Kyle Bush has periodically had an antagonistic relationship with the media, dating back to the junior season when he walked out of the media center after his Phoenix win because he didn’t like the line of questioning after his brother Kurt’s confrontation with the police. The meeting “Everything is great” with reporters in 2017 is on the same track.
In the past few weeks, the two-time Cup Series champion has made it clear on multiple occasions that he’s not a fan of some of his recent news coverage. The most recent event this week came on Twitter when the driver targeted a specific reporter and invited her to “clickbait”.
A frustrated Kyle Bush turns his attention to the reporter’s question
Kyle Bush made headlines a few weeks ago in Talladega when he visited reporters and spoke about his future at Joe Gibbs Racing, revealing his desire for the organization to have found new sponsorship to replace M&M “yesterday”. He was then asked if the situation made him feel breathless.
“I don’t feel bad about it. If it happens, it happens. If not, no. Bye,” Bush said soberly.
“So goodbye is an option?” AP’s Jenna Fryer asked.
Bush replied, “Ask Joe Gibbs.”
After a few more questions and answers, Bob Bokras of Fox asked the driver if he didn’t get a deal with Gibbs, would he possibly find a new team.
The driver replied surprisingly: “Maybe not.”
SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s Claire P. Lang has suggested that JGR won’t let him go. The driver pointed back to the team owner: “Ask Joe Gibbs.”
Fryer asked if he would rather retire than leave JGR, and the driver, visibly frustrated, closed his eyes and shook his head before responding. “Really? I mean, what do we do?” he asked.
An Associated Press reporter responded that she was looking for clarification regarding his comment on Pockrass and did not want it to be misunderstood.
He replied, “I would say I lost my flight.”
Bush wearing a “Clickbait” shirt.
Last weekend in Dover, Bush met again with the media and wore a “Clickbait” T-shirt to the press conference. After acknowledging that he had discussions with JGR about his future, he also told reporters how he had been disturbed by the stories over the past week and inaccurately referred to his clothing.
“I am frustrated that short comments are sometimes taken out of context,” Bush said. “I answered the question, you know, the questions and I didn’t elaborate, and it just takes kind of detail to tell a whole story. So you can tell the story however you want in fewer words.”
“Lots of stories this week,” Bush said seconds later for no reason, sniffing his throat and rubbing his shirt around the floor. He later tweeted a link for fans to purchase the shirt on his website.
Reporter calls for clickbait
Fryer reported this week on Twitter how Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott, who, as former champions, were allowed to vote in the Hall of Fame 2023 category, did not attend the event. She also noted that no driver has passed the honor since its inception in 2014.
When Larson’s PR representative noted that the 2021 champion had a previous commitment and was at Arlington National Cemetery laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the reporter sent out a new tweet, including explaining the driver’s absence.
However, Bush responded to a tweet from Larson’s public relations representative indicating his whereabouts, and took a shot at Fryer in the process.
“I got clickbait shirts for sale if you guys are interested,” he wrote.
The reporter replied, “There was nothing to click on.”
A day later, the veteran reporter followed up with another tweet directed at those who suggested her initial tweet was an attack on drivers by providing a link to an article on NASCAR.com from Tuesday that led to the fact that both drivers would participate in voting day.
Kyle Bush and a reporter with a recent history
Bush called on reporters to take things out of context and produce clickbait articles after Talladega was clearly untrue. Nothing was taken out of context. All in the video. He said he wasn’t clear about his future at JGR (referring to Joe Gibbs twice), and didn’t think he’d make it to another organization, and might miss his ride. These are all facts.
However, all that said, his problem with Fryer can be linked specifically to a story just a few weeks ago when the reporter wrote about the driver’s win in Bristol and included the headline: “Kyle Busch steadily cemented NASCAR Hall of Fame career.”
That wording indicated that the 37-year-old was still in the process of cementing his place in the Hall of Fame, which everyone, including the reporter who noted it in the actual story, agrees actually happened.
Brad Keselowski, who did not always agree with Bosch, defended the driver’s track record and responded to the tweet. “I think this was cemented into 100 wins and 10 years ago,” he wrote.
Kyle Bush may have a future in the room but his immediate future remains unclear. However, one thing is clear that as long as he’s racing and meeting reporters, he’ll find some questions to be undefended. And in typical Kyle Busch fashion, he wouldn’t let them go without some kind of response, even if he was sometimes wrong to do so.
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