There’s no simple way to exhume any sort of meaningful conclusion to the Jemele Hill-ESPN situation that came unglued this week and continues to collapse under its own weight. Multiple layers of semantics and protocol, accusations of preferential treatment and the simple defense of free speech complicate this journey in a disjointed digital democracy and a toxic political environment.
Just when you think it’s quieted down, it stumbles into another news cycle.
Wounds have been reopened, many of them self-inflicted by ESPN. New alliances have been formed or reinforced as division lines are more clearly marked.
As journalists working a hypercharged environment, the rules seem to be rewritten and lessons unlearned with every new piece of information dredged up.