16 September 2017

Double Standards On 'Jemele Hill' Case

Jemele Hill
It has become very obvious on how it handled the 'Jemele Hill situation', that ESPN is bias with its employees. Whatever they call it, this much is clear: if ESPN agrees with the political commentary, the reporter is safe. If ESPN does not agree with the political commentary, the reporter will get the axe.

At least that’s the only thing to infer from ESPN's response so far after what they did to Curt Schilling.

Schilling was fired after what ESPN determined to be an inappropriate post on social media. ESPN has determined Hill's tweet last 11 September about President Trump to be inappropriate. Schilling had previously been suspended for another social media post ESPN determined to be “unacceptable.” Hill has previously been suspended as well by ESPN, back in 2008, for invoking Hitler in a column about the Boston Celtics.

So first suspension, then firing. If that’s ESPN’s policy, so be it.

Except so far ESPN has done nothing to Hill aside from a feather-tap on the wrist for what is a blatant violation of its own policies. She has not been removed from her hosting duties on "SportsCenter," not even for a day, and if ESPN’s statement about Hill's comments – that President Trump is a “white supremacist” – was meant as a reprimand, well, that’s laughable.

ESPN Statement on Jemele Hill:

”The comments on Twitter from Jemele Hill regarding the President do not represent the position of ESPN. We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate.”
When it comes to political speech, media members are, appropriately so, held to a higher standard, which is why a media outlet such as ESPN have guidelines outlining what is and isn’t appropriate. It’s here where ESPN has some explaining to do.

In reading ESPN’s own policies on employees commenting on politics, which was issued in April, Hill is in clear violation, and not by a little.

"Writers, reporters, producers and editors directly involved in 'hard' news reporting, investigative or enterprise assignments and related coverage should refrain in any public-facing forum from taking positions on political or social issues, candidates or office holders."

Does Jemele Hill's platform as host of ESPN’s flagship news program not fall under "hard" news reporting? Or does she somehow slip through this crack?