ESPN finally admits targeting conservatives was a bad idea, that is, after it lost viewers

ESPN finally admits targeting conservatives was a bad idea, that is, after it lost viewers November 21, 2016

It’s often said that the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem and ESPN has a BIG problem with conservatism and now the network realizes trashing the political beliefs of many of its viewers caused them to change the channel.

Folks are tired of seeing 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick disrespect America. They’re tired of the channel they tune in to watch sports push Black Lives Matter, or gun control instead of just basketball, baseball, and football. Sports fans witnessed ESPN fire pitching legend Curt Schilling because he spoke out against Islamic terrorism and North Carolina’s transgender bathroom bill. Viewers watched as Caitlyn Jenner was given a heroism award and University of Missouri football team was given a humanitarian award because they had the “courage” to go on strike and force the school’s “racist” president out of his job. Obama always says elections have consequences, well, so does alienating half the country. And ESPN is crawling on its hands and knees to beg for conservative viewers to come back.

The network’s public editor, Jim Brady, said:

“One notion that virtually everyone I spoke to at ESPN dismisses is what some have perceived as unequal treatment of conservatives who make controversial statements vs. liberals who do the same.

“ESPN is far from immune from the political fever that has afflicted so much of the country over the past year. Internally, there’s a feeling among many staffers — both liberal and conservative — that the company’s perceived move leftward has had a stifling effect on discourse inside the company and has affected its public-facing product. Consumers have sensed that same leftward movement, alienating some…. For most of its history, ESPN was viewed relatively apolitically. Its core focus was — and remains today, of course — sports. Although the nature of sports meant an occasional detour into politics and culture was inevitable, there wasn’t much chatter about an overall perceived political bias. If there was any tension internally, it didn’t manifest itself publicly.”

Long-time anchor Bob Ley has been with ESPN since the beginning and said his employer has no “diversity of thought.” There are conservative employees within the organization who say they have to “talk in whispers” because they’re too afraid it will jeopardize their jobs. The overall environment at ESPN can be summed up by what one of its print journalists, Jemele Hill, said:

“I would challenge those people who say they feel suppressed. Do you fear backlash, or do you fear right and wrong?”

You can just smell the condescension from here.

But like Ben Shapiro says, feelings and opinions aren’t facts. The Left has a hard time accepting that. They’re too busy vilifying conservatives for having a different set of ideas.

The bottom line is this: ESPN targeted conservatives, and it cost them because if there’s one thing conservatives know how to do, it’s speak with their wallets. It works every time.

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  • Katrina

    NO use for ESPN or NFL or players who kneel or sit for our Anthem. Those who agree with the antics are welcome to stay. I’ve already found other pursuits and am just fine without them.

  • Mara O’Reilly

    They will not “get the point” until they have lost (and continue to lose) a significant percentage of their empire. They must understand that they do not control the standards for what is perceived as “acceptable”; the people do. And the people have spoken, through Trump, and through their blackout’s of games and products.

    I don’t watch any sports. But what I have witnessed is: Refusal to allow a football coach in WA to pray, causing his job loss, and Tim Tibbow being criticized for being conservative and praying. Another guy couldn’t wear 9/11 shoes, Dallas couldn’t support their law enforcement gunned down and worth commemorating.

    But time after time, the “left” message was shared, through terrible songs at halftime, and bad calls by the bosses to allow and even support the actions of kneeling athletes.They are there for a job. Do what you want on your own time, but when you are on the clock, you must fulfill the tasks expected if you want to remain employed. Unless, of course, your bosses agree and allow it.

    And THAT is the message they are sending. And like the rest of the country, they backed the wrong side. Americans are done being silent. Through product purchasing, boycotts, and ballots, Americans are demonstrating We The People have had Enough. And it’s a glorious thing.

    • Elsie

      btw…It’s Tim Tebow

  • chris m 73 (hawk eye)

    people watch sports do it to get away from the usual political b s, for that few hrs just to put x aside! and to bring it on the field? or putting 2 cents in before durring or after? the players’ and the media “bob costa yrs ago”” the N F L, M L B comision should’ve, stop that off the feild crap from the monderaters right their, those who watch sports, watch sports, not to hear x opinons of any group / personal agenda! they re trying to take a time out from it! or ather reason!! so when the ratings / and gets worst? get ready for x amounts of fans / viewers to say ? it isn’t worth it/ to pay x dollars to see an a-h taking a knee, or watch it! ( disrespect! ) then factor in on general sales!! just a thought!!

  • Shane Behling
  • Jean Valmont

    Is there research on the political views of fans of different sports? Are NFL football fans, on balance, liberal, conservative, or moderate? NBA basketball fans? MLB fans? College football fans? More broadly, what is the distribution of partisan and ideological preferences among ESPN viewers?

  • rconaway

    I don’t use any more, it’s all Foxsports. No more espn or Disney for me either.

