Sometimes you get caught red-handed. That’s exactly what happened to The Washington Post in relation to a recent hit piece written about Outkick’s Clay Travis. Travis is also a regular on Fox Sports and has built quite a following the last several years as a no-nonsense, non-woke sports commentator.
The 2300 word screed in question purposely misconstrued the interview with Clay Travis. There are actually multiple examples of him being taken out of context, having the meaning of his words changed, and a direct made up quote at one point. He lays out all of them in his article for his site Outkick.com. Be sure to go there for the full story.
Here are his tweets on the matter.
Today, without notifying me at all, @washingtonpost put a note at the bottom of their article acknowledging they’d misquoted me. Think about how many people they’ve done this to who didn’t have the time or resources to tape their own interview & have a transcript. pic.twitter.com/ciHvLZWB0Q
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) September 7, 2020
And the full recording.
As a result of @washingtonpost’s dishonesty & failure to practice basic standards of journalistic decency I have just released the full unedited audio of my 1 hour & 18 minute interview with the “reporter” as a podcast. Get your popcorn & go listen: https://t.co/aiWEKxc78B
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) September 7, 2020
I’ll post some examples here in a second, but the overall theme of Travis’ write up is showing just how the sausage is made when it comes to these mainstream media hit jobs. They ask to “interview” you, you talk to them for an hour, they pick 90-100 words of a 20,000+ word conversation, and then frame those cherry-picked words to fit their narrative.
Case in point?
And here’s the final paragraph of the Washington Post piece.
“Regardless, Travis insisted that politics won’t get in Outkick’s way. Because, he claimed, Outkick doesn’t do politics.
“I don’t see anything that is immediately political,” he said one day in August, scrolling through the day’s headlines. Had he scrolled a little further he would have found that week’s “Outkick Election Pollwatch” and a story headlined, “President Donald Trump on Joe Biden’s VP Options.” Both stories quoted only one person, Trump, from an interview he gave to Travis.”
Is that an accurate reflection of what I said at all?
Of course not.
I never claimed we don’t do any politics. I specifically responded to a question about why we had so much politics on the site by looking at the site and reading all the stories that we’d published on the day he was asking those questions. Most of our articles have nothing to do with politics. Sure, if you look, you can find articles like the ones he referenced. And what’s the point, that we shouldn’t publish an article about the President of the United States opinion on college football when he came on my radio show and gave it?
And here’s the direct misquote.
That’s tens of thousands of words. The Washington Post picked less than 100 of them and lifted those quotes out of context and placed them in a negative light in their story. Now there are many flaws and outright lies in the piece written about me yesterday that I could spend a ton of time on beginning with the title of the piece itself, “Clay Travis Is Trump’s Secret Weapon in the Fight Over College Football” — how am I a secret weapon when I’m as open and transparent as possible about my efforts to fight for college football? — but I’m choosing to focus on my quotes in the article.
I’m going to show all of you how bias and lack of objectivity — in a piece that’s supposed to be unbiased and objective — can occur in a news profile.
The first quote above: “I’m in regular touch with the White House press office,” Travis said in an interview. “I have a lot of fans in the White House,” doesn’t appear in our interview. I suppose it could have come from another source, but it’s sourced as if it came from an interview.
I won’t post anymore because of fair use and because Clay deserves for you to go click on and read his article. It’s illuminating and it’s a lesson in why no one should ever bother doing press with a hostile news outlet. Trump shouldn’t be doing interviews with CBS News or CNN because they will never give him a fair shake. They will selectively edit and pull quotes to fit their narrative every single time.
Travis is hated because he’s pushing back with great effectiveness against the stupidity that is woke sports. His company is blowing up because he’s willing to speak truth and not kowtow to political pressure. Because he’s willing to do that, he gets labeled a closet Republican (his history is actually as a liberal) who’s fighting for Trump.
It shows just how insidious and lazy our media are.
(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)