Last week, Tafoya joined Greg Gutfeld on Fox News and stated she recently joined a podcast where she immediately felt ambushed by the hosts. “The second I got on, I was ambushed with ‘You’re anti-CRT. You’re a racist. You can’t read the Florida law without it being homophobic,’” Tafoya complained. “I was absolutely ambushed.”
Michele Tafoya felt "ambushed" by the Dan Le Batard Show pic.twitter.com/XdRGKZlKW5
— Brandon Contes (@BrandonContes) June 20, 2022
She didn’t state where the ambushing took place, but we were quickly able to piece the puzzle together when The Dan Le Batard Show aired a 30-minute contentious interview with Tafoya the next day.
The conversation got off to an awkward start when Le Batard introduced Tafoya by saying “I have had nothing but cordial experiences with her, but I have read recently that you have been on the dark side, secretly on the dark side.” The dark side seemingly being Tafoya’s politics.
Tafoya has insisted her conservative political views did not play a role in her recent departure from NBC’s Sunday Night Football. But in recent months, the self-described “pro-choice libertarian” has pushed right-wing narratives about Colin Kaepernick’s banishment from the NFL, vaccine mandates, and critical race theory. Interestingly, Tafoya’s first gig immediately after leaving NBC, was co-chairing a Republican campaign for governor in Minnesota.
“I’ve read what you refer to as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, and nowhere in that bill does it say ‘Don’t Say Gay.’ I think we’re mislabeling that bill,” Tafoya said, arguing that she doesn’t understand how the controversial legislation passed by Florida governor Ron DeSantis could be considered homophobic. “Not everything has to be taught in school, and a lot of this stuff can be taught at home. And if parents decide and vote in people that want to represent their notion that, ‘You know, I’d like to do this my way at home because we have our own social values.’”
Tafoya argued “Not everything has to be taught in school,” but at other points in the podcast, she stated every part of American history should be taught in school, the good and the bad. Every part of American history except for topics around gender identity or the intersection of race and society?
According to Tafoya, her son is being taught, in school, that because he is white, he is inherently racist. Le Batard and show contributor Mike Ryan pushed back, requesting examples of how that is part of the school syllabus. Tafoya stuck to generalities, claiming she has seen it on worksheets. And maybe she has, but the audience wasn’t provided those examples. Instead, she referenced the book White Fragility, but didn’t state it was part of the school’s curriculum. Although Tafoya and Le Batard disagreed, she was not called racist.
Tafoya and Le Batard both stated they believed their political leanings were in the “middle,” but during their contentious and at times uncomfortable conversation, they remained on opposite ends of the spectrum. Tafoya didn’t help her “middle” case by criticizing Le Batard on Fox News, lamenting that she was labeled a racist on his podcast.
I’m not sure how she expected the interview with Le Batard to go. He’s very vocal about his political and social beliefs, which is part of the reason why he sought to free himself from ESPN a year and a half ago. Tafoya claims the interview was presented in the way of wanting to talk about her career and new podcast Sideline Sanity.
But much like Tafoya’s podcast, Le Batard’s daily show doesn’t stick to sports. And Le Batard offered discussion points that Tafoya would seemingly be willing to address on her podcast or Fox News. But when those were presented by Le Batard, she felt “ambushed.”
[Dan Le Batard Show, Fox News]