On Tuesday 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 the 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.
This column originally appeared at National Review.