670 The Score afternoon hosts Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel were on-air Tuesday afternoon for the first time since being threatened with a lawsuit by Chicago White Sox pitcher Mike Clevinger.
Last week, Parkins and Spiegel interviewed Olivia Finestead, who recently accused Clevinger of domestic violence and child abuse. Finestead and Clevinger share a 10-month old baby together. Clevinger had the opportunity to address the allegations when he arrived to Spring Training last week, referring to the story as “nonsense.” Parkins and Spiegel sought to give Finestead the platform to offer her side.
In response to that journalistic decision, Clevinger threatened litigation against the station. Tuesday afternoon, Parkins and Spiegel defended their judgement to interview Finestead and stated they don’t anticipate receiving any legal action from Clevinger.
“We didn’t really address any of this on social media. Figured it started on the radio, let’s keep it on the radio,” Parkins said on Tuesday. “We got wind during the 5 o’clock hour of the Friday show heading into the holiday weekend from Steve Greenberg of the Sun-Times that a story was gonna be dropping. That he had spoken with Mike Clevinger out at Spring Training and that Clevinger was none too pleased with us, the show, and the radio station for putting his accuser, Olivia Finestead, on the show last week.”
Parkins explained that Greenberg reached out to them for comment and they directed him to their boss, but not before they asked what Clevinger was saying about the interview. Greenberg informed them Clevinger was considering suing.
Per Greenberg’s article in the Chicago Sun-Times, Clevinger called the interview with his accuser “trashy” and “lowlife material.”
“My lawyers are paying attention,’’ Clevinger added. ‘‘My lawyers are getting in contact with them, and they probably already sent a cease-and-desist for defamation. So [The Score] just got themselves involved in this, too, so good for them.”
That was on Friday. As of Tuesday, Parkins and Spiegel said they have not received the cease and desist letter.
“As of right before we came on the air, we have not been sent a cease and desist letter from Mike Clevinger. So, so far, this is all just media tough talk via Steve Greenberg and the Sun-Times,” Parkins continued. “First point of order: we haven’t gotten a cease and desist. I’ll editorialize here for a second, I don’t expect to.”
“I agree,” added Spiegel. “I think ‘My lawyers are paying attention’ is a scare tactic that doesn’t work on a decently constructed corporation and a journalistic radio station.”
Parkins noted that he remains comfortable with the interview both journalistically and ethically, adding that suing the media doesn’t traditionally work (given “actual malice” requirements for defamation in the case of public figures).
“We fully stand by the editorial choice of giving her the opportunity to speak after he had the opportunity to speak,” Parkins said. “And we fully stand by, journalistically, the interview as we did, not pushing her in any direction, not making judgements during the conversation, simply giving her the chance to speak. Which we felt she deserved.”