JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

ESPN: II

So a strange thing happened today: I go to check my blog comments, and more than 30 people had something to say about my off-the-top-of-my-head ESPN rant list. I didn’t even know 30 people were reading this blog, so, well, thanks. I appreciate the traffic. I really do.

With that said, I actually forgot the one program on ESPN that drives me to drink—E:60.

Let me start by saying that, in and of itself, E:60 is a solid idea. I have as much respect for Jeremy Schaap as anyone in the business, and Lisa Salters has put together a very solid, admirable career. I don’t know Rachel Nichols personally, but she did some nice work at the Washington Post. In short, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with grabbing five strong reporters and letting them loose on a sports-news show.

What I loathe, however, is the BS (that stands for bullshit) drama and production of it all. For those who have had the fortune to miss this, E:60’s segments (often quite good) are run after phony, made-for-TV “news meetings” featuring the five reporters. It’s pure showbiz, and as journalistic as a Jayson Blair novel. To this day, I don’t understand why the five reporters agreed to blur the line in such a way. It’s baffling.

As journalists, integrity means something. At least it used to. But more and more, I am uncomfortable with the lines people are willing to cross. As corporations become increasingly involved in coverage, and the distance between commercial and journalistic thins, I’m not sure where we’re headed—but it ain’t a great place

Again, no beef with the specific work of the E:60 reporters. But the show: Blech.