Tony: Whitlock Drama Exposes Star Hypocrisy Amid Blogger Slap-fighting

To me, the best thing about all of this fighting over Jason Whitlock’s career plans is that very little of it will ever see the light of day in print form which is one of the many reasons that everyone currently working at The Kansas City Star deserves to lose their jobs.

First of all, let’s put things in perspective for all sports fanboys who have most of their worldview dictated to them by the d-bags at ESPN: Jason Whitlock isn’t important and represents nothing more than corporate investment in a content provider. Put simply, very few people would ever read the guy without the infrastructure of a dead tree institution that loses money by hauling his opinion out for tens of thousands of old ladies and retirees. All of his other gigs are based on his print column and the daily newspaper apparatus that’s slowly going the way of the dodo bird. But I digress, this is really about so-called champions of free speech working harder to suppress stories than report them.

It pains me to recap talk of Whitlock’s vacation drama because I realize that he’s nothing more than a very big cog in an even bigger machine that’s grinding to a halt. Suffice it to say that the bottom line is there has been no official announcement of Whitlock’s departure for The Star from a paper that gets beat by TV reporters on breaking news every day of the week and hasn’t set the agenda for this town since they pushed a lowly City Auditor into the Mayor’s office along with his shoeless and often erratic wife. Like most other developments in this town, I’m sure The Star will get around to writing up something substantial one of these days.

Meanwhile, Kansas City’s paper-of-record was busy attempting to suppress the work of Gawker Media Sports Juggernaut Deadspin.

On the topic of blogger name calling, Hearne was a bit miffed that KCC was described as a “bottomfeeder site” but, to me, Internet snark and sass is just a way to obfuscate the fact that their reporting on the subject was sparked by this blog. Even better, Deadspin’s reporting just leaves more questions along with an image Kansas City’s daily paper trying to a muscle a media outlet on the Internet that didn’t succumb to The Star’s misguided digital era instinct to hide from the public by blocking comments, keeping quiet and silencing conversation.

So, now we’re left with the gross image of Whitlock on an extended vacation while The Star looks more and more like a PR operation as news and reader conversation passes them by on blogs.

Tony Botello

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19 Responses to Tony: Whitlock Drama Exposes Star Hypocrisy Amid Blogger Slap-fighting

  1. Anonymous says:

    bobv
    I want Whitlock to quit. Disagree with Tony, the guy could make much more money from his other media appearances. He has been on Oprah by gosh and he has outgrown The Star.

  2. Anonymous says:

    OK, let me get this straight
    Ok, let me get this straight.

    The Star is a business, and can run its website and comment boards any way it chooses to, and when people like you cry “free speech!” you should show me the part of the constitution that requires the Star to open up comments to any passing idiot.

    They did that, and it didn’t work. The most tragic of stories were constantly being overrun with the most idiotic of comments.

    Meanwhile, as you hosanna blogs, everybody knows they have three problems:

    1. They are poorly written

    2. They have narrow personal agendas

    3. They write about things that 95% of people don’t give two craps about

    Ok, four things.

    4. And your problem, specifically, is that you make stuff up out of thin air and your credibility is pegged at zero. Two words: mayor’s brother.

    You also fail to realize that:

    1. Whitlock: this too shall pass.

    2. The Star’s not going anywhere. It’s not losing money. Even if McClatchy crashes and burns, someone here will buy it. Lots of people still want a newspaper on their driveway every morning and digital now accounts for a good chunk revenue. The challenge? Find a balance between the two.

    3. Your bitterness over being spurned for a $25,000 a year community news position clouds everything you do, say or feel about The Star. Everybody should know this by now. It’d be funny if it weren’t so sad.

    But by all means go on thinking you’re just great and let your titty pictures drive your traffic and feel free to just throw up crap on the Internet and call it AWESOME. Smarter people know better.

  3. Anonymous says:

    hawkfan
    The Star has gotten so bad. Very little of interest in there on a day to day basis. I spend more time reading these blog posts from KC Confidential than I do the Star.

  4. Anonymous says:

    dp
    If Whitlock isn’t imporant Tony, why has this website covered his every move and rumor the last few weeks?

    Jealous much?!

  5. Anonymous says:

    John
    “Hearne was a bit miffed that KCC was described as a

  6. Anonymous says:

    JS
    “OK,let me get this straight” who is going to buy the Star? A business that is making less and less money and declining revenue with every quarter that passes. One of these days there will be 15 employees and they will still make money but who would invest in an industry like that. I am sure someone thought buggy whips were never going out of style either. Wake up! Dead tree media is on life support it’s just when will the plug be pulled.

