ESPN Comes Down on Golf Analyst for Criticizing Obama

August 27th, 2011 12:56 PM

ESPN has come down on one of its golf analysts for publicly criticizing President Obama.

It all began Thursday when former golf great Paul Azinger tweeted the following:

That was followed by:

According to USA Today, ESPN responded Friday:

On Friday ESPN 'reminded" Azinger his venture into political punditry violates the company's updated social network policy for on-air talent and reporters.

"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.

Yet ESPN seems to be rather inconsistent about political commentary from its employees. As NewsBusters reported in April 2007:

Even so, it came as something of a shock to observe that one ESPN personality is turning his on-screen appearances into an opportunity to promote the candidacy of a Dem presidential contender. Many sportscasters have their signature calls. From Stuart Scott's "boo-yah!" to Chris Berman's "back-back-back gone!," several of the ESPN announcers utter idiosyncratic phrases to underline signal athletic accomplishments. Fair enough. But watching ESPN's Kenny Mayne over the course of the last few days, I was surprised to notice that he has coined a new call. Home run at a crucial moment? Three-pointer to take the lead in a basketball game? "Obama!", exclaims Mayne.

Mayne has continued making political comments without any rebuke from ESPN as Dana Loesch noted at Big Journalism Friday:

Further making my case for their cherry-picked policy enforcement, check out the Tweets of on-air talent Mayne:

Loesch also noted that another ESPN personality, Adam Shefter, has made numerous political tweets including this one in May:

As Loesch pointed out, it's okay at ESPN to hype Obama since corporate owner Disney gave more of its 2008 campaign dollars to the junior senator from Illinois than anyone or anything else that year.

You just better not say anything bad about him.

Got that, Zinger?