I really was done with this whole Jemele Hill story, but then the White House went and opened their dumb mouths

I wasn’t going to talk any more about the Jemele Hill controversy beyond what I said yesterday — you know, that the SportsCenter anchor tweeted that Trump is a white supremacist and ESPN immediately came out and said she wasn’t speaking for them — because while I was disappointed by ESPN’s statement, they are a corporate interest, I get they don’t want to piss off half of the viewing audience by implicitly agreeing that the president is a racist.

But then the White House got involved and called for Hill to be fired.

nene sigh lord give me strength

To remind you, Jemele Harris tweeted the following on Monday:

And as noted, ESPN put out a statement:

Hill followed it up with one of her own:

And that was that … until during yesterday’s White House press briefing, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about Hill’s tweets and if Trump was aware of them, and she said the following: “I’m not sure if he’s aware but I think it’s one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make and certainly something I think is a fireable offense by ESPN.”

First of all, let’s be clear: Hill is individual who has the right to say whatever she wants and ESPN has the right to fire her if they decide that what she said is offensive. The First Amendment does not protect her from being fired, that’s not how the First Amendment and freedom of speech works.

However, when the government calls for a private citizen to lose their job because they criticised the government, that is chilling, and all Americans should be alarmed. Even if you agree that Hill should be fired for this, we have to put Sander’s statement through The Obama Smell Test: Just imagine how the Right would have reacted if the White House press secretary under Obama, in an official capacity, called for the firing of a private citizen for publically calling Obama a name. Just close your eyes and you can actually hear the Sean Hannity rant. And the kicker is he’d be right!

But second of all, SECOND OF ALL, here’s a tweet from another TV star calling the president a racist:

I’m not the first to say it, but there is literally a Trump tweet for every. single. occasion.

So, Ms. Sanders, are you suggesting that it’s a fireable offense for a private citizen to criticize the sitting president or are you suggesting that it’s only a fireable offense for a private citizen to criticize the president if that private citizen is a Black woman?

In other TV news


HBO’s programming president is claiming that Game of Thrones will film multiple endings to avoid spoilers but the kids over at Watchers on the Wall are calling bullshit on that, and they usually know what they’re talking about.

Hillary identifies with Cersei Lannister surprising neither her supporters nor her detractors.

Oh God, TMZ is giving The Mooch 15 more minutes.

OK, so this is pretty funny: last night’s South Park episode kept confusing people’s Amazon Echos and Google Homes, adding things to their shopping lists and making them say “BIG HAIRY BALLS.” But South Park also sent some fans free wings last night, so it’s all good.

The Emmys are this weekend and y’all know that Game of Thrones and Twin Peaks aren’t eligible this year, right?

Hey, The Hollywood Reporter enlisted a self-described “old white guy” Emmy voter and his choices are painfully obvious. Things he writes with a straight face:

  • “What’s Obi-Wan’s name? [Ewan McGregor.] He was terrific! And I fell in love with Carrie Coon — she’s replaced Scarlett Johansson as my hall-pass with my wife, and she was just sensational.”
  • “I’m very old-fashioned when it comes to comedies — I like them to be funny — and Atlanta is not funny. It’s very creative — I’m a big Donald Glover fan, I think he’s a huge talent and I wish that show nothing but success — but it isn’t funny, at least to an old white guy like me. I enjoy Master of None more in theory than I do in practice; it’s just a little too preachy and sanctimonious. Similar thing with Black-ish: it’s funny, but I always feel like I’m being scolded and educated, and while I don’t mind John Oliver educating me about obscure things, I don’t need that from a network comedy. It just got a little too up its own ass this year”
  • “I enjoy Full Frontal and I feel like I have a duty to vote for it because the host [Samantha Bee] is a woman, but there’s a certain smugness about that show that doesn’t work for me. Bill Maher? I love that show [Real Time], and I’m tempted to vote for it just to push back against the oppressive political-correctness that he faced [after he used the N-word on one episode this season].”
  • Top Chef? Is that the one with the cranky chef? [He’s referring to MasterChef’s Gordon Ramsay.] I don’t like him. Anyway, I’m a Food Network guy, so that [Bravo show] doesn’t work for me. Project Runway and RuPaul[’s Drag Race]? They’re a little too female, a little too gay for me.”

I can not with this man.

Dear Emmy Voter: here are 9 reasons why Atlanta should win Best Comedy this weekend.

Apparently, This is Us started off as a terrible-sounding movie script about secret octuplets. Yes, octuplets.

Marvel’s Inhumans has moved up from a 0 to a score of 7 on Rotten Tomatoes, thanks to one mildly-positive review. Oh, Inhumans.

Here’s a long hand-wringing piece worrying about whether Will & Grace will be inclusive enough.

22 million people will cut the cord in 2017, which is a lot of people! Meanwhile, NBC is all:


Olivia de Havilland’s lawsuit against FX about Feud has been moved up because she’s so very old.

Larry King will outlive all of us.



In Development

Casting News


Frank Vincent, Sopranos actor


Better Things: “Sam has people over.” Well, that’s enlightening. 9 p.m., FX

Love Connection: Andy tries to set up a secret billionaire in the season finale. 8 p.m., Fox

Beat Shazam: Season finale. 7 p.m., FOX

Truth & Lies: The Murder of Laci Peterson: Hey, remember that murdering asshole Scott Peterson? Yeah. 8 p.m., ABC

Late Night: Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Jake Gyllenhaal, Dr. Jane Goodall, Yo Gotti featuring Nicki Minaj Late Night with Seth Meyers: Jennifer Lawrence, Caitriona Balfe, Ezra Klein, Elaine Bradley The Late Late Show with James Corden: Steve Harvey, Jenna Fischer, Prettymuch Jimmy Kimmel Live: Stephen Colbert, Nina Dobrev, Dustin Lynch Conan: Katy Tur, Taylor Tomlinson The Daily Show: Jill Soloway Watch What Happens Live: Seth MacFarlane, Martha Stewart


THURS 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC Celebrity Family Feud
Truth & Lies: The Murder of Laci Peterson
CBS The Big Bang Theory
Big Brother
CW Penn & Teller: Fool Us
Whose Line is it Anyway?
Whose Line is it Anyway?
FOX Beat Shazam
Love Connection
NBC NFL Football: Texans at Bengals

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