ESPN anchor Jamele Hill was censured by the network after she called Donald Trump “a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists” on Twitter on Monday. As we all know, it’s risky to say anything even slightly controversial on Twitter—unless, as Trevor Noah pointed out on The Daily Show, you’re Donald Trump, in which case you could just become president. TDS brought out correspondent Roy Wood Jr. to weigh in on Hill’s tweet and the White House’s reaction.
Wood began by wondering where in the world Hill could have gotten the idea that Trump supports white supremacy or is favored among white supremacists—except that he knows exactly where she got that idea. In fact, Congress even had to pass a bipartisan resolution in an effort to get Trump to explicitly condemn the KKK, Neo-Nazis, and other hate groups. “Trump is the only white dude I know that had to sign paperwork to prove he don’t like Nazis,” said Wood.
Remarkably, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Hill’s tweet “a fireable offense” during a press briefing, essentially attacking a private citizen’s employment while acting as an official spokesperson for the White House. When Noah suggests that this was just Sanders’ personal opinion, Wood wasn’t buying it. “Jamele Hill was sharing her personal opinion,” said Wood. “The difference is that one was on her Twitter account. The other was on a podium at the White House.”
But for people like Trump who think politics should be kept out of sports coverage, Wood had a counter-offer: Let’s make things even more political. “ESPN already got, like, what, 15, 28 channels? So, all you do is customize each one for a different political viewpoint. Same game, different commentary.” ESPN Conservative would cater to Republican viewpoints: “Thompson stealing second. If the home team wasn’t so PC, they would’ve kept an eye on that black guy and he wouldn’t have stolen it.”
ESPN Liberal, on the other hand, would sound something like this: “Thompson stealing third, but let’s talk about the inequality in society that forced him to steal in the first place.”
He might be onto something there.