OTC: Whitlock’s Former Sports Editor Responds

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25 Responses to OTC: Whitlock’s Former Sports Editor Responds

  1. Anonymous says:

    I have no doubt Vacek is telling the truth about not using “vulgar” language. But I also have no doubt that Whitlock heard even the most constructive crticism as “you suck, Jason.”

    I don’t know either of these guys, but it seems to me that Vacek could have said “Jason, we need to get you writing more. No one is reading you consistently because you don’t write consistently. What can we do to get you to write more about college basketball or baseball?” and Whitlock would have heard that as “blah blah blah…you suck…blah blah…no one reads you…blah blah…there are other sports besides football you know,” etc.

    Egos like Whotlock’s need to be tended very carefully. It’s obvious that he nurses grudges and I suspect that Vacek probably was critical, but trying to be constructive and Whitlock wouldn’t have any of it. Anyone who follows Whitlock on Twitter knows how thin-skinned the guy is. Jesus, he blocks people from following him for praising Arthur Bryant’s barbecue.

    Whitlock is, in many ways, just like the egotistical and insulated athletes he writes about. They surround themselves with yes men and their whole lives become an echo chamber and you have LeBron James demanding ridiculous amounts of time on ESPN to announce that h’es taking another job. Whitlock seems to aspire to that but he can’t quite get there so he goes on score-settling rampages as if he was Michael Jordan.

    By the way, when can we move on to actual sports?

  2. Anonymous says:

    > By the way, when can we move on to actual sports?

    Thursday night, Sept. 9th, Vikings @ Saints. BYOB.

  3. Anonymous says:

    John Peace
    Who gives a fuck?

  4. Anonymous says:

    The comment about wanting to write more rings true. I remember hearing Fannin explain to a sports editors workshop the roles of The Star’s columnists. Although not stated outright, it was apparent that Fannin loved JoPo because he was a writing machine with talent, while getting three columns a week out of Whitlock was a struggle. If Whitlock wants to make a living in the blogosphere, he’s going to have to be far more productive.

    I could be wrong about this, and would welcome a different view from those who are closer to the situation, but the impression I get is that Whitlock holds nearly everybody in KC for and with whom he works in low regard — that all who were in position to do so somehow did him wrong. If so, it reflects a fundamental personality disorder that is sorely in need of treatment. In essence, it means Whitlock is a very unhappy person. That may give a columnist an “edge,” although is not essential to it, but increases the likelihood he will have a very short career and life. Sad.

  5. Anonymous says:

    So we can probably add sociopath to Jason’s list of afflictions. He really needs to see a shrink. If his character arc continues to descend I can see him doing something stupid for his final act.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just to make it clear, I don’t seek to engage in pop psychology. It’s just that people who seem to find fault in all others but themselves, who indulge in elaborate justifications for their actions and routinely burn their bridges have deep-rooted problems. To what extent this applies to Whitlock, I cannot be sure.

    Whitlock reminds me of the latter days of Howard Cosell: a once-brilliant journalist who devolved into bitterness and cynicism, the result of which being that his pioneering contributions to sports journalism — and there were many, the most substantial being a change the paradigm in which sports are covered — have become largely forgotten.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Did you mean connoisseur?

    This is all pretty pathetic. Whitlock is on the stage and we’re all sitting out here waiting to see what the dumbass will do/say next. I tend to agree with smartman … something really stupid (yes, even more stupid than what occurred last Friday) could be coming.


    GH: Thanks for the edit, Cliffy. I get in trouble when I allow MS Word suggest spellings for me.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is great stuff Greg. You think yo can get Holly Lawton or Mike Fannin to respond here as well? Jason threw down the gauntlet so let’s hear from all parties.


    GH: If Fannin, Holly and Whitlock all end up as ex-Star employees, they may be writing for KCC in the near future along side all the rest of us former Stars.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Marshall Field
    Vacek’s observations point up one of the ways in which Jason falls far short of his hero, Mike Royko. For decades, Royko wrote his columns 5 days a week. Many were great, some were just so-so, a few weren’t worth reading, but no matter what, he came back the next day with another one. When something happened of note, you knew that Royko would have a column on it the next day. He had a legman, a fulltime reporting assistant that made that level of production possible, but his constant visible presence in whatever paper he was working for is a large part of what made him indispensable.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Holly Lawton: “My departure had nothing to do with Jason Whitlock. Nothing.”

    These pillars of integrity never lie. Now the evil black man who has a new contract with FOX is the liar. He lies all the time.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Nice post Greg.

    All this hammers home even more Nick Wright blew it.

    Wright should have just let Jason go on and on talking about whatever and whoever. It’s intriguing and entertaining to hear Whitlock’s take on events and people, and almost equally entertaining hearing people respond and/or rebut the stories.

    Vacek sounds pretty innocent to me. I think you’re right Greg. Jason’s just an odd dude.


