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Michele Tafoya Criticizes ‘The Dan Le Batard Show’ After a Heated Interview

Also in today’s Traina Thoughts: Kevin Durant vs. Charles Barkley, Tom Brady pays up.

1. Former NBC NFL sideline reporter Michele Tafoya appeared on The Dan Le Batard Show last week. Later, she was a guest on a Fox News show and complained about the way she was treated by Le Batard’s show without naming Le Batard’s show.

“I was invited with this, ‘We want to talk about your great career and your new podcast. Is it O.K. if we talk to you for about 30 or 40 minutes?’ said Tafoya on Fox. “It was someone I knew from my past, so I said O.K.

“The second I got on, I was ambushed with ‘You’re anti-CRT. You’re a racist. You can’t read the Florida law without being a homopho—.’ I was absolutely ambushed.”

Awful Announcing deduced Tafoya was talking about her interview with Le Batard and his staff.

One note here: The Le Batard interview with Tafoya ran on June 15. Tafoya made her comments on Fox News on June 14. So clearly Tafoya’s appearance with Le Batard was prerecorded.

This is noteworthy because if you watch the entire appearance, it’s at moments, contentious, awkward and ugly. So props to Le Batard for running all those parts.

While I totally understand the move of Tafoya going on Fox News to complain about a “liberal” show since everything today is a culture war, it’s impossible to buy what Tafoya was selling.

First off, and trust me on this because I book the SI Media Podcast all by myself, if someone tells you they want 30 or 40 minutes of your time, it’s definitely not to just talk about your career and your podcast. This might be the case for someone like Vin Scully or Dick Vitale, but no podcaster is booking a sideline reporter for a 40-minute discussion on their career, and Tafoya knows that.

Second, Tafoya did a round of interviews after she left NBC to make it clear she left NBC so she could talk politics.

Tafoya told The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch, “I got to a point in my life where I wanted to try other things, and there are some things that are really important to me. But in my position, I was not as free to be as vocal about world events that I’m concerned about.”

She said in another interview, “I’ve been waking up every day with a palpable pull at my gut that my side, my view, my middle-ground moderate viewpoint, is not being represented to the rest of the world. So, rather than banging it out on Twitter or Instagram every day, I thought that I’ve got to do something. I have benefited greatly from the American dream, and I feel like for the sake of my kids, and because I so love this country, I’ve got to start giving back.”

Tafoya has also made a couple of notable appearances on The View, where her political and culture war comments went viral.

It’s totally disingenuous for Tafoya to act stunned that Le Batard—who is famously known for not sticking to sports—would talk about politics with Tafoya, who has tried to reinvent herself from a sports person to a political person.

Le Batard is not Borat, who tricks people into saying things. It’s hard to fathom Tafoya would actually think politics wouldn’t be the main topic of the interview.

Tafoya’s appearance on The Le Batard Show begins at the 14:30 mark below, so you can judge for yourself whether there was an “ambush.”

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As you can see, Le Batard opened the interview by taking on both Republicans and Democrats, and Tafoya seemingly agreed with Le Batard saying both sides are currently letting the American public down right now.

Hard to say that’s an ambush.

Le Batard did follow up with a question about race, but it was based on Tafoya’s answer.

From there, Tafoya had arguments with Le Batard, his show’s executive producer Mike Ryan and senior producer Roy Bellamy over everything from critical race theory, the police, Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill and much, much more.

I was under the assumption these were the conversations Tafoya wanted to have when she left NBC. 

2. This is a terrible take by Kevin Durant on Charles Barkley.

3. Last week we told you about a fan who asked Tom Brady to give him a pair of game-worn underwear if he got 40,000 likes on a tweet. The fan ended up with 43,000 likes and yesterday, Brady paid up.

4. Baseball games need more squirrels running around the field.

5. Big shakeup in the golf broadcasting world as Trevor Immelman replaces Nick Faldo as CBS's lead analyst.

6. The latest SI Media Podcast features an interview with Paul “BizNasty” Bissonnette.

The media star talks about how he ended up getting the gig with TNT, what the television experience has been like for him and the challenges he faces doing a network television show while also doing a podcast for Barstool Sports at the same time.

Other topics discussed include Bissonnette’s intense feud with Rangers fans, which players he’d like to have on Spittin’ Chiclets, which celebrity would be his dream interview and why working for TNT has been one of the best experiences of his life.

Following Biz is the weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment with Sal Licata from WFAN radio and SNY TV in New York. Jimmy and Sal discuss Adam Sandler’s new movie Hustle, the MLS–Apple TV+ deal and the pros and cons of summer. The segment finishes with Jimmy and analyzing recent Apple reviews for the SI Media Podcast.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on AppleSpotify and Google.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: You know what the No. 1 sign is that MenWithThePot on TikTok makes the best videos? Even when I don’t like the food, I’m still mesmerized.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.