The Gist

Keeping an Eye on the Fall

With ratings dropping this year, sports had a tough time figuring out their place in the pandemic.

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Episode Notes

On the Gist, GOP going after themselves. And, today in Remembrances of Things Trump: Peter Navarro’s alter ego.

In the interview, Mike talks with Jane McManus about the conclusions of her poll on why Americans have been spending less time watching sports in 2020. What she found has a lot to do with not just the pandemic and aging viewers, but identity politics, too. In their conversation, McManus underscores that the health of a community is oftentimes based on playing games, and that sports are the ultimate reflection of a healthy democracy. She also discusses why sports leagues choosing to avoid getting involved in disseminating a public health message was contrary to putting community and teamwork first. McManus is director of Marist College’s Center for Sports Communication, a columnist for Deadspin sports and an ESPN contributor.

In the spiel, Joe Rogan doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

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Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.


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  • Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.