More Proof PC Culture HELPED Kill ESPN

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More Proof PC Culture HELPED Kill ESPN

Two weeks ago we had the great piece by Clay Travis who argued that ESPN’s ambition to become MSNBC in hopes of slowing the listener exit actually hastened the decline of the network…

Middle America wants to pop a beer and listen to sports talk, they don’t want to be lectured about why Caitlyn Jenner is a hero, Michael Sam is the new Jackie Robinson of sports, and Colin Kaepernick is the Rosa Parks of football. ESPN made the mistake of trying to make liberal social media losers happy and as a result lost millions of viewers.

Today, The Wall Street Journal has an op/ed from Jason Whitlock who made a very similar argument.  Whitlock argues that Deadspin pressured and goaded ESPN into self-censoring themselves and stifling innovation…

Rather than sue Mr. Denton’s bullying internet pirates into submission the way tech billionaire Peter Thiel did, ESPN chose to acquiesce and adopt progressive ideology and diversity as groundbreaking business innovations. ESPN is the exact network Deadspin desired. It’s diverse on its surface, progressive in its point of view, and more concerned with spinning media narratives than with the quality of its product.

The channel has become too handcuffed by politics to protect its most experienced and loyal employees. It’s a massive symbol of everything that fueled Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency.

Once again, this needs to be stated for both liberals and Republicans.  Neither author is placing the entire collapse of the sports network on liberalism.  The oversized TV contracts, cord cutting, and the abundance of platforms to deliver almost immediate highlights all caused the decline of ESPN.  What Whitlock and Travis are arguing is the move to liberalism by ESPN to stave off the decline actually hastened it.  If everything else had remaind constant, ESPN’s lurch to the left would have been far less damaging.

Whitlock points to the exit of Mark Shapiro as another turning point at ESPN.  Shapiro had been a huge risk taker creating some the networks most well know programs.  However, after he left, Deadspin’s constant criticism lead to a culture where very few in leadership wanted to take risks.  This was more damaging than their adoption of liberalism but less damaging than the cord cutting sweeping the nation.

ESPN has many people and ideas to blame for the collapse of their network.  However, anyone that tells you that liberalism was not to blame is kidding themselves.  However, anyone that thinks that was the entire reason doesn’t know the whole story either…

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