It’s Opening Day week and all things are new again. Except the fact that liberals won’t let us just be happy watching our sports. That’s not new. In fact, as anyone who’s read Roger Kahn’s “The Boys of Summer” knows, determined liberals have been trying to suck the joy out of the sporting endeavor for decades.
But it does seem that the space carved out for the care-free enjoyment of our favorite sports is shrinking a little bit every year. Sycophantic ESPN is being used to sell Obamacare in exchange for the president’s bracket picks. Obama’s now annual interview has been ruining the guacamole at Super Bowl parties since 2009.
In case you’re one of those conservatives that doesn’t want liberal social crusades constantly mixed in your sports journalism, see D.C. sports radio host Steve Czaban. He has a blog post titled “ESPN Will Force You To Care! Resistance Is Futile.”
ESPN ombudsman Robert Lipsyte – a former New York Times columnist whose more recent home is Mother Jones – is lecturing the less-than-progressives, as he summarizes the viewpoint: “Enough already about Michael Sam, Jason Collins, Richie Incognito, Jonathan Martin, concussions and the N-word. I turn on ESPN to get away from the stress of everyday life, to relax with my friends, to share some family time with the kids. Why do you keep shoving that stuff in my face?” Answer: More face-shoving!
During a brief visit to Washington, D.C., Deborah Turness – the president of NBC News – is slated to discuss the fate of the network's Sunday morning program with host David Gregory and executive producer Rob Yarin regarding possible changes to the format of Meet the Press, which recently saw its ratings tumble to their lowest point since the third quarter of 1992.
According to Dylan Byers, a columnist at the Politico website, the gathering is “part of Turness's ongoing effort” to improve the long-running news and interview show, which ended 2013 behind both ABC's This Week and CBS's Face the Nation.
Despite openly gay NBA player Jason Collins only spending 10 minutes on the court during a game Sunday night, all three network morning shows on Monday hailed his non-scoring time off the bench as a momentous occasion. On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos proclaimed: "A history-making moment in the NBA. Jason Collins broke through a big barrier last night when he suited up for the Brooklyn Nets against the Lakers, becoming the first openly gay player in any of the four major pro-leagues." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC's Today, co-host Matt Lauer announced: "History was made...last night in a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers." In the report that followed, 9 a.m. co-host Willie Geist gushed: "History on the basketball court Sunday night, when 35-year-old Jason Collins became the first openly gay male athlete to play in any of the four major professional U.S. sports."
Veteran media reporter Howard Kurtz is joining the Fox News Channel on Monday, July 1, to serve as the anchor for a new version of the “Fox News Watch” Saturday program that has looked at media issues.
“I’m excited to be bringing my independent brand of media criticism to Fox News,” Kurtz stated in an article in the New York Times. “The chance to create a revamped program and establish a strong online presence was too good to pass up. I hope to add a new dimension to Fox’s coverage and have some fun while diving into the passionate debates about the press and politics.”
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III started tongues wagging when he posted this cryptic message on Twitter: “In a land of freedom we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness.”
This was in response to liberal activists showing their rabid intolerance by demanding, so obnoxiously, that the Washington Redskins be renamed the “Redtails.” But the sentiment absolutely fits the reaction to professional basketball player Jason Collins proclaiming “I’m black and I’m gay” in Sports Illustrated.
To many, Jason Collins's coming-out was a major sociocultural breakthrough. To one Kossack, however, true progress will wait for the day when an NFL franchise fields "an entire team of ass-kicking gays" who defeat homophobia one touchdown at a time.
As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym.
During a panel discussion on Thursday's NBC Today, attorney and regular pundit Star Jones compared gay NBA player Jason Collins to a civil rights icon: "I don't think that, say a Rosa Parks, set out to be the person that people will call the mother of the civil rights – civil rights era. I don't think that Jason Collins started out thinking, 'I'm going to be this gay hero.' But if it becomes a movement that equalizes people not based on their sexuality, it works." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Matt Lauer started off the conversation by touting a panel topic from weeks earlier: "I wanna start with a subject that brings us full circle to a subject we discussed here about a month ago. We were asking the question when will a male in a professional major sport in the United States come out and say, 'I'm gay'? We got the answer this week....What's next? What happens? Do we see a lot of other players come out?"
