May 26, 2017, "Former Observer sportswriter Jason Whitlock: Cord-cutting hurts ESPN, but so does its politics," Charlotte Observer, Langston Wertz, Jr.
"Former Charlotte Observer sportswriter Jason Whitlock says that, yes, cord-cutting is
to blame for heavy losses in ESPN viewership. But Whitlock, a former
ESPN employee now working at Fox Sports 1, also says the network’s
politics are also part of the blame.
According to Nielsen data, ESPN has lost more than 11 million subscribers in the past five years. Whitlock -- who is co-host of FS1’s
“Speak For Yourself” sports talk show with Colin Cowherd and Jason
McIntyre -- appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show on the Fox News Network
Thursday. Carlson said ESPN was still the most powerful brand in sports,
but he questioned whether ESPN was pushing politics too much.
“I think you’ve asked the right
question,” Whitlock answered. “I think cord-cutting has a lot to do with
their subscriber and the viewership loss. But the animosity and some of
the viewership loss, I do think is a direct result of their lurch to
the left (politically), and injecting progressive victimology into the
“If you really understand sports
culture, and all the values taught in sports, from Little League, Pee
Wee, on, you’re never a victim. There are never any excuses that are
accepted. Every coach teaches every play from 5 years old on to 45 years
old, we don’t tolerate excuses, we don’t tolerate victimology, and now
so much of the conversation by the sports media, ESPN being the leader
of this, is just filled with so-and-so is a victim, Colin Kaepernick’s a
victim, everybody’s a victim. It’s turning traditional sports fans
Whitlock said he has written and talked often about what he feels is a change in the sports landscape.
“I think, again, so much of the media
has moved left,” Whitlock said. “It applies to ESPN, but it also
applies to all the media. Silicon Valley, Google, Facebook, Twitter,
Instagram is now in control of the mainstream media. Everyone is
catering all of their content to Silicon Valley and San Francisco
“That’s far different than the old
media which catered everything to New York traditional liberal values.
The values in San Francisco, a bit more revolutionary, a bit more
progressive, than a traditional New York-based media.”"