Amid an ongoing war of words over the sports debate show format and who’s to blame for it, Dan Le Batard on Thursday dropped some news around a potential upcoming documentary series from Stephen A. Smith centered on “debate culture.”
Setting aside the silliness that Smith and Le Batard’s beef would culminate with the former asking the latter to sit for an interview on the very subject they disagree over, this sounds like a much better format to delve into the history and ripple effects of debate television, which has taken over not just sports shows but news, podcasts and digital video as well.
Smith seemingly has not publicly announced the project and it’s unclear whether such a series would make sense under the ESPN banner or could be a side-project under Smith’s Mr. SAS Productions, which also produces his Stephen A’s World alternate NBA broadcasts, his podcast, and handled marketing and distribution for his memoir.
Beyond the news that the doc was being made, Le Batard also gave a little insight into the potential angle of the series.
“The person who was interviewing me, I was saying to them, ‘sports argument in general was kind of hurt by Google, the fact that you can just look up whether you’re right or wrong,’ the Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz host said. “And his answer was no, you can’t do that, it’s not over, it will never be over because they’re just opinions.”
Le Batard continued:
“Opinions should be informed, or at least it used to be this way, with some foundation of facts. … And he was like, ‘nah, don’t have to do it that way, sports argument isn’t over.'”
That certainly seems in line with Smith’s views on the subject. While Smith rose to the top of ESPN by way of First Take‘s debate format, he has called out the hypocrisy of Le Batard and others critcizing a format they mirrored, and has taken greater issue with the idea that race plays a part in how sports TV producers pit debaters against one another.
For now, it’s Le Batard who gets the last word until Smith unveils the project.
[The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on YouTube]