by G. Brown
Jemele Hill is use to calling things the way she sees them. Hill is one of the anchors on ESPN’s “SC6” with Michael Smith(another person who speaks it like he sees it). But it’s not what Hill said on air that’s bringing on heat from the White House, it’s what she tweeted…
Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017
Apparently Hill was just getting started. She also called Donald Trump “the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime…” and Hill continued saying “his rise is the direct result of white supremacy. Period.”
But that “Period” wasn’t the end of the conversation, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday called Hill’s comments “outrageous” and said she thinks the statements are “a fireable offense by ESPN.”
ESPN has tried to distance itself from the outspoken Hill’s comments releasing a statement that the anchor’s derogatory Trump comments “do not represent the position” of the network” . The statement also noted that ESPN has “addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate.”
We’ve seen networks call anchors and reporters on the carpet for behavior that casts a negative light on their employer. The most recent case was FOX firing another anchor reportedly after he texted lewd photos of his private parts to female co-workers. NBC terminated former Nightly News anchor Brian Williams over bogus reports (only to still hire him at its sibling cable news MSNBC), but no national reporters have been dismissed for voicing his or her own opinion on social media about a President.
Facebook has cost many a government official and public employees their job over posts like the one where a woman referred to former First Lady Michelle Obama as an ape in heels.
This gray area is pretty Black and White for some as Hill’s Trump comments quickly became the newest case in the court of public opinion…
Hill hasn’t said anything that countless voters have already voice, but as the face of ESPN on-air talent usually sign contracts with behavior clauses included.
No one took more abuse with racial undertones than former President Obama, but not once did we hear of a news anchor or broadcaster being under fire for personal comments (because, FOX wouldn’t have had any anchors left!). But Trump is very much a different breed and is much more thin skinned about criticisms. True, public government officials are expected to tip toe on social media when it comes to personal comments about elected officials, but should that apply to news commentators?
What do you think…did Hill step out of bounds with her comments? Should she be fired for stating her opinion during her own private time?