Thursday, January 24, 2008

On the ESPN Budweiser Hot Seat?

Rather ironic that on the day Golf Channel Anchorette Kelly Tilghman returns to work, comes news of the discipline of another female sportscaster who picked a bad time for a bad choice of words.

Tilghman was given a couple of weeks off for her flippant on-air remark about how other pro golfers could have a chance against Tiger Woods.

ESPN's Dana Jacobson's remarks & antics were not on-air, but in public at an ESPN fundraiser. The Chicago Tribune reports she was suspended for a week. Should it have been more? Well depends on who you ask.

ESPN's was throwing a celebrity roast in Atlantic City for Mike Greenburg and Mike Golic of the "Mike & Mike" ESPN-Radio show. By all reports, many of the speakers were not very funny and not very witty. A large part of that probably had to do with the fact that many of the speakers were former or current athletes. Many people think professional athletes are, for the most part, not very bright and not very articulate. After working my share of sporting events over the years, including several NFL games, I can confirm that those people are correct. With some notable exceptions, most athletes are as good at writing and speaking, as I would be at blocking and tackling in the NFL, but ESPN prides itself in how they've blurred the line between athletics and entertainment to create "athletainment."

Now roasts are known for raunchy remarks sometimes, but you wouldn't think this one would get too far out of hand, since it was raising money for the Jimmy V Foundation to fight cancer. You also wouldn't think that if it DID get out of hand, it would be an ESPN anchor limboing under the lower limits of bad taste, but that's exactly what Jacobson did. The only excuse she had which Tilghman couldn't use, is that she was very, very drunk. When I read the words she yelled before getting the hook, I couldn't believe it.

While swilling vodka, she said "f--k (Notre Dame football coach) Charlie Weiss, f--k Touchdown Jesus" and finally, ( I would have stepped aside, anticipating the lightning strike) she took it even a step further, which is drawing protests from at least one Christian organization.

I have to agree with them. Remember, this is the same ESPN which fired Rush Limbaugh for racially-charged remarks. You would think Jacobson's remarks are even further out of line. This is why it's never a good idea to drink at the office Christmas Party, much less at a high profile function attended by your boss AND the press. If the video of this ever turns up, you have to wonder if the suspension will become a firing. ESPN says they won't be doing another "celebrity roast" in the foreseeable future, but for the time being, as they say on ESPN SportsCenter, "Dana Jacobson. You're ON the Budweiser Hot Seat."

1 comment:

Mary Thorsby said...

Excellent post, Lew!