Dan Le Batard hates what Stephen A. Smith did to sports TV

Dan Le Batard issued a response after getting harshly criticized on social media for his discourse with Stephen A. Smith last week.

Smith joined the South Beach Sessions podcast and appeared stunned when Le Batard bluntly told him he “hates” what the First Take host and Skip Bayless did to sports television. According to Le Batard, the bold claim summoned his social media critics. Le Batard issued a response to his critics and used it as an opportunity to mock Elon Musk’s supposed attempt at creating a kinder Twitter.

“Woo-wee I seem to have gotten people mad!” Le Batard said. “I told Stephen A. Smith that I hated what he and Skip Bayless have done to sports television, and the reaction was hostile and swift on Elon Musk’s kind, gentle community app.”

“People say that I am a fat, ugly, hypocritical, jealous, jerk, asshole, moron, idiot. And I’d just like to defend myself against that. I’m not jealous.”

Well then, there is at least one adjective Le Batard would like for the mob of angry tweeters to stop using about him. But he kindly left a cast of others on the table for the taking.

Many people applauded Le Batard’s take. But if you’re going to fault Stephen A. Smith for ruining sports television while simultaneously using his popularity to promote your own podcast, you have to assume some level of criticism, as Le Batard did.

According to Le Batard, his biggest issue with Smith and Bayless is the group of imitators they spawned, who believe every sports headline needs to be turned into an argumentative made-for-TV debate. Smith took exception to that, though.

“How are we responsible for that?” Smith argued. “When our background is [in journalism]. Skip Bayless was a journalist for decades! I was a journalist for decades! We come on television and those ethics are applicable…When did it occur in my career that I ignored the journalistic tenets that came with the job?”

Smith might attempt to stay true to his journalistic principles (but he does still make the occasional blunder). But First Take embraces hosts and analysts who sensationalize topics, which at times leads to the pushing of false narratives in an effort to garner attention.

The “I hate what you two have done to sports television” may have seemed harsh. But the ensuing discourse between Le Batard and Smith was fair. Le Batard supported his take by explaining where the “hate” comes from, and Smith attempted to pass blame off to the debate hosts that came before and after him.

[Dan Le Batard]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com