Must one pass a political litmus test, or fail a logic quiz, to gain employment as an ESPN talking head?
On ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, Tony Kornheiser, former columnist with the Washington Post, likened a bill passed by both houses of the Arizona state legislature to Nazi laws requiring Jews to wear distinctive markers. Along with his co-host Michael Wilbon, who recently defended the right of athletes to utter the N-word with impunity from league punishment in their nationally-televised contests, Kornheiser assailed the right of Arizona business owners to refuse to perform services over which they harbor moral qualms. The issue stems in part from a Christian baker forced to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple.
“Bail,” Wilbon advised the NFL regarding Super Bowl 49 because of Senate Bill 1062.”Take it out in a heartbeat.” The league scheduled next year’s Super Bowl in University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Wednesday’s PTI taping preceded Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s veto of the legislation.
Kornheiser similarly instructed the NFL to abandon Arizona as the site of next year’s Super Bowl should SB 1062 have passed. “The NFL should leave in a heartbeat if this becomes law for the very simple reason that the NFL is attempting to welcome Michael Sam into its league,” the Monday Night Football analyst opined. “And every public utterance from the NFL has tried to make that in a welcome environment. And now you would be in a state where Michael Sam could not buy a ticket possibly to the Super Bowl. Arizona has become in recent years the most recalcitrant, backward-looking state in the country when it comes to social change.”
Kornheiser couldn’t resist the reductio ad hitlerum. He asked regarding gays in Arizona, “How are they supposed to be identified? Should they wear a yellow star? Because my people went through that at one point.”
But the legislation in question doesn’t seek to mark homosexuals for identification. As Breitbart’s Joel Pollak points out, the bill “doesn’t include the words ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ or even ‘same-sex.'” The legislation’s main thrust involves allowing citizens to invoke their free exercise of religion as a legal protection against prosecution. “A person whose religious exercise is burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding,” the bill reads.
Straight out of Mein Kampf, huh?