Today the ever controversial smear blogger Clay Travis appeared on Birmingham’s WJOX pimping his new website, and his words were perhaps very telling of his agenda regarding his latest story.
Travis had reported on the Cam Newton investigation on his site’s first day, but launched into a speculation piece the following day after being “tipped off” by angry Auburn fans.
Let’s get this on the table. We have evidence that the NCAA is investigating Auburn. We know Cam’s dad shopped him because Auburn admitted it. We KNOW AU paid players because FOUR DIFFERENT AU players went on HBO’s Real Sports and admitted it. And that’s only the beginning.
And we know that Auburn’s woes do not originate from Alabama. They originate from the NCAA.
But, we have nothing but B.S. from Clay Travis, a life-long Tennessee fan. And why are these stories positioned next to one another again?
Listen to the interview yourself here, but some interesting nuggets expose Travis for what he is:
Clay Travis on where the source for his information has come from:
“I didn’t know anything about the Alabama stuff till we came back from the (website) launch party out at Sweet Bones, and uh my email just got flooded all of the sudden with tips. And that’s where most of this stuff has come from. I’m not gonna lie. It’s been generated tips from readers.”
Readers? You mean Auburn fans, right Clay?
Clay Travis on why he launched a website:
“I think this is just emblematic of what is going to become more and more of an issue. And it’s one reason I got into the website business with my own site.”
So you simply want to capitalize on the speculative nature of online blogging rumors, eh Clay? Rumors and issues that UA Compliance put to bed months ago? Wouldn’t that make you a media whore? Paul Finebaum is a professional. You are a media whore.
Clay Travis on the verifiability of the pictures in question that he links strong suggestion to UA wrongdoing:
“If it was just completely outlandish accusations that would be another thing. But these photos, I mean people can judge for themselves.”
Really Clay? People can? Guess it matters what colors they wear on Saturday, huh….
A telling point of the interview comes at the 5:32 mark:
WJOX’s Ryan Brown: Do you feel like you gave Alabama a legitimate amount of time to respond to that story? If I understand right, I know you just mentioned you just basically were following tips you got late at night. The story was up the next morning. And I know you tried to contact Alabama in the early hours of the morning. Did they have ample time to respond to that?
Travis: “Umm, well I mean that’s, uh, you know, that’s not necessarily for me to decide. Ummm…”
Brown: “How do you go through that thought process? Like, ‘Alright, I’ve called them at 2:30 in the morning. You know, how long do you wait.”
Travis: “Well, I waited 24-hours for the second story.” (Not the first where the speculative hearsay was vomited all over his site).
“I contacted Alabama and gave them 24-hours to, uh, to respond about, and I still haven’t gotten a response, by the way, about exactly how this character at T-Town Menswear would be classified. I-I think there’s a good case that he’s a booster based on NCAA definitions, based on his access to the program and everything else, which will make it harder for Alabama to argue they couldn’t have had an idea what was going on. I mean the guy had sideline passes, he’s photographed with Terry Saban on the sidelines. All these things…”
I have a photo of me and Terry Saban too, Clay. Guess that implicates me along with thousands of other fans. We’ll be watching our mailboxes for cease and desist letters.
And by the way Clay, with your track record for not exactly being married to the truth, why should anybody care what you “think” is a good case…about anything?
Oh and by the way, ESPN’s Joe Schad got a response from the University within 30 minutes of inquiry. Guess journalists have better luck in that department.
Clay Travis on the story gaining momentum:
“And I know for a fact that there are multiple people, multiple organizations digging on this story who may well advance it beyond where I’ve advanced it to this point.”
Gee, wonder if we should watch Phillip Marshall and Jeffrey Lee in the coming days.
And then later, Travis reiterated…
“This is just happenstance. Like I said, I didn’t know anything about this Alabama situation until I started getting tipped off on the early hours of Friday morning when I got back from our uh, our launch party. So the Auburn stuff I had worked for a couple of weeks, the Alabama stuff it just exploded all of the sudden.”
So Clay worked an actual story for two weeks on an official ongoing NCAA investigation into recruiting improprieties at Auburn, with verifiable sources, making it the headliner for his new website…
…but took fan mail from what we can only assume was Auburn fans in the wee hours of the morning the following day and attempted to juxtapose and compare a speculative situation….one with an official response and conclusion from the University some seven months earlier…with the Auburn NCAA investigation.
Can we just conclude that Clay Travis is a slander-filled whore?
Oh, and then there’s this tidbit from Clay from the interview:
“I’m a member of Volsquest.com for six years.”
Then, the kicker that some think painted Clay Travis as an agenda-filled racist:
WJOX’s Ryan Brown: “I think you’re making a suggestion that Julio Jones got free suits.”
Clay Travis: “I don’t know that he got ’em free.”
WJOX’s Ryan Brown: “I think that’s the suggestion you make by putting that story out in conjunction with the other (Cam Newton) suit story.”
Clay Travis: “Well I think that’s a suggestion that many people can, can work through.”
WJOX’s Ryan Brown: “Well they can, but is it true?
Clay Travis: “I don’t know if it’s true or not….How many people have ten suits. That don’t have jobs and are college kids.”
WJOX’s Ryan Brown: “But do you know Julio can’t afford ten suits? Do you know those are all his? Do you know if two or three guys have the same (size) suits and they trade them around on game day?”
Clay Travis: “I know he’s pictured trying on at least one of the suits on the site.”
A person of color can easily interpret that exchange as extremely offensive, citing a clear racial overtone in Travis’ words. I know a few of my African-American friends did (as did I).
Ryan Brown’s questioning came as a result of another piece Clay featured on his site questioning why Julio Jones was seen on game day in a number of different suits.
Clay had an opportunity to clear the air, but instead chose to continue to suggest that the family of a black college athlete…whose family has incurred zero expenses most families face when their child goes to college…couldn’t afford to clothe their son.
Where’s your hood, Clay? What part of Tennessee do you live in again?
Clay, do you know how easy it is to get a credit card? College students have long been a target of credit card companies, and not all suits have a $4,000 price tag, as alleged in the Cam Newton scandal (one of them).
I can go to Joseph A. Bank today and come home with ten suits for under $2,000. If I’m a huge target in the NFL draft, what’s $2,000 on my card…if I can’t afford them outright. When I was in college I didn’t have a need for one suit. But then I wasn’t required to travel every weekend in the fall wearing a suit either.
But the bigger story to the “story” is, why did Clay Travis, a self-proclaimed Tennessee fan, post speculative, unverified information on his site without giving UA a real chance to comment? What was his agenda?
Simple. He was not going to let facts get in the way of a good smear. Lots of compliance officials are in their office at 2:30am, right?
Clay Travis is simply a media whore trying to pimp his cheap website. And since radio stations in Alabama are apparently not going to take action, as evidenced by handing him their airwaves to spew speculative slander and malice in the direction of our institution, perhaps the University of Alabama should take action.
Journalists are protected by the 1st Amendment. But then, Clay Travis is no journalist.