White House: ESPN Should Hold Employees to ‘a Fair and Consistent Standard’ on Political Speech

By Melanie Arter | September 15, 2017 | 5:55pm EDT
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Screenshot of White House video)

(CNSNews.com) - The White House said Friday that ESPN should hold their sportscasters to “a fair and consistent standard”  when it comes to expressing political views.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, it considers what ESPN host Jemele Hill said about the president being a “white supremacist” a “fireable offense.”

President Donald Trump tweeted Friday, “ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth!”

When asked whether the president in turn plans to apologize for his birtherism claims about former President Barack Obama, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “I think the president has made plenty of comments on that front. I think the point is that ESPN has been hypocritical.

“They should hold anchors to a fair and consistent standard. ESPN suspended a long-time anchor, Linda Cohn, not too long ago for expressing a political viewpoint. The network’s public editor has said that there is a perception that ESPN has become political and that has harmed the network. This is clearly a political statement. They should be consistent in whatever guidelines that they have set themselves in that front,” Sanders said.

When asked whether by saying what Jemele Hill said was “a fireable offense” Sanders was saying that Hill should be fired, Sanders said, “That's not a decision that I’m going to make. That's something for ESPN to decide. Again, I was asked about that. I think it is a fireable offense based on the standard that ESPN has set themselves by saying that people that go too far and make political comments have been suspended from their own network. I think that that is a consistency that they should probably focus on.”

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