What’s bugging Dennis this week? Government suppression of information for one. The FTC has sent dozens of letters demanding internal memos and the names of all reporters the company had granted access to the “Twitter Files.” House Republicans call it “an aggressive campaign to harass” the social media giant into not revealing the extent of government coercion under the previous Twitter leadership. And then there’s the J6 tapes…

In our interview segment we’re joined by Doug Adler, the former ESPN tennis analyst who was one of the first casualties of cancel culture for remarks he made during a match in the 2017 Australian Open. He paid for it with his health and his career, while others at the network are still saying really outrageous stuff on the air with no consequence.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-host Gerard Robinson and guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Howard Bryant, a senior writer for ESPN and the author of nine books, including Full Dissidence: Notes From an Uneven Playing Field and The Heritage: Black Athletes, A Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism. Bryant shares how his experiences as a student, baseball fan, and sportswriter growing up in 1970s-era Boston have shaped his understanding of race relations and sports. He discusses celebrated American athletes who have broken barriers, from Jackie Robinson and Celtics legend Bill Russell to the Williams sisters and Tiger Woods. Bryant describes how these pioneering athletes were treated, and how they handled their celebrity status. He also offers thoughts on how the multi-billion-dollar professional sports industry is addressing larger racial disparities.

Stories of the Week: In San Francisco, a recall election ousted three members of the Board of Education, after a period of remote learning challenges, controversial school renaming process, admissions policy changes, and other issues. Democratic strategists are raising concerns about their party’s weak positioning on education issues, which will likely continue to play a major role in this election cycle.

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Lessons unlearned, opportunities missed by JAMA, ESPN, and Google It was quite a week for cancel culture, which claimed three trophies from three separate American institutions: Medicine, Sports Broadcasting (gambling, specifically), and Big Tech. The latest trophies on Cancel Culture’s expanding wall include Dr. Howard Bauchner, the 11-year editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American […]

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It’s all about mob rule and how to defeat it as Dave welcomes former ESPN and Fox Sports Commentator and Writer Jason Whitlock onto the show. Now at Outkick.com, Jason explains what’s behind Colin Kaepernick’s knee problem and his uncontrollable compulsion to insult the nation on social media. Mr. Whitlock also weighs in on the destructive nature of seeing oneself as a perpetual victim in a conversation that touches on everything from Frederick Douglas’ 1852 speech to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the rush of corporate executives to genuflect to the mob, and the problematic letter that 153 prominent intellectuals recently signed warning about “cancel culture.” We know you’ll enjoy Jason’s exchange with Dave.

Then, as if one fascinating conversation were not enough, Dave talks with Ricochet Member Jenna Stocker about her recent article, “Americans Are Hungry For The Fight.”  Jenna talks about life in Minneapolis in the wake of the riots, and why she thinks its beyond time for leaders in Congress and elsewhere to grow a spine and fight back against a dangerous radicalism.  She maintains that Americans are yearning for leadership and will support it. “America and our Constitutional freedoms are worth the fight,” Jenna wrote in her article.  As she talks with Dave, we think you’ll come to understand this former Marine Officer’s passion for the nation and why she says that we need more General Pattons.  

ESPN and ‘The Map’


The other morning, ESPN was reporting on the Chinese/NBA flap and used a map that shows nine dotted lines that encompass Taiwan and other territorial claims of the Communist Chinese that no other nation recognizes.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America tackle ESPN’s decision to stop with the politics and stick with the sports. They also cheer Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards for vowing to sign a heartbeat bill if it reaches his desk.  And they step carefully while discussing San Francisco spending more than $70 million to remove human waste from the streets – and it isn’t solving the problem.

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ESPN announced today that there will be no National Anthem “broadcasted” before Monday Night Football this season. A long-standing tradition to honor our flag, our country, our veterans and our freedom, will be nixed to cow-tow to the latest progressive take-a-knee-jerk to protest whatever social injustice is on the plate that week.  http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2018/08/17/espn-president-says-network-will-not-air-national-anthem-on-monday-night-football.html This started […]

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The Mouse That Ate Hollywood


It’s been rumored for a couple of weeks now but it became official on Thursday morning. The Walt Disney Company is acquiring the majority of assets from 21st Century Fox, thereby creating the world’s largest media company by far. This deal will have regulatory hoops to jump through all over the world and will probably take 18 to 24 months to close.

It’s much easier to list the assets that Disney will not get as opposed to what they do get. Not included in the deal:

  • Fox Broadcast Network
  • Fox News and Fox Business Channels
  • FS1 and FS2
  • The Big Ten Network
  • The Fox Lot in Century City

What is included in the deal are the Fox Sports Regional Sports Networks. This will gut the available streaming content on FoxSportsGo. It will also be interesting to see if Disney chooses to hold on to them or spin them off to someone like AT&T who has jumped into the RSN business with their purchase of Root Sports last year. It could provide product for the new ESPN Plus streaming service and see all of the regionals rebranded under the ESPN name. Or taking on all of the additional rights fees for a contracting cable universe could be a killer. Disney could save tons of money by nationalizing the content of the regionals but maintaining the distribution model. In other words, why have two separate feeds for the home team and the away team when you could have just one under the ESPN banner? What the teams lose in in-game promotion mentions could be compensated for in free commercial spots.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America give credit to the mainstream media for calling Democrats to account for their silence over the sexual assault and harassment allegations lodged against Hollywood mogul and prolific Democratic Party donor Harvey Weinstein.  They also fire back at Twitter after the social media service censors a video from Tennessee GOP Senate hopeful Marsha Blackburn because her efforts to stop the sale of aborted baby body parts were considered inflammatory and likely to elicit negative reactions.  And Jim and Greg sigh as the latest NFL protest chaos includes ESPN host Jemele Hill getting suspended for encouraging Dallas Cowboy fans to boycott team sponsors, Al Sharpton vowing to boycott the NFL unless Hill is reinstated, and President Trump gloating over the Hill suspension.

