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ESPN’s Political Hypocrisy On Display All in One Day

Here are two headlines from yesterday (4-4-17) regarding ESPN that are in stark conflict with each other:

New ESPN guidelines recognize connection between sports, politics

ESPN Replaces Sage Steele With Actual White Woman, Black Twitter Pops Champagne

ESPN has seriously dug itself into a blinding hypocrisy hole here and what we can conclude is the only ‘politics’ they will permit to be practiced on air is the politics they agree with…

“Given the intense interest in the most recent presidential election and the fact subsequent political and social discussions often intersected with the sports world, we found it to be an appropriate time to review our guidelines,” said Patrick Stiegman, ESPN’s vice president of global digital content and the chairman of the company’s internal Editorial Board, which drafted the new guidelines.

Stiegman said no single issue or incident led to the change, but Craig Bengtson, ESPN’s vice president and managing editor of newsgathering and reporting, said the nation’s tense political climate did play a role.

“We have the convergence of a politically charged environment and all these new technologies coming together at once,” he said. “Based on that, we wanted the policy to reflect the reality of the world today. There are people talking about politics in ways we have not seen before, and we’re not immune from that.”

Stiegman said the new election guidelines are no longer just targeted at presidential elections. “We simply extended our approach to covering presidential elections every four years to major elections, in general, believing all the same principles should apply,” Stiegman said.


…Stiegman said that the buzz around the topic of ESPN and politics — also written about by The New York Times, Awful Announcing, the Orlando Sentinel and many conservative sites criticizing ESPN’s perceived leftward tilt — didn’t play a significant role in the revision of the guidelines…

At least one of Steele’s opinion remarks cited in the article (the NFL kneelers) about her demotion from the NBA stage definitely was in line with the politics vs sports category that ESPN outlined as acceptable, and on the same day as ‘can-kicking’ her off this stage…

She also blasted NFL players who chose to kneel during the national anthem and cut short an interview with Arcade Fire’s Win Butler when he began to voice his political opinion after last year’s celebrity All-Star game.

That said, over these last few years the sports network, as well as the NFL coverage on other nets in general, has seen some serious ratings/viewership slides. No matter what the social media gripers say the larger scale of the would be audience is sick and tired of the politics mixed in with sports. Recently Ashley Judd tweeted her command that sports (her attending a Kentucky basketball game) was where politics should never be discussed. Her fawning followers/fans strongly agreed. Yet I’d wager they are of the same ilk as those now cheering the demotion of Sage Steele on the ESPN stage. See how that works? The only acceptable politics permitted in this whole new world order of ‘free speech for me but not for thee’ is the PC/liberal politics, at least on ESPN. Just ask Rush Limbaugh, Kurt Schilling, Mike Ditka, Ray Lewis, Chris Carter, and now Sage Steele


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