Michele Tafoya Joins Beat the Press

On Beat the Press, host Emily Rooney is joined by a panel of media critics to take you behind the scenes of the world's biggest and most influential media outlets featuring unusual moments that capture the public's opinion.

By Matthew McGuirk

Episode 13 of Beat the Press

On this special episode of Beat the Press, host Emily Rooney is joined by longtime Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, who departed the sports world to launch a career in politics and commentary. 

Michele Tafoya Reflects on Leaving Sunday Night Football Role 

Michele Tafoya left her position as the sideline reporter for NBC’s Sunday Night Football broadcasts earlier this year to launch a career in the political world, and she discussed what went into the decision and why it was the right move on Beat the Press. A football in black and white

“People have said, ‘You're crazy, Michele,’” Tafoya said. “But you know what, I had done it for so long, the better part of thirty years spent in sports broadcasting, and I knew I wasn't going to have forever to, as you put it, reimagine myself. So I had to do it sooner than later.”

 

America in a ‘Terrifying Spot’ as People Fear Expressing Beliefs, Says Michele Tafoya 

Following what Michele Tafoya described as an “ambush” on the Dan Le Batard Show, she addressed how certain members of society shy away from sharing things that resemble their beliefs for fear of being rejected. 

“I see my friends on Facebook,” Tafoya said. “I talk to people all over the place who, no matter which direction they lean, are sometimes really afraid to repost an article or to repost any kind of stance that reflects their values. And they're afraid because they don't want to lose friends, they don't want to lose family members, they don't want to lose their jobs. We are in a terrifying spot in America if that is a fear felt by so many, and I believe it is. I just want to sort of be out there for those people and speaking on their behalf or, better yet, encouraging them to speak with me.”

 

Michele Tafoya Points Out ‘Huge Gap’ in Thinking Regarding Abortion in America

Michele Tafoya recently spent time working on the campaign for Kendall Qualls, a Republican gubernatorial candidate who was running in Minnesota, and her position as a self-described “pro-choice libertarian” conflicted with the views of Qualls, who supports restricting access to abortion. Tafoya explained her stance on the matter, saying she is “pro-choice, with exceptions,” then addressed how polarized our country is on this topic. 

Protesters holding signs at a Pro Choice rally“I've really listened on this one because it is such a hot-button topic,” Tafoya said. “I wonder how we are so divided and it's caused so much heat in this country, this topic. But I think that a lot of it is because, again, we've only done the first stage thinking, and that is, you know, ‘no, abortion should never be allowed,’ or on the other side, ‘it's my right, don't you even come touch my reproductive rights.’ There's a huge gap there in thinking. So when is abortion okay? When should it not be okay? Are there exceptions? What are the exceptions? When are the exceptions? When do we start to recognize that that little human in your belly, yes, actually is a human, that is a viable life?”

 

Listen to Michele Tafoya on Beat the Press now!