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Should ESPN Suspend Itself?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Should ESPN suspend itself?  ESPN has evolved into a company that habitually suspends its employees.  One of its most recent employees suspended was Max Kellerman.  Do you know why Max Kellerman got suspended?  Because he admitted on the air that something like 20 years ago, he shoved his wife in the middle of an argument.  They suspended him for two days for some sort of violation. 

And then there was the Stephen A. Smith suspension because Stephen A. Smith said (paraphrased), "Well, you know, women might have something to do with the way they get treated by virtue of the way they act."  Uh-oh.  Not tolerable.  He was suspended.  Well, guess what happened?  ESPN has this infobabe reporter, and her name is Josina Anderson, and her assignment recently has been the St. Louis Rams.

So they sent her to Earth City, Missouri, which is outside St. Louis, which is the Rams complex, the training complex.  And during a discussion about the first openly gay player in the NFL, Michael Sam, a linebacker for the Rams, a co-anchor back in the studio, Jay Crawford, asked Josina Anderson, "How is Michael Sam fitting in with his Rams teammates so far?"

ANDERSON:  Defensive tackle Kendall Langford said, uh, that Michael Sam is simply just one of the guys.  But another Rams defensive player told me that, quote, "Sam is respecting our space," and that, from his perspective, he seems to think that Michael Sam is waiting to kind of take a shower, so as not to make his teammates feel uncomfortable. While Langford and linebacker Alec Ogletree told me that they didn't know that specifically, and also weren't tracking that.

RUSH:  Okay.  So what do we have here?  Let the record show that a well-known liberal media outlet -- and make no mistake, ESPN is a liberal media outlet -- not only reported on a matter of privacy within an NFL team's locker room, they reported on something rumored to occur in the bathroom/shower portion of the locker room. 

It had nothing to do with Michael Sam making the team.  It had nothing to do with how well or how poorly Michael Sam is playing on the team.  It had nothing to do with how Michael Sam really is getting along there.  They had to do a story about Michael Sam and the showers, and what is this but a liberal media outlet feeding a stereotype? 

And what's the stereotype? 

Now, keep in mind, this is ESPN, a liberal media outlet, and that report? The underlying assumption of that report is what, Mr. Snerdley?  (interruption)  The underlying subject of this report is, "Gay guys are on the prowl in the shower, and because Sam knows that that's what people think, he's waiting until all the other players are finished, and then he goes into the shower alone so that nobody thinks he's on the prowl."

What else could this report mean, if not that? 

So the reporterette says (summarized), "Well, you know, defensive tackle Kendall Langford said Sam is just one of the guys. But! But! Another Rams defensive player told me that, quote, "'Sam's respecting our space,' and that from his perspective he seems to think that Sam's waiting to kind of take a shower, so as not to make his teammates feel uncomfortable." 

Well, what... what... what... what would be uncomfortable?  There has to be an underlying assumption, right, that the gay guy is on the prowl?  A liberal media outlet doing this?  How can this be!  Why, this is the kind of thing you would see happen on Fox News, right?  This is the kind of thing you would expect to happen on The O'Reilly Factor, right?  Not ESPN. 

But a liberal media outlet doing this?  And then she said, "Well, Langford and linebacker Alec Ogletree told me that they didn't know this. They didn't know specifically that Sam's waiting to take a shower at that they weren't tracking it," meaning they weren't paying attention to it.  Well, that's only half of the report.  Here is the rest of what she said.

ANDERSON:  Now, while Langford told me, "Listen, I have not been in the shower at the same time as Michael Sam," he said that there definitely could be a million reasons as to why that is.  He said he could be doing actual work on the practice field. He could be riding his bike. He could be doing extra cardio. But overall Langford said he seems to be adjusting to the life in the NFL and the speed of the game.

RUSH:  So they continued the speculation at the liberal media outlet, ESPN, as to why Michael Sam might be the last one in the showers.  Normally you get credit in the NFL for being last guy off the practice field, but here Michael Sam -- from a liberal media outlet -- is getting great, great press, great reviews, great coverage, for being the last guy in the showers.  And who knows why?

It could be he is the last guy on the field and he's doing extra cardio work and he's working hard with the coaches and he's trying to get better and that's why.  But they brought it up.  Now, what happened is, one of the players, I think a defensive tackle for the Rams... Well, there are so many. It was Jake Long, Kyle Long, I forget which. Howie Long's son.

He tweeted ESPN and said, essentially, "Hey, ESPN, this is over.  Everybody's forgotten about this except you."  So ESPN has apologized.  ESPN has asked for forgiveness.  ESPN said, "ESPN regrets the manner in which we presented our report.  Clearly yesterday we collectively failed to meet the standards that we have set in reporting on [lesbian-, gay-, bisexual-, and transsexual-] related topics in sports." 

Aw no! They let everybody down! 

Oh, this is too much to handle, folks.  They failed to meet their own standards.  It's a sports network.  They failed to meet their own standards that they set in reporting LGBT-related topics.  Well, ESPN might want to start by not treating people according to their sexual preferences. I mean, it's like skin color. What's the big deal, right?  I thought there was no big deal here.

Who was it that said they wouldn't draft Sam because they didn't want all the stuff that would come with it? Oh, yeah.  That was Tony Dungy, and remember what they said about Tony Dungy.  Oh, he risked all the credibility he'd built up.  So here you have ESPN behaving like everybody that works there would tell you the Tea Party thinks and behaves.

And once again it isn't the Tea Party, and isn't the conservatives, and it isn't talk radio, and it's not Fox News that's behaving in a prejudicial manner.  It's the liberal media outlet ESPN apologizing for being curious about Michael Sam's showering habits.  I was thinking about all those reports.  You know, I remember all those reports when ESPN was new about Joe Montana's showering habits. 

You remember those, right? 

And they were juicy, folks.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  You know what I can't wait for?  I can't wait for ESPN to report from the locker room at the next women's professional golf tournament. Can you imagine sending a reporter in there and asking about the showering habits of some of the female professionals on the LPGA circuit?  I mean, they've broken new ground here, so we can look forward to that. 

By the way, I should point out that there are some commentators, media analysts and so forth at the celebrated Washington Post, who want this reporterette for ESPN canned.  They want her fired, not just suspended.  It's Josina Anderson.  They want her out of there.  It's vicious out there.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  I think ESPN ought to go off the air for two days. I think if they're really gonna be consistent here, they don't allow their employees to apologize, they make 'em apologize, they kick 'em off the air for a couple of days, a week.  ESPN ought to suspend itself, just to be consistent. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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