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All That and a Bag of Mail

Rejoice, it’s Friday!

And you’re almost done with work for the weekend.

What’s here to help your day pass even faster? The Outkick mailbag. So let’s dive right in.

Jason writes:

“Donald Trump just played a yuge role in the Korean War ending after almost 70 years. How over the moon would the MSM have been had this happened when Obama was in office and do you think there’s any way he gets a Nobel Peace Prize?”

If the media were honest they would have to give Donald Trump a tremendous amount of credit for this outcome, but they won’t because the media isn’t honest. They decide something is true — police officers are indiscriminately killing black people for instance — and even if the evidence doesn’t support this conclusion they only cover stories that confirm their pre-existing narrative.

Their opinion on Trump is that he’s a buffoon incapable of intelligent discourse and so if anything rejects that caricature they won’t cover it even if, and this is significant, the news out of Korea is some of the best news the world has gotten in a generation.

The news media, at least since Watergate, has progressively gotten more negative even as the actual world has gotten safer every year. That’s why so much of the media coverage today isn’t even about bad things happening, it’s about people getting their feelings hurt.

Now how much credit does Trump deserve for what’s happening in Korea?

I think there’s a strong argument to make that without Donald Trump’s election Kim Jong Un wouldn’t be acting the way he is. I think it took Trump’s particular brand of leadership — call it borderline insanity if you want — for things to work out here. We’ve had brilliant statesmen negotiating with North Korea and accomplishing nothing for sixty years and then Trump suddenly shows up and 16 months later — after he aggressively challenges Kim publicly and privately and gets China to shut down trade with the country — everything suddenly changes?

That would be a truly remarkable coincidence, wouldn’t it?

I think the truth is this, most countries in the world are run by people like Donald Trump — brash showmen and strongmen who have an intuitive connection with their base of political support. How do these brash showmen and strongmen typically make decisions when it comes to international relations? Not based on what their egghead advisers tell them to do, but based on their personal rapport with another leader.

And I think one aspect of Trump’s personality that hasn’t gotten much attention is that if you are what he considers to be his equal on the national or world stage, he’s a pretty good guy to you. That is, if Trump respects you he treats you well and if he doesn’t respect you, or considers you beneath him, he treats you like an asshole. That’s why Trump has such a good relationship with so many famous people in the country, Tom Brady and Kanye West, for example. Because successful people like to be friends with other successful people because it further burnishes their image of success.

We’ve gotten used to the idea that our presidents should treat everyone the same — or at least pretend to in public — but that’s not Trump’s way, he admires achievement and reserves his praise and attention for interpersonal relationships he values. Look at his Tweets today directed to China’s president. Look at his interactions with the leaders of Japan and France. Trump doesn’t make decisions with grand ideas of American foreign policy in mind, he makes decisions based on his personal relationships with the leaders of those countries.

And I think that’s actually the perfect recipe for success in North Korea. I think Trump and Kim Jong Un may well actually end up liking each other and talking on the phone every now and then. I really do.

Trump just kicked the state department to the curb and said let’s get something done. When Kim Jong Un invited him to a summit, he accepted on the spot. That’s a decision that ordinarily would have been debated for months. (And probably rejected as too risky). I think the North Koreans respect — and fear — that Trump can’t be managed via stagecraft.

You know how sometimes two people that seem crazy to everyone else can have a strong relationship? I think that’s what could happen here. Trump may just be the right kind of crazy to do something that no one else could do, bring peace to the Korean peninsula and end the threat that exists today from North Korea. Which is, frankly, the biggest threat in the world today.

If the Nobel Peace Prize was being honestly delivered, Trump would win it.

Period.

And if Barack Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize BEFORE HE’D EVEN DONE A THING, had pulled this off, the media would have lost their mind praising him. So how come they won’t do the same thing for Trump? Because they’ve already decided they hate him and because they aren’t willing to acknowledge that Trump is capable of anything positive.

Donald Trump could come out tomorrow and announce that he’d cured cancer and immediately the media would complain and say, “Yeah, but what about heart disease?”

Bias in media is real.

Donald Trump is right about that. And the Korean media coverage is a perfect example of that.

But spend less time worrying about the coverage and just enjoy, at least for a moment, that things with North Korea seem to be slowly working to eliminate the greatest threat to world peace the world faces today.

