ESPN’s Public Editor gives a pass to this:
One of the issues that most confounds ESPN’s audience is how to assess the differing roles played by its many on-camera personalities. What’s the difference between a SportsCenter anchor, an on-air reporter, an analyst or a sideline reporter? Who’s expected to live by the traditional rules and ethics of journalism, and who isn’t?
These questions run through much of the feedback I get from ESPN’s audience. It’s hot again this week, after Deadspin called out ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen for sending out sponsored tweets for a Domino’s Pizza deal that were not labeled as advertising. It was hot last week back when Mike Ditka responded to Al-Jazeera’s HGH report on Peyton Manning by calling the network “garbage.” It was hot back in November when it was revealed that ESPN NFL pregame analyst Ray Lewis had given a motivational speech to the Bills the night before a Monday Night Football game he was working.
What do I mean by a pass? This is what I mean: “Expecting analysts to magically transform into journalists is not a realistic expectation — and, frankly, not the role they are being asked to play.”
In other words, drop those expectations, kids, and remember what the “E” in ESPN stands for.