ESPN's double standard on political commentary from employees

Rick Moran
It's pretty obvious why ESPN - the giant sports broadcasting cable network owned by Disney, Inc. - would chastize one of their on air golf commentators for his criticism of Obama. But less obvious is that when the target is a Republican or conservative, it's a whole different ballgame.

Former golfer, now analyst Paul Azinger tweeted a gentle and humorous barb about Obama - and his bosses came down on him like a ton of bricks:

ESPN is coming down on Paul Azinger for mocking President Obama on Twitter. The golf analyst tweeted Thursday the commander in chief plays more golf than he does - and that Azinger has created more jobs this month than Obama has.

On Friday ESPN 'reminded" Azinger his venture into political punditry violates the company's updated social network policy for on-air talent and reporters.

"Paul's tweet was not consistent with our social media policy, and he has been reminded that political commentary is best left to those in that field," spokesman Andy Hall told Game On! in a statement.

ESPN's Hall would not comment on whether Azinger, who won the 1993 PGA Championship, will be fired, suspended or punished in some way. "We handle that internally," he said.

After being publicly chastised, Azinger declined an interview request. Hall said he just wants to "move on."

But, as Dana Loesch points out at Big Government, when the target is the right, Disney turns the other way.

Kenny Mayne, an anchor for "Sportscenter," their signature news program, actually delved into hate speech against Sarah Palin when he tweeted:

Almost rammed car with Palin bumper sticker with intent. Held up...coulda been kids in the car.

There are also political tweets from the network's NFL analyst Adam Shefter:

Attention NFL owners and players. Thought you'd find this interesting during Shutdown Times. RT @: Our troops aren't getting paid.

What's going on? Disney execs and employees contributed nearly $250,000 to Obama's campaign ijn 2008. So asking them to apply a policy against political commentary in a consistent manner is probably futile.





It's pretty obvious why ESPN - the giant sports broadcasting cable network owned by Disney, Inc. - would chastize one of their on air golf commentators for his criticism of Obama. But less obvious is that when the target is a Republican or conservative, it's a whole different ballgame.

Former golfer, now analyst Paul Azinger tweeted a gentle and humorous barb about Obama - and his bosses came down on him like a ton of bricks:

ESPN is coming down on Paul Azinger for mocking President Obama on Twitter. The golf analyst tweeted Thursday the commander in chief plays more golf than he does - and that Azinger has created more jobs this month than Obama has.

On Friday ESPN 'reminded" Azinger his venture into political punditry violates the company's updated social network policy for on-air talent and reporters.

"Paul's tweet was not consistent with our social media policy, and he has been reminded that political commentary is best left to those in that field," spokesman Andy Hall told Game On! in a statement.

ESPN's Hall would not comment on whether Azinger, who won the 1993 PGA Championship, will be fired, suspended or punished in some way. "We handle that internally," he said.

After being publicly chastised, Azinger declined an interview request. Hall said he just wants to "move on."

But, as Dana Loesch points out at Big Government, when the target is the right, Disney turns the other way.

Kenny Mayne, an anchor for "Sportscenter," their signature news program, actually delved into hate speech against Sarah Palin when he tweeted:

Almost rammed car with Palin bumper sticker with intent. Held up...coulda been kids in the car.

There are also political tweets from the network's NFL analyst Adam Shefter:

Attention NFL owners and players. Thought you'd find this interesting during Shutdown Times. RT @: Our troops aren't getting paid.

What's going on? Disney execs and employees contributed nearly $250,000 to Obama's campaign ijn 2008. So asking them to apply a policy against political commentary in a consistent manner is probably futile.