  7. Anonymous says:

    bschloz
    “2.” Those are a lot of bold pts. in This Modern Day Depression.
    Yes,I’m one of those people that like a paper in my driveway. Also like this site and many other blogs and discussion boards. Would I pay up..probably…as long as I thought I was getting a value. Just like I could cancel the Whitless paper in the snap of a finger.
    Y’all go get that IBOOK now.

  8. Anonymous says:

    JAM
    Hearne – At some point you have to move on. It’s not mentally unhealthy to permanently have a “hard-on” for your former employer.

    Frankly, it’s getting old for your readers too.

    Work on the positive stuff.

  9. Anonymous says:

    jt
    Speaking of hypocrisy, In Greg Hall’s post he says that he wrote articles for Jason Whitlock. To quote Hall, ” He and I have a long past and he too is guilty of publishing parts of almost entire columns in The Kansas City Star that were written by me, but contained his byline. This is not an accusation. This is simply true.”

    If it is simply true Hall should come up with some evidence to support his charges. If you don’t want to be called a bottomfeeder site then don’t act like bottom feeders. You called the man out now put up or shut up.
    ___________________

    HC: I spoke with Greg at the time, when he finally fessed up to me that he’d written some stuff that Jason had used. I asked him then if he’d made copies of the checks or anything and he told me he had not. Greg was not trying to throw Jason under the bus. Whitlock had appropriated one of his friend’s columns, then paid him and they continued as friends with greg doing some further paid writing. I imagine were this to go to a trial, Whitlock’s bank would be required to provide some records and it’d be pretty dang hard for JW to explain away however many $200 checks. You can take whatever kind of hip shots on this topic that you can, but I was there following all this behind the scenes both at the time and in subsequent conversations with Greg and Star editors and the publisher.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Jim Fitzpatrick
    Who you, jt? If you’re saying Greg plagiarized you, then who are you and let’s see some examples of that plagiarism. Drop the veil, drop your drawers, drop whatever and show yourself.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Journalism 101
    Jim,
    It’s not hard to figure out why you’re a former reporter. JT was simply quoting Hall to emphasize his point: that Hall was claiming Jason plagiarized him. JT wasn’t accusing Hall of plagiarism. He was calling bullshit on Hall’s claims. It doesn’t take a whole lot of reading comprehension to understand that.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Jim Fitzpatrick
    Mea culpa, Journalism 101. I was off the computer all day yesterday and lost my eye and touch. Too eager to get back into the swing, I misread the man’s criticism. But anyway…who the hell are you? I challenge you to drop your veil, too. The discussion is more focused and higher quality when all the cards are face up.

  13. Anonymous says:

    hearne
    Mine are face up, Jim’s are face up, Greg’s are face up. The deadspin dude was pulling his off of god knows where. Had he actually called Greg and fleshed it out, he would have been far more hesitant to characterize him as some loose cannon dude. Exchanging emails is a start and better than nothing, but there’s no substitute for the art of conversation. He didn’t even bother to see that Greg was praised by the Star sports editor when he left to take another job. Yes, there were a number of people in the Star sports section who thought Hall should never have been hired and/or that what he wrote did not qualify as “serious journalism.”
    The editor and publisher of the Star were not among their number, nor was the readership. Greg’s work was very well read. That’s why when he left, the Star sports editor wrote a column in the Sunday STar vowing to replace him in kind.

  14. Anonymous says:

    craig glazer
    Wow, Jason you need to come out brother. The Star needs to clear this up. He is the biggest name writer on staff now or for the last ten years. Like him or not.

    If the Star was getting rid of Hearne, then they should have at least hired someone to do local celebrity news. Now there isn’t any. Dumb.

  15. Anonymous says:

    jt
    Actually Jim I’m nobody, I’ve just been following this story on Twitter and some blogs. I stumbled on KC Confidential looking for why Whitlock wasn’t writing any new columns for the Star. Lo and behold I read Greg Hall’s claims that he wrote columns for Whitlock and Whitlock put his own name in the byline.

