’s suspension.
Introducing a segment on Wednesday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie announced: “We’re back now at 7:43 with the controversial tweet that has led to a headline-making suspension at ESPN.” Fellow co-host Willie Geist declared: “Former big league ace pitcher and current baseball analyst Curt Schilling has a history of pushing boundaries on social media. But his bosses say this time Schilling went too far.”