February 7th, 2013
Jason Whitlock

It’s really an oxymoron kind of like “Military Intelligence” or “Jumbo Shrimp.”

One would never think of “Whitlock” and “Pulitzer” in the same sentence.

Or the same universe.

But Jason Whitlock, the disgruntled and oftentimes delusional former Kansas City Star columnist, is bemoaning the fact in his latest column that his entry for a Pulitzer Prize was rejected.

“I know. It’s egotistical to admit in writing that I wanted to win a Pulitzer Prize. It’s delusional for a sports writer to make such an admission,” he notes in a column in the Ball State Daily, his alma mater.

“But it’s the truth. I believe in transparency. I swing for the fences. During my fifth year of college, when I joined the Ball State Daily News in 1989, I vowed to become the sportswriting equal of Mike Royko. I wanted to be the best.”

While most people would say that Whitlock wasn’t even the best columnist at the Star (see Joe Posnanski), he did fall back on his tried and true reason for everything: racism.

“As best I can tell, no non-white has won the APSE’s column-writing contest,” he notes, while showing off his research skills. “Google “African-American winners of the Pulitzer Prize.” The list is deep and goes back many years.”

Once again, the white man has done in Whitlock.

“None of us has ever been quite good enough to reach the top. It’s my belief that our minority perspective is off-putting to predominantly white male judges.”

17 Responses

  1. David Remley says:

    It’s always easier to deal with life when everything is someone else’s fault.

  2. Clark H. says:

    Here we go again; is it his Ego or Super Ego barking up the tree with him. Isn’t that why he constantly gets run from previous employers.

  3. Barry Soetoro, Indonesian Overlord says:

    Almost as crazy as Obama getting a Nobel Peace Prize.

  4. Mike says:

    Jenee’ Osterheldt’s entry must have gotten lost in the mail..

  5. malcolm says:

    This from the guy that once referred to Neil Smith in a column that said the Denver fans had hurled racial “epitaphs” at him. And, by the way, the column ran that way and the copy editors didn’t catch it.

  6. chazzykc says:

    Your contempt for Whitlock seems a bit vitriolic and absent any element of respect for his willingness to engage race based issues….sports or culturally focused….with a trumpeted blast of personal reponsibility and…..sometimes…. a Cosby like professorial wisdom.

    Like you, I find Poz the far superior wordsmith and “drill down” thinker on sports based issues, but Jason has always been a contrarian of the first order. That is a trait I admire greatly. While I agree with him about 60% of the time, his opinions most always provide an incisive consideration or slant that I had not considered prior.

    I share both his love and respect for Royko and his contempt for the sniveling, condescending elitist, Lupica

    We were uncommonly fortunate for over a decade to have the VERY BEST pair of sports columnists on any single Newspaper in the country.

    His departure was the “last straw” for my remaining a Star subscriber.

  7. Jason "Pullet Surprise" Whitlock says:

    My globally-important writing on things such as the effect on the trajectory of a well-hit baseball by an epic McRib-induced fart from the press box only failed to get proper recognition because of racism.

  8. The Word says:

    Normally like Bottom Line, but this seems like a hit piece on Whitlock.

    Whitlock might not have been the best writer the Star had. But he was the most read and most controversial and most thought provoking. I’ll take that any day of the week over a sports writer who thinks of himself as Homer writing a Greek Tragedy

    Do you John honestly think, looking back that Joe Posnanski was a great columnist not writer but columnist?

    I like many die hard sports fans I talk to could never get past a column of his. He would write long bloated columns that were full of style but not one damn ounce of substance. He would put quotes that were completely made up from conversations he had no access to.

    And he never took a stance on anything. Never took a position on anything and never called out anyone.

    When all his magic seemed to ware off thanks to the Joe Pa book, do you still think Joe is a good columnist John. Just wondering.

  9. Gary Foster says:

    “Yes, I have always considered Jason the Lewis Diuguid of sports.”
    This comment alone should get a nomination for best KC region blog comment of the year! Made me chuckle!

