Twitter has long influenced the national conversation and media and entertainment types have embraced the social media platform as a way to keep a finger on the pulse of America, but OutKick founder and radio host Clay Travis claims that model failed ESPN and hit back at recent comments from former ESPN personality Jemele Hill.
Travis appeared on Fox News host Brian Kilmeade’s radio show Saturday to address comments made by Hill on the podcast Le Batard And Friends, for a segment called “An Honest Conversation About ESPN, Rachel Nichols & Maria Taylor.”
On the podcast, Hill called Clay Travis an “idiot” and appeared to blame him for her ousting and the ousting of other politically charged hosts like her at ESPN.
“They let a false narrative persist about our show that people ran away with. They let the idiots in the room control the conversation, people like Clay Travis. They allowed those people to direct their course of action. They panicked, and suddenly, they were very intentional about the things that they were doing in our show. They wanted black faces. They didn’t necessarily want black voices.” Hill said.
Hill’s comments can be heard around the 12:50 mark:
Travis joined Kilmeade to respond and talked about politics being injected into the entertainment and sports world.
“I sometimes feel that people become captured by social media…When you’re on your phone all day and you have your notifications turned on and people are constantly talking about you, it can make you feel like that is the real world,” he told Kilmeade.
“It sucks you into the idea that Twitter is the real world, and it matters… but what I always try to remind myself of is we’re talking about 10 percent of the population that’s really very active on Twitter,” Travis continued, pointing to this phenomenon giving media pundits, public relations professionals, executives, and companies a “distorted vision of the reality.”
“Twitter is like a carnival funhouse mirror… if you stand in front of the carnival fun house mirror and try to judge whether you’re in good shape based on the fun house mirror, you might look like you’re really fat, you might look like you’re really skinny… and it’s giving you a distorted vision of reality.”
The radio host said that Hill fell victim to embracing Twitter as reality.
“If you did that, you would be far left-wing and far, far out of touch with what the real viewer is,” Travis said.
The OutKick founder maintains that he is not the reason Hill was fired.
“The numbers are a reflection of why she got let go. There were less viewers. She got sucked into the idea that trying to make Twitter happy was going to result in more people watching ESPN and a vast majority of people watching ESPN are not on Twitter following left-wing internal debates all day,” Travis concluded. “They want to get home at the end of the day, they want to crack a beer, and they want to see who won the game, what the latest news is.”
He warned that ESPN and other entertainment and media groups “lost their way by making Twitter their lodestar and using that as evidence of what the audience as a whole wants from them.”
At the time ESPN severed ties with Hill, Travis went on the record stating, “The truth is this: her show was a ratings disaster and she painted herself into a corner by calling the president a white supremacist on Twitter. Which further killed the ratings and made her radioactive on a sports network for advertisers who didn’t want to be connected to a personality who was guaranteed to alienate at least half of a sports audience.”
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