Eric Shanks (pictured above) and Charlie Dixon provided the opportunity so I’m running with it. Race-baiting is bad and harmful unless you’re racist and I’ve been using the lousy viewership for FS1’s LOCK IT IN to make that point precisely because Fox Sports rewarded race-baiting clown Clay Travis with a TV show.
Some have asked “but why not go after Skip Bayless instead of Clay?”
I have a simple test for spotting race-baiting and I can easily ensnare Clay in that trap, but not Skip. If Skip is a race-baiter, he’s far more skillful than Clay in hiding it. I find some of Skip’s behavior repugnant but I’m absolutely not comfortable calling Skip out as a race-baiter.
I’m totally comfortable calling Clay Travis out for it though because Clay is unquestionably and undeniably a race-baiter. My simple but foolproof test for spotting race-baiting: do they play the “Am I racist?” card. Yes, Clay does.
Sorry Charlie (and Eric): Skip is (maybe) worth it, Clay definitely isn’t
Skip may bring some baggage with him but he definitely has something going for him: he brought a good 100,000 to 150,000 viewers with him when he moved from ESPN to FS1.
Whether the money was worth it is debatable but there’s no debating that Skip truly moved the needle for FS1’s morning viewership.
There is a very reasonable case to make that the viewership for LOCK IT IN isn’t Clay Travis’ fault and is merely a function of the network it’s on, the time slot it’s in, little to no promotion and a combination of people not knowing that FS1 and LOCK IT IN even exist.
That case is so reasonable to me that I make it myself. I don’t put the lousy numbers on Clay. I really don’t. HOWEVER, if anyone had the idea that Clay had some kind of built-in base of viewers like Skip Bayless and that Clay’s race-baiting would be worth wrapping Fox Sports’ arms around for those viewers, the evidence is abundantly clear: Clay doesn’t have any kind of audience who’ll follow him to TV.
So Charlie Dixon and Eric Shanks: why wrap your arms around the race-baiting in return for zero extra viewers?