Can you say “Schadenfreude?” Sure you can. It’s a fun word to say, isn’t it? And it’s never more fun than when it's related to The Washington Post, the insufferable Democrat newsletter that boasts the world’s most ironic slogan: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”
Well, as MRCC reported last week, the Thursday Post’s Sports front page included sports and media writer Ben Strauss’s 2,300-word hit piece on sports radio/video host Clay Travis and his influential site Outkick. Travis and his partner Jason Whitlock are conservatives -- heretics to Strauss, the Post and the rest of the lefty sports press.
The article was as bad as you’d expect. Strauss sniffed that Travis has “been building a brand partly rooted in attacking progressive athletes and ‘mainstream’ journalists.’” Heaven forfend! Whitlock’s “work, like Travis’s, shares political DNA with Trump’s: Sports as red meat in the culture wars, racial grievances, media-bashing.”
Then, Strauss did a little hand-wringing over Outkick injecting (the wrong sort of) politics into sports. Nice guy, our Ben. Honest, too.
Nope. After the post article was published, Travis posted a couple of blogs on Outkick to call the piece, “The usual far left wing smear job to try and make me — and Outkick — look awful.” Travis had spoken to the Post “for over an hour. The transcript of our conversation filled 28 single-spaced pages,” he wrote:
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 …
He went through each of the quotes and explained how they were twisted out of context. And you don’t have to take his word for it; smelling a rat when contacted for the Post piece Travis recorded the entire conversation, and has posted it online.
When he’d posted the transcript of the call, the Post tucked a sorta-kinda correction at the end of the online piece:
This story has been updated to reflect that Travis, in an interview with the Washington Post, said he had a lot of “listeners” in the White House, not a lot of “fans.”
That was it. They didn't even contact Travis to let him know about the addendum. Hey, there are conservatives to smear and falsehoods to advance. Who has time for niceties.
Whitlock too gave an interview for the story. Strauss quoted one sentence of it. Whitlock has published a transcript of the call, along with his own takedown of Strauss, whom he calls a “bigot” with “virtually no interest in the thoughts and ideas of black men.”
Travis summed up the Post’s “journalism” thus:
Put simply, the paper, which allegedly prides itself on journalistic accuracy, mischaracterized and misconstrued everything I said to them and even though they only used 94 words from me, they couldn’t even correctly quote what I said and publish it in their article.
Maybe Strauss and the Post need a new slogan. How about, “Hacks Whacking Facts?”