Source: Jack Cashill

Back when ESPN was watchable, I confess to having a petite faiblesse for Rachel Nichols.  She was cute and congenial, and — unlike many females broadcasting male sports — she rarely pretended to know more than she did.  These past weeks, however, Nichols has found herself embroiled in a petite scandale.  Her transgression?  Objecting to the professional mugging she received at the hand of ESPN’s “diversity” goons.

I would have preferred to portray my beloved Rachel as pure victim, but the story’s not quite that simple.  A good place to begin is with the exchange that drove me away from ESPN for good.  It took place on the morning of July 17, 2015.  The night before, the former Bruce Jenner, now renamed “Caitlyn,” was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards Ceremony, then presented by ESPN, now by ABC.

A video emerged of Jenner, “draped in a glamorous white dress,” walking down the aisle to receive the award.  On watching Jenner pass, a gape-jawed Brett Favre did a double-take.  For his inability to contain his shock, the legendary quarterback was denounced the next morning on ESPN as — you guessed it — a “hater.”  That is how quickly network Maoists flipped the switch on the transgender issue.  For the record, I was watching ESPN only because the network was broadcasting the British Open, now inexplicably renamed “the Open.”

The award may well have been the quo to a more culturally potent quid.  As the New York Post reported at the time, “TV insiders are sniping that ESPN agreed to grant the honor to Jenner in return for her [sic] exclusive interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer.”  What gave the rumor legs is that Disney/ABC owned ESPN.  ABC and ESPN, of course, denied the rumors.  What cannot be denied is that Diane Sawyer had serious clout within the Disney/ABC family.

This matters because, in May 2001, 27-year-old Rachel Alexander married Max Nichols in Venice, Italy.  As duly reported in the New York Times society pages, Max’s father was the renowned “film and stage director” Mike Nichols.  More to the point, “[t]he bridegroom’s stepmother is the television morning show host Diane Sawyer.”  Three years after Rachel married into the Nichols clan, she got her shot on ESPN.  To “diversify,” ESPN was looking for a female.  Why not keep the new hire in the family?

The Ministry of Truth, more casually known as the New York Times, broke the lengthy story of Rachel’s undoing on July 4 of this year.  What better way to honor Independence Day?  A year earlier, Nichols had inadvertently taped a phone call she made with LeBron James’s agent, Rich Paul, and a James adviser named Adam Mendelsohn.

Nichols vented after having been passed over for a promised slot — “this job is in my contract in writing” — as host of the NBA finals coverage.  “I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball,” said Nichols.  “If you [ESPN] need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity — which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it — like, go for it.  Just find it somewhere else.  You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away.”

Without intending, Nichols had spoken the unspeakable truth about “diversity.”  It is a zero-sum game.  One person’s gain is another’s person’s loss. Nichols knew the “gain” part from her own experience.  She affirmed the need for “diversity” and all but admitted that it had greased her own well-oiled skids.  The “loss” part was new.  It triggered her protest.  She was not supposed to notice any of this, let alone say it out loud.

Maria Taylor, of course, is black.  She is also 13 years Nichols’s junior.  To retain her after the “fury” unleashed by Nichols’s remark, ESPN is reportedly offering Taylor a $3-million-a-year-contract, and that for a job that a thousand other would-be sports journalists could do as well as either Taylor or Nichols.  The job is not that hard, and viewers don’t much care, as long as the woman is cute enough and not an idiot.

It will not save her career, but Nichols made the kind of groveling public apology our homegrown Red Guard have come to expect.  Yet no matter how “deeply, deeply sorry” she professed to be “for disappointing those I hurt,” progressives were not satisfied.  They never are.  “The apology was worse than her actions and statements,” said one commenter on YouTube.  “Rachel should’ve been fired especially with that half ass apology,” said another.

One fellow, however, said what a whole lot of sane Americans were thinking: “I love to see the privileged and woke out-victim each other.”  Yup — and that, happily, is how all revolutions come undone.

Jack Cashill’s latest book, Barack Obama’s Promised Land: Deplorables Need Not Apply, is now on sale.  See for more information.