Well, as one would expect, former ESPN host Jemele Hill has zero regrets calling President Trump a white supremacist on Twitter. The controversy erupted last year, which set off yet another conversation about Trump, political correctness, and whether the latter is poisoning the flagship of sports journalism. The network is losing millions of subscribes. In 2018, they lost two million alone, and a total of 15 million since 2011. The loss of 15 million subscribers has cost the network $1.44 billion in revenue, which is a big deal; Clay Travis of Outkick the Coverage broke down the numbers. At this rate, ESPN will not be able to afford the rights to Monday Night Football after the deal expires in 2021.
The blowup over Hill’s tweet saw a few stories about employees being told they couldn’t even 'like' tweets from known conservatives on social media to some, speaking anonymously, saying they pretend to be Democrats in order to keep their jobs. And this isn’t the only time Hill dabbled in controversy. She said the national anthem and respecting the American flag were dog whistles. Hill’s treatment was vastly different that longtime host Linda Cohn, who was suspended from the network for suggesting that the subscriber bleeding could be contributed to ESPN becoming too political. Hill was eventually suspended for two weeks for violating the company’s social media policy, whatever that means.
She’s now with The Atlantic. She now says that she thought she was just saying “water is wet” with that tweet about Trump and has zero regrets sending it. In other news, it’s a social justice warrior acting as usual (via Fox News):
“I thought I was saying water is wet,” Hill said. “I didn’t even think it was controversial.”
Hill opened up about the situation on the premiere episode of Dan Le Batard’s “South Beach Sessions,” a new podcast from ESPN’s recently launched Le Batard and Friends Podcast Network.
“I was in the middle of a Twitter conversation, I was replying to somebody. If I was really trying to make a bold statement, I would have added the damn president. I didn’t, I was just talking casually with somebody,” she said. “It wasn’t even original. That’s what is so crazy. I got famous for saying something that wasn’t original. It wasn’t new. It was not breaking news. I thought we all decided this after Charlottesville.”
Hill has also called Trump a “bigot” and “unqualified and unfit to be president.” Le Batard, a longtime friend of Hill, repeatedly called her an “accidental activist” and tried to describe to listeners that Hill is simply a journalist who got caught up in something she is passionate about. But Hill said that her while comments changed her life “in a dramatic way,” she doesn’t regret making them.
“I knew almost immediately that, if I did face some kind of permanent discipline, if I did lose my job, if I was immediately suspended, I was OK with it,” Hill said, as Le Batard added Hill might not have wanted the attention but isn’t the type of person to run from it.
ESPN initially declined to punish Hill for the tweet but then sidelined her for two weeks in October 2017, after she violated the company’s social media guidelines again.