New Book Exposes Sports ‘Bias in the Booth’

Sports reporter and radio host explains how lefty opinion infiltrates your game day coverage.

It ain’t just you. Politics and ideology really are encroaching more your favorite diversions, especially sports. And you can thank the usual suspects: journalists.

From Michael Sam to the Redskins to gun control and race relations, the very liberal sports media increasingly inject their preoccupations into their coverage. They just can’t leave you alone to enjoy the game – they have to “raise your consciousness.”

Dylan Gwinn knows this first hand. A veteran sports reporter and radio host, Gwinn has taken that experience and written a new book about the liberal culture of sports media and how their increasingly obvious political bent is ruining the fan experience. Bias in the Booth, published by Regnery on March 2, 2015, draws from a wealth of sources (including the Media Research Center) including anecdotes from his career in sports broadcasting to document and explain why sports coverage has become so politicized.

“I have no doubt back in the 1960s and 70s guys like Howard Cosell were just as liberal as today’s sports journalists,” Gwinn told MRC Culture. “The difference now is that it’s so overt.”

It’s overt, he says, because sports media recognize their power. “We have three ESPNs and sports radio and websites – we’re at a tipping point where the power of sports media has made them bold, and social media only enhances it.”

For example, when the news broke that the grand jury wouldn’t indict police officers in Eric Garner’s death ESPN’s Steven A. Smith and Skip Bayless used their show First Take to encourage black athletes to tweet their feelings about the verdict.

“What business do those guys have soliciting Tweets on anything other than sports?” Gwinn asked.

As when the sports media cheered on the Miami Heat for donning hoodies in 2012 as a statement on George Zimmerman’s exoneration in the Trayvon Martin trial, “They’re trying to turn athletes into activists,” he said.

That’s because there is no difference between the liberals that dominate “hard news” and those that populate sports media. “They’re mostly white, upper-middle class college graduates with exactly the same sense of morality and ideology.” He cited examples in which the comments of sports reporters and those of liberal journalists like ABC’s Terry Moran and Slate’s Amanda Marcotte on the same issues were nearly identical. “They have the same goals, and same agenda.”

So if you resent being lectured by Katie Couric, er, I mean Bob Costas, on the liberal hobbyhorse du jour when you’re watching football, or hate having to go around three op-eds about the world being ready for transgender outfielders when you’re just trying to find out who’s got the lowest ERA in the NL East, Gwinn knows your pain.