Stephen A. Smith Fires Back at Dan Le Batard Saying He Ruined Sports Media: ‘This Has Been Going on for Decades’


Stephen A. Smith took to his own podcast on Monday to further dispute Dan Le Batard’s recent accusation that he ruined sports media.

On March 24, Le Batard accused Smith of having a hand in the decline of sports journalism with his “ht takes” while he appeared as a guest on his South Beach Sessions podcast. Smith immediately pushed back saying Le Batard has also played a role in the changing landscape of sports media.

Despite being on vacation at the time, Smith recorded an impromptu episode of his Know Mercy podcast three days later to delve deeper into the issue. He struggles to see why he’s the scapegoat when, according to him, the debate show format existed long before his rise to fame.

“I’m sorry, when did First Take start with Stephen A.?” Smith said. “Skip Bayless brought me on in 2012. Jim Rome was on before that. Pardon the Interruption was on before that. Around the Horn was on before then. First Take without me was on before then.”

“This has been going on for decades,” Smith concluded.

On South Beach Sessions, Le Batard said the main issue is the debate has seemingly taken priority over journalism. Smith’s response on his own podcast is that the debate has become an essential aspect of sports shows.

“Dan Le Batard, do you know if that wasn’t the case, you wouldn’t have a show?” Smith said. “Once the information is reported and disseminated, if perspective and debate were not provided, you’d still be writing for the Miami Herald or doing something else your brilliant self came up with.”

Above all, Smith continued, he’s never forsaken his responsibility as a journalist.

“Don’t use my name as playing a part in the degradation of the industry,” he said. “I don’t break journalistic tenets. I don’t violate trust. I don’t backstab. I don’t sit up there and tell people one thing and smile in their face, and then go behind their back in front of the cameras with a microphone and do something else. Not me.

“For better or worse, I’m real.”

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