The folks at MSNBC are still getting thrills down their leg at the thought of a out-of-the-closet gay man playing in the NBA.
Today, openly gay news anchor and MSNBC Live host Thomas Roberts -- who on a regular basis runs gay marriage advocacy segments on his program -- treated viewers to a puff piece in which he compared Washington Wizards center Jason Collins to the African-American athlete who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Hosting liberal filmmaker Spike Lee on his Tuesday show, CNN's Anderson Cooper supported Lee's prediction that more professional athletes will come out as gay like NBA player Jason Collins.
"The tide of history is moving forward," the openly-gay Cooper remarked in a not-so-subtle boost of the gay rights movement. On Monday, Cooper hailed Collins as "a true pioneer" and lauded his announcement as a "historic decision." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Woe unto you who haven’t joined the rhapsodic hymns to Jason Collins’ heroism and genuflected before the altar of diversity. You have incurred the wrath of Mike Wise.
The Washington Post sports columnist, who is rumored to sometimes write about sports, doesn’t like Christians or conservatives (“Bible-thumpers” to him and Charles Barkley), and he’s not shy about it. His May 1 column was a tour de force, dripping contempt for anyone not enthused that NBA player Jason Collins announced he’s gay.
On Monday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes celebrated the coming out of gay NBA player Jason Collins as he tagged the development as a "real milestone," a "watershed moment," "something momentous," and "big, big news." He later hosted a panel that included liberal gay activist Dan Savage, known for trying to spread the flu to a GOP presidential candidate headquarters in 2000, and with aggressively trying to slander former Senator Rick Santorum for his criticism of homosexuality.
While Tuesday's NBC Today began by heralding gay NBA player Jason Collins as "a towering figure on the court" and in "sports history," later in the 7 a.m. ET hour, correspondent Craig Melvin regarded NFL quarterback Tim Tebow as an athlete who's "play never really matched the hype" and someone who became "spoof-worthy" due to his "well-publicized faith."
A clip played of Late Night host Jimmy Fallon mocking Tebow with a parody song set to David Bowie's "Ground Control to Major Tom": "Tim Tebow to Jesus Christ." Melvin followed: "On the field, Tebow struggled. His only season as a Jet, lackluster....His football future is uncertain. But Tebow could still cash-in on his carefully cultivated persona."
In just 24 hours, CNN spent over 76 minutes of air time on NBA player Jason Collins's announcement that he was gay. That was over nine times more coverage the network gave the Gosnell trial in one week.
CNN's media critic Howard Kurtz admitted on Sunday that the media champion some stories more than others that also merit attention, and this was painfully evident in the amount of time network gave the two stories. Once Collins announced he was gay, the network breathlessly touted the news as "historic," "a big moment for our country," and "courageous." CNN's jubilation over Collins is no surprise given its support for same-sex marriage, but it couldn't muster even half of that air time to report the alleged horrors of Kermit Gosnell's abortion clinic. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
ABC is nothing if not clear about its priorities. For a month and a half, the network has steadfastly refused to cover the multiple murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, devoting 109 minutes to other trials, along with important revelations about the original names of fictional characters. But when a little-known journeyman basketball player announces he’s gay, ABC’s elite news squad swings into action, lavishing resources and broadcast time on the story.
After NBA player Jason Collins came out as gay on Monday, CNN hyped the announcement as a "bombshell," a "big deal," and one for the "history books." CNN's open support of gay rights advocates is no secret, as it has already picked sides in the gay rights debate.
CNN's Don Lemon has framed gay rights advocates as being on the right side of history, and anchor Brooke Baldwin played into that narrative on Monday. "The NBA's Jason Collins has entered the history books today," she touted. "As of today, he's the first openly-gay male athlete playing a major team sport in America. This is a big deal." [Video below the break. Audio here.]