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Donald Trump attacks ESPN after network President Jimmy Pitaro says they don't want to cover politics.

By Jimmy Traina
August 22, 2018

1. Last Friday was “Media Day” at ESPN. Several reporters trekked to Bristol, Conn., to, among other things, participate in a Q&A with new ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro.

During the session, Pitaro said this:

“If you ask me is there a false narrative out there, I will tell you ESPN being a political organization is false. I will tell you I have been very, very clear with employees here that it is not our jobs to cover politics, purely.”

It is not our jobs to cover politics, purely. What a shortsighted and misguided quote by Pitaro.

Despite what you may have read in places that have no use for the truth, the reality is that ESPN does not and has not "covered politics." Healthcare, North Korea and Omarosa have not been topics on any of ESPN’s stations. PTI isn't weighing in on tariffs. College Gameday doesn't debate gun control. And Scott Van Pelt isn't giving the pros and cons of abortion on the midnight SportsCenter.

The national anthem, obviously, has been covered on ESPN because that is an NFL story.

People who either have an agenda or aren’t very intelligent think Jemele Hill’s Twitter feed or Keith Olbermann’s Twitter feed counts as “being on ESPN.” It doesn't work that way. If an ESPN personality tweets about politics, that does not mean ESPN is covering politics. This does not seem like a difficult concept to grasp, but people don't want to grasp it because then they can't use ESPN as a poltiical weapon.

All Pitaro did with his quote was 1) imply that ESPN had been covering politics and 2) give the people who have an agenda to go after ESPN because it gets them attention. He should realize he’s never going change those people’s minds and he should stop worrying about them.

Pitaro should’ve said, “ESPN never covers politics. Obviously, we’re covering the anthem controversy because it’s a sports news story.”

Pitaro didn’t stop there, though. He then said that ESPN would not air the national anthem this season. Networks—including CBS and FOX—have never aired the anthem during the regular season. Nothing is changing with ESPN's policy. But again, Pitaro's quote made it sound as if ESPN was instituing some radical change. And of course, the fact that networks have never aired the anthem is irrelevant to a person who has zero interest in the truth and only cares about riling up his base.

This one is fully on Pitaro, who wanted to get away from politics by saying ESPN isn’t going to cover politics and now he’s knee-deep in politics. 

2. Meet Clevleand Browns 67-year-old offensive line coach Bob Wylie, who absolutely detests stretching, but loves using war analogies. 

3. Anthony Rizzo's home run trot got off to a rough start last night.

4. Angels outfielder Justin Upton has gotten hit with the bizarre injury bug.

5. This throw by Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed will leave you very impressed.

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Slick Nick with a throw for the ages. 💪

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6. Brie Bella returned to the ring last night, beat up The Miz, and got a huge pop.

7. RANDOM HARD KNOCKS VIDEO OF THE DAY: With all due respect to Jarvis Landry, "Bless him" is not "Child, please."

Traina Thoughts is the best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina. Get the link to a new Traina's Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook. Catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts right here.And make sure to listen to and subscribe to the SI Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina.

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