  10. max says:

    Jason has made his living pissing off the general public. Whatever public sentiment is, he takes the opposing view. That results in more readers and angry readers eager to tee off on him. Fortunately,his act grew old in KC. Now he spends his time sniffing jock straps of the athletes he defends. See Michael Vick, Barry Bonds, etc. He’s always looking for a way to stay visible.

  11. harwood benjamin says:

    The part you didn’t mention in this posting at the Ball State site (it’s not a regular fox column) is his dream to “Be like Mike” Royko. Every time I read about his modeling himself after Royko, I imagine the scene on the movie line in Annie Hall where Marshal McLuhan appears.
    In this version, Royko steps forward and tells Whitlock, “I heard what you’ve been saying…You know nothing about my work…How you ever got a job at any newspaper is amazing.”

  12. Scott Simon says:

    I knew Mr. Royko, God rest his soul.

    If one needed to prove Jason Whitlock is vain, this is the best example, a meager sportwriter comparing himself to a superstar news reporter and book author.

  13. John G. says:

    Awarded to the sports writer who has walked through the sands of time leaving no footprints, is now walking through the sands of time leaving no footprints, and will continue to walk through the sands of time leaving no footprints, this years “Putzer” Award” goes to … (The envelope please)

    Jason Whitlock

    (Ths sound of one hand clapping)

  14. Dan Lybarger says:

    Mr. Whitlock’s priorities are a little bit off.

    In my naiveté, I thought the ultimate goal of a journalist was to find stories that readers wanted, no needed, to read. Like Mr. Whitlock, I’d enjoy getting a statue or a certificate, but the whole goal of the enterprise should be to find great stories and to tell them properly, not to decorate a mantle.

    The work should be its own reward.

    While I agree with Mr. Whitlock that the committee’s exclusion of sports network web sites is arbitrary and unfair (there is a cornucopia of great writing online, and there will be more of it in the future), he doesn’t help his case by tooting his own horn and dropping Mike Royko’s name as if he developed Royko Tourette’s Syndrome.

    Yes, I grew up admiring the writing of Molly Ivins, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Roger Ebert, three columnists with very different styles and outlooks. But unlike Mr. Whitlock, I believe it is folly to think that simply by osmosis, I could absorb what made their columns so insightful and even pleasurable to read.

    Mr. Whitlock’s whining seems peevish in the wake of the first Pulitzer awarded to an online journalist’s work for David Wood’s reporting in Huffington Post. Full disclosure, I blog for them.

    Mr. Wood’s exhaustive accounts on wounded veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan made their sufferings and triumphs come alive. Whereas most of Whitlock’s columns, or much of my work for that matter, could be written without leaving the safety of a desk, Mr. Wood spent months getting to know the troops and their families and officials charged with helping them back into civilian life.

    He revealed that modern medicine has enabled these people to live through injuries that would have killed them just a few years before but that these wounds don’t end when they leave the war zone. Wood is in his late 60s and has covered just about every U.S. conflict since Vietnam. This gives him perspective many younger journalists simply don’t have.

    Wood’s pieces combine conventional reporting with opinion, but his opinions are based on decades of first-hand observation. Further, he provides information about dozens of groups that are helping veterans and indicates which have been the most effective.

    I enjoyed a column Mr. Whitlock wrote about the rape accusations against Kobe Bryant, but nothing he’s done has been as work intensive or as relevant as what Mr. Wood has done.

    I encourage people to read Mr. Wood’s reporting, not because it has won an award but because it forces us as a society to examine how and why we go to war and how we can best honor and help people who’ve made some starkly visible sacrifices.

    As the recent film Wreck-It Ralph teaches us, it’s nice to have a medal, but it’s more important to earn one, even if a committee isn’t inclined to award one any time soon.

    If there’s one thing, that Mr. Whitlock should write in the future, it’s a column telling younger readers why Mr. Royko was such an important voice and why his work still means something. It’s doubtful that Mr. Royko would have enjoyed simply having his name dropped.

  15. Larry Gray says:

    Whitlock is a talent in and of himself. Back in the day, I preferred Whitlock’s columns far above Posnanski’s idol-worshiping, candy-laden drivel. Lay aside the race card he plays like an old, worn-down drum, Whitlock is a good writer (when he wants to be).

Leave a Reply