Thursday, May 20, 2010
Chris Myers: When Sports And Politics Collide
We have always tried to remain focused on the TV and media personalities within the sport as they engage in NASCAR-related issues. Normally, that is easy because most of them are working fulltime in NASCAR and traveling all season.
Chris Myers is the ten-year host of the Hollywood Hotel. He was there in the glory days of "DW and Hammond" and he has experienced the current struggles of the NASCAR on FOX team with tough TV ratings and reviews.
Over the last two decades, Myers has proven himself to be a versatile broadcaster, interviewer and host. This year, Myers began working on Inside NASCAR for Showtime. That is the program that features Brad Daugherty, Randy Pemberton and Michael Waltrip in a weekly roundtable discussion. The reviews have been good.
Myers recently filled-in for Dan Patrick on his radio show. This program is also available through online streaming, which expands the audience well beyond the traditional radio consumers. The Dan Patrick Show is officially carried on FOX Sports Radio stations.
Before we link to what Myers said that caused a stir, here is the statement from Myers' boss Ed Goren about the issue. Goren is the president of FOX Sports.
"There will be internal discussions even though it didn't occur on our (TV) network," Goren said. "I don't think it's appropriate for any sportscaster to be discussing politics, religion, etc. And that point is made in every one of our seminars from NASCAR to football." (from mediamatters.org)
Basically, what Goren is saying is that in some high-profile sports media roles it is a lot smarter to stick to sports topics. This is especially true when working on a sports-themed TV or radio program. Political issues are a whole different slice of the media pie. Certainly, a slice that can move the discussion in a very different direction in a hurry.
Here are three links on the topic. One from a leading sports blog, one from the website that got Goren on the phone and one from a local New Orleans media member.
Chris Myers Not A Fan Of Katrina Victims or Lazy Immigrants: 5/17 from TheBigLead.com
There Will Be Internal Discussion with Myers: 5/19 from mediamatters.org
Hey, Chris Myers - I Got Your Rooftop Right Here: 5/18 from NewOrleans.com
In framing his comments about recent flood relief efforts in Tennessee, Myers stepped outside of his role for FOX as a sports host and related his personal political views on a variety of subjects. All of this quickly opened a familiar door.
On one hand, Myers has the right to believe and say whatever he wants. On the other hand, those offended by his words and views can now associate FOX Sports, the Dan Patrick Show and even NASCAR on FOX with this issue. That is what Goren related in his remarks above. There is a correct time and place for everything.
Needless to say, TDP got all kinds of email from all kinds of folks. Those who are upset by this incident and those who want to confirm Myers' words as being totally correct both have access to the Internet. This hornet's nest of politics was stirred-up on a sports radio show by a FOX and Showtime employee filling-in for a friend.
Perhaps, next time Myers will pay just a little more attention in those FOX seminars. This time, he got neither the time or the place correct.
We welcome your comment on this issue. We are not asking for your political views, but your opinion on Myers mixing sports and politics while guest hosting a popular sports radio show. To add your media-related opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.