Watching those stupid new Kenny Mayne/Erin andrew Diet mountain Dew commercials rubbed me the wrong way. Ns didn"t know why, however they bugged me.

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When ns tried to find it on YouTube this morning to clock it again, ns found, like, a jillion Kenny Mayne commercials—not only for mountain Dew (which ns haven"t had due to the fact that I to be eight), yet for steady insurance, Gillette combination ProGlide razors and the kicker, Top-Flite D2 golf balls.

It"s bad enough when supposed impartial journalists walk on TV to present their choice for Applebee"s or Southwest airlines or Audi, yet when they begin to hawk things that they would actually cover, then it goes also far.

ESPN covers golf, so why need to its employees promote one golf round over another? It"s bias. And when Erin Andrews hawks Reebok, doesn"t that indicate that SportsCenter"s coverage entailing Nike would certainly be biased?

Which is exactly what happened. In a current ombudsman report ~ above ESPN, Kelly McBride and Regina McCombs write this:

ESPN"s technique toward endorsements came under intense scrutiny earlier this year once Reebok rolled the end its Andrews campaign two weeks ~ she reported on traction problems with Nike cleats during the increased Bowl.


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Jeez. Isn"t that a coincidence? andrew reports that Nike cleat weren"t functioning well at a game, and two weeks later she"s showing up in ads because that Reebok. Wow.

McBride and also McCombs then quote the irascible New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick to display why mixing sporting activities reporters v product endorsement is a poor idea. Together usual, that puts it in his understated way.

"Nike, as if they and ESPN didn"t know, is the largest steamroller amongst the sneaker cartel that has infiltrated, penetrated, dominated and eviscerated U.S. High school and college sports," Mushnick wrote. "But it"s not as if Corso, Herbstreit and Fowler would have any type of reason come report on any kind of of that, ya know? and it"s no as if Nike would certainly have any reason to salary them off, ya know?"

Which is precisely what happened with Andrews and her Reebok endorsement. Also if andrews is innocent and it was every a coincidence, it doesn"t matter. The appearance of impropriety taints any type of journalistic truth ESPN has left. (Which, after their attempt at a Barry Bonds fact show, is in ~ an all-time low.)

McBride and also McCombs continue:

For example, why can"t anyone at ESPN, even an analyst, take it a contract indigenous a college or skilled team? because ESPN likely covers the team. It"s complicated enough to develop a late of fairness throughout a game broadcast (That"s more than likely the chief complaint in the mailbag: "ESPN folks hate Team X or Team Y, my team.") yet it would certainly be also harder to maintain credibility in the challenge of a perceived dispute of interest when the stakes obtain higher.

What if a player dies due to the fact that an insignificant coach bullied him into running too much in the august heat? Or one athletic regime covers increase the criminal activity of that is star athletes? ESPN puts such restrictions into the proof guidelines due to the fact that it recognizes that it would strain trust among the audience if even one person were regarded to it is in "on a team"s payroll."

This is no the first issue dealing with ESPN around favoritism. ESPN corporate sent out a "Do no Report" memo concerning the Ben Roethlisberger rape case. Reasons abound for your decision no to report it—their excuse was ridiculous and not also worthy come reprint—but it"s been speculated the if lock ran v the story, they would be penalized financially. And also who might be in a position to carry out that? someone who might be heavily financially connected with ESPN. The NFL perhaps?

Or as Mike Francesa said:

“Bottom heat is ESPN is incredibly protective of athletes, especially the persons that execute commercials with them. ... ESPN, when they space in bed with athletes, they just defend them. We recognize that. That’s nothing new.”

Naturally, when brought the reality that sporting activities reporters marketing shoes or golf balls is inappropriate—or that ESPN reports that news with favoritism towards certain parties and shows favoritism—the reporters obtained indignant.

"My loyalties are always to ESPN and the job and also to basketball," claimed Jay Bilas, a former duke basketball player and coach and a longtime network analyst. "I carry out this because I love basketball. As soon as someone asks me a question, my task is to carry out a factual basis because that my opinion."

Right. For this reason how about this? ESPN decides come quash a story the looked negative to the King the its ratings? Loyalties indeed.

Maybe this isn"t huge news. And also maybe most fans don"t care. But if ESPN wants world to take them seriously—Sports Reporters, Outside the Lines, etc.—it requirements to project at the very least a muon the impartiality in its sporting activities reporting. And their reporters shouldn"t have a whiff of favoritism—to Reebok, Nike or whomever.

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