  • Cuda

    Jemele Hill shows that his attitude is one of the problems with ESPN, like the workers at ESPN it is not your place to confront your audience with politics! It is not your place to promote politics or any political agendas. I have stopped watching ESPN and short of a clean sweep of personnel there is little they could do to get me back. Keith Olberman…we have ESPN to thank for giving us that toad of a human…..

  • NelsonRage

    Doesn’t really look like they admitted to treating us unfairly to me, more like they think they really did nothing wrong except for an occasional detour. They learned nothing, so they get nothing from me.

  • Nietzsche’s Nihilistic Salad

    They might start being nice to those who aren’t true believers in the PC cult. I’m not holding my breath. I think they’ll continue with the identity politics until their network goes bankrupt.

  • Megalith

    “ESPN is far from immune from the political fever that has afflicted so much of the country over the past year…”

    Try the last 8 years and decades of liberal filth emanating from ESPN. Even when liberals are apologizing, they still can’t help themselves and continue to lie.

  • Bob Cannell

    Thank god they have a woman who has never played baseball doing sunday night game of the week.

  • Bruce Allsen

    Spend 3 minutes listening to ‘the victim’ jamele hill, and you will hear exactly whats wrong with her, and ESPN…I too, stopped watching anything on ESPN…As i’ve gotten older, i have come to realize, there’s no sense ‘prostituting’ myself, to patronize people who play P.C. nonsense, show disrespect to our country, our service members, or what our flag stands for. This includes folks who promote ‘class distinctions’ , based on gender, race, wealth, victimization or entitlement, etc…ESPN has the microphone…BUT i have my own eyes and ears. Knowing that my silent protest will have zero effect on ESPN, makes no difference to me…“In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson. …………………
    (every man AND every woman)

  • Paradisecove

    Shit for brains sport jocks…ever notice how they constantly remind us that it isn’t just a “ball” but a “football”…not a “player” but a “football player”…not a “game” but a “football game”…etc….see how stupid they think we are? Do you see how stupid THEY are?

  • Ellep

    Too late.

  • Marcus1956

    ESPN you are Anti-American. As a White Man I am insulted by your bias.

  • DeJa ✓ᴰᴱᴾᴸᴼᴿᴬᴮᴸᴱ

    I’m not half as mad at ESPN as I am at the NFL. Not turning football on again until the commissioner gets fired or retires. Might not even turn it on again, ever. I used to watch at least one game a week.

    Soccer is more fun for me, anyway. Did you know US Soccer released a statement ordering players, referees, and coaches to stand for the anthem? I remember decades ago when football players, in good-nature, asked if we were even Americans. Who is the joke on now? Maybe it being a truly global sport puts things into more perspective.

  • Thomas A. Lloyd

    Just admit it. ESPN bet their money on a losing horse and is now feeling remorse. You turned this conservative off and I stopped watching. This will continue !

  • d. marie

    Too late. I won’t be watching.

  • Danny Glass

    How many of you remember Obama on espn this pass summer ? I remember sitting in a bar with my buddy from work eating at Smokey Bones ( restaurant )and they were interviewing him. It was on for half an hour. I remember asking my buddy what the hell was this about, why was this being done on a sports channel ? Espn lost me and my friend after that, as i am sure many more were dumbfounded or outraged that this happened on a sports show… Sad, really…

  • N.D. The “Deplorable” ✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ

    I stopped watching “The Flagship” the moment they ska-rooed Lauren Hill out of that award and colluded with Jenner to exchange the award for an exclusive interview on their sister station, ABC…

    ESPN has ‘jumped the liberal shark’ since then too…

    I try not to even visit espnDOTcom anymore if I can help it.
    Pathetic and sad.

  • NC2013

    Quit ESPN long time ago. Another left leaning network.

  • Justinsatiable

    This is just a brainless reminder that if you have a program, stay out of political bias. There was a time when t.v. and film did not take political stands because they have to market their product. I guess they got too big for their britches thinking they did not need a certain niche in the market?!?!

  • MajorStyles

    When Jamele Hill is the voice of ESPN, there’s no reason to watch anymore.

  • PeterMcPumpkinPhD

    I’d bet that 60% of ESPN viewers are conservative.
    ESPN is owned by 2 Jewish media giants – Disney and Hearst so they were ORDERED to do everything propaganda based thing they could to support the Liberal gun grab, elect Billary agenda

  • ITGrouch

    Sports are one of the things that we turn to as a momentary escape from the crazy world we live in. It is a sad commentary that ESPN has fallen into the abyss. Until ESPN rids itself of political commentary, the network will continue a long and downward spiral to irrelevancy.

  • UncleSlam

    ESPN =Especially Stupid People Network

  • TL8983

    Dropped ESPN two years ago for the reasons in this article. Won’t touch their website or any of their channels.

