Why do we watch people at play, kids, and adults swinging bats at balls, throwing the pigskin, running fast, putting air-filled spheres in hoops and sails on sloops? Why do we tune in for comedy, drop the madcap world for escape into movies? To get slapped with more politics, intrusive virtue-signaling, anger, indignation, and instigation? Hardly, so we are tuning out. A signal is being sent.
Incredibly, Americans are – by tens of millions – sending a blunt signal to the “politically progressive,” “woke” crowd that now pushes accusatory, angry, hostile to history, all-politics-all-the-time, anti-American messaging into sports and other venues. Americans are saying, “Enough!”
Data is pouring in.
Already, left-pushing newspapers and television shows were suffering, readership and viewership down, credibility lost, people finding other sources, or just foregoing news altogether. In 2018, newspaper circulation was the lowest since 1940; left-leaning cable television similar. See, e.g., Fast facts about the newspaper industry’s financial struggles as McClatchy files for bankruptcy; CNN rattled after Trump mocks network’s dismal ratings drop.
But now, the specter of media mayhem, collapse of interest in political media is creating new disaffection. People are saying, “Forget it, I have enough of being force-fed political garbage.” You think I am kidding since so many love sports and entertainment, but we are turning them off.
Here is the latest. Early summer, politics invaded major league baseball, as it has other sports, leading to false allegations about Georgia’s voter integrity law, the pulling of July’s All-Star Game from Atlanta by left-leaning white owners, which ironically devastated black minority businesses across Atlanta.
Result? All-Star game viewership bombed – fell 18 percent.
People are sick and tired of being politically manipulated, even the fan base. MLB All-Star Game bombs in ratings again. Here’s why; NBA All-Star Game viewership falls 18% to 5.94m.
With baseball getting taken over by politics, people are disgusted. They are saying, “count me out.” If baseball cannot respect our flag, anthem, tried-and-true veterans, proud history of sacrifice, ideals, promise, and place in the world, pound sand. See, e.g., Politics Invades Baseball Again; Baseball Is for Democrats Only; MLB’s Rogue Commissioner Must Resign.
Even attendance at games, independent of media leftism, is dropping like a bad bunt. Since 2015, attendance is down more than 15 percent, and in 2019 attendance plummeted to the worst level in 16 years. From Terrible Teams To Rising Costs: Why MLB Attendance Is Down Over 7% Since 2015; Baseball had its worst attendance in 16 years.
But baseball is just the latest victim of leftist politics invading sports, with basketball, football, and soccer already infected. Overall, public viewership of sports is down by 34 percent – specifically due to the left-leaning political messaging pushed. See, e.g., As NBA Ratings Decline, Poll Shows 34% Watched Less Sports Over Social Justice Messages.
Take professional basketball – where even some players admit, politics destroyed the fan base.
The reality is so clear that many are backpedaling the way Democrats who pushed “defund police” now (comically) say that was Republicans. See, e.g., Clay Travis: NBA Has Destroyed its Fan Base With ‘Woke’ Politics; With National Anthem Edict, NBA Indicates It Wants To Back Off Politics;
But the crisis of politics infecting sports is not over. Our non-political escapes are being burdened by radical ideas. Twisted thinking often gets worse before better. Professional football is hemorrhaging viewership and attendance, now pushing two national anthems, one black one white. How about the other ideal, aspiring to be “one nation under God?”
To satisfy the arch-left, the NFL in 2021 will push an “end racism” message that is innately racist, a black and white anthem, no more unity, just more division. As their fan base shrivels, this will surely lead to even more plug pullers. See, e.g., NFL 2021 season will include Black national anthem, social justice messages again: report.
Already, NFL viewership is in freefall. The NFL may find itself replaced by a new league, maybe the LAL, the Love America League.
Who knows? But they seem intent on division – and ratings reflect revulsion.
Nor is the infusion of leftism just in pro sports. Tokyo’s Olympics are infected, which produced a jaw-dropping loss of viewership – worst viewership for an Olympic Opening in 33 years. Politics destroyed our escape. See, e.g., NBC has 33-year low viewership for Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony: ‘Not a happy’ benchmark.
Likewise, the Oscars this year were a political mud fest, and it cost them. Actors attacked one American institution after another as if Hollywood were an island defended by special effects, not the American military, police, and real people. Viewership was underwater. See. e.g., Get woke, go broke: Pious, political Oscars crashes, loses tens of millions of viewers.
Of course, the real question is whether those who run sports programming, movie honors, Olympics, or any other “happy escape” for Americans realize that “progressive politics” are killing them. Will they say, “Hmmm, our profits are down, antagonism up, rebuilding hard, America good, we should rethink”?
Or will they keep indulging the Marxist left, running scared of boycotts, bull horns, and other bulls?
Will owners and players – paid handsomely – honor the American Dream that put them there? Promote it? Or continue to deride it? Will they honor liberty and equality or push division and resentment?
The answer is – who knows? What is emerging is public disgust with divisive politics in sports and entertainment. That may reverse the trend or create competing organizations led by those who love America.
Maybe alternate media will emerge, focused on college, high school, and pro-America.
Net-net, Americans watch sports – and entertainment broadly – to escape politics, not to find themselves slapped about by anti-American, Marxist, and inflammatory messaging. We are tuning out. Maybe that is good, as it sends a clear signal. If the signal is seen, things could change. Let us hope so.
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