The Corner

Yes, ESPN Did Pick Caitlyn Jenner Ahead of Iraq War Vet and Amputee Noah Galloway for the ESPY Courage Award

Yesterday evening, the Washington Post ran a short post by Des Beiler “debunking” a popular meme — launched by Boston Herald columnist and radio show host Gerry Callahan — that ESPN passed over Iraq War vet and double amputee Noah Galloway — a crossfit athlete, distance runner, and recent third-place finisher on “Dancing With the Stars.”

While it’s obvious that Jenner received the award and Galloway didn’t, Beiler takes issue with the use of “runner-up.” Indeed, ESPN’s press release announcing the award doesn’t mention any runners-up — or any other athletes considered. Instead, it’s full of all the pablum you’d expect when an athlete advances the liberal cultural narrative:

Bruce has received many accolades over the years for being one of the greatest Olympians of our time but The ESPYS are honored to celebrate Bruce becoming Caitlyn. She has shown the courage to embrace a truth that had been hidden for years, and to embark on a journey that may not only give comfort to those facing similar circumstances, but can also help to educate people on the challenges that the transgender community faces.

So — no — Galloway wasn’t the “runner-up.” The reality, however, is even worse — there’s no evidence that a magnificently courageous man like Galloway was even considered for the award. And if he was indeed considered (or another worthy recipient like Lauren Hill, a college basketball player who died this year after a terrible battle with cancer) and passed over for Jenner, it’s even more absurd. 

Caitlyn Jenner showed “Hollywood courage,” defined as an action that is guaranteed to win the thunderous applause of the cultural elite — and gain fame and fortune — while earning the disapproval of a distant social conservative culture that coastal liberals rarely encounter and can’t begin to understand. Noah Galloway, by contrast, sacrificed his body for his country – defending ESPN’s right to make its pitiful cultural statements – then showed perseverance through pain that we can scarcely comprehend. But whatever. He has to marry Caitlyn Jenner for ESPN to care.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Most Popular

Elections

Put Up or Shut Up on These Accusations, Hillary

Look, one 2016 candidate being prone to wild and baseless accusations is enough. Appearing on Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Hillary Clinton suggested that 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein was a “Russian asset,” that Republicans and Russians were promoting the Green Party, and ... Read More
Culture

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More
PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
National Review

Farewell

Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More