In a move sure to exacerbate the impression the ESPN is only for liberals, the cable sports network just announced that former Comedy Central comedian Jon Stewart would be co-hosting a live SportsCenter broadcast with Hannah Storm during a celebration of the U.S. military on July 7.
The former cable comedy show host will be on hand with Storm as ESPN joins the Warrior Games in Chicago. The games, starting on June 30 and continuing until July 8, celebrate the militaries of the United States, Australia, and Great Britain. In part, events feature wounded and disabled soldiers competing in wheelchair basketball games, target shooting, and other events.
Along with his duties as co-host, Stewart will apparently conduct a live interview to be broadcast in the 11 p.m. hour on SportsCenter.
The inclusion of Stewart to the broadcast celebrating the military seems quixotic, to say the least. The move was announced via a July 5 statement from the cable sports network which seemed to give a weak reason for having the left-wing comedian join the show.
“Storm has hosted SportsCenter’s Veterans Day specials from numerous military installations, and Stewart has campaigned for veterans and been a strong supporter of the Warrior Games,” the statement read.
But, Stewart seems to have no strong links to the U.S. military, and for years his comedy show spent much time attacking the military and its commanders.
The choice is also fraught with fears that Stewart, known as a highly political entertainer, will turn a show meant to honor soldiers into yet another platform for far left attacks on the very soldiers the games are supposed to be honoring.
In any case, with moves like this, it is getting harder and harder for ESPN to insist it isn’t a Mecca for left-wingers. Putting Jon Stewart on a show featuring a basketball game meant to honor the military, when he has no connection at all to either basketball or the military, is not going to help the network’s reputation any.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.