ESPN Is Paralyzed With Fear Over 'Barstool Sports' Experiment

ESPN is not having a great year.

What happened now?

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The struggling cable sports channel has taken another hit, abruptly ending a partnership to do a podcast with the satirical and often offensive Barstool Sports after just 10 days.

Why did ESPN agree to the deal to begin with?

Good question. ESPN President John Skipper seems to have realized the decision to team up with Barstool Sports, a media outlet known for its abrasive and inflammatory sports coverage, was a mistake. But why did ESPN wait until a week into “Barstool Van Talk” to reverse course when its own employees weren’t happy about it to begin with?

The New York Times reported:

While several ESPN employees have appeared on “Pardon My Take” in the past, it was clear before the first episode of “Barstool Van Talk” that the partnership was in trouble. ESPN received intense pushback internally from employees once rumors of a partnership with Barstool started circulating around the company’s campus in Bristol, Conn. Executives apparently pushed those concerns aside.

Glenn’s take:

ESPN is trying to walk a fine line – retaining fans while sticking to their politically correct beliefs. That’s why they’re struggling.

“They’re grasping for anything to help stem the tide of viewers running from ESPN and cable,” Glenn said. “They got caught making a show with unapologetic sexists and now they’re trying to save face.”

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: ESPN is paralyzed with fear and self-righteousness. And it's delightful to watch.

You cannot have morals, ESPN, or principles. Only when it's convenient.

Less than two weeks ago, ESPN announced a deal with Barstool Sports to produce a weekly late-night TV show, based on Barstool's popular podcast, Pardon My Take.

Now, Barstool Sports is an online media company that focuses on sports and entertainment. Politics and news through comedy. And they use crude humor to make fun of everything. And their specialty is blatant sexual content.

So the employees at Barstool Sports actually have to sign an agreement, that they will not object to -- and I'm quoting, offensive speech, including conduct and speech that openly and explicitly relates to sex, as well as race, sexual orientation, gender, national origin, religion, disability, and age. End quote.

Now, let's remember that the company that just hired them, ESPN, is the company that fired commentators for saying things like chink in the armor or guerrilla tactics, spelled with a U and an E. ESPN is, oh, I think the chief patient in the asylum of political correctness. And yet they made a deal to produce a show with the least sensitive people in all of sports. Someone didn't think it through.

After the first episode aired, the first episode aired, ESPN announce that had they are canceling Barstool van talk show, citing concerns about content. So let's get this straight: ESPN struck a deal to produce the show they now have concerns about.

Okay. That's actually not what happened. Harvey Weinstein happened. ESPN knew what kind of content Barstool produces and what ESPN wanted. It's why they scheduled that show in late night. In fact, ESPN needed it, because they're grasping for anything to help stem the tide of viewers running from ESPN and cable.

But the ink wasn't even dry. With the contract with Barstool when Harvey Weinstein and his scandal broke out, ESPN didn't suddenly grow a conscience. They got caught making a show with unapologetic sexists. And now they're trying to save face. We -- wow. I didn't see that one coming.

ESPN, it really is delightful to see you struggle. It really is. Many of us are enjoying this.

You can't have morals or principles, only when it's convenient. Because that's not how morals or principles work. You either have them, or you don't. And when you try to have it both ways, you're completely inauthentic. People see right through you, and they run from you.


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