    I don’t know much about Journalism, but I do know that the charge of plagiarism is one of the most serious charges you can make against a Journalist. So saying Greg Hall was not throwing Whitlock under the bus is a bit disingenuous. I

  16. Anonymous says:

    Ross
    Dear Craig, Hearne and Jim-

    If you want to have a website people frequent and comment on, you’re going to have to accept the concept of anonymous comments. Why is it that everytime someone here is criticized, some douchebag who writes for this site has the witty retort of, “why not put your name on it” instead of answering the fucking question.

    The only reason people bother to read and comment here is because you have received ridiculously low-level of celebrity or notoriety in this town. No one gives a shit who we are. Asking us to put our name to our posts makes you look like idiots. Just stop and answer the questions.

    Or here’s an idea – turn off the comments section and see how many people continue to give a shit about what any of you say. More people come here to read JoJo and Greg Hall than the rest of you no-talent ass clowns.

    You guys truly are bottom-feeders.
    ________________________
    Thanks, Ross, you flatterer you. The fact is at times, people with an agenda use the veil of anonymity to try and spread bogus information. Signing on at times under different names to agree with themselves and validate their point. Allow me to call you out here for grossly exaggerating KCC writer’s responses by characterizing them as “every time.” Not even close, dude – get a clue. The vast majority of comments – critical or not – go unchallenged. Now I’ll let you in on a little secret; when and if from time to time one of our writers chooses to address a comment, we’re not going to stop them. Free thinker that you are, I know that – just as you would not have us drop the comments section as the Star has recently selectively done – you wouldn’t want to muzzle our writers. Who just happen to use their names, so people can know exactly who they are and where they stand. At the same time, it’s fine for you to fire away anonymously. I think we get some excellent, entertaining, informative and provocative comments and questions. So, uh, keep up the good work!

  17. Anonymous says:

    hearne
    Nothing wrong with what you’re saying JT. I know Greg would be delighted to have Whitlock make available his phone and bank records from that period, so it could be further sorted out. What do you think the odds of this happening are? About the same as the odds that Greg would fabricate a story like this out of the clear blue sky.
    Whitlock and the Star’s lawyers trying to spin this as some psycho feud thing are ridiculous. Yeah, two best friends had a falling out, but it wasn’t particularly ugly. Not at all. Not over women, money or anything at all huge. Greg’s just telling it like it is, you can believe what you like.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Winner
    Question for Hearne, where did Deadspin get the info about Greg Hall trying to sell the “I wrote Whitlock Columns From”? If Whitlock and Hall were good friends at one time and had a falling out, why is Greg trying to throw him under the bus now?
    _________________________

    HC: Very simple answer. While technically, the deadspin dude is not completely incorrect in saying Greg was selling his column, it’s very misleading and stems from a failure by deadspin to do some better, actual reporting. Let’s be clear, Greg was not out quote/unquote shopping this story. He was a paid, weekly contributor to both the Pitch and Landmark and merely turned the story in as his weekly column. The Landmark ran it right away but the Pitch wanted to wait a week or whatever to make sure Greg had done his due diligence. The Pitch, which allowed Greg to continue to publish in the Landmark was pissed that he allowed the Landmark to scoop them on a big story. It resulted in a falling out with Greg leaving the weekly.
    See how something can be a tiny bit true but totally misleading? The dumb deadspin dude – writing it as he did – made it sound like Greg was out shopping the story when he was on the masthead of both publications at the time. That’s not “bottom feeding,” it’s just sloppy reporting.
    As for Greg out of the blue now throwing Whitlock under the bus, the obvious answer to your question is that Greg brought the story up again in resonse to the hipocracy of Whitlock criticizing Mitch Albom for writing faked columns.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Timothy
    Since Hall made the accusations on a public forum, I’m sure he won’t mind producing his own bank records from the time in question for us all to peruse as well. Must be quite a few $200 deposits, no? What do you think the odds of this happening are? About the same as the odds that this comment will be allowed to stand. Some people get very touchy when called out on their own hypocrisy.
    _______________________________

    HC: Wow Timothy, you got us. Not! Interesting thought, but I don’t recall my bank statements from those days listing anything but the amount of the deposit, not who wrote the check. As it happens, I was checking on a deposit today and the officer at my bank was able to break down a deposit and tell me who each check was written by and the amount. Since bank records don’t generally go beyond five years, W would have to probably be the provider.
    I don’t know why you are so skeptical though. Remember, I was there at the time and had some interesting discussions with a certain editor at the Star. Just curious, you’re not one of those dudes who thinks maybe the earth is flat, are you?

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