by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Ryan Huber doesn’t blame high-profile sports commentators for wanting to pontificate about politics. He explains at National Review Online why they shouldn’t. (And he’s not even getting into the political left’s “weaponization” of sports.)
[W]hy wouldn’t someone want to tune in to hear sports and entertainment personalities weigh in on complex political and social issues?
I can think of a few reasons.
1. Expertise — The sheer number of hours it takes to become an expert in something in today’s complex and specialized society is a barrier to insightful commentary across any number of disciplines. … Sportscasters who are good at analyzing and talking about sports will not, in general, have the time or the focus to become proficient political analysts as well. The result is that the political analysis of sports broadcasters is often shallow, biased, and poorly reasoned. …
… 2. Escapism — Sports is one of the areas that has classically served as an escape from the drudgery and tragedy of modern life and the troubles of the real world. …
… 3. Bias — It just so happens that most sports journalists, especially sports personalities hired in recent years by ESPN, are decidedly left of center. If a channel dedicated to sports and entertainment wants to enter the arena of political commentary, it might want to reflect the political composition of its viewers? —? that is, if ESPN wants to make money, which I think is the desire of its parent corporation, Walt Disney Co. The reality is that ESPN is mostly staffed by liberal East and West Coast elites who probably couldn’t be fair to the political views of the average ESPN viewer if they tried.