TV guy requesting anonymity writes:

“I just heard Sarah Spain’s ‘That’s What She Said’ on MSESPN radio arguing that women need to stop being judged by what they look like and you may be the only man alive with the power to do what’s necessary.  Is TV cruel and unfair to non-attractive people? ABSOLUTELY!

But for the love of God someone needs to come out and say that’s not a sexist thing – it’s an attractive-ist thing.  If women like Sarah want to talk about how they shouldn’t be judged by how much viewers want to sleep with them then they need to start petitioning to get the women with hardly any qualifications/experience beyond “holy crap, who wouldn’t want to sleep with them?!” fired.

This notion that men on TV are not told to “watch your weight,”  “maybe don’t wear that next time,” “we want you to look & sound more like this,” etc… is absurdity.  The double-standard never discussed when women say they have a shelf-life is that men take 5, 10, sometimes 20 years to make it to markets ‘hot girls’ start in.  Men are expected to look older and distinguished, look like they’ve been around and seen it all.  And let’s be honest, no network is putting men on TV unless the majority of women and/or gay men think to themselves “ya, I’d probably have sex with him.”

I’m not sitting here saying they’re wrong. I’m just tired of women being portrayed like they’re the only ones who are subject to the blunt and harsh treatment of television. Men have a shelf-life too, ours just starts way later in most instances.” 

I’m so sick of people who have jobs because of their sex arguing they should stop being judged based on their sex.

There is a 0% chance that a guy who had the same opinions as Sarah Spain would have a job in sports media.

Zero.

That’s because Spain has no interesting opinions at all and has decided to carve out a niche for herself as woman who argues women deserve the right to an opinion in the world of sports. All without ever having an actual opinion in the world of sports that is remotely interesting. Seriously, can you even name a single thing she’s ever said or written about actual sports that has made you think differently about an issue than you did beforehand?

She has managed to get a job in sports despite having zero to contribute the national discourse except for the fact that she’s a woman.

It’s seriously incredible.

Are women judged by how they look on TV? Of course. But, as you said, so are men.

Erin Andrews recommended me to Fox Sports execs to hire for TV. Do you know what the first question they asked her was? “What does he look like?”

THE VERY FIRST QUESTION.

Now I don’t think any women or gay men out there are seeing me on TV and immediately taking their pants off, but I’m good enough looking to be on TV. (At least in the opinion of Fox, ESPN, and NBC, all of whom I’ve done television with.) And if you compare me to other writers in the press box, I’m George Clooney. (Admittedly, this is like being the smartest Alabama fan in the trailer park, but still, it’s something.)

The truth is this — TV is a cosmetic business. And what you look like is a very important aspect of your role in a cosmetic business. But looks don’t keep you employed, they just get you in the door. Ultimately you have to be good at what you do to have staying power in any business.

What’s amazing to me about people like Sarah Spain — WHO LITERALLY GOT HER START IN SPORTS MEDIA BY POSTING A PICTURE OF HERSELF IN A REVEALING BOOB TOP SEEKING SUPER BOWL TICKETS — is that as soon as they get jobs based on what they look like, they decide that women shouldn’t get jobs based on what they look like.

It’s like a woman who is 45 and has benefited from her looks since she was 18 suddenly deciding that it’s awful that women get benefits based on their looks. I’m like, hold up, you were fine taking those benefits from 18 to 45 but now that there are other girls who are younger and better looking than you you suddenly get offended by the fact that this happens?

Furthermore, no one is making you do TV, which is a cosmetic business. You can do radio or write, both professions where your looks really don’t matter very much. Honestly, having done sports media for a long time, you can almost tell whether a guy is in TV, radio, or writing just by looking at him. The TV guys are generally much more attractive than the guys who make a living on radio or writing.

That’s not sexism, that’s a function of the job.

And the truth of the matter is this, men age better than women. Why is that? BIOLOGY! Men can father children until they die. Women can’t. So it would stand to reason that older men would be more attractive to women than older women would be to younger men.

And that seems to be the case.

What makes arguments like Spain’s so ridiculous is that most men won’t even fight stupid opinions like these because they’re afraid of being called sexist. So people like Spain just get to social justice warrior their asses off without any legitimate opposition.

