Sage Steele reveals Biden interview was ‘scripted’ by ESPN execs

Former ESPN anchor Sage Steele revealed that her interview with President Joe Biden shortly after he took office in March 2021 was “scripted” by executives at the Disney-owned network.

Steele — who was “sidelined” by ESPN later that year after she criticized the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and made controversial comments about former President Barack Obama — told Fox News that she was beholden to a “structured” interview.

“It was very much ‘This is what you will ask. This is how you will say it. No follow-ups, no follow-ups. Next,’” Steele told Fox, adding that each question was “gone over dozens of times by many editors and executives.”

Sage Steele Steele told Fox News that she was beholden to a “structured” interview with President Biden shortly after he took office in 2021 where “every single question” had been pre-planned and “gone over dozens of times.” ESPN

Steele said she wasn’t certain whether ESPN had sent the questions to the White House in advance of the interview.

However, she was confident that is “what happened” as her bosses at the time were so adamant that she stick to the script.

“I was told, ‘You will say every word that we write out, you will not deviate from the script,’” she said.

Representatives for ESPN declined The Post’s request for comment.

Most of the questions Steele asked Biden pertained to sports leagues restoring normalcy in the wake of strict pandemic-era rules.

One of Biden’s responses during the 11-minute interview, where he said he would “strongly support” moving the Major League Baseball All-Star Game out of Atlanta because of Georgia’s then-new voting law, made headlines at the time.

The GOP-backed law in question added photo ID requirements for voting absentee by mail and barred people from handing out food and water to voters in line — a move Biden characterized as “Jim Crow on steroids.”

The All-Star Game ended up being moved to Denver that year.

Former ESPN host Sage Steele interviewing President Joe Biden, who is pictured reading a paper during his 2021 appearance on the network
Steele said she was confident ESPN had run the interview questions past the White House before Biden (pictured during his 2021 interview with Steele) appeared on the network. ESPN

Steele, 51, sued ESPN and Disney after being yanked off the air, claiming she was retaliated against for her comments. The lawsuit was settled last year and the two parties “mutually agreed to part ways” — ending her 16-year tenure at the sports giant.

“Life update. Having successfully settled my case with ESPN/Disney, I have decided to leave so I can exercise my first amendment rights more freely,” she posted on X last year.

Steele, who last week launched her new podcast “The Sage Steele Show,” said her brief chat with the Biden was “heartbreaking,” a reference to the oldest-sitting president’s mental acuity — which has drawn even more scrutiny three years later as he readies for a rematch with Donald Trump in November. 

“I think it’s really heartbreaking that the people who love Joe Biden and say they truly care about him have allowed it to get to this point,” Steele told Fox.

“So I’m not even looking at this from a political angle or my beliefs in anything. This is the human side of it. And when someone is struggling, we allow them to continue to be in the spotlight and put them out there in the first place when they knew there were issues? “Of course, they had to know. So it’s a humanity thing with me where I don’t care where anyone stands and what they vote for or who they believe in. Do you really care about that person? As a father, as a husband, as an everything.”

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