“Sir, you stand before this court, charged with wearing this OAN shirt. How do you plead?”
Shaking, a drip of sweat runs from his forehead to the end of his mullet.
Fixing his hands together in prayerful penitence, Coach Mike Gundy drops to one knee and begs forgiveness.
“Please don’t kill me. I promise I’ll do better. I’ll wear an MSNBC shirt with Joy Reid and Lawrence O’Donnell and Al Sharpton’s faces on it if you just let me keep coaching football.
I’ll put on Mika’s clown shoes and a Joe Scarborough rubber nose if you want.
I’ll lie supine in my nakedness on the floor of the locker room and let the players slap my belly.
I’ll get woke. I promise. Please let me live.”
And then, the judge looked over the top of his readers, raised his gavel and …
But before we get to that part of the story, let’s start with the photo.
This is a tweet by CBS sports writer Kyle Boone. Boone got the scoop of the century when he checked out (or was sent) an Instagram post featuring the Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy.
“Mike Gundy went fishing on Lake Texoma donning an OAN t-shirt”
— Kyle Boone @ 🏡 (@Kyle__Boone) June 15, 2020
It was a good day fishing. There were striped fish lined up from here till Tuesday. But Boone wasn’t looking to involve Fish and Game. No, Karen here was dropping-dime on coach for a race crime.
He was trying to rile up the woke mob by suggesting that wearing a One America News Network (OAN) shirt was going to get Coach’s card pulled.
Boone provided “added context” because the woke mob isn’t too bright sometimes. This required some dot-connecting.
“Some added context to this: Gundy in the past has praised OAN for its reporting. He said this of the network in April via” an Oklahoma news outlet in which Gundy enthused about the news coverage on One America News.
Cue the knowing head shake.
I give the news department big ups, too.
Officer, Arrest That Man in the OAN Shirt
And admittedly, I might be a little biased. I’m acquainted with some of these people because I’m a contributor, and occasional fill-in anchor on OAN’s “The Daily Ledger” with Graham Ledger. My beat is “Crazy California” most of the time, but sometimes I talk about the protest culture, since I’ve been following that closely for the last 20-plus years on the West Coast as a writer and radio talk host.
The opinion programs on OAN are fiery and conservative. The news, not so much. The news content may look more conservative in comparison to ABC, for example, because it doesn’t go out of its way to criticize Donald Trump’s every move, as every other network does. CNN viewers may find this strange, but OAN treats Donald Trump like he’s the president and not as if he’s a Russian secret agent. Big difference.
For example, the news programming mentions the discredited Russian dossier as the discredited Russian dossier because it is the discredited Russian dossier.
Lately, watchers of the coronavirus updates at the White House with President Trump got some chuckles out of OAN White House reporter, Chanel Rion.
The reporter’s Korean grandparents were held in captivity by the Japanese during World War II, according to her Twitter bio. She’s a big fan of freedom and the USA. So, obviously, she must be canceled.
After President Trump was labeled racist by the White House press corps because it was a day that ended in a “y,” and for calling the coronavirus, which came from Wuhan, China, a “Chinese virus,” Rion asked the president a rhetorical question: is ordering Chinese food racist too? Her fellow White House press corps members were aghast at her impertinence. No, not on the president’s behalf, on theirs.
But, of course, it’s the shows with the nearly no-holds-barred opinions that come in for big criticism from the Left. The woke crowd doesn’t know what to do with diminutive fireball Liz Wheeler, saying out loud that obviously not all black lives matter because there’s still the matter of Planned Parenthood killing 40% of the black babies in this country.
Sure, she’s the racist.
OAN Is ‘Problematic’ Because It Just Is, OK?
And, of course, there’s spitfire Graham Ledger. Whip-smart. He’s the only person I know who can out-talk me for hours. News and commentary is his life and he’s good at it. He’s the anchoring presence, if you will, of all the talk shows on OAN, much the way Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity are to Fox News. He’s been in the business the longest of all the staff.
Coach Gundy is not a racist or anything remotely like it for wearing an OAN shirt.
But you wouldn’t know it by some of the outrageous – and I mean outrageous – libel hurled at OAN.
“They are super MAGA…and super racist,” said one Lefty who has 435 Twitter followers but who had more than 2400 “likes” on his comment. It must have made his day.
Here’s one that Boone retweeted of OAN host Wheeler making the point that if Black Lives Matter is encouraging hurting and killing cops, which they are, then they’re a farce as a moral authority.
Boone called that “problematic.” But is it?
This is a good example of why there's so much disgust aimed at OAN — and why Gundy's support of the network is problematic. https://t.co/qmrNNhNB9A
— Kyle Boone @ 🏡 (@Kyle__Boone) June 15, 2020
People need to get a grip. Which brings us to Chuba Hubbard, a Canadian kid who’s a football star at Oklahoma State.
Hubbard went into full tantrum mode saying that he wouldn’t stand for … for what exactly? For “this.”
I will not stand for this.. This is completely insensitive to everything going on in society, and it’s unacceptable. I will not be doing anything with Oklahoma State until things CHANGE.
I will not stand for this.. This is completely insensitive to everything going on in society, and it’s unacceptable. I will not be doing anything with Oklahoma State until things CHANGE. https://t.co/psxPn4Khoq
— Chuba Hubbard (@Hubbard_RMN) June 15, 2020
Hubbard, apparently a big deal in the OSU football program, was very upset that a shirt he had never seen until it was pointed out to him, depicted the logo of a network I’ll bet he’s never watched, and immediately demanded “CHANGE” at Oklahoma State University as a result. He didn’t specify what kind of change, but I’m pretty sure a shirt’s not the problem.
This guy says it’s not about the shirt, it’s all about the thoughts in his head.
There are calls to fire Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy for wearing an OAN t-shirt. Make no mistake, this isn't about the shirt, it's about the fact that he's a conservative and that is a cancellable offense. pic.twitter.com/cBYuYQeYlQ
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) June 16, 2020
A reporter for the Lefty website Politico, Tim Alberta, decided to weigh in because he said, apparently straightfacedly, that OAN gear isn’t “cool.”
“It’s not about censorship or snowflakes. It’s about self-awareness. You coach Big 12 football. Your job is to lead & develop young men, most of them black. They’re living history right now—and you, their leader, think it’s cool to get photographed wearing OAN gear? Gtfoh. #gundy
It’s not about censorship or snowflakes. It’s about self-awareness. You coach Big 12 football. Your job is to lead & develop young men, most of them black. They’re living history right now—and you, their leader, think it’s cool to get photographed wearing OAN gear? Gtfoh. #gundy
— Tim Alberta (@TimAlberta) June 16, 2020
Translation: You brute! You lout! Cut your hair and change your shirt into something pink or turquoise.
All Coach was doing was going fishing with his boys. If you want to complain about something, how about complaining about those sunglasses? But no.
The founder and owner of One America News Network, Robert Herring, recently lost a lawsuit to a former OAN employee, who is black and with whom I am acquainted. The employee claimed he’d been wrongly terminated because of his color. Of course, the ardently politically Left person was hired by the network, so the racists weren’t working that day, apparently, but the jury saw it a different way. I’ve never considered destroying documents a resume enhancer, but the jury saw that a different way too.
The network also sued MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow for calling OAN a Russian asset and all that goes with it. She ultimately had a First Amendment right to say that, but, obviously, the OAN shirt-wearing Gundy doesn’t have that right.
Throughout Monday this story blew up and Boone was spectating, pretending to be so surprised that people would actually want Gundy to be fired over the wearing of the news network shirt. A dust-up that he created.
Boone reminds me of someone. In fact, he reminds me of a lot of someones.
He reminds me of the woman who called the cops on the black bird watcher in Central Park because he told her to leash her dog.
He reminds me of the California couple who confronted a man drawing “black lives matter” in chalk on the wall in front of his home because they thought he was defacing a property that wasn’t his.
He reminds me of the warlord of CHOP or CHAZ, or whatever they’re calling the Seattle Capitol Hill takeover area today, when he had his minions beat and chase people who took pictures of the encampment.
Where does this chump get off telling a guy what to do?
By Monday night, Gundy and Hubbard had cobbled together some sort of truce. They issued a disjointed but joint statement. Gundy claimed that he totally understood why the shirt was a trigger for the players or something.
The shirt I was wearing… well I met with some players and I realize it’s a very sensitive issue with what’s going on in today’s society and so we had a great meeting. They made me aware of some things that players feel like that can make our organization and our culture even better than it is here at Oklahoma State and I’m looking forward to making some changes and it starts at the top with me and we’ve got good days ahead.
Hubbard said he was wrong for tweeting about it first and not talking with the coach in person like a man.
I went about it the wrong way by tweeting. I’m not someone who needs to tweet something to make change. I should have went to him as a man, and I’m more about action so that was bad on my part. But from now on we’re going to focus on bringing change and that’s the most important thing.
Hubbard’s contrition lasted about as long as the handshake at the end of their video.
— Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) June 16, 2020
Boone was back and goading Hubbard for being “the only one who apologized” in the video. Obviously, it was his feeling that the coach should grovel more for wearing a shirt of a news network.
Hubbard said, “It’s not over.”
No don’t get it twisted. Foots still on the gas. Results are coming. It’s not over.
— Chuba Hubbard (@Hubbard_RMN) June 16, 2020
But, the folks at OAN are taking this in stride. I mean, does it get worse than calling the America-loving owner of One America News a Russian asset by Rachel Maddow?
They’d like to tell you where you can get one of those shirts, naturally.
— One America News (@OANN) June 16, 2020
I hear they have a nice golf shirt too.
So back to the judge we go. When we last checked, his hand was midair on its way to gavel for justice.
Coach still has his job for the moment and so does the athlete. There are no reported riots from the wearing of the shirt.
Let’s put this one in the “W” column for now.