Disney Reaps What It Sows


Four weeks ago ESPN personality Jemele Hill took on President Trump in a series of Tweets (condensed into a single quote here):

“Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists. The height of white privilege is being able to ignore his white supremacy, because it’s of no threat to you. Well, it’s a threat to me. Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period.”

The honchos at the network declined to discipline her, although they have a long history of suspending and publicly admonishing talent for “controversial” conservative opinions or generally criticizing the network for their liberal politics. Former World Series hero Curt Schilling was fired for his opinions on the North Carolina bathroom bill and it emerged that long-time SportsCenter anchor Linda Cohn was suspended for merely suggesting politics had a hand in the network’s falling subscriber rolls.

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As a lot of the Ricochetti know, I continue to desire to be a great writer and thinker, like a Roger Scruton (of course, I don’t think I will ever get to this philosopher’s level) .  I have a long way to go.  I would love to make a living off of writing or, at least, […]

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Next on Thinking It Through:  I get the opportunity to converse with the Editor-in-Chief of Ricochet.com, Mr. Jon Gabriel.  He gives me his thoughts on Harvard hiring (and later rescinding the invitation) Chelsea Manning to be a visiting fellow, ESPN Host Jemele Hill’s recent comments on Trump, Trump working with Democrats, and how important is building the […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to President Trump making a deal with Democratic leaders to enact DACA into law in exchange for “massive border security” that has yet to be defined.  They also sigh as the Trump administration continues sanctions relief for Iran in conjunction with the nuclear deal it still hasn’t scrapped.  And they slam the White House for suggesting ESPN anchor Jemele Hill ought to fired for tweeting that Trump is a white supremacist while also blasting Hill and ESPN for their aggressively extreme politics.

ESPN Takes a Dipp


Does the name Sergio Dipp mean anything to you? If it doesn’t, you’re neither on social media nor a fan of the National Football League. But last night, Sergio became the temporary center of the Twitterverse for this performance:

The Week That Was


It’s hard to believe that it was only a couple of weeks ago that Jeb Bush called the Trump presidency “exhausting”, thus confirming the “low energy” moniker given him by Trump during the Republican primaries. He continued: “…it feels like the whole world has been turned upside down,” comments reminiscent of the ponderous deficit spending implemented by President George W. Bush in the face of the financial crisis.

But in terms of today’s news cycle Bush’s comments occurred back in the Precambrian era. The week that was featured deadly protests in Charlottesville, a war on history Confederate memorials and to cleanse the palate, a solar eclipse. The Washington Post, where Democracy Dies in Darkness or something, was curiously pro-eclipse. Personally I was unimpressed: it reminded me, if anything, of when my phone transitions to power-saving mode.

At Charlottesville, racist David Duke managed to hold a Unite The Right rally and, judging from those in attendance, most of his supporters are reporters and media photographers. The events of the week, like the election of Trump, only seemed to reinforce to the Left that the U.S. is on the brink of another violent civil war, without pausing to consider that the outcome of such a war between potheads and gun nuts is a foregone conclusion.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America serve up all crazy martinis today.  They slam ESPN for hitting a new politically correct low by replacing the play-by-play announcer because his name is Robert Lee, a man of Asian heritage who has no connection whatsoever to the Confederate general.  They also slam both President Trump and the media for making outlandish accusations about the other in public when both sides have plenty of legitimate fodder to use.  And they dismiss Valerie Plame’s billion-dollar crowdfunding effort to buy Twitter and close Trump’s account as nothing more than a quick money grab.

ESPN Pulls Announcer from UVa Football Game … Because His Name Is Robert Lee


The man shown to the left is sportscaster Robert Lee. The man to the right is Confederate General Robert E. Lee. ESPN was afraid that viewers would mix them up.

Mr. Lee (the one who didn’t die in 1870) was scheduled to announce next weekend’s University of Virginia football game against William and Mary. This match-up will be hosted in Charlottesville, which has a statue of Gen. Lee (who never provided NCAA play-by-play). ESPN decided that this was far too confusing for their viewers to process. So, in a move not to further inflame the neo-confederate armies sweeping this grand republic, the network benched their announcer.

From the sports blog Outkick the Coverage, which broke the story:

David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see Kim Jong-Un has publicly back down from his threats to fire missiles towards Guam and discuss whether some new blunt talk from Defense Secretary James Mattis made the decision an easy one.  David rejects the push by the left and some on the right to move or remove Confederate memorials and statues and instead proposes more memorials to honor Union, slave, and free black figures from the war to provide more context.  And they roll their eyes as an ESPN commentator says he hopes a positive outcome from Charlottesville will be Colin Kaepernick getting a job in the NFL again.