Shirley's a 'Dolt,' but ESPN Firing Is PC Hooey
The network just wants money, and made a calculation: Jeff Pearlman
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2010 1:31 PM CST
Updated Jan 28, 2010 1:47 PM CST
Paul Shirley in 2007.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Jeff Pearlman isn’t particularly enamored of Paul Shirley, the ex-NBA player cum ESPN contributor who said some regrettable things about condoms and Haiti (read them here), but the network’s move to dump him just illustrates its money-grubbing essence. Here’s the formula: “An employee says something perceived to be offensive.” And then, Pearlman writes, “ESPN fires said offender, claiming he violated some sort of company principle.” Which is “make money.”

ESPN took Shirley out, Pearlman writes on his blog, because the “politically correct-influenced company” was afraid it might lose ad dollars. Nice ethics from a network that “has damaged the journalistic ideals” more over the past few years than anyone else. “It has merged entertainment and reporting into one big blob of goo,” Pearlman writes. “I don’t hurt for Paul Shirley, because he’s a dolt. But this ain’t right.”