“He Got All of That One”

 

Apparently, ESPN cares not for criticism of Barack Obama.

Per this story, the sports-TV giant is displeased with golfer-author-businessman Paul Azinger for taking to Twitter and ripping into the President’s jobs record.

ESPN claims such criticism violates its social media policy for on-air personalities and commentators. Hmmm. 

Here’s the crux of Mr. Azinger’s argument, direct from his Twitter account:

“Facts: Potus has played more golf this month than I have: I have created more jobs this month than he has.”

To quote Bill Murray in Caddyshack: “Oh, he got all of that one”.

There are 16 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @EJHill

    This is from the same company that published an article yesterday that asked, “What if Michael Vick were white,” complete with PhotoShopped illustration with the Eagles QB in all of his Caucasian glory. And they are worried about crossing some imaginary line?

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Member
    @GiveMeLiberty

    I thought being critical of the president was patriotic. Surely, ESPN is not opposed to public expressions of patriotism. To paraphrase a famous Nixon quote “We are all patriots now.” :)

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Member
    @MikeRiscili
    Aaron Miller: An ever increasing number of American citizens are being excluded from public participation in political debate by such non-legal policies.

    It is crucial that we recognize that freedom can be undermined by powers far beyond government. A free society requires respect for individual liberty from everyone, not just from politicians and police.

    Aaron,

    Who is excluding Azinger from the debate? Azinger has every right to say whatever he wants about the president (except of course the obvious threat of imminent physical harm). ESPN has the right not to employ Azinger because of said speech.

    There is an all too often confusion between freedom of speech and freedom from consequences. ESPN has every right to have a policy that prohibits its employees from commenting on or disparaging public officials through social media and to make that policy a term of employment. Azinger took the job thereby agreeing to those employment terms. If he has violated company policy, ESPN may take appropriate action. ESPN is in no way saying Azinger can’t have those views or speak them publicly; only that he may not work for ESPN much longer if he continues to make those views public.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @EJHill
    Mike Riscili

    Azinger took the job thereby agreeing to those employment terms. If he has violated company policy, ESPN may take appropriate action.

    Except, they didn’t have a policy… until today.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @ChrisCampion

    Funny, I seem to recall dozens of jokes being made on ESPN websites (specifically in the ESPN “Page 2” section) in the past decade – many of them based on the economy, referencing Bush, both good and bad, and politics in general.

    ESPN used to have the catastrophically insane Keith Olbermann as one of 2 biggest anchors in prime time, and he would frequently slip in some kind of political comment as part of the show, in passing. It was part of the back-and-forth with Olbermann and Dan Patrick. Apparently ESPN only grows a spine when their policy gives them an out to restrict one of their own from saying something the corporate heads do not like.

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Member
    @MikeRiscili
    EJHill

    Except, they didn’t have a policy… until today. · Aug 26 at 2:04pm

    Fair enough. But he wasn’t disciplined, only “reminded” about the policy. If he were to do the same thing after today, would you agree that he could be disciplined by his employer without ESPN violating his free speech rights?

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Member
    @AaronMiller

    Mike, my point is precisely that the limits of our freedom are not defined by laws alone.

    Yes, ESPN has the right to end Azinger’s contract. No, Azinger does not have a right to that or any other specific job. But there are considerations beyond legality.

    All companies would love it if their employees would just go directly home after working hours, turn on their TVs and keep their controversial opinions to themselves. So our freedom relies in part on the good will of employers to tolerate the effects of individuals’ reptutations on their associations.

    Freedom can be oppressed by forces well beyond government.

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Member
    @rayconandlindacon

    The ever sensitive ESPN. Rush Limbaugh felt the sting of their sensitivity. What a bunch of phonies. They don’t even rise to the standards of conventional hypocrisy!

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Member
    @DownSpout

    I am agnostic on the policy, but for sure the comment was a real Zinger.

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Member
    @MarkWilson

    ESPN seemed to have no problem rehiring Keith Olbermann after he spent a couple years calling President Bush a fascist war criminal on Countdown.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Member
    @PaulJCroeber

    If indeed the policy was enacted (or as cleverly written in the piece, updated) after Azinger’s tweets why would ESPN publicly “remind” Azinger? I suspect if one were to review tweets of other ESPN personalities before said update, they would likely need reminding too. Perhaps a series of public “reminders” are coming for them, though I doubt it.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Member
    @user_19450

    Zinger beat cancer and brought the Ryder Cup back to the US. What has President Obama done so impressive as either of those things?

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Member
    @AaronMiller

    An ever increasing number of American citizens are being excluded from public participation in political debate by such non-legal policies. While I understand that a business can be financially affected by the public statements and actions of its employees or affiliates, that potential inconvenience does not justify such exclusion.

    No matter how public one’s job, one must never accept that the right to political speech and action is limited to one’s home and private conversations.

    It is crucial that we recognize that freedom can be undermined by powers far beyond government. A free society requires respect for individual liberty from everyone, not just from politicians and police.

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Member
    @DuaneOyen

    My only question is…. will Azinger run?

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Member
    @MarkWilson
    Songwriter: Zinger beat cancer and brought the Ryder Cup back to the US. What has President Obama done so impressive as either of those things? · Aug 27 at 11:36am

    He ran a successful campaign for president! =P

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Member
    @user_19450
    Mark Wilson

    Songwriter: Zinger beat cancer and brought the Ryder Cup back to the US. What has President Obama done so impressive as either of those things? · Aug 27 at 11:36am

    He ran a successful campaign for president! =P · Aug 27 at 4:29pm
    Mark Wilson

    Songwriter: Zinger beat cancer and brought the Ryder Cup back to the US. What has President Obama done so impressive as either of those things? · Aug 27 at 11:36am

    He ran a successful campaign for president! =P · Aug 27 at 4:29pm

    Ha! Thanks for the reminder. What with the current state of things in our fair country, I’d forgotten about that lone HUUUUGE accomplishment. (grin)

    • #16

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