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

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

There Will Be Internal Discussion with Myers: 5/19 from

Hey, Chris Myers - I Got Your Rooftop Right Here: 5/18 from

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.


Ann_Ominous said...

Holey Moley!! After how good Myers has been on Showtime, I was believing that the bufoon on NASCAR on Fox was an act. Those remarks now have me thinking it's vice-versa!

The biggest irony is that I have seen web posts from people asking how come there were all these celebrities fundraising for New Orleans but none for Nashville. They are upset about it, yet Myers thinks it is what makes Nashville so much better than New Orleans!

Myers has really stuck his foot in his mouth. I've been wanting him gone. Maybe he will be after this.

Tom said...

Wow. Not good. I recognize that folks have the right to speak on whatever issues they want, but his comments really crossed into that area where it sounds like he is trying to say something else.... Maybe he is, or maybe he isn't, but it certainly can be heard that way. I am guessing since this is a FOX issue, he won't get much trouble for for it though, as it is clearly a Fair and Balanced comment.!

Inverness, FL

Anonymous said...

my biggest problem with his comments is a lack of logic. Anyone who thinks the flooding in Nashville (terrible as it was) is on a scale of other disasters like Katrina...the number of deaths, the area it comprised, etc. Not even in the same category. And plenty of Nashville residents are making their FEMA claims. We all pay into FEMA, I have no issue with it, but let's not suggest that they're not accepting their own share of government help. But their city had the ability to react more quickly (probably in part because of lessons learned from Katrina; all municipalities are better prepared.) But it's like apples and oranges.

But yes--while private citizens have a right to express any opinions (Myers, Waltrip or whoever)--they need to understand that they may say things that people disagree with and therefore; it could impact their fans in a negative way. It also puts FOX in a difficult position--although I do see that the Murdoch network spouting family values while they have programming that's not at all in line with that is also a contradiction. I didn't realize they actually had a policy though.

brad said...

Politics aside, this is a common issue among celebrities and politicians. Everyone has the right to think how they wish. Everyone also has the right to "free speech". However, being able to say what you want you also have to be ready for the consequences. Chris chose the wrong platform to share his opinion and the fact that he offended a number of people(right or wrong) will probably draw a suspension of sorts from all of the Fox divisions. While I hope they don't fire CM for the comments, he probably needs a reminder that sports tv and sports radio is not the best place for that discusion. Fox employees more than enought politicaly oriented radio programs if he wants to join the discussion. After all these years Chris Myers should be aware of how easy it is to offend a large group of poeple and try a little harder to stay away from that situation.

phastphil said...

Eliminate the Hollywood Hotel totally. Before and after the race it's fine - I guess. Returning to it during the race sucks. I guess I don't understand media. Maybe it's because the booth guys need to go to the restroom. Fox and Speed have become way too sophomoric for my tastes.

Bucky Butler said...

It's a free country to say whatever you want;except in corporate America. It is Fox Broadcasting's right to limit the speech in public of ANY of it's employees. I don't agree with it but its a reality in this country. That being said, I wonder how this would've gone down had he been a guest on any Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network show and said exactly the same thing? Just wondering.

Photojosh said...

Professional sports has real meaning to me because it is a way I can connect with other people WITHOUT the arguments/hatred/divisiveness that comes with politics. Sports is something that we can all have an interest in, disagree on where our support should lie, but still sit on the same couch and watch the game/race.
Aside from a few overly obsessed fans in NY/Boston/Philly (or perhaps Texas football), people can disagree on their teams/drivers, even argue about the fact, and not have any real feelings of hatred. I don't like Kyle Busch, my buddy does, we watch the race together whenever we can.

You can't say the same for politics. Friendships, families, even marriages, have been broken up over the kinds of arguments that come with religion and politics. I watch sports because it is an oasis from that sort of thing (for the most part).

Meyers should have stayed out of that mess. The fact that he didn't, and what's more didn't appear to understand that he shouldn't, really lowers my opinion of him. Not that it was high to begin with.

longtimeracefan said...

Sport is sport. Politics is everything else. Never should the two be mixed. The results are almost always potentially disastrous.

Google: Chris Myers, Sports Broadcaster. Click on his Wikipedia page and read the first paragraph to see what he is now best known for. Oops.

Bad analogy Mr. Myers, really bad.

If he is never on another NASCAR race broadcast, so be it.