  • Porc Bellie

    ESPN has been a cesspool of the leftist. I literally stopped watching them. I used go there a few years ago to watch sports. But when they fired Schilling and really made conservatives unwelcome…..I left ESPN. Never went back.

  • Marcus1956


  • Larenzo1

    I no longer watch ESPN for anything.

  • SFC Kenneth A. Partyka, SR ( R


  • tland79

    If it wasn’t for the Frozen Four, I wouldn’t even know this channel existed.

  • Will ESPN hire back Curt. I have heard on different occasions BLM being a supported movement who has had a huge negative impact with their protest on their community. Yet Islamic terrorist who have openly expressed hate and terror within our country is nothing to disagree with or you will be fired. Transgender restrooms come on that might be a sensitive subject but not enough to fire someone. I work at a state University where I have to either keep my thoughts to myself or face possible firing or heavy scrutiny, because I supported our President Elect. Yet down the hall CNN plays all day for student workers (Brainwashing) and all the leadership can bash the PEOTUS. Double Standard America and ESPN fell into that garbage That is why I do not watch you any more. By the way ESP I was raised watching Keith, scott, Linda and I had to stop because of the way you were going.

  • Smith Jones

    Can’t wait for ESPN to come groveling to conservative viewers in appeal for them to return–it’ll be the funniest thing they ever broadcast!

  • Mruss

    Continue to boycott!! What I read above was still condescending bull&rap.

  • JackSplat

    Its gets turned off except for the occasional football game. No pre game, no post game. I have despised them for at least 10 years.

  • Al Lingenfelter

    Too little too late. I will never again purchase from any company that pushes thier political agenda. I will no longer support any celebrity that pushes thier political agenda. I will watch no sport or sport program that pushes thier political agenda. To the companies and sport teams or media that do. Well. Goodbye.

  • Ruth’s husband Ben

    Still speaking with my wallet. I avoid ESPN like the plague.

  • dhtaz

    I don’t watch the NFL anymore. I don’t watch ESPN anymore. I don’t buy any Kellogg’s brands anymore. I don’t watch any of the main stream media channels anymore. I have been speaking with my wallet for years and will continue to as long as these companies think they can force their political opinions and their agenda on me.

  • Katrina

    Not only boycotting ESPN and NFL, made a list of their sponsors to boycott as well and let them know WHY they were being boycotted. Sponsors deserve to know why viewers have left and why we are no longer buying their products. If I wanted to be lied to and mislead by media, I’d turn on CNN. LOL

  • sledge77

    We switched off ESPMS a couple years ago. There is NO valid reason to interject politics or tolerance agendas into professional or college sports. i hope ESPMS continues to bleed viewers until they finally get the message. Even then, I am done with them.

  • Teknikid

    I’d turn off ESPN for good if I were interested to begin with.

  • Ken Gouge

    Hey ESPN – If you want viewers, then keep bashing all things conservative – because we have jobs and not that much time for TV; thus, when we do we want to watch something that doesn’t PISS US OFF! Process of elimination is always the best start for finding a channel to watch.

    However, since viewership is obviously your goal, those prog-libs living on the states (my) dime have plenty of time to watch your shows… unfortunately, they don’t buy the products your advertisers are pushing.

  • Smith Jones

    I hope people keep boycotting ESPN, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings one bit if they went off the air.

  • Henry Lee

    in california conservatives didn’t go to vote and don’t even mention their thoughts out of fear of losing their job or job opportunities. we’re becoming fascist china

    • Evan Perry

      Well conservatives in California sound like victimized little pussies.How weak of a mind are you that are you that you are AFRAID to talk about your views on any topic? Are we in Thailand? Did they enact lese majeste sometime over the last few months? Are you afraid to get injured? Put in jail? Or is it just you misappropriating the word “fear” with being “civil & conscientious” & not discussing politics at work.Its common decency that drives you in the “fearful” mire you find yourself wallowing in.It literally hurts you to keep your mouth shut.But just like rhetoric slathered mis information you consider news does.You use “fear” to make yourself heard. We hear you.You sound like pussies and youre making us look bad.

      A Fearless Republican

      p.s. Who discusses politics at possible job opportunities?? When does that come up in an interview?

      • Henry Lee

        try living in California and you’ll understand it better. no one is discussing politics at job interviews but say you are interviewing with youtube or something like that do you think they won’t be checking on all your activity on the site?

  • Hunt4life

    When/where did ESPN start “crawling on their knees” to get me (us) back. I must have missed it.

  • Dennis Quinn

    Headline: ESPN finally admits targeting conservatives was a bad idea, that is, after it lost viewers. Article’s contents: Nothing explaining/quoting ESPN admitting targeting conservatives was a bad idea.

  • Tim Perkins

    I stopped going to Espn’s website when Jemele Hill started writing articles. I used to love Sportscenter but I can’t watch anymore.

  • philnmdg

    ESPN :::CLICK OFF:::