With Kansas City Star layoffs just around the corner – you read about ’em here first on KC Confidential – it’s interesting to note that popular sports columnist Jason Whitlock will be practicing his craft in the newspaper’s Opinion section on a regular basis.
There are far fewer bodies at 18th and Grand these days already and filling the newspaper with content people care about is increasingly vital.
Not to mention difficult.
And with venerable nice guy-but-a-bit-wacko Opinion writer Lewis Diuguid defanged and demoted, the opening was there.
Why not take an already known-quantity Whitlock – who’s been bumping around black-white politics for years already – and try get more eyeballs aimed towards one the the newspaper’s least read sections?
Whitlock’s first foray into the views-about-news world was a simple exercise; demonizing far righters Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh along with black spokesmodels such as Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Clearly those were easy cards to play.
But while Whitlock’s essay is interesting, it brings little if anything new to the table in terms of content or opinion. And while Palin and Glenn Beck may be newcomers to the conservative talk radio movement, the techniques and style they employ is but an evolution of the right wing banter that’s been going down on the airwaves the past 20 years.
Hey and it’s not like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are new on the scene either. And everybody under the sun has scrutinized, second guessed, analyzed and taken shots at their sundry antics over the years.
The question remains. Can Whitlock evolve beyond merely taking potshots at the usual suspects and consistently deliver without playing the same race cards he’s being shuffling in his sports section deck for 15 years?
And if indeed Whitlock wants to play the Credibility Card, why stress in his first column that he’s never bothered to vote or have any sort of “ideology”? It’s merely a showcase for whatever knee jerks him in the daily news?