I don’t believe I’ve ever met Clay Travis, and I certainly have no beef with/animus toward the guy. I’m not a regular reader of his site, Outkick the Coverage, but only because I don’t particularly care for college sports, and we have but, oh, 16 awake hours in a day to read shit.
Wait. I digress.
I’m late to this, but a couple of days ago Clay posted a piece headlined RYAN LOCHTE COMMITTED NO CRIME, VICTIMIZED BY LEFT WING SPORTS MEDIA. The article (written by Clay) concerns the Brazilian ordeal of the Olympic swimmer, who suffered great humiliation and condemnation after an alleged incident involving vandalism, urination and a Rio gas station. Lochte wound up being suspended by the national swimming foundation and, as Clay notes, “lost millions in sponsorship dollars, and was public castigated and ridiculed by the left wing sports media for his purported white privilege.”
I did a little googling on the whole Lochte affair. And while, yes, Lochte was castigated and ridiculed and condemned, I’m looking and looking and looking for any article—besides one shitty one, written by someone named Kevin Van Valkenburg on The Undefeated—that suggests some massive rainstorm of “white privilege outrage” upon Lochte.
Here’s what I found: Nothing.
Oh, wait. Not true. I found something. Really, somethings …
There was this, from the uber-conservative New York Post …
And this …
And this …
How about this gem, via Fox News’ website …
Or this gem, also via Fox News’ site, featuring the intro, “Olympic swimmer and notorious fibber Ryan Lochte …”
My point, truly, isn’t to bash Clay (although if you’re gonna make a big point, you could get off your ass and find a little more than a single column on a marginal sports website) or uplift the so-called liberal media. Really, in this preposterous era of #fakenews, it’s to make clear that no one owns righteousness; that for every misguided column by folks like Van Valkenburg, there are always arguments on the other side.
We’ve become lazy in our labeling. It’s easy and simpleminded and, quite often, untrue.
Is there media bias on the left? Sure.
On the right? Sure.
Do those leanings therefore justify blanket statements?