Fox Panel Suggests ESPN's Decision To Fire Curt Schilling Is "Literally Destroying Society"
Neil Cavuto: Does Schilling "Have To Lock Down His Free Speech?"
Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
From the April 21 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
Loading the player reg...
NEIL CAVUTO (HOST): ESPN has gone ahead and fired former all-star pitcher Curt Schilling over social media musings about transgender bathrooms, but this is just the latest in controversy. A lot of folks are asking why now, why this, and are we too politically correct? In other words, are we going too far? In this regard ESPN claims not, issuing the following statement before I get to my guest on this. Sam, could I see that? "ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling had been advised that his conduct is unacceptable, and his employment has been terminated."
Now to Emily Jashinsky, Young America's Foundation, Mike Gunzelman, internet radio host, we call him Gunz, Carly Shimkus, Fox News Headlines 24/7. Carly, and we begin with you, was it fair? I mean, this is a guy who routinely makes controversial statements. These latest obviously sealed the deal for his ouster. Was that fair?
CARLY SHIMKUS: Sure did, and we certainly do live in a world that is way too politically correct. But even if we didn't, Curt Schilling should have been fired for this comment. He went way over the line, his comment was crude, and quite frankly, not his place. He was hired at ESPN to talk sports, not weigh in on political or social issues.
CAVUTO: Gunz? What do you think?
MIKE GUNZELMAN: I mean, we are literally seeing the wussification of our society, because we're supposed to be so tolerant, but then at the same time, now you can't say anything. The same people that telling us to be tolerant are being intolerant to us. He should not have been fired. He is up there to give his opinion, all he did was tweet something out --
SHMIKUS: About baseball.
GUNZELMAN: Right, but these groups -- they also hired him because of as personality. But he did it on his own, these groups come after you, whether it's feminists or any of these wack-job groups, you can't say anything anymore. It's true.
CAVUTO: Well maybe -- well, I wonder, Emily, and maybe help me out on this, if he maybe had said the same, let's say, about Donald Trump, or criticized -- I don't know -- some great conservative cause -- would he get the same treatment?
EMILY JASHINSKY: No. Of course not. And to say what he said is over the line is what's scary. If anything thinks that what he said is over the line, that's what's truly horrifying, because he said a man is a man. That's what his Facebook post says. So if we live in world now where stating a biological fact is --
CAVUTO: Well, it was the cartoon and the way he did it, but you know, we could argue about the differences -- But, what about what Carly had just said? That, you know, he's paid to be a broadcaster, he's paid that, and there's other stuff, you got to watch what you say? What do you think of that?
SHIMKUS: And the unbelievable thing is he is a repeat offender. He has done this before, where he has gotten in trouble for posting something on social media. ESPN is an organization that will fire you if they even smell discrimination. So bottom line here is he should have known that this was coming --
JASHINSKY: Because the media elitists, they're media elitists at ESPN, media elitists --
SHIMKUS: Call them what you want, that is what they are. He deserved to be fired.
JASHINKSY: It's an act of contempt to their audience, because their audience believes in what Curt Schilling believes. And what he said may not have been polished and articulate like the media elite would like, but he said it, and it's probably what the vast majority of Americans in your audience believe.
CAVUTO: We should explain to you, he's talking about transgender bathrooms, and if you're born with certain organs, you know, that's the bathroom where you go to -- but it was how he tried to relay that, but Gunz, go ahead.
GUNZELMAN: But that's his belief though, and the thing is now we're seeing that anytime a company even smells anything that could possibly go wrong, or some fringe group out there going after them, they go over the top to overcompensate for this, and it's literally destroying society as we see it.
SHIMKUS: Because it is offending an entire group of people?
CAVUTO: But Gunz, would there be difference if he said it in private? In other words, if he was at a gathering, in a restaurant, people overheard him saying it at a restaurant?
GUNZELMAN: I don't think so. Literally because now anything you say now, you can get in trouble with the companies for. Because they're literally going over the -- because if I say, oh, Taylor Swift looks extremely skinny, or too skinny, now I'm body shaming. You can't say anything anymore and it sucks. It literally sucks.
CAVUTO: I don't know what the Taylor Swift analogy meant, but touche on creativity there. But Carly, do you think now everyone is going to be on pins and needles about this, and many have said, that look, he pushed it to the max, has a history of doing this, but there are a lot of people, I mean, anchors who have been terminated because of a tough choice of words or on-air sort of a rant. So I guess everyone is really going to be on pins and needles.
SHIMKUS: No, I think people are going to go along with what they have been doing. This is really nothing new, where people get in trouble for saying something that other people think they shouldn't say. Now in this case, I do really believe that we do live in a world. like Gunz is saying, that is a little bit too politically correct, But in this case if you look at it, what he said was crass, and it really is how he packaged it with that retweet, with that disturbing image. And like I said, it's not his place to weigh in on social issues. It's his place to weigh in on sports.
CAVUTO: So he has to lock down his right to free speech?
SHIMKUS: You know what? You can say what you want, but then you have to suffer the consequences if you work at an organization like that.
JASHINSKY: To say that image is disturbing is a great example of the sensitivity we live in in this world. It's unpolished, but it's not a disturbing image. It was perfectly acceptable and reasonable.
GUNZELMAN: ESPN knew what they were getting when they were getting Curt Schilling, and the fact he has done this in the past shows that they overreacted here.
SHIMKUS: And now they've discovered that it's not a good fit.