I like Erin Andrews. No pun intended … but, for one thing, she is someone’s daughter. In fact, I believe her dad was a long-time news anchor in Tampa. I met Erin a few years ago at a fundraising luncheon for the Broadcasters Foundation of America in Naples, FL. And while I’m not at all that familiar with her work as a sideline reporter or sports analyst, I am very concerned – and more than a little uneasy – when someone in our tribe utilizes the same coercive tactics that have been used so many times against our profession to stifle or impede free expression.
David Fields and his legendary (and generous) father Joe Fields are highly respected broadcasters and it should be left to them – and ultimately to their Entercom listeners – to reign in, tone down or moderate any excessive rhetoric by Kirk Minihane and his colleagues at WEEI.
But our friends at Fox Sports should not be in the job of censorship through coercion by economic pressure.
It’s commendable that Fox Sports would stand up and support one of its own. But they – of all people – should not be in the economic boycott game.
–William O’Shaughnessy, a former president of the New York State Broadcasters Association, was chairman of Public Affairs for the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington. He has been a point man and advocate for the broadcasters of America on First Amendment and Free Speech issues, and is presently chairman of the Guardian Fund of the Broadcasters Foundation of America. He operates two of the last independent stations in the New York area: WVOX and WVIP.