President Trump Demands ESPN 'Apologize for Untruth'
President Trump sharply criticized ESPN on Twitter early Friday morning, claiming the network was "paying a really big price for its politics" and demanding an apology for "untruth."
Trump's tweet will further ignite the controversy embroiling the network this week after SportsCenter host Jemele Hill called President Trump a white supremacist on Twitter. ESPN put out a statement distancing itself from Hill's tweet, but White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the incident a "fireable offense" in a press conference on Wednesday.
Trump didn't specifically call out Hill in his Friday tweet, but he appears to be wading into the dispute.
Trump's insistence that ESPN is suffering for its politics reflects the belief, widespread among some conservatives, that the network is liberal. He also claims that people are "dumping it in record numbers," though the millions of subscriber losses ESPN has sustained are largely attributable to cord-cutting.
ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2017
On Wednesday night, Hill said her tweet represented her personal beliefs and that she regretted "that my comments and the public way I made them painted ESPN in an unfair light."