ESPN host Stephen A. Smith appeared on Fox News with Jesse Watters tonight. Yes, that Stephen A. from “First Take” joined that Jesse Watters from “The Five.”
Smith is doing a media tour for his new podcast that delves into both politics and culture, and that landed him with Watters in primetime.
During the segment, Smith warned the country of an “extremely progressive agenda” amid the crime wave in blue cities across the county:
“There is no question that a lot of these issues need to be addressed. There is no question that we should be against an extremely progressive agenda that’s calling for people to be released from prison on multiple occasions. That’s ignoring a lot of crime that’s taking place in the streets.”
Smith jokingly told Watters if he became president, a running bit on his program, that he’d “be big time against crime.”
“I wouldn’t want my family traveling on the New York subway. The New York subway system … you are damn right I got a problem with that.”
Later, Smith complained about the homeless in Los Angeles, and the lack of effectiveness from California Governor Gavin Newsom.
“I was in LA [last week] and saw the homelessness that existed. I got an issue with that. Certainly, when you look at Gavin Newsom and some of the policies that he’s put forth .. you’re talking about a lot of different things that need to be addressed.”
Smith did disagree with Watters’ stance on Vice President Kamala Harris, however. According to Smith, she’s a very smart woman who doesn’t get a chance to show herself off.
“Believe it or not, I think that she’s a highly intelligent woman [who] unfortunately doesn’t have an opportunity to showcase it.”
Well, that’s not true.
Nonetheless, props to Smith for going on the program.
I’ve criticized Smith of late for his close-minded approach to social issues. He routinely discusses race and Covid on his ESPN program while surrounding himself with only like-minded individuals, like Ryan Clark who nods along to his every word.
Yet here is he going on with a host with whom he doesn’t entirely agree and having an honest conversation.
He did the same Friday on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program. And both conversations were worthwhile.
Smith made these appearances knowing the sports crowd would denounce each of them. Sports Twitter does not approve of its own stepping outside the echo chamber. Deranged former sportswriter Jeff Pearlman and former ESPN reporter Josina Anderson had a fit Smith would dare appear on a political network not called CNN.
So, credit Stephen A. where it’s due. He did not let woke sports commentators phase him.
Watch the full segment below: