Laura Ingraham’s complaints over LeBron James’ political commentary – focusing on the grammar of his statements rather than their substance – reflects a general elitism in the pundit class, Andrew Spannaus observes.
By Andrew Spannaus
Is LeBron James ignorant? Laura Ingraham seems to think so. In response to a video of the NBA superstar offering harsh criticism of President Donald Trump on Feb. 16, the Fox News host had this to say on her show:
“LeBron James is talking politics again, and this time it’s R-rated. Here’s his unintelligible, not to mention ungrammatical take on President Trump…”
Next came a clip with James saying: “The number one job in America, the appointed person, is someone who doesn’t understand the people. And really don’t give a f*** about the people.” James then continued his criticism of Trump in a discussion that aired on The Uninterrupted (a media platform founded by James).
Ingraham clearly didn’t like James’ comments. First, she said: “Must they run their mouths like that? Unfortunately a lot of kids, and some adults, take these ignorant comments seriously.”
She then went on to say that getting paid millions to play basketball doesn’t mean you can talk politics, and closed with a zinger inviting James and fellow NBA star Kevin Durant, also present in the video, to stick to what they do best – basketball – rather than attempt to provide political commentary: “As someone once said: shut up and dribble.”
What’s striking about Ingraham’s reaction is that she went well beyond simply drawing a political contrast. She suggested that James’ poor grammar disqualifies him; he may be good at basketball, but given that he can barely speak in an intelligible manner – according to Ingraham – he shouldn’t be addressing a subject outside of his own area of competence.
Whether you like what LeBron says or not, there’s no doubt his sentences contain grammatical errors. Ingraham uses this to attempt to discredit James entirely. Ignore for a moment the fact that the President himself isn’t exactly a paragon of grammar, to focus on the bigger issue raised by the Fox News…