In the dream world of ESPN’s Max Kellerman, presidential scandal began in Richard Nixon’s time and resumed in Donald Trump’s. On the First Take program which he co-hosts, Kellerman listed several criticisms of the Trump Administration which he hopes will discourage the 2017 World Series champion Houston Astros from celebrating their title at the Trump White House.
In attempting to justify an Astros’ boycott of Trump’s White House, Kellerman pointed to Nixon, collusion with Russia in the 2016 presidential election, the Constitution, FBI investigations of Trump Administration members and being on the wrong side of history. On top of all that he says his opinion is not about politics, “left or right!” It’s about being on the “wrong side of history.”
First Take’s Molly Qerim queued up Kellerman, the Ivy League lefty who, in 2016, railed against Trump for appealing to white nationalists and gaining an endorsement from the KKK. Now he’s blasting the Astros for accepting the White House invitation:
“It says they’re making a grave error and they’re on the wrong side of history. And I want to be very clear about this: This has nothing to do with where on the political spectrum you fall, left or right. Nothing. It’s not about being progressive or conservative or Democrat or Republican or winning or losing. That’s not what this is about. Elections. I say what I say because what has gone on in this administration is abnormal and must not be normalized.”
What’s gone on in with this administration, Kellerman?
“The former national security adviser has already admitted to lying to the feds. There is an investigation, ongoing, into the Trump Administration and collusion with a hostile foreign power that involves our national election. … It has never happened in my lifetime. All the president’s men seem to be implicated. All the president’s men seem to be implicated. There’s a reference to the Nixon White House. … It has to do with equal protection under the law and constitutionality. and being a patriotic American citizen. You do not normalize this behavior with White House visits, period.”
Kellerman just earned an “F” in U.S. history, political science and Constitutional law. He doesn’t get a free pass on the multitude of Clinton scandals, for which numerous of that president’s cronies went to jail and he escaped impeachment. He doesn’t get a pass on Obama’s scandals — not Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Solyndra, abuse of power through the FBI to punish conservative groups, or any others.
Will Cain, who also appeared on the show, wasn’t giving Kellerman a pass for his selective amnesia either: “I’m sorry, Max. I don’t believe you. I don’t believe it has nothing to do with your politics. … My indictment of your position on this is more on that fact that of dividing us into political and apolitical.” Cain pointed out that Astros’ outfielder and World Series MVP George Springer avoided politics when he said: “If the team goes, I’m going.” Cain said he saw nothing political in that statement and nothing that says Springer is trying to normalize anything.
Cain said Springer realizes that going to the White House may mean “honoring tradition, honoring the office, honoring the country, honoring unity, honoring the special accomplishment that you and your teammates had. … I’m here to tell you it is those things for most people.”
In rebuttal, Kellerman said these decisions need to be made by adults who are engaged in the world and, even if not done intentionally, “you are aiding in normalizing an administration that shouldn’t be normalized.” He said choosing to go to the Trump White House means “you have chosen poorly.”
Stephen A. Smith, co-host of First Take, also disagreed with Kellerman and said that people will not judge those players who went to the White House as being on the wrong side of history. He also went off the rails by listing his biggest reason for disagreement, which was that “Major League Baseball historically has always been the last to the party.” The NBA and the NFL have been “galvanizing Americans everywhere,” “but Major League Baseball has been a league that prides itself on holding on to its tradition and doing things its way. They’ve been very slow to change and address things that need to be changed in the sport.”
Smith, who attended fashion school prior to playing college basketball at Winston-Salem, is no more attuned to political smarts than Kellerman. He questioned whether the Astros want to be associated with the issue of the president’s rhetoric about a border wall and “leaving folks out and not being inclusionary.” Folks from other countries trying to enter our country illegally, and drug smugglers, that is.
Obviously no one’s going to associate First Take with Jeopardy. The level of intellect dips precipitously as soon as its two partisan political hacks are introduced to viewers.
This post originally appeared on NewsBusters