On Monday in this space, I posited a theory which is difficult to dispute; namely, that when you allow a leftist takeover of a cultural institution you will soon be struck by the proliferation of manifestly unfit, incompetent people who do violence to the credibility of that institution. Among the obvious examples of this phenomenon cited were Lynn Yaeger, the bag lady who surfaced on the national scene when she, from her perch as a fashion editor at Vogue, castigated Melania Trump for her footwear choices on a trip to visit Hurricane Harvey damage, the out of work actress and abortion promoter Martha Plimpton, and Melissa Click, the unstable harridan formerly of the University of Missouri.
Had there been more space at the end of a lengthy entry I would have made mention of what the leftists Bob Eiger at Disney and John Skipper, his underling in charge of ESPN, are doing to the country’s premier sports network. Because just a few hours after the Monday column went live here at The American Spectator, Skipper’s airwaves were overflowing with proof of our thesis.
And it was Monday Night Football providing the goods.
The second of two MNF games to open ESPN’s NFL coverage was something perhaps best described as the Diversity Bowl. With the normal broadcast crew of Sean McDonough and Jay Gruden in Minneapolis covering the Vikings-Saints game as the first installment of its doubleheader, it was the “B” team providing the sportscast for the Chargers-Broncos late game. That featured play-by-play work by Beth Mowins, who may have been the first female play-by-play announcer to call an NFL game, color commentary provided by former Jets head coach Rex Ryan…and a new sideline reporter named Sergio Dipp, who made a mere cameo appearance.
Dipp, who is of Mexican extraction and has an accent to match, was introduced to the audience shortly after the game began and proceeded to call attention to his own ethnicity — as if anyone cares; he’s the sideline reporter, for crying out loud — before attempting to note that new Denver head coach Vance Joseph, who is black, has “diversity in his background” and is “having the time of his life.” The substance of Dipp’s commentary was vapid enough, but the delivery — stammering and freezing up throughout — lent the affair an excruciating quality the internet found irresistible. Memes resulted.
And that was the end of Dipp’s sideline reports, as the (likely) intolerant old white guy producing the game in ESPN’s truck decided it was better to leave the broadcast with Mowins and Ryan than to risk another on-air meltdown. Later in the evening Dipp posted a melodramatic video on Twitter explaining how he was overcome with the moment as a Mexican-American sportscaster calling a game coached by two fellow minority coaches (like Joseph, Los Angeles’s head coach Anthony Lynn is black).
Denver won the game by three, thanks to the Broncos blocking a potentially game-tying field goal in the final seconds. The Chargers’ kicker wearing goat’s horns? That would be rookie Younghoe Koo, who as you might have guessed is Korean.
Meaning, one supposes, that Joseph won the Diversity Bowl — and Lynn, Dipp and Koo lost. Whether Joseph may have been joined in the winners’ circle by a transgender Coke vendor at Mile High Stadium ESPN wasn’t able to identify for us. That might have been Dipp’s job had he not been relieved of his microphone.
Viewers across the country looked at the spectacle and wondered what on earth ESPN is doing to their own product. But the network was just getting started for the week.
Not even 24 hours after the Dipp debacle, SportsCenter host Jemele Hill unleashed a Twitter rant calling President Trump a white supremacist who surrounds himself with white supremacists, and similarly insulting those who voted for him. Hill, who is black, has a long and pronounced history of incendiary, hyperpartisan political and racial statements leading up to the anti-Trump calumnies she unleashed Tuesday…
She called it “historically accurate” when Colin Kaepernick, whose cause she has been championing with fervor, declared that American police forces originated as fugitive slave patrols. She also, just Sunday, attacked Kid Rock’s kids after he had expressed indignation over being accused of racism by tweeting, “Would love how he explains to his black children why he loves the Confederate flag.” Also there was a famous tweet last year, after a jihadist shot up the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, and Hill had this to say: “So in a country where we have done everything possible to undermine the LGBTQ community, we are suddenly lecturing Islam on homophobia. Oh.”
Hill wasn’t disciplined for any of those statements or countless others she’s made during her move up the ladder as an ESPN on-air anchor, and she wasn’t disciplined for her Twitter rant attacking the president. For its part the White House noted that what she said could be considered a firing offense, which the Hill misreported as a demand she be fired (more incompetence, of course, but this likely deliberate). ESPN’s public relations department did offer a weak tweet saying the matter was “addressed” with Hill and that her sentiments didn’t reflect the network’s position, which is an untruth.
Never once in any of this chaos has anyone at ESPN acknowledged the deep-seated idiocy of a sports host who alienates half the country by incessantly ranting about politics. And on Tuesday, irritated ESPN employees leaked the story to Fox Sports radio personality and Outkick The Coverage blogger Clay Travis that Skipper had done even worse. It turns out that last week, longtime ESPN sportscaster Linda Cohn had done a radio appearance with a sports station in New York and offered some analysis to the effect that too much left-wing politics, or at least the perception of same, was playing a role in ESPN’s continuing decline. Skipper gave Cohn a vitriolic dressing-down via telephone, Travis reported, and told her not to come in to work until she’d thought about what she’d said. Travis went on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News Tuesday and castigated Skipper and ESPN as fools, which is unquestionably true.
Your author could only stand by and watch with glee. Normally it’s a good three days before events prove me correct about the idiocy of the Left. The clowns in charge at ESPN got it done in just two.