In a press release on Tuesday, ESPN announced that former CNN contributor Will Cain was hired by the network back in March, and his duties would revolve around ESPN’s Features Unit and the program E:60. In introducing Cain as an official member of the team, Dan Quinn pimped Cain’s first full project, a multi-part piece on his trip with a minor-league baseball team in the midst of a 55-game road trip while it awaits its home field’s completion.
So, what’s the big deal about ESPN hiring Cain anyway? Well, nothing, I suppose. Other than the fact that he has no real sports reporting experience and that his entire career has essentially consisted of shilling right-wing talking points and arguing for the conservative side of politics. Prior to his ESPN gig, Cain worked at all-around crazy person Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, tossing out far-right thinkpieces and doing the occasional podcast with fellow reactionary shill S.E. Cupp. Before that, Cain wrote for the National Review, a conservative mag that is a go-to for Beltway Republicans.
Well, even though Cain has spent his public life trying to make a name for himself as a conservative pundit, perhaps he will play it straight at ESPN and just do sports reporting, sort of like Bernie Goldberg for HBO’s Real Sports, right? While you’d think that would be what the Worldwide Leader has told Cain, it doesn’t appear that he is exactly listening if that’s the case. As Deadspin’s Greg Howard pointed out on Tuesday after the announcement of his hiring was made, Cain was still acting like a conservative talking head less than two weeks ago, spewing some intellectually dishonest bile about global warming during a discussion on Real Time with Bill Maher.
In a conversation that began around DeflateGate and Tom Brady, Cain pivoted to talking about how Brady was like Monica Lewinsky and Anthony Weiner because, you know, he just had to connect the dots to Democrats and their scandals. This led host Bill Maher to take the bait and claim that the lies that Democrats are caught in tend to be of a relatively minor and personal nature while Republicans are willing to just straight lie about huge issues, such as global warming. Of course, Cain claimed that Maher wasn’t taking the “intellectual” side of the global warming “debate” because there are just “too many variables” to consider.
Below is video of the discussion, which occurred during the program’s “Overtime” segment:
MSNBC’s Alex Wagner called Cain out on his BS almost immediately, highlighting that his stance was basically that one can only make policy if you can see directly into the future and know exactly what will happen based on your current actions. All in all, Cain was exposed for the corporate-hawking little weasel that he’s always been.
Which brings us to the point…why again has ESPN hired Cain to be part of their reporting team? What are they hoping to get out of him? It seems he has no problem spewing out his political viewpoints on television. Is this something that will continue? Will it feed its way into the pieces he works on for the network?
Another thought…is this hire to ‘balance’ the network politically since it currently has Keith Olbermann on staff? Olbermann is well known for his liberal views. However, despite his past as a political commentator for MSNBC and Current, began his career in sports broadcasting and nobody has questioned his expertise and passion for sports. Same goes for anyone else that would be considered politically outspoken at ESPN, whether it is Curt Schilling on the right or Bomani Jones on the left. The fact is, they all have the sports ‘chops’ to be where they are, regardless of their views.
So we are back to square one. Once again, why the hell is Will Cain with ESPN? What are they hoping to gain from his employment? Do they actually want him to be who he naturally is, which is a wannabe conservative superstar blowhard in the same vein of Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson? Are they hoping he will serve as a right-wing provocateur to toss on some of their debate shows?