- White House
For the second time in three days, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has gone in on ESPN and “SC6” anchor Jemele Hill for her tweet calling President Donald Trump “a white supremacist.”
On Friday, Sanders was asked about Trump’s tweet earlier in the day demanding ESPN “apologize for untruth!”
Sanders responded that the real story was that ESPN had been hypocritical in how it punished employees.
“They should hold anchors to a fair and consistent standard,” Sanders said. “ESPN suspended longtime anchor Linda Cohn not too long ago for expressing a political viewpoint … This is clearly a political statement. They should be consistent in whatever guidelines that they have set themselves in that front.”
As Business Insider’s Scott Davis reported on Thursday, Cohn was not suspended but was told to take a day off. And while that part may be semantics, she was not reprimanded for “expressing a political viewpoint” but for criticizing ESPN’s business decisions.
Sanders was also asked whether she stood by her earlier statement that she felt Hill’s comments were a “fireable offense.” She said she did and again cited Cohn’s suspension as a reason to fire Hill.
“Again, I think that they laid that out themselves by suspending one of their own anchors for political comments,” Sanders said.
Sanders later added: “I think it is a fireable offense based on the standard that ESPN has set themselves by saying that people that go too far and make political comments have been suspended from their own network. I think that that is a consistency that they should probably focus on.”
Sanders never clarified why the suspension of one anchor would mean Hill should be fired.
A report on Thursday said ESPN tried to keep Hill off the air on Wednesday but changed its mind when her cohost, Michael Smith, refused to do the show without her and the network couldn’t find two suitable replacements. ESPN emphatically denied that it had asked anybody to replace Hill on air.
Watch Sanders’ comments here: