RUSH: No, ESPN can fix this. ESPN is in deep trouble because they are purposely injecting left-wing politics into sports. They have people doing it that don’t know how to do it. I’ve often said, “Don’t try this — you know, what I do — at home.” If ESPN wants to bring politics back — and if they want to do it right and if they want to win with it — they should ask me how to do it. If you’re gonna bring politics into sports, the politics better be about sports. People watching ESPN don’t care what any of these numskulls care about Donald Trump or Paul Ryan or any of this.
But I’m not gonna give the answers away. Well, Linda Cohn — who I met, by the way. She was at WABC when I first started. She was in the news/sports department there before she went to ESPN. She’s got a piece in the New York Post or an interview in the New York Post where she says (paraphrased), “Hey, it’s not just cord cutting that is causing people to leave and not watching ESPN. The layoffs are not just happening because they’ve overpaid for rights to televise the NBA — like $24 billion to broadcast NBA games.”
She said they’re turning people off with content by injecting uber-left-wing products. She’s exactly right. If they want to do it, they need to talk to somebody who knows how to do this, and that would be somebody like me. They’re clearly a bunch of rank amateurs over there. Sportswriters are already pretend journalists. They wish they were on the news beat, but they’re not. So this is how they’re trying to stake their claim to being real journalists, by injecting politics into what they do so they get noticed by the big boys at news journalism.
RUSH: Do you think people at ESPN know why they’re losing subscribers? Let me ask you a question: Do you think the people at CNN know why they have no audience? And they’re proud! Does CNN make any change whatsoever to try to change and grow an audience? No! Because they’re being given awards and accolades for being true to the liberal cause. Advertising agencies are taking care of ’em.
RUSH: This story we mentioned this at the top of the program — Linda Cohn, who I met when I got to New York at WABC, she was in the radio news and sports department there. And it was long after that she went to ESPN as an anchor. She has a piece in the New York Post, she either wrote it or is being quoted here, “ESPN sweeping staff cuts –” they just laid off a hundred people, and more are coming — “– are not just the result of ambitious TV rights deals and an overburdened budget, popular ‘SportsCenter’ anchor Linda Cohn suggested Thursday.
“The network may be losing subscriber revenue not just because of cord-cutting, Cohn allowed, but because viewers are increasingly turned off by ESPN inserting politics into its sports coverage.” Oh, she was on WABC. This happened I guess it was yesterday afternoon.
She said, “That is definitely a percentage of it. I don’t know how big a percentage, but if anyone wants to ignore that fact, they’re blind.” She’s not wrong. The president of ESPN’s a guy named John Skipper and he’s just like Phil what’s his name at MSNBC, Phil Griffin. I mean, they’re dyed-in-the-wool. And they’re doing this on purpose.
This isn’t just a couple of ESPN anchors who happened to slip up one day and announce a political opinion. This is a purposely done strategy, because these people think that they are relating to the majority of Americans. They think a majority of Americans hate Trump. They think a majority of Americans are liberals and hate racist, pig Republicans, what have you. They’re totally misjudging their audience.
There was a shareholders meeting — you know, ABC owns Disney, and Iger got up there and there were some shareholders asking about the politicization of ESPN, and Iger denied it. No, you’re crazy, there’s none of that going on. I don’t know why you would ask that. Denied it.
I think you’ve got a bunch of rank amateur sportswriters trying to do politics that don’t know what they’re talking about. Like I said, ESPN, if you want to put politics into sports you need professionals like me to be able to do it and do it the right way. You guys are throwing politics here into every discussion and half the time, if not more, it’s irrelevant to the event, to the players, whatever you’re talking about. Once it starts becoming gratuitously anti-Trump or anti-Republican, you’re not helping yourself here.
And in many instances these left-wing sports anchor reporters, broadcasters, whatever are pretend political thinkers. They’re hacks just trying to get along with whatever they think the majority of their business thinks. You need seasoned professionals. And I of course am the trailblazer here. I got blown out of ESPN for being accused of doing what ESPN is now promising and trying to do. You talk about trailblazer, you talk about pioneers taking the arrows, I did. And it wasn’t even that political. It was cultural. It never got conservative-Republican, Democrat-liberal, any of that. It was pure cultural. For two days nobody noticed. Then they did and all hell broke loose. He-he-he-he-he-he-he. If you want to know how to do it, ESPN, give me a call.