Another Major US Industry Suicide: Sports "Gay" Channel ESPN Fires Top 100 Staff
Real Clear Politics reports this headline
Did Too Much Caitlyn Jenner Doom ESPN?
Last week, ESPN, often referred to as the Worldwide Leader in Sports, laid off around 100 employees. The cuts were painfully public and claimed the jobs of some of the top talent and most familiar faces at the network. At the heart of the latest downsizing, as with earlier layoffs, is math: The network has committed billions of dollars to broadcast live sports, and waves of cord-cutters now threaten the cash flow to pay those bills. But amid the hand-wringing over the cable giant's business outlook, a subplot has begun to dominate the coverage: ESPN'S politics.
"[The] collapse has been aided by ESPN's absurd decision to turn into MSESPN, a left wing sports network," wrote Clay Travis on Wednesday. "ESPN made the mistake of trying to make liberal social media losers happy and as a result lost millions of viewers."
For several years now, Travis has been one of the loudest, most persistent antagonists of ESPN on the internet, haranguing the behemoth sports network in much the same way that right-wing disrupters have lobbied against the political media establishment.
Among Travis' biggest gripes: ESPN heaped laudatory coverage on Michael Sam, an openly gay football player, while firing Curt Schilling for a series of incendiary remarks. The network honored Caitlyn Jenner with its Arthur Ashe Courage Award after she came out as a trans woman, and then moved a company event away from a Donald Trump golf course.
And Travis is not alone. National Review, the Washington Examiner and, of course, Breitbart have all weighed in to accuse ESPN of partisanship. (Public Advocate note: we have attacked ESPN also.)
By the end of last week, Deep Root, a media analytics firm that does work for Republicans, published a study that suggested that politics have affected ESPN's audience. According to Deep Root, which matched voter files and set-top box data, ESPN's viewers in Cincinnati were majority Republican in 2015; in 2016, they skewed Democratic.
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Hat Tip To Free Republic