[H/T: Big Journalism]
Here’s the quick background on this story….On August 25th, Paul Azinger tweeted:
Zing!! Pretty good, pretty good. And the guy’s name is A-zinger! It’s practically a moral imperative for him to be skewering people left and left, including POTUS.
BUT the ESPN channel — a network which apparently has nothing to do with Spain or ESP — rebuked Azinger because as USA Today notes: ” ESPN has ‘reminded” Azinger his venture into political punditry violates the company’s updated social network policy for on-air talent and reporters issued yesterday.
“Paul’s tweet was not consistent with our social media policy, and he has been reminded that political commentary is best left to those in that field,” spokesman Andy Hall told Game On! in a statement.
ESPN’s Hall would not comment on whether Azinger, who won the 1993 PGA Championship, will be fired, suspended or punished in some way. “We handle that internally,” he said.“
Wow! I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about golf or Paul Azinger, but apparently he won a PGA Championship. (Nice work, sir.) So, Mr. Azinger, you are actually a world-class, professional golfer, yes? You’ve won tournaments. Are you really going to take that kind of crap from the ESPaNol channel?? If it were me, I’d tell those blokes to go jump off a bridge (in Barcelona) or to run with some bulls…!! Yeah! I’d tell them to suck on some golf balls! ESPN can go fly a kite…in Madrid. A kite that looks like a pinata. You get the idea…..who are they? You’re a golf champion, dude! Tell ESPN they can shove it up their sopapilla… (those taste amazing, btw! I used to love sopapilla’s…It’s flour and honey or something. I had it when I was a kid.)
The rest of this missive is addressed specifically to ESPN….
When are you going to publicly rebuke Kenny “Almost Rammed Car With Palin Bumper Sticker (with Intent)” Mayne?? That was June 11, 2011. You’re going to caution him, right? For violating the company’s social media policy. Political commentary, something, something…. Difference is Paul Azinger is a professional golfer, he’s earned the right to say what he wants. And Kenny Mayne is just some loser who watches other people do things for a living.
And what about Mike Lupica of ESPN’s The Sports Reporters? This sports pundit has something more powerful than a social media platform. He has a column in the New York Daily News. In the past year he’s said…. “Tea Party activism is not about political dissent – It’s about vile, storm trooper sound bites“. He spends another column on Christine O’Donnell. And then there was “Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin has delusions of grandeur if she thinks she can be President.” I’ll grant you this: a column in a semi-major newspaper — social media it is not — but the effect is the same. One of your on-air “talents” is delving into politics. And his weekly diatribes are considerably more offensive than Paul Azinger tweeting a little dig at our beloved POTUS. Unless, ESPN’s social media policy is crap to begin with and they should either get rid of it, enforce it consistently, or don’t ever enforce it. The whole reason you have this policy is what? To not disenfranchise some of your viewership? To not put your company into a position where it’s seen endorsing a political party or view?
Truth is…I don’t want ESPN to silence Mike Lupica or Kenny Mayne. I don’t think ESPN should censure anyone. Let them speak their minds if they choose, and don’t worry about it. Of course, the very public rebuke of one ESPN employee who criticizes one Barack Obama, while another employee goes unscathed after fantasizing about a motor-vehicle accident over Sarah Palin, it does seem a tad hypocritical.
Back to Mikey Lupica for a second.This guy is a sports guy, right? I suppose with cut-backs and all, the New York Daily News thought, ‘well, hey, let’s let little Mikey Lupica try his hand at political commentary.’
Little Mikey Lupica doing political commentary?? Hilarious. “I’m Mike Lupica. I’m not a small business owner. I don’t employ people. I don’t make a payroll. I watch other talented people do stuff for a living and then I write about it like the little beta male that I am. I hate Sarah Palin and women like her, because they never gave me the time of day in high school, and now they’re all so independent and self-reliant. I hates her. So I don’t think she should be President. But that’s just one guy’s opinion.”
That reminds me of the time when Sammy ‘Mayday’ Malone branched out to TV and tried his hand at commentary….