It’s absurd, but if it’s any consolation, no one is watching her or listening to her in any kind of substantial numbers. Do you know why? BECAUSE SHE DOESN’T HAVE ANY ACTUAL OPINIONS THAT ARE INTERESTING.

Which will eventually be the reason her career ends.

Not sexism.

Jordan writes:

“In today’s political landscape it seems like the far left and far right ignore the fact that people on the opposite side of the party lines can be friends….let alone be married to each other. I don’t see the gap closing anytime soon, and now you have guys like John Legend begging Kanye to not support Trump.  Since you are the ultimate Radical Moderate…what do you believe would have to happen for this gap to close, and people to stop losing their minds every day?”

Identity politics have to collapse.

The best way that could happen is if black people weren’t allied nearly 100% with the Democratic party and both political parties were competing for the black vote. (Other racial groups are nowhere near being uniformly for or against political parties so the backbone of identity politics is rooted in black voters).

Barack Obama won in 2008 and 2012, interestingly, by trying to appeal to the country’s better angels. He didn’t need to tell people he was black because he was black and everyone could see it. He represented, to many people of all races, the fulfillment of the American dream, the idea that anyone, regardless of race, could be born in this country and grow up to be president. It helped that Obama was multi-racial and had grown up, for much of his life, surrounded by white people. Then he grew up and married a black woman and had children with her. That made him uniquely able to move across racial barriers without seeming awkward or out of place. He could truly campaign in Iowa with white farmers as well as he could campaign in Harlem with inner city black voters.

Hillary saw Obama’s successes, but didn’t have his gifts. She tried to put together the Obama coalition, but in order to do that she had to make naked appeals to voters based on their identities. She did black outreach and Hispanic outreach and gay outreach and she argued that women should support her because she was a woman. But I think that backfired because it alienated many voters.

Remember, Donald Trump won white women in this country. Hillary, a white woman, wasn’t even able to get the majority of white women in this country to vote for her. And remember this too, even though it gets very little attention, Donald Trump won the election because he persuaded eight million people in this country to flip their votes from Barack Obama in 2012 to Donald Trump in 2016.

Presumably those voters, who had been willing to elect a black man president, were not racist.

Yet that’s all you hear from Hillary and her supporters. That she lost not because of the weakness of her own candidacy and because of her inability to bring together the Obama voters, but because Trump’s voters were racist and dumb and deplorable. And those voters saw through her bullshit. The most amazing thing about 2016, to me, was that Hillary Clinton, who was married to the best retail politician for poor white people in our country’s modern history, Bill Clinton, was unable or unwilling to connect with those poor voters who loved her husband.

Now back to identity politics.

The important thing about Kanye West is he’s willing to take the slings and arrows from others by saying he likes Donald Trump. (Go look at his mentions, it’s amazing how intolerant far left wingers are of anyone who offers up an independent thought). And if Kanye, who unquestionably has a massive black audience, makes even a part of his audience stop and think, “Wait a minute, why do I hate Donald Trump?” they might recognize something interesting — Trump has actually been good for black people.

Black unemployment has never been lower, the median wage of a black person in this country has never been higher, the practical impact of Trump’s presidency, at least so far, has been very good for black people in this country. Now, I understand you may not like his rhetoric, but aren’t actions more important than words?

Further, and I wrote this back in March of 2016, two full years ago, Kanye and Trump are basically the same person. It’s not surprising to me that they would like each other. Trump is basically a rapper too. “Grab her by the pussy,” despite all the false outrage, sounds like it would be a top hit in the rap business.

Here’s what I wrote in March of 2016:

“What are rappers known for? Their bling, their bitches, and their flouting of convention en route to fabulous economic success, right?

Screw Kanye, Donald Trump is the first rapper to ever run for president.

And that swagger has tons of appeal to people of all races and ethnicities across the country. It’s why I think Trump will end up getting a decent amount of the vote with minority men in particular. They’ll come to like Trump’s swagger too.

What’s more, the appeal of rap is understated with white audiences, who make up the vast majority of Republican voters.

Every white person under the age of forty loves rap. Seriously. Go to any party filled with only white people under forty and at least half of the songs will be rap. And everyone knows the lyrics. Even the most conservative white dudes and chicks out there have spent their lives marinating in rap.

DONALD TRUMP IS A RAPPER!

