UPDATE: NBC Sports Cancels The NRA’s ‘Under Wild Skies’ Hunting Show

  • Jake O'Donnell

About a week ago, I railed against Deadspin’s release of the Bo Pelini rant, calling them out for hypocritically defining themselves as a Sports Illustrated caliber news source, yet behaving like TMZ Sports when it best suits them. My point was that the site has a ton of talented writers and chooses interesting stories to cover — and they do it with intelligence, humor, and humility — so by releasing a behind-the-scenes recording of a frustrated coach screaming “fuck” two years ago, they were being neither humane, funny, nor intelligent. It was just tabloid fodder. It was unfair. It was “look look Kim Kardashian looks fat!”

Well, they’ve swung back into my good graces with this series of articles calling out NBC Sports for an episode of “Wild Skies,” where NRA lobbyist Tony Makris sneaks up on an unsuspecting, old, male bull elephant, and shoots it in the face “in his own bedroom.” (A hunting joke, I guess, for going to an animal’s home and shooting it in the face.)

Now, he’s “shot back” with the obligatory “And they said ‘but they’re so big and special and they’re smarter.’ And I went, ‘you know, Hitler would have said the same thing.'”

Thank you Deadspin for at least bringing this to the public’s attention. We now know this guy is insane, and NBC Sports will probably amend their programming as a result.

[For clarification purposes, let me state that I’m not so much an opponent of killing animals, as I am an opponent of NBC Sports decision to air what ostensibly seemed like a murder of an animal minding it’s own business. Once again, I understand that a “face shot” is the best way to put down a 15,000 lb, 40-year-old creature. My problem is with the network’s decision to air this rather heart wrenching segment. It just seemed so, I dunno, 1895.]

UPDATE: NBC Sports has cancelled “Under Wild Skies.” Deadspin’s John Kolbin reports that an NBC Sports spokesman gave him this statement:

“Under Wild Skies will no longer air on NBC Sports Sports Network due to the program’s close association with its host, whose recent comments comparing his critics to Hitler are outrageous and unacceptable. NBCSN will continue to air all of our other quality outdoor programming.”