Clay Travis: the Real Victim of Online Harassment

It's always personal, even when it can't possibly be about you.

|
Apr 26 2016, 7:09pm

Earlier today, Just Not Sports released a video called #MoreThanMean. It features two women working in sports media, Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro, who are among the legion of women subjected to constant vile harassment from online scumbags. The video is simple: random men read some of the hateful tweets other men have sent to Spain and DiCaro, while sitting in front of those women. It is incredibly awkward and poignant and worth watching. But enough about that: let's get to the real victim, Fucking Clay Travis.

Fucking Clay Travis is an online troll and agitator who has made a pretty good business of inciting the southern bro who is sick and tired of not being able to be wantonly sexist/racist in these politically correct times that have ruined America and stripped Americans of their inalienable right to be enormous assholes without fear of repercussion. Fucking Clay Travis has a website, radio show, and probably some other shit; he shelters from the PC Police in the safe house provided by Fox Sports and FS1, alongside such other stalwarts of the oppressed as Jason Whitlock and Colin Cowherd.

So what was Fucking Clay Travis's reaction to this video?

Oh, for fucking sure dude. Your mentions are out there doing the fucking Oklahoma drill, while Julie DiCaro's mentions are probably out shopping somewhere, right?

"That's Twitter, bro. Can't stand the heat get out of the matrix. Look at how fucking strong I am, bro. I don't even care that they threaten my kids."

To me, death threats, especially those directed at kids, are scary, and no laughing matter. I have not been battling in these streets as hard or as long as Clay Travis has, though, so my nerves are not as steely. Maybe my nerves will never be as steely, because I am one of the weaklords who believes in things like "being considerate" and "empathy" and "remembering that other people are, also, people." I don't know how, specifically, I'd handle something like a death threat against my child, but I can tell you the two things I wouldn't do. First, I wouldn't get into a semantic argument about what kind of harassment is worse, or try to discredit someone who clearly is unnerved by the things people threaten by going to the "happens to all of us" route. Second, I wouldn't throw my mom on television and have her laugh as she reads all the horrible tweets in an attempt at a viral video.

"Her accent makes these great."

It seems insane to have to point this out, but there is an ocean of difference between being unilaterally attacked for doing a job, which is what the #MoreThanMean video is about, and people engaging you when you are actively trying to get a rise out of them. Want proof? Note the vibe in each of the videos in the post. Try to process the difference between when Clay's mom laughs because she just said "shit" and when a dude apologizes to DiCaro for reading something to her he didn't even write.

But that's what guys like Fucking Clay Travis and his readers do. "How does this video affect me," is the first reaction. Not, like, "wow, that is shitty." Because they can—and because it's easier to do it than it is to think about it for even a minute—they proceed straight to, "well, life's tough and I get it much worse and you don't see me complaining."

It's long been the rally cry of the aggrieved white male that "political correctness" is intolerant of opposing viewpoints, which is actually a fairly brilliant bait and switch going on here. A person accused of being too PC because they object to, say, a North Carolina law that is clearly discriminatory against transgender people will be said to have been intolerant of a religious person's values. It's clever, albeit in a pretty stupid way, but it's also obviously wrong. The law is intolerant, and unnecessary; the person or people who think such a law is necessary have serious issues with accepting a lifestyle and viewpoint that differs from their own. That is to say, they are intolerant of those lifestyles and viewpoints. So much so that they feel required to pass a law about who uses what bathroom, which started the whole debate.

For those decrying the PC-ification of America, the reaction to a transgender person explaining how and why they feel more comfortable and safe using a specific bathroom is not, "wow, that is shitty." It is, and it always is, "how does this affect me." If it's not 100 percent self interest, it's 50 percent self interest and 50 percent performance. That's how a law like that gets written, and that's how Clay Travis can turn a public service announcement for female journalists—or anything else, really—into just another thing about himself.