Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt interviewed Donald Trump on his radio show recently. The two discussed who would be the best choice to moderate a Republican debate in 2024.
“You used to be interviewed by people like David Portnoy and Clay Travis,” Hewitt said in the conversation with former President Trump. “I am curious, when the Republicans do their debates for 2024, should they use people like Portnoy and Travis and me and people who aren’t part of the regular gang that gets to do these debates?”
A famous interview guest isn’t the only thing Travis and Portnoy have in common. Both started thriving media companies from the ground up and haven’t been afraid to speak their minds on social issues. A candidness that fans find refreshing and critics loathe.
“You’d be great,” President Trump responded. “Clay would be great. Portnoy would be great. You shouldn’t use a Chris Wallace. He’s terrible. He was terrible. He had no control of the debate.”
Travis appeared on The Dave Portnoy Show with Eddie & Co. in May, and the two brought up prior discussions of Barstool Sports acquiring Outkick.
“You had just reached out to me as you were just starting,” Travis described on the show. “Big Cat hadn’t been with you very long. Right before I went to fox the first time, we talked because I had gotten familiar with Barstool, I came on the rundown a couple of times with you guys. I think that was 2012 or 2013… That’s how we officially met.”
Travis and Portnoy have a working relationship in sports media. Time will tell if that seed grows in the political arena.
Russ Heltman is a daily news writer for BSM. He is the morning host and producer for 89.3 WMKV in Cincinnati, OH. He also works in gameday communications for FC Cincinnati and additionally contributes to the AllBengals blog for Sports Illustrated. Russ can be found on Twitter @RussHeltman11 or you can reach him by email at [email protected].
Sports Illustrated Accused of Attributing AI-Generated Stories to Fake Human Authors
Futurism reports that “Sports Illustrated” and other publications from The Arena Group have been attributing AI-generated articles to fabricated human authors.
As the prevalence of artificial intelligence continues to grow within the evolving media marketplace, there have been discussions regarding the ethics of the practice. A report from Futurism asserts that Sports Illustrated has been using the technology to publish articles written by the software, purchasing automatically generated profile photos from an online marketplace in order to give the author a human identity.
Within the report, it was averred that the publication routinely alters the AI personas on the website by changing the faux name and author photo, with there being no explanation towards the move. When Futurism reached out to The Arena Group – the publisher of Sports Illustrated – with questions about the practice, the AI personalities were hastily removed from the website.
Several industry professionals have commented on the matter through social media, expressing their dismay and concerns about the purported revelation. Outside of Sports Illustrated, Futurism discovered that many other publications have engaged in the practice, including CNET, Gizmodo and BuzzFeed. When the authors were changed on Sports Illustrated, there was no editorial note describing the rationale behind the decision. An anonymous source told Futurism that the content is “absolutely AI-generated no matter how much they say it’s not,” leading to dismay and interest in how the company will respond.
“Our staff works so hard to carry on Sports Illustrated’s tradition of great journalism,” senior writer Michael Rosenberg said in a post on X. “It’s so disappointing when people* in our own company undermine our work.”
After some time, the magazine eventually added a disclaimer that outlined the content being created by a third party and that Sports Illustrated editorial staff were not involved in its creation. There was no explicit mention, however, of the third party being AI technology, which is ostensibly being used across different publications throughout The Arena Group’s portfolio such as theStreet and Men’s Journal.
“Along with basic principles of honesty, trust, journalistic ethics, etc., I take seriously the weight of a Sports Illustrated byline,” magazine staff writer Emma Baccellieri said in a post on X. “It meant something to me long before I ever dreamed of working here. This report was horrifying to read.”
In a statement from a spokesperson for The Arena Group, the company disclosed that it is not accurate based on an initial investigation. These articles in question were product reviews supplied by AdVon Commerce, whose e-commerce articles ran on certain websites under the ownership of the company.
“We continually monitor our partners and were in the midst of a review when these allegations were raised,” the statement read. “AdVon has assured us that all of the articles in questions were written and edited by humans.”
AdVon’s writers, editors and researchers create and curate content while following a policy that utilizes counter-plagiarism and counter-AI software. The Arena Group has ended the partnership after discovering that the company had its writers use contrived identities to protect the privacy of the authors, actions it claims to “strongly condemn.” An internal investigation is continuing looking into the matter.
Shannon Sharpe: Charles Barkley and Michael Strahan Showed Me I Can Do Media
“When I saw Charles Barkley could be himself, could talk with the dialect that he had, was unapologetically not afraid to make fun of himself, I said, ‘I could do that.’”
Shannon Sharpe has built a successful sports media career after his Hall of Fame NFL career. He said seeing Charles Barkley and Michael Strahan work on television gave him the green light.
“When I saw Charles Barkley could be himself, could talk with the dialect that he had, was unapologetically not afraid to make fun of himself, I said, ‘I could do that.’ I’ve got just as good as sense of humor, I could tell stories, I can do that,” Shannon Sharpe said.
“I see Michael Strahan on Good Morning America, I see Stephen A. doing what he’s doing, I said, ‘I could do that’ … I just wanted someone to give me the opportunity,” Sharpe continued. “Be prepared when the opportunity presents itself.”
Sharpe turned working for The NFL Today into a role with Skip Bayless on FS1’s Undisputed. He now appears frequently on First Take in addition to his podcast with Johnson for The Volume.
Nick Wright: Thanksgiving Food Hot Takes ‘The Worst Thing We in Sports Media Do’
“I think it is the most cliche, terrible content imaginable, so I won’t engage in it.”
Every year at Thanksgiving, sports talk radio shows discuss food selections around the holiday. It is safe to say FS1’s Nick Wright despises the discussions.
While appearing on The Mine Kimes Show featuring Lenny, Wright was asked by Kimes about for his opinions on the food.
“Do you have any takes about Thanksgiving food?,” Kimes asked.
“It would be a rude answer, but since you have asked it, I will give it. My hottest take about Thanksgiving foods is it is the worst thing we in sports media do,” retorted Wright. “It’s like ‘Hey, are you stuffing or dressing? Pumpkin or sweet potato? Are you more of the sides? You know what is an overrated meat? Turkey. Nobody wants turkey!’
“I think it is the most cliche, terrible content imaginable, so I won’t engage in it, Mina Kimes.”
“Wow. Your hottest take is that my question sucks,” Kimes replied. “From the LeBron guy? Really? Coming at me over topic selection.”
The video of the pair’s interaction was posted to X, formerly Twitter, after Wright specifically asked Kimes to release the clip. The discussion has garnered more than 400,000 as of this publication.