Sports media personality Dan Le Batard ripped ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith to his face because he hates “what you two have done to sports television” about Fox Sports host Skip Bayless.
Smith appeared on Le Batard’s podcast, South Beach Sessions, and the two discussed Stephen A.’s time on First Take when Bayless was his co-host. In 2016, Bayless left ESPN to start a debate show on Fox Sports with former NFL star Shannon Sharpe.
Le Batard, who also left ESPN in 2021, flat-out told Stephen A. how much he despises what the two personalities did to sports talk.
“I hate what you two have done to sports television,” Le Batard said.
Stephen A. immediately countered the South Beach Sessions host’s remarks.
“You can say that all you want to; I would say, who the hell are you?!” Smith said. “To sit up there and say me and him. What about you? Where the hell were you? Living under a rock? Teaching at Miami U? You were part of it too! You ain’t innocent!”
Le Batard reiterated and added, “I’m talking about all the imitators that you have birthed,” who are “thinking without the journalism credentials.”
“Those people who don’t have a journalism background, who don’t exercise journalistic ethics and beyond,” Smith said. “How are we responsible for that? When our background is based on that? Skip Bayless was a journalist for decades! I was a journalist for decades! We come on television, and those ethics are applicable.
“When did it occur in my career that I ignored the journalistic tenets that came with the job?” he said.
Le Batard pushed back against Stephen A.‘s “ignored” comment and reiterated what he meant.
“It’s not ignoring them; it’s that they shrink in the face of the need for the argument as entertainment,” he said. “It’s not that it’s ignored; it’s that the journalism becomes less important. It’s the argument. It’s the sparks; it’s the debate that needs to be carried.”
Watch above via the South Beach Sessions podcast.