The Disney-owned sports cable network went all out in promoting the launch of Disney+, from a Simpsons-themed SportsCenter "Top 10" to star NFL reporter Adam Schefter tweeting that Disney + "will change lives." The "tongue bath" for Disney+ "represents a new inflection point in ESPN’s decline from journalistic institution to entertainment company," according to Laura Wagner. She also wondered if ESPN staffers were required to promote Disney+'s launch, but didn't receive a clear answer from an ESPN spokesperson. "This clumsy marketing blitz is an embarrassing exercise that turns ostensible reporters into stooges. It’s also a stark example of just how flimsy ESPN’s editorial vision has become," says Wagner, adding: "But it doesn’t really matter if Disney asked or demanded that ESPN fall in line with the Disney+ hullabaloo, or just how strongly ESPN suggested to select talent that they direct their followers to buy Disney+. It probably doesn’t even matter if the voracious and all-consuming Disney is willing to destroy the credibility of news organizations to achieve corporate goals. What matters is that everyone—be it reporters or executives or people interested in watching The Mandalorian or sports fans who would just like to know about the Astros cheating scandal—is getting the message loud and clear." Kelly McBride of the nonprofit journalism organization the Poynter Institute adds in an interview with The Washington Post: “You’re turning the journalist into a salesperson and asking them to upsell the product. That’s not the relationship you want the journalist to have with the audience member. You want that relationship to be about trust in the journalist’s expertise.” ALSO: Watch a supercut of ESPN shilling for Disney+.