ESPN reprimands commentator who called Trump 'white supremacist'

ESPN has reprimanded one of its anchors for "inappropriate" actions after she tweeted that President Trump is a "white supremacist."

Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.

— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017

Anchor Jamele Hill also tweeted, "Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period."  Conservatives are up in arms, accusing ESPN of employing a double standard after baseball analyst Curt Schilling was fired for Facebook comments he made about allowing men to use a woman's restroom.

PJ Media:

ESPN has issued a mild rebuke – if it can even be called that – of SportsCenter co-host Jemele Hill after she called President Trump and essentially everyone who voted for him white supremacists in a series of tweets. Here is what the network had to say:

ESPN Statement on Jemele Hill:

— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) September 12, 2017

This isn't going to help the perception that ESPN tilts way left and is deliberately offensive to conservatives.

ESPN stalwart Linda Cohn lamented the network's non-sports wander into politics in an interview last spring, noting that the "core group" of viewers who made ESPN so successful were being ignored.

The network also published a poem by a convicted cop killer on one of its vertical websites, ESPNW. That was done in the name of celebrating feminism, and the ensuing outrage from sane people prompted the network to remove the poem.

A year before the cop-murdering feminist was being feted by ESPN, they fired Curt Schilling for pretty much doing what Jemele Hill just did.

There are a couple of differences between the Hill situation and Schilling.  The network was itching to fire Schilling for some other political comments he had made about Muslims and Jews.

Accusing ESPN of harboring a "double standard" is incorrect.  The "standard" is what ESPN believes.  The network thinks anyone who believes that only men should use the men's room are bigots, while "everyone knows" Trump is a "white supremacist."  It's not a double standard as much as it is a routine application of far-left politics to personnel management.  If you don't toe the company political line, you're out.

It's tempting to assume that it is incidents like this that are the primary cause of the decline in ESPN ratings.  They may, indeed, be a contributing factor.  But there are other, unrelated reasons why the network's audience is shrinking dramatically.

The rise of NBC Sports and CBS Sports, plus whole networks devoted to football, basketball, baseball, and hockey as rival cable networks, has surely captured some of the ESPN audience.  There is also the massive overexposure of ESPN's core sports of football and baseball.  The unplugging from cable and satellite TV phenomenon should also be considered as a cause for the fall of ESPN.

I don't doubt that many conservatives won't watch ESPN (or pro football) because they are offended by the network's blatant political bias.  But as significant as that is, the large decline in viewership for the network points to factors peculiar to the sports TV business.