Friday, August 01, 2014

ESPN verdict and sentence of Stephen A. Smith is like a carjacker stopping to scold a jaywalker. Free Stephen A. Smith-Phil Mushnick, NY Post

7/31/14, "Stephen A. Smith was just toeing ESPN’s company line," NY Post, Phil Mushnick

"Free Stephen A. Smith! Free Stephen A. Smith! At least that’s a reasonable price.

ESPN’s one-week suspension of Smith for stating vis-a-vis the NFL’s two-game docking of Ray Rice for allegedly cold-cocking his fiancée that women shouldn’t “provoke” such attacks, would have made for sensible justice

had ESPN not been judge and jury.

ESPN’s verdict and sentence is like a carjacker stopping to scold a jaywalker.

Yes, Smith was guilty of rotten, even revolting on-the-spot spewing. Yet, how does ESPN escape its own planned, similarly rotten judgments?

ESPN recruits the worst acts in sports. Disgraced college coaches, infamously lawless ex-players and the sexually indiscreet — those unsure of exactly how many children they’ve fathered, and where — are more than welcomed as the multiple networks’ on-air talent.

Additionally, ESPN has enthusiastically selected the most vulgar, women-objectifying, women-trashing rappers to serve as special guests and honored cross-promoters, then ensures all are repeatedly alerted to ESPN’s embracement to these of icons of desensitizing, backward-pointed, no-upside popular American culture.

Snoop Dogg, also a pornographer, Eminem, Kid Rock and Drake are among those to have been trumpeted as ESPN’s headliners.

I challenge ESPN boss John Skipper to publicly recite the f-worded, N-worded, dumpster-derivative, women-denigrating sewage rapped/sung by Drake, proudly selected — then promoted — as host of ESPN’s annual ESPYs awards show, televised two weeks ago.

Could Skipper — would Skipper — after reciting Drake’s stock-in-trade lyrics, declare, “Yup, Drake’s the man for us!”?

ESPN’s Michelle Beadle likely played a strong and admirable role in Smith’s benching, tweeting her outrage at Smith’s they-sometimes-ask-for-it take on Rice’s brutalization of a woman.

Good! Beadle stood up and, from the inside to out, encouraged accountability from Smith and, by extension, his and her employers.

But where was she on all these rappers ESPN has long embraced, those whose enterprise is in large part predicated on the public denigration of women as subhuman quick-sex discards, as whores, bitches and expletive-deleted worse?

After Smith’s recorded and, of course, windy and convoluted on-air apology — he seemed to say that while he didn’t do it, he won’t do it again — Skipper, in a memo to staff, wrote, “I believe his apology is sincere, and that he and we have learned from what we’ve collectively experienced.”

If that’s truly the case — if Smith taught everyone at ESPN including Skipper, an applicable lesson in civility, accountability and public responsibility — then Smith’s mitigated assessment of the Ray Rice disgrace will hold great value. Better very late than never for what was born a sports enterprise.

But we’ll see."


Radio: Stephen A. Smith to Sirius XM Radio Mad Dog Channel for his own show:

7/26/14, "Smith will soon leave ESPN-98.7 FM and take his verbal stylings to SXM’s 'Mad Dog Radio,' where he will host his own show, according to satellite radio sources. Smith currently co-hosts a 1 p.m.-3 p.m. program with Ryan Ruocco on 98.7." NY Daily News

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