ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith has received criticism since his Friday appearance on Dan Le Batard’s South Beach Sessions show, during which Le Batard blamed Smith and his former First Take co-host, Skip Bayless, for their prioritization of arguing about sports for the sake of entertainment and how that approach has influenced sports television.
Smith responded by taking shots at Le Batard and ended by asking, “When did it occur in my career that I ignored the journalistic tenets that came with the job?”
“Oh, it’s not ignoring them,” Le Batard answered. “It’s that they shrink in the face of the need for the argument as entertainment.”
Smith retorted and the conversation continued—even after the show ended. Smith revisited the subject Monday with a furious rant addressing why he’s not to blame for the state of sports television.
“I don’t break journalistic tenets!” Smith said on the Know Mercy podcast. “I don’t violate trust. I don’t backstab. I don’t sit up there and tell people one thing and smile in their face and then go behind their back in front of the cameras with a microphone and do something else. Not me!”
The full initial interaction between Smith and Le Batard can be watched here: