January 23, 2018

Press Goes After Twitter Activity of Conservative Christian U.S. Tennis Player

Filed under: Activism,MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 7:49 pm

The left-dominated U.S. and world press have reached the point where they are unwilling to celebrate the success of Americans in major sporting events without first vetting their political views. Tennys Sandgren, until now a barely top-100 player who is the only American who has reached this year’s quarterfinals of the men’s Australian Open tennis tournament, has been raked over the coals for three (in their eyes) unacceptable offenses: being Christian, conservative, and believing that “I want to hear everybody’s side, and I want to learn, because I’m 26.”

Clay Travis at Outkick the Coverage noted that the scrutiny of Sandgren began just after he defeated the world’s fifth-ranked player in a five-set thriller:

At the post-match press conference, an Australian journalist came “out of nowhere” and played guilt-by-insinuation over Sandgren’s Twitter activity (video is here; no embeddable version was available; transcript is at the end of this post).

Sandgren deleted his Twitter history shortly after the Australian journalist’s attempted inquisition over people he follows on Twitter who are supposedly “outside the mainstream,” and, nonsensically, what he “links” to on Twitter. Elite athletes can’t afford to let hostile distractions get in the way of performing at their highest level.

In covering Sandgren’s ESPN interview Tuesday in his Tuesday dispatch, New York Times reporter Christopher Clary addressed Sandgren’s Twitter takedown:

… Sandgren said he deleted his tweets not because it’s “something that I’m really necessary embarrassed about,” but because he thought that “creating a version of a cleaner start is not a bad call.”

He added: “… It’s just something that I thought wouldn’t be a bad way to kind of move forward.”

Clary also continued the press’s dishonest guilt-by-insinuation effort:

… Sandgren was asked about online exchanges he has had with right-wing activists.

For heaven’s sake. Following someone on Twitter and posting tweets are not “online exchanges,” and Clary knows that.

The closest the Times reporter could get to something anyone might find genuinely questionable was that Sandgren “seemed to support” the Pizzagate accusations in November 2016. Contending that “It’s sickening and the collective evidence is too much to ignore” at that time, as Sandgren reportedly wrote, does not constitute support for the allegations that were being made.

Clary also noted that Sandgren’s Christian faith-based denial of supporting the alt-right did not suffice at ESPN, which wouldn’t be satisfied until he clarified that “he did not think alt-right content was interesting, ‘just some individuals’ specific content.’” Last time I checked, “interesting” is not an automatic compliment, and it most certainly is not an automatic endorsement.

Outkick the Coverage’s Travis noted on Tuesday that the media treatment of Sandgren continues a recent and distressing trend:

… this is a logical extension of where the sports media has gone. We now have members of the sports media searching an athlete’s Twitter feed to see who he follows and then asking him about them if they aren’t deemed “socially acceptable” by that media figure.

And by “socially acceptable” we mean, “left wing.”

********************

Transcript of post-game interview Q&A with Australian reporter:

REPORTER: (first few seconds are unintelligible) … in your profile has drawn attention to your social media output, which includes some political figures who might be considered outside the mainstream. For instance, on John 15, Nicolas Fuentes, who I believe attended the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

(Sandgren laughs and looks off to the side)

Now, should you not be concerned about linking your social media output —

TENNYS SANDGREN: Is that “linking”?

REPORTER: If you tweet him, I believe that’s linking —

SANDGREN (smiling): Is that linking? (Laughs; no, it’s not. — Ed.)

REPORTER: You’ve written on your bio (that) “RTs (retweets) are not endorsements,” but there is quite a regular pattern. Somebody like Mike Cernovich on your feed, I believe —

(Sandgren, befuddled, shakes his head.)

— you debated Pizzagate —

SANDGREN: Debated? Interesting —

REPORTER: Hashtag Pizzagate exchange at some point. I just wondered if you’re concerned about having yourself connected to some of these controversial figures.

SANDGREN: I mean. No, I’m not concerned about it.

(Voice in the background says, roughly, “This is the Australian Open. That question is ridiculous.)

SANDGREN: It’s fine. It’s fine.

I don’t — Look, who you follow on Twitter I feel like, doesn’t matter even a little bit. You know, what information you see doesn’t dictate what you think or believe, and I think it’s crazy to think that. I think it’s crazy to assume that, to say, “Well, he’s following X person so he believes all the things that this person believes.” I think that’s ridiculous. I think that’s ridiculous.

That’s not how information works. If you watch a news channel, you wouldn’t then say that that person who watches the news channel thinks everything that news channel puts out. You wouldn’t think that. So, and no, I don’t think — I’m not concerned about it, and I don’t think that any kind of engagement in that way dictates that you then are right in there with that particular person. I don’t think it works that way. I don’t see it as working that way.

I mean, you can ask me about my beliefs on things and that’s cool, but I think to lump in and say, “well you follow this person, so then wow, who are you?”

It’s like, ask me. You can ask me who I am and I’m perfectly fine answering those kind of questions.

REPORTER: Do you feel that you, um, support some of the alt-right movement?

SANDGREN: No, I don’t. No I don’t. I find some of the content interesting, but no I don’t. Not at all. No. As a firm Christian, I don’t support things like that. No. I support Christ and following him, and that’s what I support. Thanks.

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