And now, the rest of the story…
Look, I get that most readers, sports fans and people with things going on in their lives besides penning vitriolic comments under assumed names don’t much care about who got some news scoop first.
Just the facts, ma’am and they”re happy.
An earthquake jolts the East Coast, who cares if Fox or CNN reported it first. People want the full, accurate story, the news. Not touchdown dances and gotcha stories claiming some kid with a microscopically small twitter account spread an unconfirmed rumor a couple hours before the actual news was reported.
Still reporters and media personalities are human. They win awards, get pay raises and feel good about themselves when they break a big news story. I felt pretty good when I broke the one about the Nelson-Atkins Shuttlecocks years ago.
And 610 Sports host Nick Wright probably felt pretty good (and was congratulated by competing local sports journalists) for breaking the story about the Chiefs No. 1 draft pick Jonathan Baldwin fighting with a teammate, injuring his hand and likely to be out of commish for several weeks.
But let’s face it, sports talk radio has a lot of haters. Older dudes resent Wright for being young and cocky, attending a private school, digging hip-hop, even having a black girlfriend. Go figure.
Oh and they love to bag on WHB’s Kevin Kietzman for being cocky, making tons of dough, worshipping at the alter of K-State and running too many infomercials during his show.
You don’t have to fish too hard to catch plenty of haters for either of these guys – that’s the way the game is played – comes with the turf.
However, the breaking news stories game is still played by – not just by getting a skeletal tip – but following up on it, confirming it with legitimate sources, filling in the story with greater detail and making it widely available to the general public.
That’s exactly what Nick Wright did in reporting the story about the Chiefs fight.
And that’s why he was congratulated by his peers and competitors in the media.
However, local blogger Greg Hall – who until recently wrote for this site and has clearly demonstrated a dislike for Wright – learned a local dude had tweeted about the fight to a handful of his friends, and to Nick. Hall then went about building an entirely circumstantial case that the Tweeter, not Nick, deserved credit for breaking the story.
Now here’s Wright’s explanation on the radio Tuesday, in case you missed it.
"I had tweeted out on Thursday, I’m hearing things about Jonathan Baldwin, but we’re doing the radiothon, I don’t have time to research it today," Wright told lsiteners. "I’ll do it tonight once the radio show’s over.
"(So) I got up the next morning, called my sources, sent out the tweets that I’d heard about Baldwin and (Thomas Jones) getting into it. And someone who follows me on Twitter, who is as close to the team as you can get, calls me up and said, ‘Nick, here’s the real story.’ And told me about the Baldwin-Jones fight and that Baldwin had hurt maybe, he thought, his wrist, but maybe part of his hand. Was Out definitely the rest of the preseason, they think week one, and maybe six to eight weeks. I sent a text message to five members of the Kansas City Chiefs saying this is what I heard, true or false? A couple of ’em didn’t respond. A couple of ’em responded, true. To me there’s my verification. I went with it."
That was that until later Friday when…
"Then I see Arrowhead Pride tweet out, wow, somebody named WhiteMamba03 on Twitter, tweeted about a Baldwin-Jones fight on Thursday. So you go to WhiteMamba on Twitter, as I did, and you see a picture of (Chiefs nose tackle) Kelly Greg and his name on there is John Doe – (who) not only tweeted about it but sent me a tweet saying Jones and Baldwin fought. None of the other information, just Jones and Baldwin fought.
"So I myself sent out a tweet saying, ‘Wow, it’s been brought to my attention that WhiteMamba already had this, kudos to him.’ (And) I think it’s done. And then two of the most pathetic media, never-was failures I’ve ever come across in Greg Hall. Let me promote his Web site, greghall.com. And John Landsberg. Let me promote his Web site – who didn’t understand how the Internet worked – so he thought the dot com had to be in the Web site name. His Web site is is bottomline.com.com. Which looks like it was made by a challenged 14 year-old on GeoCities. They both run stories about how I plagiarized from WhiteMamba.
"A few things on this, and this is where it’s gonna sound really arrogant and really self-serving and I don’t mean for it to. But I’ve got to explain it. The reason Landsberg and Hall were so sure I’d plagiarized – forget the fact that the tweet WhiteMamba sent me had none of the details except the fight. Nothing about an injury. Nothing about how long (Baldwin) would be out. None of that.
"But the reason they were certain I’d seen it and certain that’s where I got the information, was because every time someone tweets to one of these two absolutely pathetic people, I’m sure their phone goes off. I’ll bet they get an email and they’re super excited that someone wants to talk to them. And I don’t mean to be arrogant, but I have 10,000 Twitter followers…I get between 300 and 500 tweets to me a day. Do I read them all? Yeah. Do I read them all right when they come in? No. And on Thursday when WhiteMamba was tweeting to me I had my priorities screwed up and I was too busy trying to save the lives of some kids (hosting a 12 hour radiothon for the Salvation Army).
"And so Greg Hall runs a story about me plagiarizing. Greg Hall, the same man who’s radio career lasted 2 1/2 weeks. Who’s career at the Star lasted 21/2 months (actually three years as a freelancer). Who wrote an article a couple years ago about how he is the one to be thanked for Jason Whitlock’s success and how he used to write Whitlock’s columns for him. Now, unbelievably, without Greg Hall, Jason Whitlcok’s gone on to make millions of dollars at Fox, ESPN and AOL. Meanwhile, Greg Hall is a media developer who writes for greghall.com. Shocked that career didn’t take off.
"John Landsberg, on the other hand, is a guy who used to – and maybe still does – post on Internet message boards as Leawood John. Calling people racial slurs and homosexual slurs. I used to post on message boards, too . And he and I would argue about that and now he has a vendetta and writes a a story about how I plagiarized. Fellas, I won’t sue ya because I am a public person and that would be really tough for me to win. But the Internet’s real and you can’t just make things up about people…And I’m done not saying anything when people make things up about my character and my job."
The reason "The Explanation II" is only now going up is twofold.
First, I had a "Groundhog Day" misadventure yesterday, making three attempts to post it only to experience problems with the site that killed it every time. Time constraints prevented me from mounting another effort until now.
Second, most people are not in the exact right place at the exact right time to catch random 15 minute radio segments. However, since the story was laid out by Wright’s detractors online – effectively in print – there was no missing it there.
And now there’s no missing it here.