And thanks JD for posting the photo of Chris with Anne Marie Rhodes. From his smirk and his hand, to Anne Marie's oh so subtle forced smile, you see Mr Myers, the jerk, in true form.

PammH said...

Wow! Talk about nothing to do with sports, this was it BIIG time! What in the world was he thinking to say something like this on the radio? Everyone is entitled to how they feel about the situations, but unless it's a political show, keep your yap shut! Wonder if this will be mentioned on Fox?

GinaV24 said...

Wow, talking about putting your foot in your mouth. I'm not a big fan of talk radio, sports, politics or otherwise since I usually figure most of those talking have overblown egos and big mouths.

Myers comments don't change my opinion of that. I'm not sure what he was trying to say because it didn't make any sense.

That photo is pretty creepy too. She sure doesn't look happy.

Richard in N.C. said...

I am surprised that his remarks (at least the excerpt I have read so far) was not phrased better since his "day job" until recently was a late afternoon show on FOX Sports radio.

KoHoSo said...

I am always amazed when a broadcasting professional lets something like this out of his mouth. Whether one agrees or disagrees with what he said, you just cannot do that when you are one of the lead voices and faces for something that is supposed to welcome fans regardless of their politics or other personal beliefs. This is especially true for somebody associated with NASCAR which we all know has a reputation (some deserved, some not) for not having the most open-minded people in its midst.

Myers' unthinking remark was also an insult to all of us, NASCAR fans and otherwise, that helped Katrina victims all over the country whether it was helping refugees out directly as they came into our towns and cities looking for shelter and jobs or just sending in a donation -- all in the hope that it would help these people get on their own two feet and not let them have to suffer the indignity of having to take welfare, food stamps, and other taxpayer assistance.

However, I will also say this. While I have been one of the harshest critics of Myers' buffoonish behavior in the Hollywood Hotel, I do not believe by any means that he is unintelligent. We all make mistakes, and the chance of making such a verbal gaffe is magnified when you have to spend multiple hours doing all of the talking. I honestly hope from the bottom of my heart that Myers will take this "crisis" and turn it into an opportunity to learn more about what really occurred during and after Katrina. I think he would be greatly surprised to find out how different his current perception of what happened is from reality. I don't say this in the hope it will change Meyers' general political outlook. I say it so that he bases any future thoughts about this subject on facts and not what the sensationalist portion of the media or any ratings-hungry blowhard political pundits of either political stripe have to say about it.

Darcie said...

While I think his comments were made in an inappropriate place, a sports program, why should he be punished? Those in entertainment put their feelings out there with absolutely no negative impact on their professional lives. You have all sorts of actors and musicians, outside of their venues, making a lot of political comments, and probably infuriating at least 50% of the population, but you don't see them suffer consequences. Rosie O'Donnell opens her big bazoo at every turn, yet she's getting a new talk show. Keith Olbermann slammed a lot of people, mostly conservatives, on his sports show, yet he's still on the air. You have Steve Nash, and his Los Suns, spouting his politics about the Arizona Immigration Law without any problems. I can go on and on with examples of those on TV and radio who make all kinds of nasty comments, some racist and some very political, who still have jobs or have been suspended and have been rehired. So why is this different with Myers? Suspend him, OK. But to fire the guy would not be right.

jdh417 said...

Yeah, I remember Fox Sports dismissing Steve Lyons in the middle of the baseball playoffs a couple of years ago because he mispronounced a couple of words in Spannish and then replaced him in the next game with an Hispanic announcer.

I'm not going to say I'll stop watching Fox Sports if they fire Myers. I will say that their efforts at pandering the PC crowd will only get them more complaints from the race baiters and not an once of praise nor even one more viewer.

bevo said...

The only general sports show I listen to (or in this case watch on DirecTV Channel 101)is The Dan Patrick Show. For me the best days of ESPN were Patrick, Olbermann, Steiner and Mees. I couldn't believe Myers was sitting in for Dan that morning and even Tweeted asking why in the world he was there.

This incident just cemented my opinion of Myers as a real-life Ron Burgundy. Nothing more than a cheesy, fake voiced air head. He adds nothing to the NASCAR on Fox team or Inside NASCAR.

Stupid is as stupid does.

Anonymous said...

I have no issue with his comments. I think he's very good at what he does and is always accurate regarding the topic at hand.