We may finally have an answer as to why ESPN has persisted in its leftward lurch despite strong evidence that it cost them their credibility with a large swath of their viewing audience.
According to Axios, “Disney CEO Bob Iger is being pelted with entreaties to run for president in 2020, and is clearly intrigued by the idea, according to industry sources. Iger has discussed the feasibility with friends but has made no formal moves.
“He’s hearing quite a bit of: You should run — you’d be a great president,” said one Hollywood insider. “He’s hearing that quite a bit from prominent fundraisers and Democratic insiders.”
Jeffrey Katzenberg, former Disney Studios Chairman, has reportedly encouraged Iger to run. The Hollywood Reporter, ran a piece in March which said that, “Iger has told friends he is considering their nudges.” According to Axios, “The rumor in Hollywood is that Katzenberg was a key leak of the story.”
The movement to encourage Iger to run, ironically, has its inspiration in President Trump. The sight of a wealthy head of a major corporation winning the presidency, especially one with no experience in elected office, has apparently convinced millionaires and billionaires on the left that they too can make the jump from Fishbowl Office, to the Oval Office.
One complication in Iger’s case is that his contract with Disney extends until 2019, not leaving a lot of time for a run in 2020. However, if the rest of Disney’s board believe in Iger’s run to the degree that Katzenberg apparently does, perhaps they would grant a special exemption to Iger. If they feel he has a legitimate chance of winning, it would put someone very friendly to the “Magic Kingdom” in the most powerful office in the world.
But, that will all play itself out in due course. For right now though, we have the best answer yet as to why ESPN has consistently and unapologetically attacked conservatives and inextricably linked their cause with that of the radical left: they have to, because their CEO might run for the Democratic nomination.
Clearly, ESPN was liberal before Bob Iger, and it will be liberal after Bob Iger. The “Magic Kingdom” CEO did not turn ESPN into a liberal network. What Iger apparently did do, though, was give the already liberal personalities at ESPN carte blanch to be themselves and a free pass to air all their leftist grievances, absent the threat of any repercussion whatsoever.
This same decision has already proved disastrous, not only for ESPN subscribership and ratings, but also for dozens and dozens of recently laid-off employees, many of whom, check that, nearly all of whom, were not part of the political activism wing of ESPN.
In fact, when looking at the usual suspects of ESPN personalities who consistently advocate liberal politics, people like Tony Kornheiser, Mike Wilbon, Bomani Jones, and others, they all still have jobs at the “Worldwide Leader.” Yet, like a true Democrat, when Iger’s liberal chickens came home to roost he didn’t lay off the biggest liberal cluckers at the network. Instead, he sent to the slaughterhouse a hundred beat writers, analysts, and reporters who weren’t part of his potential presidential propaganda campaign.
Bob Iger knowingly and willingly used ESPN as a political propaganda tool, by allowing them to do and say things that caused tremendous harm to their brand purely for the sake of his own personal advancement and potential presidential run. Then, he fired a ton of mostly really good people to make the bottom line look better.
Sounds like a well-qualified Democrat nominee to me.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn