CNN has had a helluva time of it these past 24 hours with conservative sports voices on their network. Yesterday afternoon, CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin lost it and ended a segment early after Fox Sports’ Clay Travis repeatedly said that he believes in only two things — the First Amendment and boobs. Baldwin was so incensed about the event that she wrote an op-ed for CNN.com later that night.
This morning, CNN host Michael Smerconish had former ESPN analyst and ex-baseball great Curt Schilling call into his show to presumably talk about the whole Jemele Hill controversy that has dominated the cable news conversation lately. However, it quickly devolved once Schilling pivoted from talking about Hill’s “white supremacist” Trump comments to CNN’s bias when it came to covering the president.
After declaring Hill as “openly racist” who has no place in sports reporting — a position he’d already made public before — Schilling then went in on CNN, rattling off a series of accusations about the network and essentially blaming them for Hill’s comments.
“CNN has been at the vanguard from everything from the [Steele] dossier, to calling Trump a white supremacist time after time, anchor after anchor with no validation, no support for the comments. And the white supremacy 20 years ago on the Oprah Winfrey show. This is the same that said with female anchors with her hands up, don’t shoot. Even though that was considered to be a complete fabrication or lie. I never heard anyone at CNN retract that.”
Smerconish shot back that he didn’t have the time to litigate each and every point Schilling had just made but instead would bring up the reason why Schilling himself was fired by ESPN, showing the offensive Facebook photo the ex-athlete posted to his page regarding transgender individuals. When Schilling claimed he didn’t try to besmirch an entire group of people, Smerconish told him he absolutely did.
“I get it, you guys work on getting ratings, you need to be bombastic, and you need to make assumptions for the viewers because you guys operate on the notion that we’re too stupid to speak for ourselves,” Schilling exclaimed. “The fact of the matters is, my comment was around the fact I don’t need my government to tell me where to pee.”
The CNN host had an answer back for Schilling, getting personal with him and telling him that he was a jerk during his playing days and that hasn’t changed.
“You know what you were pompous when you were in Philly and you’re pompous today,” Smerconish declared. “You come on my program and make a number of wild assertions, none with specificity relative to me and my program.”
Smerconish would end the segment by pointing out that conservatives always talk about personal responsibility yet Schilling appeared to be dodging the issue when it came to his own behavior being the reason he was fired from ESPN. At the same time, he said he would like to see consistency from ESPN when it came to Jemele Hill, Schilling, and everyone else when it came to expressing political views.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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