    GH: While I have been critical of Wright’s work during The Explanation, I don’t think his flaws are fundamental. He is young, reactionary, emotional and talented. All good traits if you are building a radio sports talk personality who can carry a show. Time will determine if he evolves or devolves.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Markus Aurelius
    Great job tracking down the other side of the story. After listening to Whitlock on Friday I had the impression that Rick Vacek was a Grade A jerk. I do not recall his time at the Star as sports editor. It’s interesting to hear the other party’s perspective about those Friday lunches. It certainly puts both Whitlock and Vacek in a different light for me. Still not sure where the truth comes down in all this though given that both have self interest that may cloud the facts. It would be interesting to hear other Star staffer’s impressions of Vacek and whether or not Whitlock’s representation of him was in line with or outside others’ views of him.

    Still waiting for the analysis of Nick Wright’s attempt yesterday to defend his handling of Friday’s interview. For a guy that says he doesn’t like to talk about “the other sports radio station” he sure does talk about them a lot. I cannot imagine how his ratings (without Royals games to prop him out) will ever outshine KK. KK may rub some the wrong way but it’s hard to deny how good he is and how good they are at bringing a wide range of opinions and a more journalistic perspective to sports talk, rather than the Limbaugh-Olbermann-Hannity-Maddow-esque diatribes that makeup Nick Wright.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I believe the famous JW quote when he started at one of his several radio stops was, “You’ll get the truth as I know it.” Or something close to that. The guy shapes and molds happenings to fit his version of “the truth.”

    Modifying the famous line about statistics, “There’s lies, damn lies, and Whitlock’s truths.”


    GH: I think you heard that wrong. I believe JW’s famous quote was; “Theys pies, yam pies and Whitlock’s tooths.”

  14. Anonymous says:

    Bet Whitlock did party things with Glazer? Who didn’t.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone else find it weird that GH’s whole shtick is humping the legs of sports personalities in KC. I couldn’t imagine the amount of self loathing it would take to sit and listen to that much sports radio let alone critique it time after time. Weird.

  16. Anonymous says:

    “but the impression I get is that Whitlock holds nearly everybody in KC for and with whom he works in low regard

  17. Anonymous says:

    The Independent Rage
    I always wondered why you used to call Whitlock “Porkchop” (as opposed to any other food that he likes to eat). Now I know.

    I once e-mailed Whitlock to ask him his opinion on the best BBQ joint(s) in KC. He answered Gates and some other place that I can’t recall. He said he wouldn’t recommend Arthur Bryant’s to his worst enemy (pretty much an exact quote).


    GH: I think AB’s sauce is the worst concoction of ketchup and sand that’s ever been bottled. I introduced Whitlock to Arthur Bryant’s — one of my least favorite BBQ joints in KC.

    Jason had only been in town a short while and had yet to try AB’s. I told him the sauce was awful but the beef sandwiches were tender and big enough to feed a family of four (white people). So I picked up two beef sandwiches to go and brought them down to The Star where we ate them at his desk — one of the few times JW was at The Star at his desk. He wanted to see if AB’s sauce was as bad as I described. He concurred and I don’t think he ever took another bite of AB’s BBQ.

  18. Anonymous says:

    craig glazer
    I never partied with Whitlock. And as far as I know, he didn’t use drugs.


    GH: I knew Jason from 1994 to 1999 and not only did he not do drugs, he barely ever drank back then. From his writings, he imbibes a bit more often now but he was far from a drinker. His vice was food. Rich and fried food — and strawberry Kool-Aid. He had more bouts with gout than the snout.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Rick M
    Totally agree on AB’s: order the beef, hold the sauce. Now can we please move on?

  20. Anonymous says:

    We’re talking about barbecue. What’s next? Jim Colbert on golf?

  21. Anonymous says:

    How about some pics of Holly Lawton so we can see whether the trim was worth the trouble?

  22. Anonymous says:

    @Marshall Field: If Whitlock compared himself to Mike Royko, he’s delusional. Royko is a Hall of Famer; Whitlock merely had a couple of all-star years.

    @Zachary: This is what a media critic do. It’s not self-flagellation. Greg was doing the same thing at The Star, which has rid itself of most of the media critics (including Hearne). An interest in media affairs (maybe a dangerous choice of words, considering), especially broadcast, is what prompted many of us to read Greg and Hearne in The Star. Now they’re here, which is why I’m on this web site rather than The Star’s.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The Independent Rage
    In reference to GH’s response to my Arthur Bryant’s post above: That’s a great story. I always thought maybe he had some grudge against AB’s, while perhaps he was treated a lot better at Gates or something. Thanks for verifying that he was being absolutely honest in his negative assessment of AB’s.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Kia Zi
    When Arthur Bryant was alive, he’d help me impress my friends by opening his resturant at 1am and fixing us whatever wonderful meals we wanted, and he’d give us these really cute writing pens that had a little cow floating in water at the top of the them. He was such a nice little old man that I never had the heart to tell him that he put way too much molasses in the BBQ sauce, it really is some gross tasting stuff.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Kia Zi
    When Arthur Bryant was alive, he’d help me impress my friends by opening his resturant at 1am and fixing us whatever wonderful meals we wanted, and he’d give us these really cute writing pens that had a little cow floating in water at the top of them. He was such a nice little old man that I never had the heart to tell him that he put way too much molasses in the BBQ sauce, it really is some gross tasting stuff.

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