Home Charlottesville Anatomy of a (Fake) Culture War Dust-Up: ESPN/Robert Lee Edition

Anatomy of a (Fake) Culture War Dust-Up: ESPN/Robert Lee Edition


So here’s what happened.  ESPN is airing UVA’s first football game of the season this Saturday and had scheduled one of their employees named … wait for it … Robert Lee, to call the game.  Lee, who is Asian-American, had been scheduled for that game before the violence in Charlottesville earlier this month.  On Tuesday, however, ESPN executives decided it was prudent to move him to another game.

And then the Right blew up.

How can this be, they asked?  How can those wimps at ESPN cow-tow to the soft-bellied liberals who are offended by everything?

“It’s ridiculous! It’s PC run amok!” said one FOX News commentator.

“The Democratic Party and the liberals and socialists in this country are actually taking the heart out of our community,” said another FOX guest.

Oh, the outrage!

Even former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee got in on the act tweeting sarcastically, “ESPN will not broadcast games of any kind from Jackson, MS for fear it might honor Stonewall or Andrew Jackson and trigger someone.”

So let me get this straight: The Right is outraged and offended by the Left because they perceive the Left to be too easily offended.  Got it!

Except … the Left doesn’t give a shit if a guy named Robert Lee called the game in Charlottesville or not.

In fact, ESPN wasn’t even concerned that Lee would offend anyone. What concerned ESPN was that they’d look like dopes if Lee called the game.  As soon as Lee’s name was shown on the TV screen, someone out there would post a snap-shot of it and it would trend wildly throughout the afternoon.  It would just be a coincidence that Lee called the game but ESPN would still look foolish as memes of Lee in Charlottesville swept the internet.  At the very least they’d have to issue a statement explaining that is was a coincidence and not intentional. Why risk any chance of ridicule for a second-rate announcer (no offense) calling a third-rate game?  ESPN tried to do the right thing but it had nothing to do with fearing the wrath of angry, PC obsessed liberals.

But none of this seems to matter to the Right.  Who needs facts interfering with a healthy dose of outrage!

The only thing more ironic than Robert Lee being scheduled to call the first game in Charlottesville is the over-sensitive Right worked into a froth about the Left’s over-sensitivity – which in this particular case, isn’t even real.

So get your facts straight on the Right.  And for God’s sake, quit being such wimps.

  • I’m a Progressive, but to the extent that’s on the “left,” I think ESPN is a bunch of fracking idiots. Also, don’t they have a bunch of right wingers working there?

  • woodrowfan

    these are the same people who think a plain red coffee cup at Starbucks is an attack on Christianity.

  • RB Glennie

    Sorry “Blue Virginia”, I think the `outrage’ came from more than what you call `the right’ – in fact it appears that you are a very lonely voice in defending this stupidity.

    • Where did you get that from the article by Carter Turner?

      • RB Glennie

        ummmm what he wrote in the article?

        • I guess I’m not following what your argument is. Carter writes, “the Left doesn’t give a shit if a guy named Robert Lee called the game in Charlottesville or not,” and that for the right, “who needs facts interfering with a healthy dose of outrage!” I agree with him 100% — “this stupidity” (ESPN moving Robert Lee from calling the UVA game) is…yeah, stupidity.

          • RB Glennie

            I’ll walk you through it: proposal – `the right’ is outraged about this action by ESPN; response – not only `the right’ is outraged, because it is inherently stupid; logical sequel: this post is also stupid. But who needs facts, or sagacity, when you have a healthy dose of outrage, right?

          • Carter Turner

            The only reason people are outraged over this is because they wrongfully assume it it’s yet another sign of political correctness run amok. It’s fake outrage. ESPN chose to pull Lee because there was some risk that they/he would become a punchline. Why take that risk for so little to gain? Why do that to Lee? Swap him with another announcer. There is nothing wrong with that decision. ESPN is paying a price now because of the knuckleheads who are too lazy to learn the facts and get beyond their wish that the Left is ruining the world.

  • Carter Turner

    The “Right” is outraged at liberals who they believe ESPN was trying to appease in the decision to pull Lee. My point is that their outrage is misdirected. The “Left” was not (and would not be) offended by Lee calling the game. The Left didn’t put any pressure on ESPN to change course.

    • Exactly.

    • Perseus1986

      This is not a left/right, liberal/conservative, north/south descision by ESPN. It was an internal brand protection decision where they didn’t want to look silly by potentially seeing memes and jokes about Robert Lee, sans E., calling the game. Unfortunately for them, the word got out about this, and their brand looks even more silly than it would’ve been if they just let Mr. Lee call the game.

      • Carter Turner

        I agree on why they did it but the outrage is decidedly political (Left-Right). That’s why it’s a fake dust-up. But I’m not at all sure ESPN still didn’t do the right thing. In this climate, it could have gone real bad for Lee in a hurry.

        • Perseus1986

          Right. It’s basically people who are looking to create a controversy, much like the cases from colleges and universities that are centered around “safe spaces”. Usually these are stories with a lot more complexity and nuance and specific to the communities, but they get fished out by news outlets with an agenda, stripped of all context and broadcast throughout national media to feed the ongoing storyline that these left-wing college students want to be sheltered from being offended.