He’s on his third wife, each one more beautiful than the last. He’s got the Trump jets and he puts his names on buildings. His entire life is about branding and excess. Think about it, this dude is the King of Bling, the original “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.”

He’s Jay Z, but white, boasting about his conquests everywhere he goes, hyper masculine, deriding anyone who doesn’t like him as a hater, combating his rivals with verbal put downs that emasculate them while elevating him. Every rapper is essentially selling the same theme — I’m living the American capitalistic dream, from having nothing to having everything.

Everybody’s been trying to figure out how Trump got the nomination in 2016 and the answer is simple — he took the rap game to politics.

I think the result of black people all voting democratic has been bad for our country, and for black people, because it’s led to an era where democrats now spend all their time convincing black people how bad they have it instead of trying to do things to actually make things better.

In order to get black people to the polls democratic politicians, at least if they aren’t black, have to convince black people that America is an awful place full of racism and scary racist politicians who want to drag them back to the pre-Civil Rights era. But that isn’t true at all.

The result is ultimately a tribalization effect in our country, which is predicated to a large degree on modern day racism. If you can look at someone and judge how they are likely to vote based on what they look like, that’s racism. Because you’re judging someone based entirely on the color of their skin. And the only people you can do that with, honestly, are black people. So if Kanye makes black people start to question their blind allegiance to one political party I think that would be great for our country.

My problem with Trump is I agree with quite a bit of what he’s arguing for, but also think he’s pretty much the worst possible vehicle to make the arguments he’s making. But that doesn’t mean that Trump’s disruption of identity politics, which I would love to see happen, couldn’t also be incredibly important for our country.

Todd writes:

“A couple of my buddies, avid readers, have had this debate go on and we always relate to the age old question, “What would the gay Muslim say?” We all know and agree on that football jerseys on grown men are a big no go. Polo’s and visors are the only acceptable thing to wear whether it’s a Saturday or Sunday in the fall. Basketball jerseys are a no go unless you’re wearing a MJ space jam to a Jersey party. Baseball jerseys are the best option in my opinion out of the big 3 to wear but still, I wear a polo to MLB games. 

On to my question. Is it ok for a grown man to wear a hockey jersey? I saw a picture from Winnipeg’s white out and it looked like every single person in the arena had a white Winnipeg jersey. Keep in mind, that was the away jersey. If I were to buy a Preds jersey, I’m paying $200 for that gold and not the one they wear when I won’t get to see them. I feel like it’s also a money and status symbol to some people to wear a NHL jersey because hockey is arguably the most expensive sport to play and ridiculously expensive to see come playoffs in Nashville. 
What say you O Wise One? Hockey jerseys, acceptable or not?”

Unacceptable.

Here’s the truth, if you are a grown man and you wear another grown man’s name on your back effectively you are letting the entire world know that if that man wanted to have sex with your wife or girlfriend you’d be comfortable standing there giving him a high five every time he thrusts into your wife or girlfriend.

Because a jersey, effectively, is the equivalent of a grown man letting other grown men know that he so desperately wishes that he was another grown man that he is going to dress up like him.

No grown man, with a functional penis anyway, can ever wear a jersey of another man if that man is younger than you are.

That’s especially the case when it comes to football, basketball, or hockey since you would never wear the jersey in normal course of life. Why, for instance, are football and hockey jerseys so big? You don’t have to wear pads with your jersey like the actual players do. Yet I see all these grown men walking around in overgrown potato sacks at games. It’s not just that you’re signaling to everyone by wearing the jersey that you want to high five the guy while he bangs your wife or girlfriend, it’s also that you look fucking ridiculous.

I’ll allow a limited jersey exception for kids, obviously, and for you to continue to wear the jersey of any sports figure who is older than you are. (This would mean throwback jerseys are technically okay). I’ll also allow a limited exception for United States soccer jerseys since these look like normal shirts. But I still think you should buy a generic version without the name of a player on the back.

Now you could theoretically also have a jersey with your own name on it too, but that looks pretty ridiculous if you aren’t actually playing.

Otherwise the baseline rule is pretty simple: if you are a grown man you can’t wear the jersey of another grown man.

No matter the sport.

Have great weekends and thanks for reading Outkick.

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is an author, radio show host, lawyer, TV analyst, and the founder of OutKick (formerly known as Outkick the Coverage).
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