Richard Deitsch of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED obtained a carefully-worded statement today from ESPN Executive Editor John Walsh in response to my report last night that ESPN management provided scripted questions for ESPN radio hosts and asked those same hosts not to use the word “dominate” while inteviewing Jim Miller on Tuesday. (Miller is co-author of the recently-released, ESPN-based book Those Guys Have All The Fun.)
“In advance of the interviews, we identified areas for questions that would be interesting to our audience, consistent with the main themes of the book and not disparaging to our colleagues. Any live interview can go in any number of directions.”
Deitsch did ask Walsh to respond to my specific charge that ESPN management asked ESPN radio hosts that the word “dominate” not be used during any exchange with Miller - a charge to which Walsh did not respond in his statement.
As for how common it is for ESPN management to script questions and try to embargo certain words from being said by on-air talent, I was told by a longtime ESPN radio producer today that this is the first instance he knew of it happening.