ESPN just won’t learn.
ESPN host Katie Nolan forewent company policy about engaging in political talk with a controversial appearance on Viceland’s “Desus & Mero” program, in which she called President Trump “a f—ing stupid person.”
Nolan and the program’s hosts discussed whether the thumbs-up sign is a “white power” symbol. Desus said the thumbs-up is now associated with white supremacy because President Trump often uses it in photo-ops.
Nolan replied, “that’s because he’s a f—ing stupid person.”
ESPN recently unveiled an updated social media policy limiting its journalists’ political discussions–an effort to minimize backlash against the network.
“Commentaries on relevant sports-related issues are appropriate, but we should refrain from overt partisanship or endorsement of particular candidates, politicians or political parties,” the policy read.
Nolan’s comments were made on television, not social media, which may mean she won’t face discipline.
Last October, SportsCenter co-host Jemele Hill was suspended for calling on her followers to boycott advertisers of the Dallas Cowboys, whose coach, Jerry Jones, threatened to bench players who failed to stand for the national anthem.
Professional football and ESPN in particular have been hit with declining ratings and revenue at a time of increased politicization of sports.
NFL ratings fell 9.7 percent during the 2017 regular season, ESPN reports. A total of 1.6 million fewer viewers tuned into televised football games this season than last season.
The ratings slide has devastated ESPN. The network cut 150 jobs in production and technical fields last November. In April, ESPN let go of 100 employees.
At this rate, ESPN will end up firing their entire workforce before the decade is through. Maybe they can save their company by starting with the on-air talent–and replacing them with commentators who aren’t rabid left-wingers.
Most likely, ESPN will continue on its downward course. What can you expect from a “stupid” network?