Hold ESPN Accountable for Its Abominable Treatment of Sarah Palin
By Jerry A. Kane
Last Thursday ESPN, the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company, decided to permanently remove the opening theme song, “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” from its Monday Night Football telecast.
The Disney-ABC owned company parted ways with Hank Williams, Jr., the performer and writer of the song, for expressing his political opinions about Barack Obama and the Republican leaders who refuse to recognize him as their political enemy during an appearance on Fox & Friends. In the interview, Williams likened the June golf summit with Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John Boehner, and John Kasich to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu playing golf with Adolf Hitler.
Williams’ remarks have generated controversy because they have been widely misreported. Contrary to reports, Williams didn’t call Obama Hitler, and he didn’t say that Obama is like Hitler. What Williams did was use a golf game to make his point that people who are political enemies and at odds with one another shouldn’t be part of a four-some in the same golf game. Admittedly he referred to Obama as the enemy, but he was just following Obama’s example by using the same word Obama had used to describe Republicans last October.
Moreover, this isn’t the first time that ESPN has reacted to political viewpoints critical of Obama. In August ESPN brass reprimanded golf analyst Paul Azinger for mocking Obama on Twitter: “Potus has played more golf this month than I have: I have created more jobs this month than he has.” Yet, when sports anchor Kenny Mayne and football analyst Adam Shefter had expressed their political views on Twitter months earlier, ESPN did not reprimand them.
In May Shefter tweeted, “On 60 minutes, President Obama never was more impressive.” In commenting on why Obama refused to release the photos of the body of bin Laden to the media, Shefter wrote, “We don’t spike the football.” Then the following month Mayne tweeted, “almost rammed car with palin [sic] bumper sticker, with intent.. held up..coulda been kids in car.”
But ESPN’s political bias was clearly exposed last month by its Las Vegas, Nevada, affiliate. During KWWN‘s sports talk show “Gridlock,” hosts Mitch Moss, Pauly Howard, and Seat Williams interviewed Mike Tyson and asked for his take on Sarah Palin’s alleged one-night-stand with former NBA star Glen Rice that happened when Rice was a college basketball player and Alaska’s former governor was an Anchorage sports reporter.
“Glen Rice is a wonderful man. He’s a wonderful guy. You want her to be with somebody like [Dennis] Rodman … ya git up in there … pushing her guts up in the back of her head, right? [Gridlock hosts laughing hysterically]
Glen Rice is a nice, mellow, docile man, non-threatening guy. You want someone like Rodman — yeah baby! Let’s get that donkey in here now. [more hysterical laughter] Just imagine Palin with a big old black stallion ripping. Yeehaw!” [more hysterical laughter]—Mike Tyson
Throughout the program the Gridlock “hosts cackled and guffawed in harmony at Tyson’s every deplorable comment.” In fact, Moss tweeted that his head hurt from laughing so hard at Tyson’s “Sarah Palin … she met the ‘wombshifter’” comment.
“WOW! @miketyson just made his most epic appearance ever with Gridlock! #wombshifter??! Are you serious?! My head hurts from laughing.”—Mitch Moss
When asked if the Palin allegation would garner black votes, Tyson replied, “She could always get boned out by a black person, a vote to bang her.” Tyson’s crassness and outrageous depictions of violent interracial sex are to be expected from the man whose history is replete with violence, wife abuse, and madness. But what was unexpected was the appallingly approving laughter contributed by KWWN’s on-air talent.
The Gridlock hosts found the misogynistic fantasies of the convicted rapist absolutely hilarious, and they also found his racist notion that all white women want to have sex with black men as part of their “ritualistic rite of passage into womanhood” seriously comical. But several bloggers reporting on the story having heard the audio clip of the program were not amused.
To date, ESPN has not dismissed or reprimanded the Gridlock hosts for their sophomoric antics and loathsome behavior, and Tyson’s name has not been stricken from the guest list. One consolation is that ESPN’s true colors have been displayed for all sports fans to see. They now know that the sports network is run by progressives who support Obama and censor political speech that contradicts his leftist agenda.
People who write or phone ESPN to express their outrage are wasting their time. The network is a profit-making enterprise; drops in profit margins attract attention, not complaints.
The true test is whether or not Republican lawmakers, radio talk show hosts, and media conservatives will put principle ahead of pleasure and urge their constituents, readers, and listeners to tune out Monday Night Football until ESPN bans future Tyson interviews, issues mea culpas to Sarah Palin and all conservative women, and fires the Gridlock hosts for creating the impression that violence against conservative women is acceptable in society.
People are known more for what they do than what they say, i.e., “by their fruits ye shall know them.” Get this story in the hands of Republican lawmakers, radio talk show hosts, and media conservatives; then determine if there’s a difference between what they do and what they say.
Although Moss’ tweet’s been scrubbed from his Twitter feed, the captured snapshot appears below:
For more on this story, see Mike Tyson: Sarah Palin met ‘the wombshifter,’ Did ESPN Allow Rapist to Joke About Raping Palin On Its Airwaves?, ESPN radio hosts find a rapist joking about Sarah Palin being raped hilarious, and Mike Tyson Disgraces Himself With Sarah Palin/Glen Rice Race ‘Commentary.’