Proving that when it comes to dwelling in fantasyland no one can out perform Disney, the company’s CEO Bob Iger recently responded to shareholder criticism with a defense that would make even the Mad Hatter proud. Challenged that Disney-owned ESPN is crippling itself by a pronounced and transparent lurch into leftist politics, Iger stammered:
“The charge that ESPN is exhibiting significant political bias in its programming is just completely exaggerated. One small communication and blowing it up into something that sounds a lot larger than it is. Watch ESPN and you’re not going to see political bias at ESPN.”
If nothing else, this at least confirms that either Iger himself does not watch ESPN, or (more likely) that the Disney front man who has mused about running for president one day is such a left-wing ideologue himself that he lacks the ability to distinguish what is utterly obvious to a rational mind.
After all, this is a network that intentionally choreographed for liberal political purposes the bizarre charade of handing a lifetime Courage Award to a mentally ill man in a dress and lipstick who had exhibited no courage other than a willingness to walk on stage in a dress and lipstick. And lest anyone believe that there was no other worthy recipient that year, honoring Jenner snubbed Lauren Hill, the Mt. Saint Joseph’s basketball player who inspired countless people by playing with inoperable brain cancer. That act made what was an embarrassing decision by ESPN simply inexcusable.
And let’s not forget the wall-to-wall coverage of back-up quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to disgrace himself by kneeling during the country’s anthem. ESPN worked overtime to make the spectacle into some kind of movement, trotting out commentators like Kevin Blackistone to slam the Star-Spangled Banner as a “war anthem,” and Kate Fagan to ignorantly accuse coaches who frowned upon the behavior as being guilty of censorship.
Not that elevating second-rate players simply for the sake of a political agenda was anything new for ESPN. After all, they sent a full camera crew to the home of openly gay football player Michael Sam so that they could air him kissing his boyfriend on television after being drafted 249th out of 256. In case you’re wondering, Defensive Back Ahmad Dixon (drafted 248th) did not have a camera crew at his home. ESPN followed up this shameless agenda-pushing with hours of subsequent reporting on the showering habits of this overhyped, subpar NFL player.
This is a network that regularly hijacks the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday to promote its political agenda, whether memorializing Barack Obama with a formal tribute or drawing insulting parallels between athletes who once heroically overcame racial discrimination with those celebrated today for their sexual penchants. It’s a network that used its social media platforms to promote the highly politicized, conservative-banning, anti-Trump “Women’s March.” It’s a network that promotes and champions the work of the shameless social warrior Dan Le Batard, incessant race-baiter Bomani Jones, tea-party slanderer Tony Kornheiser, and committed leftist Nate Silver.
Meanwhile, when one of its hosts or anchors dares to offer an alternative view to the left-wing orthodoxy dominating the halls of ESPN, they are disparaged or dismissed. When Chris Broussard offered a traditional Christian viewpoint on sexuality when asked about NBA back-up Jason Collins “coming out” as gay, ESPN felt obligated to apologize for his distracting remarks.
Worse, when former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling voiced his private support of North Carolina’s law aimed at preventing child predators from victimizing women and children, ESPN canned him for offending the transgender movement. This before promptly hiring LGBT activist and Hillary Clinton disciple Abby Wambach. Yes, the same Abby Wambach that had been arrested for drunk driving and admitted to using both cocaine and marijuana while representing the United States on its women’s soccer team. But hey, at least she’s cool with dudes in female locker rooms.
So Iger can lie to shareholders about his company’s obvious political bias if he wants to. He can trot out underlings like ESPN president John Skipper to crow about their commitment to “diversity and inclusion.” But it’s clear to anyone with a brain that doesn’t involve intellectual diversity and political inclusion. Perhaps someone should tell Mr. Iger that the clock has struck midnight, the spell has worn off, and his liberal slip has been exposed to anyone paying attention.