1. I had no idea doing completely inane and useless red carpet interviews at a UFC event was a big deal in the world of journalism, but apparently I was mistaken.
Over the weekend, Addison Rae, a 20-year-old woman who has 82 million TikTok followers, tweeted this:
Many people were angered by the flippant bragging and others were outraged Rae would get a gig as a UFC “reporter.”
While the tone of the tweet is not exactly humble, this is a 20-year-old who is famous for being on TikTok. I wouldn’t exactly expect self-awareness to be one of her top traits.
As for Rae's apparently being hired to work the event, I found it stunning people in media would be bothered by this. For starters, networks have–gross world alert–influencers to work events all the time. This is not a new practice.
Rae has 82 million TikTok followers. It’s not hard to see her appeal.
Also, Rae was supposedly hired to do “reporting” at a UFC event. She wasn’t hired to do an investigative piece on CTE in the NFL. To say that UFC's having Rae interview people is an affront to journalism is a major stretch.
I don’t want to minimize the difficulty of being an up-and-coming journalist. This is a very difficult business to get into, and in a perfect world, you’d like to think people who have put their time in within the industry would be rewarded.
However, it doesn’t work that way. People get jobs based on who they know, how many Twitter followers they have, and other things that have nothing to do with what school you attended or what journalistic experience you have.
You may not like that, but it’s reality. So to attack Rae, who, again, did herself no favors with the arrogant tweet, is misguided.
The kicker to this entire story is that the whole thing was reportedly nothing but a stunt.
Rae did interview fighter Dustin Poirier for a TikTok on ESPN's account. I think the world of journalism will be able to survive that.
2. The NBA Finals between the Bucks and Suns continue to be a ratings dud compared to the Finals series that took place before the pandemic.
3. Who knew The Rock's toughest opponent would be a hawk? Make sure you have the sound on for this so you can hear Dwayne Johnson do some commentary as a snake-eating hawk prevents him from going to the gym.
4. We need more baseball managers ejecting umpires from games, as proven here by Portland Pickles skipper Mark Magdaleno.
5. Justin Timberlake from way downtown ...
6. The latest SI Media Podcast features an interview with ESPN's Sean McDonough. The veteran play-by-play man talks about why he wanted the job as the network's lead NHL voice, why it didn't work out for him calling Monday Night Football, whether he feels underrated among elite play-by-play broadcasters, his famous voice cracks and much more.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Sunday was a nice summer day so I was listening to some Yacht Rock on SiriusXM when a song came on that I haven't heard in ages, but remembered liking back in the 1980s. However, as soon as the lyrics started, I was taken aback.
After I posted that clip on Instagram, I quickly heard from people telling me the video for Benny Mardones's Into the Night is even creepier than the song. They weren't lying. The 1980s were just a crazy time.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.