The Washington Post's Ben Strauss has written a perspective story on ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro's attempt to tone down the Worldwide Leader In Sports' politics. There have been turbulent times in his first two years ― most notably Dan Le Batard's recent attack on President Trump. Strauss says Pitaro needs to define what sticking to sports really means at ESPN.
Pitaro is seeking to present sports as an almost child-like escape from the real world, "with his network set apart from the larger culture wars raging in the country," Strauss says. This was evident as Pitaro jumped up and down begging for a baseball from a Yankees' player at a recent major league game. ESPN's role, Pitaro told hundreds of employees, is to unite people around sports.
Pitaro - Chances - Mess - President - John
Somewhat skeptical of Pitaro's chances to clean up the mess left by previous President John Skipper, Strauss says, "Creating such an enterprise today is complicated, as is the question of whether ESPN really has softened its approach under its new leader or merely rebranded itself through a Pitaro-led-nip-and-tuck."
After the Trump rally in which supporters chanted for the president to send Cong. Ilhan Omar back to Somalia, Le Batard lambasted the non-political network Pitaro is seeking. "We here at ESPN don't have the stomach for the fight," he wailed on ESPN Radio. He called his employer cowardly, but evaded punishment afterwards in a meeting with Pitaro. Strauss remarked "Le Batard's monologue, though, both defied Pitaro's narrowed mission and questioned the costs of it."
Mission - Sports - Fans
That mission is to serve all sports fans,...
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