ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro conceded defeat Monday by finally admitting, “Without question our data tells us our fans do not want us to cover politics.”
Well, no shit.
You needed your data to tell you that, Jimmy?
You needed to convene something to do a tabulation that deliver some data, Jimmy?
Was it the 15 million lost subscribers? Was that the “data?”
How about the endless complaints across social media, the editorials…?
Perhaps it was the ratings crash?
Seriously, Jimmy, please do share with us this data of which you speak.
After years and years and years and years of Disney straight up lying to us, telling us again and again that the infusion of left-wing politics in its sports coverage was not hurting the network, here we have no less than the president of ESPN taking a knee.
Here’s his whole comment, where Pitaro also makes clear he has sat down with his anchors and told them to shut up about their personal political opinions and to focus instead on the players and games:
Pitaro has also satisfied ESPN’s more traditional fans by steering commentators away from political discussions on-air and on social media, which heightened during President Trump’s criticism of NFL player protests against social injustice during the playing of the national anthem.
“Without question our data tells us our fans do not want us to cover politics, ”Pitaro said. “My job is to provide clarity. I really believe that some of our talent was confused on what was expected of them. If you fast-forward to today, I don’t believe they are confused.”
Naturally, the far-left L.A. Times buries its own headline by burying this news deep in the interview.
But let’s compare Sunday’s comments to what ESPN told us back in January of 2017:
So many of you write in every time we say something that you disagree with politically, even though we don’t talk politics around here. We talk race, we talk about cultural issues — we don’t talk politics. So many of you write in, ‘That’s why ESPN is losing subscribers, because of its liberal leanings.’ It’s just a basic misunderstanding of what is happening with ESPN that confirms to your biases. That is not why ESPN is losing subscribers at all. ESPN is losing subscribers because in 2017, all of the technology has changed and 99 million of you have been paying for something that 98 million of you may not be using at any given time. It’s not about the politics of the company. The company doesn’t have politics.
How about the good old days when former ESPN presidents were so deep in denial they claimed the network was not getting political — oh, no, not getting political at all:
It is accurate that the Walt Disney Company and ESPN are committed to diversity and inclusion. These are long-standing values that drive fundamental fairness while providing us with the widest possible pool of talent to create the smartest and most creative staff. We do not view this as a political stance but as a human stance. We do not think tolerance is the domain of a particular political philosophy.
My personal favorite was when ESPN’s media apologists blamed the ratings death spiral on everything but politics:
A deeper dive shows the primary causes of this decline are likely cord-cutting and increased competition from the Internet ― not politics ― as people turn away from linear television and to their computers to follow sports, including live events, which now air on Hulu and Amazon.
Talk about fake news.
Of course it was all ridiculous at the time, and we all knew it, but this is how far a propaganda outlet like Disney is willing to go to push propaganda, and this is how bad things have to get before it finally stops.
Worst of all for ESPN was the permanent damage to its brand, a brand that once enjoyed universal goodwill.
Screwing up something like ESPN takes real talent and effort because ESPN had a near-monopoly on sports, which is why it was absurd to blame all of its problems on bad games or whatever… Sports fans have no place else to go, so of course it was the divisive left-wing politics, the 24/7 virtue signaling, the constant sucker punches aimed at the tens of millions of sports fans who did not vote for Hillary.
And it wasn’t that ESPN got “political.”
That too is a lie.
If something is “political” it allows both sides — all sides to have a say.
No, ESPN was PARTISAN… And there is a big difference between political and partisan.
ESPN moved far to the left, far-far-far to the left and did so in an insulting manner deliberately meant to antagonize anyone who dared disagree.
Personally, I think it is too late for ESPN to fully recover. There was never a boycott of ESPN. People on the right don’t do boycotts. But we do eventually get sick and tired of BS like this and move along. And those are the hardest people to win back because their habits have changed, they have found other things that interest them.
ESPN used to win the ratings fight most every week. Now it is consistently in third to fifth place. Nevertheless, through those bloated cable bills, even though only a little over a million people bother to watch ESPN, some 90 million suckers still subsidize the left-wing sports outlet to the tune of about $80.00 a year.
Yep, just like CNN, if you don’t watch ESPN you still pay for it simply because it is on your cable package.
Y’all really do need to cut the cord.