Short For: Entertainment and Sports Programming Network
Founder(s): Bill and Scott Rasmussen
Debut: September 7, 1979
Headquaters: Bristol, Connecticut
Claim to Fame: First and only 24-hour "sports" network
Major Flaw: Less about actual sports reporting, more about [Packers QB #4-like] reality shows
(Not-So-)Little Known Fact; Some of their anchors are douchebags
alcoholics, and per-verts
ESPN has cornered a very large market in the sports fan. It is the only channel that shows sports 24/7. However, right around the turn of the millenium, it has tried to adjust with the times and be more widespread in its coverage. Showing the updates on athletes that have legal troubles is fine, since that has the potential to impact a team on the field of play. Breaking news that [Packers QB #4] has landed in Wisconsin to show up to work? Ridiculous. Apparently, [Packers QB #4] is the only player that currently matters in the NFL, despite football season being less than a month away from beginning. However, once the regular season does begin, then ESPN will expand to include all things Tom Brady.
But tWWL's bias extends to all sports. The Yankees and Red Sox appear to be the only baseball teams in existence, unless it's time to make Cubs joke. Once the Celtics were relevant again, and especially during the Finals with the Lakers, ESPN couldn't go three minutes without having a segment on them (that's no exaggeration). The purpose of a sports network, to me, is to have a place where both small and big market cities can see their teams' results. Granted, some stories are more prioritized than others, and it's difficult to squeeze all of them into an hour-long show. This brings me to ESPN's wonderful invention, the "Bottom Line." This is the ticker at the bottom of your screen that shows the scores/injuries/updates of pretty much every major sport. Recently, ESPN's bias has made its way there, as there have been dedicated sections to the Patriots, Roger Clemens, and now [Packers QB #4]. The reason ESPN can get away with this partial journalism is because the network is the only game in town. There isn't anywhere else fans can turn at anytime of day to get the latest on sports. That doesn't mean it can't suck, though; and right now, ESPN sucks.
Short For: Black
Founder: Robert L. Johnson
Headquarters: Washington, DC
Claim to Fame: First and only station for African-American programming
Major Flaw: Turning into Minstrel Show Television
(Not-So-)Little Known Fact: Now run by a White person
I have already outlined my frustrations with BET, so this won't be as long as the paragraphs for ESPN. The purpose of BET is to ensure that minority shows and ideas make their way to worldwide television. As with ESPN, things changed around the turn of the millenium. More frequently than gradually but not rapidly, more and more shows and music videos began to show the ignorant side of us as a Black people. There's many examples from which I can choose. The "Hell Date" little person, all things Soulja Boy, and "The Boot" are all microcosms of the direction in which BET is headed. A few questions for BET viewers: What the hell happened to "Teen Summit?" Who really watches "Baldwin Hills?" Did people really stop watching "BET News with Ed Gordon," too? What happened to that Sean Bell coverage "106 & Park" promised they would continue? I don't know...
My main beef comes with BET's contradiction. I understand that not every program needs to have deep thought and be socially conscious. However, if you're going to have a premise that entails showing Black people in an intelligent light most of the time, then you can't refuse to play a music video because it's, "too intelligent." That, plus the questions listed in the above paragraph, detail why TV One > BET. The network having two "Boondocks" episodes banned because of how the animated series portrayed BET is further evidence that the channel's ignorance is growing with each "Hell Date" midget appearance.
And that finishes the comparison. In my opinion, even though ESPN's bias is incredibly annoying, it doesn't have partial impact on the decline of an entire people. BET wins (loses?) in this "Who Ya Got?" Leave your opinion in the comment box. Also, I think this has officially become, "Anti-[Packers QB #4] Week." There'll probably be more posts with underlined disgust regarding the coverage of his situation...*attempts to gouge out eyes*