Sanitizing ESPN of politics and opinion would make it a relic; sports fans have dozens of places online to go for scores and highlights. And because ESPN is situated cozily in liberal New York and Connecticut, and is populated largely by media industry liberals, it’s a fool’s errand to try to force itself to become evenhanded. Which is to say, it should be comfortable being the MSNBC of sports.
Which forces the question: Will anyone become the Fox News of sports? Twenty years ago, Rupert Murdoch saw a gap in the liberal media marketplace. And boy did he fill it.
Let another network offer sports without the politics, if they want to try that, or sports with another slant. Some are already angling to fill that void. Barstool Sports, while not a political project, is without question providing compelling sports fare in a far more entertaining, relatable and not at all pretentious way.