Roger L. Simon reports that ESPN has fired Gregg Easterbrook for some controversial remarks he made at TNR for which he subsequently apologized. So close on the heels of the Rush Limbaugh firing, it doesn’t speak very well of ESPN. While corporations have a right to hire and fire whomever they please–there is no First Amendment right against private employers, only the government–it is still rather outrageous for a journalistic enterprise to be so intolerant of controversial speech.
Easterbrook’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback column is some of the best sports writing out there–which is utterly remarkable for someone whose main job is as a Brookings Institution political analyst.
I’ve refrained from commenting on the original flap because, frankly, I didn’t much care. I’m mighty tired of whining about “racism” and “anti-Semitism” at every turn. The chilling effect on political discourse and constant pulling at scabs that should by now have healed caused by the easily inflamed greatly outweigh the minor transgressions that seem to spark them. Further, as I’ve argued with the charge of “rape,” the constant howling about these things makes it a hell of a lot harder to stir up the proper outrage over real incidents of racism and anti-Semitism.