Friday, January 25, 2008

Load Up Your Protest Signs, We're Heading To Bristol!

After hearing about ESPN "First Take" co-host Dana Jacobson's off-color remarks, and not being satisfied with her being suspended and not fired, the Christian Defense Coalition is heading to Bristol, CT to protest outside of ESPN.

The Christian Defense Coalition are protesting in front of ESPN headquarters, in Bristol, today calling for the firing of on-air personality Dana Jacobson for comments she made at a recent roast.

Jacobson, co-host of the "ESPN First Take" morning show, was disciplined by her employer after an expletive-laden speech. The Chicago Tribune reported she was suspended one week.

The CDC's director, Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, believes that because ESPN is not terminating Jacobson that they're sending a message that they tolerate hateful speech.

"Hate speech, and religious intolerance should have no place in American society. When we see these things raise their ugly head, it is critical that people of good will unite together and prayerfully stand against such bigotry and prejudice. By publicly saying, 'F--k Jesus,' while representing ESPN, Dana Jacobson has crossed a very well defined line. Her comments are so outrageous and inflammatory that the only proper response for ESPN is to immediately release her. A week suspension is simply not enough and sends a message that ESPN tolerates this kind of behavior and speech.

"Imagine the outrage if Ms. Jacobson said, 'F--k Mohammed,' 'F--k Jews,' or 'F--k African Americans.' Although the faith community can forgive and extend mercy to Ms. Jacobson, she still must assume full responsibility and accept the consequences for her hate-filled rhetoric."

Ok, I get what Rev. Mahoney is doing here. He obviously has an agenda that he's pursuing, and going after a popular, and extremely visible, entity like ESPN is a great way for him to make his message heard. While I do agree that Jacobson made a huge mistake, I'm not entirely convinced that her rhetoric was meant to be hateful. Did it come across that way to some people? Obviously. However, I think it was more about being drunk and stupid than specifically targeting someone's religious icon and denigrating it.

Up to this point I haven't heard any accounts of Jacobson spewing anti-religious hate speech so I have to assume that this sort of a one-time deal. She's paying the price right now with her suspension, and my guess is that she'll pay for it in some fashion for the rest of her life because the world is so connected that it will never be fully swept away. In that respect, her punishment more than fits the crime, and it seems to me to be more than appropriate.

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