Accuracy in Media

Thursday’s Washington Post praised Dale Hansen, a sportscaster in Dallas, for being liberal in deep-red Texas.

“In an interview this week, Hansen talked about going ‘Unplugged’ and how a sportscaster in Texas finds the time and authority to share a progressive message with a viewership that might not want to listen,” wrote the Post’s Jason Bogage in a story headlined “Sports broadcaster Dale Hansen, a ‘fat, white guy in a deep red state,’ is an unlikely liberal hero.”

In moments of national distress, Hansen goes “Unplugged,” Bogage wrote, which means he does a commentary on a local TV station, “sitting the nation on his grandfatherly knee and trying to make sense of calamity after calamity.”

“‘It was another shooting in America,’ he said almost casually after the 2016 ambush that killed five police offices in downtown Dallas. ‘This is what I have become.’”

On the “March for Our Lives” gun control rally, he opined, “’I’m not taking a side tonight, although I know you think I am. I’m just hoping the kids from Parkland don’t lose the passion they have now.’”

Hansen also “explained Michael Sam’s place in the social fabric of the NFL,” Bogage wrote, referring to the former University of Missouri defensive end who came out as gay before the NFL draft and was cut at the end of training camp two years ago.

Hansen also “chastised high school basketball fans who held ‘White power’ signs” and “finger-wagged President Trump and NFL franchise owners who want to halt football players’ demonstrations during the national anthem.”

His commentary on the national anthem controversy and recent statements by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is what has thrust Hansen into the national spotlight.

After Jones said Cowboys players would be required to toe the line and stand at attention for the anthem, Hansen said the owner “has been talking too much this week about all the problems the NFL is still having off the field.

“… It’s incredible to me that a player can beat up a woman and play for the Dallas Cowboys … a player can use illegal drugs time and time again and still play. But if you take a knee to protest the racial injustice in American, now you’ve crossed line that he will not allow.”

He then went on to take a shot at Jones for wearing a cap when the anthem was played before a Cowboys practice last week.

This followed on Hansen’s comments from last September, relayed in Bogage’s story, on President Trump’s original condemnation of the NFL players’ kneeling for the national anthem, “My best friend in high school was killed in Vietnam, and Carroll Meier will be 18 years old forever and he did not die so that you can decide who is a patriot and who loves America more,” Hansen said in a commentary directed a the president.

Bogage serves up softball questions in a Q-and-A with Hansen – “How do you wear both hats of giving people regular sports news and then also reading your opinion pieces?” How did you start writing your ‘Unplugged’ columns?” “Tell me about one of the segments that’s stood out to you. What’s the story behind how it come together?”

“You are admittedly a liberal guy. Why do you think your columns, which you read to mainly conservative viewers in North Texas, resonate so widely and viscerally?”

Hansen said he thinks people are “fascinated that a fat, white guy in a deep red state can make these comments that a lot of people don’t want to hear.”

There is nothing especially courageous about providing liberal commentary in Dallas. Hillary Clinton took more than 60 percent of the vote in Dallas County in 2016, compared to 34 percent for President Trump. She carried Tarrant County, home of nearby Fort Worth, by 51-43.

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