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Nobody's posted this yet? Whitlock on Kornheiser?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SF_Express, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Well, that's certainly a change from when you called me an idiot editor who personified everything that's wrong about this business when you and I disagreed on that prep baseball lead. :)
  2. And for you young writers out there, here's how NOT to behave in a press box...

    Copyright © 1998 Associated Press

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Oct 21, 1998 - 19:44 EDT) -- Jason Whitlock, sports columnist for The Kansas City Star, has been suspended pending an investigation into allegations he heckled fans during the Kansas City-New England NFL game on Oct. 11.

    "We don't condone this type of behavior," Rick Vacek, the Star's assistant managing editor for sports, said in a statement Wednesday. "We deeply regret that this incident occurred, and Jason has been suspended pending further review."

    Whitlock's column on the game, in which he made no mention of the incident, appeared the next day. His column has not appeared in The Star since then.

    KMBC-TV in Kansas City said in a news story on Tuesday night that Whitlock would no longer be doing weekly commentaries until the matter was resolved.

    Whitlock, whose aggressive style has attracted a wide readership since he joined the newspaper in 1994, couldn't be reached for comment by The Associated Press.

    Eyewitnesses said Patriots fans seated just outside the enclosed pressbox began taunting the visiting media during the game and Whitlock responded by holding up handwritten signs, at least one of which insulted quarterback Drew Bledsoe and the team (Note: according to other sources, he wrote "Drew Bledsoe is gay"), according to Sports Illustrated.

    After fans became agitated, stadium security guards entered the pressbox and stopped Whitlock.

    Star executives declined to comment beyond Vacek's written statement.
  3. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    So being caustic exempts one from scrutiny? There was a case in the 1980s in which a caustic major-metro sports columnist was fired for having a business relationship with athletes he covered. No doubt he had written negative things about them from time to time because he didn't write nice things about many people. Is that crossing the line? If not, where is the line? Define it for us.

    Your intentions do not matter. What matters is the perception your actions create.
  4. i resign. i'm done. career over.
  5. the perception i've created in kansas city is that i'll write whatever the hell i want about anybody regardless of my relationship with them.... true story, my mother quit speaking to me for two weeks after my second column in the kc star. she didn't like what i had to say about her union...her former co-workers (kansas citians) were pissed....

    no one of any intelligence in kc thinks i kissed kornheiser's butt because i want a paycheck from espn.... you don't even believe it. you're just arguing to argue.
  6. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    You know what? This is happening a lot lately, and it's really getting tiresome.

    Note to everybody in the whole world: Bringing up something that happened eight years ago when you're discussing something that's going on today is the weakest-ass shit imaginable, and I really wish we'd stop doing it, everywhere, but how about starting here?

    This happened long ago, was dealt with by all concerned and is absolutely irrelevant, not only generally, but certainly in regard to this discussion.

    Although I'm sure, welcometotherock, that you've never done anything you wish you hadn't in your entire career and life.
  7. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    You're right, Jason, I don't believe you kissed Kornheiser's butt for ESPN money. I believe I wrote as much on this thread.

    But you're wrong, Jason, about arguing for the sake of arguing. That's what you do in your columns, but that's not what I do here. I don't think that rules of ethics can be applied subjectively, they have to be applied evenly to all of us. We can't say to readers, "Jason is different, he can't be bought," while at the same time we fire another writer for taking money from WalMart. Because readers don't see us as individuals -- they see us as "the media." And what one does reflects on all of us.

    So where is that line?
  8. i'm not asking you to say to readers "jason can't be bought."

    my work is going to say it for me. i don't need you to say anything.

    there are very few absolutes in life.... i wish things were that easy. but the line you're talking about moves all the time depending on the individuals and the situations. unfortunately, newspaper editors have to use common sense every day.
  9. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    The editor of the little daily where I broke in was a hard-ass about this. I remember being sent to cover something at this little theme park and having to say to the flack, no, sorry, unfortunately I may not eat that sandwich. And the guy says to me incredulously, "Your boss thinks you can be bought with a piece of roast beef?"

    But years later I worked at a paper whose restaurant critic was a total pig and used to brag about leaving an assignment with a couple lobsters to go.

    I think most intelligent people can discern a difference of intent in the two scenarios, not to mention a difference in the value of the freebies, but in both cases the writer could, by his choice of actions, reinforce the stereotype of journalists as mooches. Cops, similarly, cannot afford themselves the luxury of shades of gray.
  10. Gold

    Gold Active Member


    Read your column on Tony K over once or twice. Answer this question for me.

    If a reader picked up this column and never saw you on television, would they know that you are currently employed by ESPN?

    I read it quickly and it seemed unclear. Did Tony K pick you as a fill-in host on PTI? If you read it quickly, it might seem like you did Sports Reporters years ago but weren't still employed.

    That's the problem with the column. I think it could have been solved in the second or third paragraph by saying something like... "Full disclosure here, I work for ESPN and have substituted on Pardon the Interruption" If Tony K picked you to co-host or whatever his role was, that should be disclosed. This is a question of respecting your readers - if you disclose this up front, no problem with writing about Tony K. Maybe everybody doesn't agree with the choice of a topic, but that's OK.

    You obviously like Tony K, and I enjoy him too. But here is my other issue - Tony K isn't really filling the Howard Cosell/Dennis Miller seat because this is cable and not a major broadcast network. I won't say it's comparing oranges to apples, but it's like comparing oranges to grapefruit. Unless I'm really wrong, MNF on ESPN is not going to crack the top 20 and probably not the top 50. The impact would be like comparing the readership of your column to the readership of the lead columnist at the Wichita newspaper.
  11. Gold

    Try this (expletive)ing paragraph....

    "I’ve known Tony for more than a decade. I appeared somewhat regularly on his local-turned-national-turned-local-turned-deceased radio show. Before his “PTI” fame, I occasionally appeared with Tony on the “Sports Reporters.” But it’s really been within the last five years, as a somewhat regular fill-in co-host on “PTI,” that I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Tony just a little bit."

    And, Gold, I'm not mad at you. I'm just upset at this whole fricking debate. I ain't hiding nothing. It states quite clearly that I'm a "somewhat regular fill-in co-host on PTI."

    Get over it. And I'm not mad. The deleted cuss word is just for emphasis.
  12. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    actually the folks i work with aren't stupid enough to suggest ethics apply to some people and not to others.

    also, whitlock freely admits he doesn't consider ethics when entering a story because he'll "write whatever the hell i want about anybody regardless of my relationship with them."

    i know whitlock has a self made raft attached to him, but with his scruples, it has a leak, and it will be fun to sit back and watch him sink.
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