Ozzie Guillen is a blowhard. Always has been -and as long as someone sticks a microphone in front of his face- always will be. His crack about respecting Cuban dictator Fidel Castro for his ‘ability to remain alive after all these years while people are trying to kill him’ was a stunning display of ignorance and the resulting outrage of Miami’s Cuban citizens was, to say the least, completely understandable, and to anyone with even the most basic grasp of world affairs, totally predictable.
However, Guillen isn’t my real concern in this matter, ESPN is.
ESPN electing to scrutinize Guillen for his antics is about as classic a case of the ‘pot calling the kettle black’ as you’ll find in modern media. For almost four years now, the twenty-four hour a day sports network has cozy’d up with our own presidential overseer, and while we may still only be in what conservative radio show host Mark Levin calls the “soft tyranny” stage, ESPN needs to take a good, hard look in the mirror and realize its hypocrisy.
As I’ve discussed in earlier articles, the Left takes many forms, and in this case, what once launched as a simple, sports network on basic cable back in 1979 has morphed into the world’s largest mega sports broadcasting conglomerate with an ever increasing, blatantly liberal slant. Thus, compared to ESPN, Guillen, for all the attention he’s getting, is nothing more than a socially inept small fish. A retread baseball manager who apparently possesses neither the education nor the self-awareness to understand that you don’t publicly praise Fidel Castro in Miami, Florida (let alone just about anywhere else in the United States).
Guillen is relatively harmless.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the all too powerful sports network which not only frequently bends and shapes its stories to its ratings driving liking but has also developed a reputation for using its sports theme as a subtle -and often times not so subtle- way to socially and politically manipulate its audience.
The most glaring example of this of course is the gushing relationship between President Obama and ESPN. As I discussed in my earlier article Obama’s NCAA Tournament Bracket: The Method Behind The President’s March Madness our president loves sports and the only thing he loves more than sports is reminding us over and over again that he loves sports. Thus, the slickly produced, left-leaning ESPN has served as the perfect platform for Captain O when he wants to reach out to the average working Joe. Likewise, ESPN -which is almost entirely responsible for the monster that is now modern sports-celebrity culture in this country- has been more than happy to have America’s golf playing, b-ball shooting celebrity president as its newest best buddy.
Here’s just a handful of ESPN’s and President Obama’s more notable
romantic bromantic moments together:
-In 2008, shortly after President Obama won the election, ESPN College Football Game Day’s Chris Fowler essentially called non-obama voters racist by saying that if you didn’t vote for Obama you’re the same type of person who wouldn’t hire a black coach.
Unsurprisingly, many people complained to ESPN and all they got was this mechanical, dismissive statement with no reprimanding of Fowler:
Thank you for writing, [insert first name].
We understand your concerns. The political reference was an unnecessary addition to the valid point he was making about the lack of diversity in college football coaching. We have spoken with Chris about it. We appreciate you contacting us.
ESPN Viewer Response Team
Really? So calling anyone who didn’t vote for our current president a racist was really Fowler’s way of pointing out the “lack of diversity” in college football coaching? How long did it take the corporate robots at ESPN to input that line? And if that really was Fowler’s highly suspect way of showing his concern then maybe we could also discuss the lack of diversity in College Game Day announcers?
-Jump forward to August 26, 2011 when -oddly enough- ESPN did in fact reprimand golf analyst Paul Azinger for jokingly tweeting that Obama plays more rounds of golf than he does and that he (Azinger) has created more jobs than the president (not that ESPN would care but both points were probably true). What’s most eye-rolling about the reprimand is ESPN reminding Azinger that his public expression of political punditry violates the company’s “updated social network policy” for on-air talent and reporters.
You can actually view the policy here:
-Then, barely a month and a half later, ESPN managed to one-up itself by terminating its twenty year relationship with country-rock singer Hank Williams Jr.. Williams, whose song “All My Rowdy Friends” had been the “Monday Night Football” theme on both ABC and ESPN since 1991, had commented during his appearance on “Fox and Friends” that he thought House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner playing golf with President Obama would “be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.”
