Remember when main media and sports blogs went absolutely wild in criticizing ESPN’s new crackdown on Tweeting ESPN employees? If you’ve been paying attention since ESPN management took that enormous public relations hit, it’s clear that 99% of the memo that went out about the new policy is not being enforced by the suits @ Bristol.
(From earlier today. Guess Skip and every other ESPNer missed the memo!)
Virtually all ESPNers who were giving their thoughts and opinions about sports before the memo have continued to do so, unabated.
(Mort now breaks news on ESPN first, then links via Twitter)
In fact, there’s only one part of the policy that has been duly observed by ESPN on-air personalities. And it applies to a minority of ESPNers.
The only thing that has stopped is the dissemination of propriety reporting via Twitter. In other words, when Chris Mortensen has a scoop, he publishes the scoop first on ESPN.com and then links to it via his Twitter.
Besides that, absolutely nothing has changed at the Twitter accounts of many high profile ESPN personalities. They continue to give out dozens of opinions on sports everyday, something that was specifically forbade in the memo.
Two prime examples: Jemele Hill and Skip Bayless. It’s also not a coincidence that both provide zero propriety information in their Tweets. Their job is to give opinions and argue about big picture topics of the day - and they continue to do that via Twitter.
There’s a big diference between Trey Wingo telling us he thinks the Saints will go 9-7 this season on Twitter and Adam Schefter first Tweeting the news that Drew Brees ripped his achilles in half. The latter is apparently all ESPN ever cared about when making up the memo.
I’ve spoken to several high profile ESPNers about the policy in the past week, and they’ve all said the same thing: They never felt the enactment was anything more than about preventing ESPN-generated breaking news from hitting Twitter before ESPN.com or ESPN-TV. And none of them have heard anything from Bristol management about continuing to Tweet their opinions and thoughts about sports.
The amusing part of all this is how the main media and blogs have completely, utterly ignored all this. When there’s opportunity for those outlets to slam ESPN for “censoring” its employees, they can’t unleash the anvil from the top floor fast enough. But when ESPN actually does something logical and doesn’t carry out a draconian-sounding policy, you get … *pin drop*.