ESPN’s Mike Lupica Tells His Readers To “Aim Their Wrath” At President Obama

  • Dan Fogarty

ESPN doesn’t like it when its employees express controversial political views — just ask Hank Williams Jr., who was fired from doing his Monday Night Football intro after a bizarre Obama-hatin’ Fox News appearance. The company took surprisingly swift action after that little episode, quickly “parting ways” with a guy who had been twanging his way across America’s TV screens for couple of decades.

So it’ll be interesting to see what they do about Mike Lupica.

Lupica, who has an ESPN Radio show in New York and has been a talking head on the network’s Sports Reporters program for forever, wrote a provocative column in Friday’s Daily News. The headline? “Occupy Wall Street protesters should aim their wrath at Fundraiser-in-Chief Obama.”

It isn’t “Obama the Nazi”-level stuff, but it’s already raised a few eyebrows. Mostly due to this portion, in which Lupica imagines an occupation of Pennsylvania Avenue.

It’s why you wonder if there will come a day when the house that Occupy Wall Street is standing in front of isn’t Jamie Dimon’s on Park Ave., it is the White House.

And this portion, in which he says the President is doing kind of a terrible job.

Say this about the state of the country nearly three years into the Obama administration: If this President didn’t create this economic mess, he hasn’t done very much to get us out of it.

ESPN tries very hard to be politically neutral, and has a history of becoming really, really uncomfortable when their talent diverges from that track: the Williams incident was splashy and recent, but they’ve cracked the whip before when their sports pundits become political pundits.

Will Lupica be disciplined in some way? It’s possible — you can’t get any less politically neutral than calling Obama’s re-election campaign a “corporation” that deserves to be protested. But while Hank Jr’s Fox News appearance was flat-out crazy, and subsequently publicized due to its craziness, Lupica’s criticism was a little more subtle. Plus, it appeared in a newspaper, and no one reads those.

Then again… ESPN has previously disciplined talent because of politically-charged tweets. As you can see, we’re gonna need some clarification on this. ESPN has been contacted. We’ll update you when we hear back.

Update: We heard back. No disciplinary action for Lupie.

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