ESPN is trying to use an old tweet about Kamala Harris to forward some kind of pointless commentary.
On Saturday, history was made at the Kentucky Derby when a huge long-shot, fill-in horse managed to defy reality and pull off a complete upset victory at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Rich Strike was on nobody’s radar, yet managed the second-biggest upset in the history of the Derby. The finish has launched all aspects connected to the horse into notoriety. The owners, the stable, and trainer Eric Reed have all received remarkable focus within the sport this week.
Reed sat down for an interview with ESPN to discuss the race and the after-effects. At least, at first. On the sports documentary show “Outside The Lines,” host John Barr had a trap he thought he could set for Reed. During their discussion, Barr springs on Reed this challenge: if he has any explanation about a comment regarding the Vice President of the United States.
“I have to ask you – was that your actual account and was that a tweet from you – and if so, what do you have to say about that?”
— Ben Koo (@bkoo) May 11, 2022
Seriously now, John, you have to ask this question?!
No, you do not have to ask that question, and here is why. It has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the race, the result, the machinations at his business, nor any of Reed’s activities within the sport. This was a simplistic attempt by an activist network to gin up some sort of controversy regarding the Biden administration, and a tepid effort to cancel Reed. The reason is evident only to the biased operators in the broadcast spectrum.
The tweet that Barr brought up is from January. Sebastian Gorka put out a tweet where he rhetorically asked: what were Kamala Harris’ qualifications to be Vice President? From the account believed to be Eric Reed’s (the account was locked, as of press time), there was a possibly disparaging, off-color remark about the Vice President. That is the extent of a possible problem.
Reed, to his credit, was not interested in this aspect of the conversation. He did not flinch and moved right past the question without even delving into the matter. He basically made it clear to Barr that it was an asinine topic to import into their interview.
“Haven’t been told about it. I don’t know what’s going on out there. I’m more concerned with Richie and what’s going on with us and this great horse, and how much he’s helping everybody. So, there’s haters out there, and that’s about how I’m gonna leave something like that.”
What is apparent is that someone at ESPN discovered that Reed was a conservative/Republican, and that this was to become something for Barr and the program to target. Reed was interviewed on a webcam from his office, and on the wall amid racing plaques and other signifiers, a picture of President Trump is visible.
— Mike Hogan (@MHoganSays) May 11, 2022
This is a prime example of how debased the journalism industry has become. The bias and partisanship is hardly reserved to the political outlets, and ESPN has clearly, in recent years, made it known the corporate positions held are left of center–and those of many of the on-air hosts are even further out than that.
This interrogation attempt came out of that network’s alleged hard news division. “Outside The Lines” has long fashioned itself as almost a sports version of “60 Minutes,” delving into more serious matters concerning the sports leagues and athletics. This, however, was something in the tabloid journalism realm, an attempt to create a story and a controversy where there really was none to be found.
All the proof you need is to look at this if it had been a political figure on the right. Had Reed tweeted a scathing comment about Trump or Mitch McConnell (he is from Kentucky, after all), or any other notable conservative, it still would not have had any relevance whatsoever to the race and what he accomplished.
The only difference possibly–if it had been a conservative figure–is that the only comments from ESPN would likely have been made off-camera, and be congratulatory in nature.