No one is being told to “stick to sports” at The Athletic, but the publication has told its writers to avoid being political.
A memo obtained by Defector shows Paul Fichtenbaum’s desire to remain neutral on divisive issues. The Athletic’s chief content officer differentiated between social conversations and political stances.
“We don’t want to stop people from having a voice and raising their voice for appropriate issues,” Fichtenbaum writes. “But there comes a point where something that is a straightforward, ‘Hey, I’m concerned about guns in America,’ for instance, right, that’s an apolitical statement. It becomes political when you say, ‘I’m concerned about guns in America and this political party is the reason why we’re having an issue,’ right? That’s when it tips over. So again, we don’t want to stop people from having a voice and expressing themselves. We just need to keep it from tipping over into the political space.”
The anonymous writer for The Athletic that leaked the memo to Defector’s Laura Wagner expressed concern and confusion about what this will lead to in terms of the site’s editorial policies.
“What about Black Lives Matter? Is that a social cause? Who will write about athlete protests? What about trans athletes in sports?” this person wrote. “Where this policy gets you is that the people who care the most about a particular issue, the people who are most informed about a particular issue, are now the ones who are banned from covering the issue.”
The New York Times purchased The Athletic earlier this year in an effort to boost its digital subscriber numbers. Fitchenbaum joined the site in 2017 and has served as the Chief Content Officer the entire time.
Draymond Green, JJ Redick Sell Out Live Podcast Show
The show will collaborate for the first time and it will mark an interesting time in the thrusting of new media onto the public consciousness.
The two new and most visible faces of the new media influx have teamed up for a live show that will take place in New York City. Draymond Green and JJ Redick are bringing their respective podcasts to the stage for a live experience.
On Monday (June 27), Draymond Green’s The Draymond Green Show and JJ Redick’s The Old Man and the Three will seek to entertain an already sold out audience at The City Winery in New York City.
The show will collaborate for the first time and it will mark an interesting time in the thrusting of new media onto the public consciousness. JJ Redick has earned universal praise for how he has handled his career post-retirement from the NBA, including appear often opposite Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s First Take as well as the network’s myriad of other programming.
Draymond Green has been very public with his podcast that has very publicly recorded episodes minutes after Warriors games. He has recently invoked his mantra that he isn’t a part of the media (despite signing a contract with Turner Sports and Colin Cowherd’s The Volume). Instead he insists he is a part of the aforementioned new media.
Scott Van Pelt Not Hurt By Draymond Green’s “New Media” Comment
“He’s the one that said it. Isn’t he the one who said he’s new media? I was just trying to give him credit in saying, ‘Look, you now have control of your narrative and you can go do your podcast now.’”
We have heard an awful lot in the fast month about “new media” with a large section of that discussion coming in regards to athletes in or formerly in the NBA. One such interaction was between a member of that new media and Scott Van Pelt.
After Game 5 of the NBA Finals, a victorious Draymond Green was interviewed on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt. In the interview, Van Pelt asked Green about dealing with the outside “noise” around the Finals. After Green gave a to-be-expected type answer, Van Pelt followed-up with the initial comment that start a wave.
Van Pelt: You’re part of the media now and you get to control the conversation from your perspective and I know you’ll-
Green: New media.
He then corrected Van Pelt’s assertion that Green had stated Stephen A. Smith was new media by saying:
Green: And by the way go watch The Draymond Green Show. I said Stephen A. sometimes acts like the new media. Sometimes he doesn’t. That’s on you, but nonetheless, don’t just lump me in with media, baby. It’s the new media.
Scott Van Pelt appeared on the SI Media Podcast and was asked about this exchange.
“I didn’t get that,” Van Pelt said of Green’s resistance in being associated with the word “media.”
Van Pelt went on about Green’s categorizing of Smith and other media as a separate column of media.
“I guess what Draymond actually said was sometimes he’s new media. I don’t give a shit who’s what…I think now as it relates to media, there’s no new and old because people that are in the old media are doing the new media and people that are in new media are cutting through in ways that people in old media didn’t think they ever would many years ago. I guess all I’m saying is whatever Stephen A. is, he exists in both lanes and Draymond, clearly his content cuts through on his podcast or with me.
I wasn’t hurt by it. I didn’t take it like he was mad at me. I was just correcting the semantics. It didn’t trouble me. Whatever. However Draymond frames what Stephen A. Smith is or what any of us are, it doesn’t feel important. I think it’s important he has that place where he wants to do his thing. And I think people are interested in hearing from the guy that was just out there not long after saying what he has to say.”
Big Cat Asks For Listeners’ Help Booking Kevin Durant on Pardon My Take
“On a recent edition of the podcast, Big Cat talked about how the Brooklyn Nets star has continued to snub requests to come on the show.”
Barstool’s Big Cat has been trying to book NBA star Kevin Durant on Pardon My Take for five years, but the former MVP just won’t say yes.
On a recent edition of the podcast, Big Cat talked about how the Brooklyn Nets star has continued to snub requests to come on the show.
“We want Kevin Durant on this show, and he has just alpha-ed me so hard at this point,” Big Cat said. “I need people to start replying to his tweets saying just go on Pardon My Take.”
It’s not like KD has given Big Cat the cold shoulder. Big Cat said Durant has responded to his DMs on Twitter before, even wishing him Happy Thanksgiving one year. But so far all attempts to get Durant on PMT have been futile.
“Maybe if we start getting some rings, then he’ll be like, ‘Yeah they’re an elite team, and I want to join up with them. And maybe I can help them win something,'” PFT Commenter said, referencing the fact that PMT is yet to be recognized with any podcasting awards.
Durant did more or less tell the podcast on Twitter he wasn’t interested on Wednesday.
Durant’s response probably still won’t deter Big Cat from trying to get Durant on the show, but at least they know where KD stands.