Jay Maxson, the mysterious NewsBusters sports blogger, was in ESPN derangement mode for a July 8 post portraying ESPN discontinuing the comments section of its website as a proof of anti-conservative bias:
Progressives from Berkeley to Bristol would rather shut down a debate than stomach opposition views. Fascists at California and other universities have perfected the strategy of shutting down free speech. No longer willing to endure conservative opposition to its progressive social and political posts, ESPN.com has just joined the club by shutting down its comments section.
Hilariously, Maxson quotes someone predicting his freakout: the Awful Announcing website noted that "To some people, predictably, this move is a sign of something much more sinister: censorship of a free-flowing conversation where people weren’t afraid to call out ESPN on their obviously over-the-top liberal agenda."
Surely Maxson is familiar with website comment sections, and how they're not exactly repositories of well-reasoned thought. One has only to look at NewsBusters' own comments section, which is all about taking mean-spirited potshots and nothing about robust debate. Indeed, as we know from experience, NewsBusters makes sure the latter never happens by working to ban anyone who tries to engage in one -- making Maxson's complaint about ESPN utterly hypocritical.
Further, Maxson never proves his/her thesis, that ESPN shut down comments specifically to squelch conservative opinion. He's simply issuing an uninformed opinion that fits better in a comment section instead of a standalone blog post at a major right-wing website. Of course, given the lax editing at NewsBusters, maybe its placement is not a surprise after all.