Do the two really have anything in common?
Saturday morning, Clay Travis and Outkick.com dropped a question and answer session with the Daily Beast, and announced that the website was about to run a “hit piece” on their site. The Daily Beast had reached out with questions, Travis explained, and it was the idea of Outkick partner, Jason Whitlock, to publish their answers to the questions so that Outkick would “at least get the traffic.”
“Brilliant,” Travis remarked.
Sunday morning, the Daily Beast dropped the piece, written by Robert Silverman. The Daily Beast decided to make the article free, according to a banner on the page, because they “believe everyone deserves accurate, trustworthy coronavirus coverage.”
Right. *Insert Kermit sipping tea gif*
I went through the piece myself. It spent a lot of time bouncing back and forth between Travis and the people that he currently has employed at the website, and was overall a confusing mess to read with the typical alt-left blabbering of “social virtues” and “coronavirus.” Silverman’s mess is at the mercy of believing that his readers think just like him, and he tries to take the reader through a rollercoaster ride of information as though it will make the piece more enjoyable.
Silverman keeps making the comparison that Clay Travis is the sports version of alt-right political commentator, Alex Jones. In fact, Silverman wrote an article back in September of 2017 calling Travis “The Alex Jones of Sports” while writing an article defending Travis’ criticisms of ESPN on behalf of the place he wished that he could get a job. Unfortunately for Silverman, he is a Caucasian straight male and ESPN is attempting to be more diverse with its employees.
Travis is a self-described “radical moderate” who has never voted Republican. He’s pro-choice and against the death penalty. He’s in many ways liberal-leaning, and yet the alt-left hates him. Silverman himself describes the website as a “right-wing sports site.”
It’s absolutely hilarious too. The language he uses to make Outkick sound like a horrific website feels tone-deaf, as he spends too much time trying to liken Clay to Alex Jones, a comparison that is hardly worth noting.— ⚜️ John 🇺🇸 Vogel 🏈 (@johndavogel) July 26, 2020
I commented on Travis’ twitter post of the article that the article spent too much time trying to paint him like Jones, and the attempt falls flat. I figured that it would be worth my time to write a piece in which I point out exactly what Alex Jones and Clay Travis have in common.
Aspiring Journalists who Started their Own Websites
This one is pretty easy to point to. Alex Jones started Infowars in 1999 as a way to spread his alt-right media across the internet. His big break? The Illuminati. Jones claimed that he had broken into Bohemian Grove, a 2,700-acre private camp that allegedly the biggest world figures descend upon once a year for rituals including child trafficking and human sacrifice. Infowars exploded quickly and grew with the internet.
Travis started Outkick The Coverage in 2011, which started as a college football website. Travis had been one of the lead editors at FanHouse. When the site merged with Sporting News, Travis started Outkick as his way to continue his “contrarian” opinions. Outkick has since grown into a hub for both sports and “news anchor” insider information.
Both men are the face of their respective websites and grew them into very successful independent websites. Both have built a controversial brand. However, the difference is that Jones’ brand is predicated on the fact that he’s slightly mad. Jones is known for his rants and raves about conspiracy theories. Travis has remained true to his practice of law and rational thinking.
Both head a Nationally-syndicated Radio Show
Jones started his Alex Jones Show upon the launch of his website, Infowars. Love it or hate it, it’s a nationally syndicated show and was, at one point, played on several hundred radio stations across the United States.
Travis has one of the top sports podcasts in America, Outkick The Coverage, that competes with the best that ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and Barstool Sports has to offer. His radio show, Outkick The Coverage, is a Nationally-Syndicated show that airs across the United States.
Again, Jones is known for his long screaming rants about conspiracy theories. Travis speaks from a point of rationality and has respected guests that appear on his show with him.
Uhmmm, that’s about it
Jones has since been disgraced and kicked off of almost every social media platform for his rants and immature comments from time to time, oftentimes raging and spewing some hate toward some random group. He’s legitimately crazy, and everyone knows it.
The same can’t be said about Travis, because nothing that he says rings crazy to the rational person.
Travis has one enemy in mind – who he refers to as the “Coronabros.” Travis has been at the focal point for the social media mob to go after since the COVID outbreak because of his bravery for speaking out against the hype surrounding the virus, which he refers to as “fear porn.” He points out every major sports analyst who adds to the hype, suggesting (and almost rooting for) the virus should shut sports down for a year.
That’s the thing about the alt-left. If someone isn’t completely for them, they are completely against them. The hypocrisy is astounding.
As Outkick continues to smash their numbers and grow with new readers, thanks to the efforts provided by Robert Silverman and the Daily Beast (among others), the legend of Clay Travis will continue to grow. Outkick is headed to be a monster in sports media, and it’s because there are a lot of people who just want moderate leaning sports.
Moderate, these days it seems, is the new right-wing.