If Vile Progs didn’t have hate, they would have nothing.
Tom Ley at Deadspin:
The ill-conceived remembrance is by now as much a 9/11 anniversary tradition as the insensitively branded 9/11 memorial tweet, but even by the degraded standards of the remember-when genre, today’s contributions by ESPN and Grantland are really out there.
ESPN just released a 24-minute 30 for 30 documentary called First Pitch, which chronicles then-president George W. Bush throwing out the first pitch at an 2001 World Series game in the Bronx, just over a month after the September 11 attacks. The documentary fits right in with much of the media’s recent, puzzling decision to participate in the George W. Bush Image Rehabilitation tour. (9/11 is the tour’s second stop, after that other American city forever changed during the Bush administration, New Orleans.) Through the usual cut-rate documentary methods—wistful, retrospective interviews; orchestral swells—it refashions the largely forgotten act of George W. Bush throwing a baseball as a widely remembered moment of triumph for a reeling country. (The President threw a strike! Take that, terrorists!) This is fine, as long as you’re up to pluck the moment from all context and hold it in your hand like a pretty bauble.
This isn’t about the author, though, so much as it is about Grantland and ESPN as institutions. The machinations that went into pulling First Pitch together were always going to leave someone—whether from Grantland or elsewhere in the ESPN empire—in the unenviable position of writing a story about George W. Bush without straightforwardly acknowledging that the man belongs in a prison. Undercutting Bush’s faux-heroic bloviating with the faintest of whispers may be the best anyone in such a position can do; not getting into that position at all would be better; and what does the difference matter anyway? ESPN had a story to tell, and it’s not the kind of corporation to let something like the moral issues involved in being deferential to a war criminal get in the way of getting people misty on 9/11.
I was never a fan of George W. Bush. To be honest, I hated him. I didn’t vote for him, twice. The first time he ran I thought he stole the election with the help of Jeb! and SCOTUS. Until Obama came along I used to think George W. Bush was the worst president ever. I opposed the invasion of Iraq for reasons that proved correct.
But like it or not, he was our President on 9/11 when everything came to a screeching halt. I’ll give credit where credit is due: George W. Bush did a pretty good job of leading our nation thru the shock and horror of that monstrous period of our history.
That was 14 years ago. I don’t know how old Tom Ley is but judging by his published photograph he was still fairly young when the Twin Towers fell. And yet he is so filled with anger at and hatred for George W. Bush that he published a spittle-flecked screed because ESPN chose to air a short documentary focusing on what George Bush did at a World Series baseball game at Yankee Stadium in NYC less than two months after the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history.
ESPN is a sports network. The story was about something that took place at a major sporting event. Yesterday was the 14th anniversary of 9/11. The story connects 9/11 to sports.
Tom Ley needs to get a fucking grip.