Hearne: Mystery of Star Sports Editor’s Unexplained Exit Centers on Whitlock

In the wide world of sports, bigger mysteries exist…

That said, in the local scheme of things, the sudden and unexplained resignation of Kansas City Star sports editor Holly Lawton today raises a lot more questions than there appear to be benign answers for.

Why after two years on the job would Lawton walk away from a possibly six-figure paycheck during uncertain economic times for a position to-be-named-later?

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14 Responses to Hearne: Mystery of Star Sports Editor’s Unexplained Exit Centers on Whitlock

  1. Anonymous says:

    KCMO staffer
    Chiefs at camp, no jason, I now think he is gone. Got fired or quit, that is the word.

  2. Anonymous says:

    OK, it’s kind of sleazy and kind of pussy to say that you won’t delve into some rumors simply because you don’t have what you need to avoid a defamation suit. “Hmmm…I’ve heard a rumor that I can’t possibly prove and will get my ass sued. What can I do? Hey! I know! I can refer to the rumor without actually printing it and word my refusal in such a way that the only reasonable inference any reader could make would be exactly what I want to say but can’t print! It’s so crazy it just might work!”

    Either print the rumor or don’t but making obtuse references to make your point just says you are afraid to actually, y’know, make your point.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget Gavin, I worked there 16 years and have eyes in my head.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, Hearne, I understand that but the fact is that you were still not willing to say what you meant. What WAS thar rumor exactly? I know what you want us to think, but based on this post the rumor might be that Fannin was blackmailing Lawton for sex or, even the other way around. Maybe he rumor is that Fannin loaned Lawton $50,000 to pay the debts she racked up because she is addicted to internet gambling and shopping. Is the rumor that Fannin was actually banging Lawton’s mother and Lawton in a twisted three-way? Of course not.

    You want to talk about the eyes in your head and that’s fine, but you don’t ever talk about what those eyes actually SAW. And I think that’s both sleazy and lame. If you had the guts to say “there are rumors that Fannin was putting the wood to Lawton every day and twice on Sundays,” that would be risky but at least respectable. As it is, all you are inviting people to do is ASSUME that Lawton was distributing the stinky pinky to Fannin at his behest but preserving the ability to throw up your hands and say “What?! I never said there was anything inappropriate or even questionable going on. I just said that there are rumors out there and if people want to conclude something, well, I can’t stop them, but I certainly didn’t TELL them to think that.”

    I realize that this site, as great as it is (I can’t tell you how many times a day I check it), isn’t a traditional venue for reporting, but it’s still a place where you are ostensibly distributing information and opinion. That line about Fannin and Lawton wasn’t intended to do either. It was an invitation for the reader to indulge his own prurient thoughts yet preserve plausible deniability by you in case Lawton or Fannin decided they wanted to do something about it.

    If you want to say something, just say it. To say “I worked there for a long time and I saw stuff” is not a defense that you don’t have the conviction to actually SAY what you mean. I have no idea how or even if your site affects the private lives of people, but it seems to me that if you want to make them look bad publicly (and that line was calculated to do them damage while protecting yourself from getting sued), you ought to at least have the balls to say what you mean. I understand and, to a large extent, support your jeremiad against the Star. But Lawton and Fannin aren’t the Star. They aren’t really even public figures. If you want to trash their reputations, at least have the guts to actually do it instead of making it look like you wanted to walk some silly line that actually defamed them but stopped just short of the legal definition of defamation.

  5. Anonymous says:

    if only…
    Hearne’s like that old lady in the movie, “Cold Comfort Farm” who keeps repeating the line:
    “I saw something nasty in the woodshed!”

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am a man of little character. I am just gonna own it. I love this stuff.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Jim Fitzpatrick
    You’re a man after our newshounds’ hearts, Chuck.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Your points are well taken, Gavin. However, as a writer, I get to choose what and how I write. And with luck, you will find it informative and entertaining. Can you goad me here in the comments section into spilling a few more of the beans? time will tell.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well OF COURSE you get to choose what and how you write. And I, obviously, like it because I keep coming back here every day, even when I’m on vacation. But given that this site seems to function as, and thrive on being, the Chief Critic of All Things Kansas City (especially KC media, sports and politics), I don’t think I’m out of line in offering my own criticisms either. I understand that this is your site and I’m a guest here, but I’d always thought that our responsibilities as “consumers” of your product, we sort of had an obligation to weigh in when we saw something worth mentioning. You keep doing what you’re doing and, unless you tell me otherwise, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing.

    By the way, I wasn’t trying to goad you into disclosing anything about Lawton or Fannin’s private lives. That’s really none of my business. While I will admit I find it fascinating and titillating,it doesn’t really matter much to me if he was banging her or not. I’ll keep reading because, like Chuck above, I love this stuff. But I wasn’t trying to get you to print anything so much as I was trying to get you to take ownership of your actions. If Fannin and Lawton deserves to be trashed, go ahead and trash ’em. But don’t do it in half-measures is all I’m sayin’. If it’s really worthwhile to tell me, someone who reads the Star but doesn’t really know anything about the politics of the place, about an affair two Star employees are having, then it’s worthwhile to tell me and not let me imagine it. If you want to wreck their reputations, why not just do it? Unless it’s untrue, in which case, you shouldn’t ask “why not do it?” but, rather, “why do it at all?”

  10. Anonymous says:

    Randy Bobandy
    This seems scummy even from a drunk, fired, gossip reporter from the KC Star.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Your criticism and opinion is respected and received, Gavin.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hearne is not on the same page as I am with KC problems. However I would not call him sleezy or a scumbag or scummy. I think you guys are out of line.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I find it interesting that Gavin, directly or not, is picking a fight over how Hearne has reported on this story.

    I’ll side with Hearne because neither Gavin or I has ever worked for the KC Star and have no press experience.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Blue 1985
    Am I the only one who thought it ill advised to print the Greinke comments last week in the Star? I felt it gained nothing for the Star or the reporter. Hey, it is never difficult to get what no one needs to hear from Zack. I doubt it did Bob Dutton any long term good or served The Star’s interests to print this article just when the Royals are starting to bite the bullet and put a young team on the field. Did the Sports Editor not OK this mistake?

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