In an interview later with ESPN’s Brian Kilmeade, Kilmeade remarked to Williams that he didn’t understand the analogy Williams had offered on FOX & Friends (shocking, an ESPN anchor not understanding a political analogy), Williams responded “I’m glad you don’t, brother, because a lot of people do. They’re the enemy.”
Still struggling to comprehend, Kilmeade then asked who the enemy was and Williams said “Obama and Biden. Are you kidding me?”
In fairness to Kilmeade, he probably wasn’t kidding.
-Of course, you can’t truly worship the president without also ingratiating yourself to his
belligerent lovely wife so on February 11, 2012 America was treated to Michelle Obama’s well publicized visit to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports and Walt Disney World. It was here that the nation first discovered that Barack wasn’t the only athlete in the family.
- Then, in what could only be described as the next best thing to a White House sleepover, on March 1, 2012 ESPN’s pop culture obsessesd Bill Simmons went to the White House for an hour long interview of the president. Simmons, who once wrote an outstanding dissertation on the divine implications of the Karate Kid movies Holy trilogy of the ‘Karate Kid’ proved to be not quite as incisive when it came to meaningful political analysis. In what Punching the Left has since proclaimed to be ‘The Hour That Time Forgot’, Simmons lobbed pillow soft questions at The President, with the minimally interesting high point being the extraction of this meager but embarrassing quote, further solidifying both the president’s warm and fuzzy affections towards ESPN and his odd subserviance to his wife.
“Well, first of all, I don’t watch network news or cable news. So in the morning, when I’m working out with Michelle, it’s on SportsCenter. This is the one thing that she allows me.”
Makes you feel good about the current leader of the free world, doesn’t it?
-And then, of course, there is President Obama’s annual appearance on the sports network to proudly display his fully completed NCAA Basketball Tournament bracket. An act of forced masculinity which, as also linked to above, I go into further detail about here: Obama’s NCAA Tournament Bracket: The Method Behind The President’s March Madness
This brings us back to ESPN’s breathless coverage of Guillen’s remarks concerning Castro. For roughly three days (an eternity by ESPN’s attention deficit standards), the sports network’s endless multitude of
bobble talking heads more or less criticized Guillen for his remarks while doing their best to demonstrate genuine empathy for the distress experienced by Miami’s Cuban residents. And yet…and here’s the part that really makes my neck ache, even as ESPN condemns Guillen’s remarks, it is currently, and rather obnoxiously, enjoying best-friends-forever status with America’s own budding totalitarian statist in the White House.
So the question is: Is ESPN really this hypocritical or just so dense that it doesn’t grasp the irony of its behavior?
Most likely, both. Many of the sports journalists, analysts, anchors…etc probably aren’t sharp enough to recognize that Castro is simply an old school, more grizzled version of Obama. However, I can’t help to think that even if a significant number of ESPN “personalities” did realize this (which I seriously doubt they do), neither they, nor the master class that sits atop the network’s corporate pyramid wold really care. In fact, ESPN’s covering of the Guillen/Castro incident was, itself, most likely just a self-serving mechanism to drive ratings up, and, of course, further ingratiate itself into Miami’s ESPN watching Cuban demographic.
Thus, when examining and breaking down the American Left, a key principle to understand is that like ESPN, the nebulous anti-American movement consists of its own form of corporate hierarchy. So while Ozzie Guillen may be a fool, he is simply a low level distraction, a confused, base level employee being hung out to dry by the powerful world-wide sports network which resides infinitely higher up on the leftist corporate ladder.
And as for the emotional and tactical bonding between the opportunistic sports network and The President, well it really is a sort of perfect strangers love affair. After all, the Left worships celebrity and loves entertainment, and in the case of our sports crazy, starstruck president, what better smiley-face institution is there to cozy up with than the world-wide leader in sports broadcasting, ESPN?
Copyright 2012 Spencer Wolfe
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