Like every year since 1956, CBS will air Augusta National Golf Club’s The Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia this coming weekend, leading some to accuse the network of hypocrisy after encouraging companies to “fight” Georgia’s new electoral law.
On Friday night, CBS News ran an article originally titled: “3 Ways Businesses Can Help Fight Against Restrictive New Voting Law In Georgia.” In the article, reporter Khristopher J. Brooks appeared to offer advice on how business could exert political pressure on Republicans in Georgia over voting reforms.
After criticizing the editorial nature of the writing, CBS quietly changed the title of the article to read: “Campaigners Call on Big Business to Challenge New Voting Laws. Here’s What They’re Calling For.”
Georgian law brings a host of sweeping changes to electoral procedures, imposing certain limits and rules on postal voting while expanding early voting days. Opponents say the law was only enacted in response to false allegations of widespread electoral fraud after President Biden won Georgia in 2020. However, fact-checkers have disputed the cheeky comparisons of “Jim Crow” From Biden and other Democrats.
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Bowing to Liberal fury, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced on Friday that this year’s All-Star game would not be played at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braces. Georgia-based brands Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines have also issued public statements against the law, prompting swift reprimands from Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp.
The MLB move won the backing of former President Barack Obama, but some critics questioned whether CBS should choose to opt out of broadcasting the upcoming Masters, Georgia’s most famous sporting event.
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“Let’s not stop there,” tweeted media critic and former CNN producer Steve Krakauer. “How dare CBS broadcast Masters live from Georgia next week … Masters must be moved from Georgia and renamed immediately, or CBS must not broadcast, President Obama can agree ? “
Conservative site The Federalist also criticized CBS for watching out for its bottom line.
Despite the article’s warnings to companies headquartered and operating out of Georgia not to donate to candidates who supported electoral reforms, ‘raised awareness’ and ‘fight for federal laws’ that would eliminate the possibility of future electoral adjustments, CBS has signaled no intention of engaging in its own boycott of the state, ”the site wrote.
Unusually for a top sporting event, the Augusta National Golf Club awards CBS the television contract for the Masters on an annual basis for a nominal fee. In a 2015 Golf Digest article, a broadcast source told the publication the club could earn more than $ 100 million if the contract is open to a public bidding process.
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Biden supported the All-Star Game’s withdrawal from Atlanta, but when asked by Fox News on Monday if he would support moving the Masters out of Georgia, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki declined to answer. directly.
The Masters is traditionally the first major championship of the golf season and winning the green jacket is arguably the sport’s most prized achievement. The tournament is often the most watched golf event of the year. When Tiger Woods won his fifth Masters in 2019, the final round broadcast averaged nearly 11 million viewers.
Last year’s Masters were delayed from their normal April to November date due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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ESPN will air the tournament Thursday and Friday, and he told Fox News he has no plans to jump coverage to protest the law.
“The event is happening and we are televising it. If events warrant, we will cover them in our sports news coverage,” ESPN spokesperson Andy Hall told Fox.
CBS did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Joseph A. Wulfsohn of Fox News contributed to this report.