Clickbait Olympic Story Tries To Create A Fight [VIDEO]

Clickbait Olympic Story Tries To Create A Fight [VIDEO]

Clickbait Olympic Story Tries To Create A Fight [VIDEO]

An Olympic athlete with an attitude. A reporter desperate to get some clickbait out there. Add them together and what do you get? A manufactured controversy starring… Vice President Mike Pence?

Bear with me here, because this is some major stretching on the part of both Adam Rippon, Team USA figure skater, and reporter Christine Brennan from USA Today Sports. Back in January, Brennan wrote up a story on Rippon’s refusal to meet with Vice President Pence (who is leading the USA delegation to the Winter Olympics this week) because Rippon is gay and hates Pence. There’s really no other explanation for it.

“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy?” Rippon said. “I’m not buying it.”

Rippon, 28, who was selected to his first Olympic team earlier this month after finishing fourth at the U.S. national championships, said that he would prefer not to meet Pence during the traditional meet-and-greet between the official delegation and U.S. athletes in the hours leading to the opening ceremony. It’s possible Rippon would have to miss that event anyway to be part of the team figure skating competition.

“If it were before my event, I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren’t a friend of a gay person but that they think that they’re sick,” Rippon said. “I wouldn’t go out of my way to meet somebody like that.

“I don’t think he has a real concept of reality,” Rippon said of Pence. “To stand by some of the things that Donald Trump has said and for Mike Pence to say he’s a devout Christian man is completely contradictory. If he’s okay with what’s being said about people and Americans and foreigners and about different countries that are being called ‘shitholes,’ I think he should really go to church.”

The allegation that Pence “funded gay conversion therapy” is a canard that gay rights activists extrapolated from a statement from his campaign website back in 2000. And his press secretary immediately responded, when the initial story broke, that the allegation was false.

But now, Brennan wants to push her story juuuuuust a little bit more, by creating a “spat” between the Vice President and the figure skater.

According to two people with knowledge of the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly about it, a member of Pence’s staff requested the conversation with the openly gay Rippon after reading the skater’s derogatory remarks about him in a USA TODAY Sports story that had been published online just an hour earlier.

Rippon, the two people said, declined the invitation.

Gotta love those anonymous sources! They just say the darndest things!

After reading the story online, Pence’s press secretary quickly shot back, sending USA TODAY SPORTS a rebuttal to Rippon’s comments:

“The vice president is proud to lead the U.S. delegation to the Olympics and support America’s incredible athletes,” press secretary Alyssa Farah said. “This accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact. Despite these misinformed claims, the vice president will be enthusiastically supporting all the U.S. athletes competing next month in Pyeongchang.”

But that was not the end of it. Pence apparently was so concerned about Rippon’s comments that he then set in motion the attempt to speak with him. Farah did not reply to an email earlier this week seeking comment, but after the story was published deputy Jarrod Agen, Pence’s deputy chief of staff and communications director, issued a statement.

“The vice president’s office did not reach out to set up a conversation with Mr. Rippon. As we’ve said before, the Vice President is supporting all the U.S. athletes in the Olympics and is hoping they all win medals.”


Brennan has since updated her piece to reflect the statement from Agen, but that happened hours after the story was published (according to the time stamps, the original story was published at 3:41 am ET, the update was made at 7:30 pm ET), so this story sat around for pretty much the entire day as clickbait.

And for her efforts in trying to stir up this non-troversy, Brennan sets up Rippon, who she intended to be this champion for gay rights, to look like a total jerk.


So, to sum up…
Adam Rippon loathes Vice President Pence (and the Trump administration).

Christine Brennan wanted clickbait to jump-start her story again.

Brennan basically re-wrote her story from January 17th and tried to garner more attention by creating a fight. She’s now doubling down, despite having to insert the statement from Pence’s office into her story.


But hey, she got TV time out of it!


And in the end, isn’t that the goal? For the reporter to get some TV facetime? Wasn’t this all about her?

Hey, Adam Rippon – you might not like Vice President Pence, but at least he didn’t use you to score some air time on CNN.

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4 Comments
  • GWB says:

    OMG! A male figure skater is gay?!? WHO COULD HAVE EVER GUESSED???
    *facepalm*

    Again, the progs try to make this as if the conservatives are attacking gays and trans and every other special snowflake, when, in reality, it’s always the left that’s in attack mode. They start the fight, then, like crappy little sisters* they cry “Mom, he hit me!”

    (* Note, “crappy” modifies “little sisters”. It’s not a phrase unto itself. There are little sisters who are wonderful. Then there are the ones who are rotten. Just saying. And I’ve never had a little sister, so I’m being totally bigoted here.)

  • Chris in N.Va says:

    Narcissist recipe for more attention:
    Fuss over/at someone else. Pick a fight the doesn’t even exist.
    Complain when fussed-at responds to fusser.
    It’s all about me me me me me me.

    Not too different from a low-level comic convention fairly recently declaring they would NOT invite that bad, bad man Kevin Sorbo.
    To which the veteran actor is left to wonder “who said what about what?” and posit that they must be pretty desperate for attention.

  • CaptDMO says:

    Now that an competitive athlete had deemed fit to bring politics into their “schtick”, and make it personal,
    feel free to avoid them when they’re portraying candlestick number two in Disney on Ice.
    Oddly, I don’t recall ANY one chanting USA…USA…USA….at the large screens, at the sports bar, or Gentleman’s Club, whenever figure skaters execute that perfect triple, in past Olympics.

  • Matthew W says:

    Mick Pence shouldn’t waste 30 seconds of his life trying to be the better man by trying to reach out to that bigoted hater.
    I unfortunately saw the men’s qualifying and that turd took FOURTH and skated like shit !!!! The guy that took third wasn’t even allowed to be an alternate. Should we speculate that the peter puffer made the team because of his choice in partners?

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