Dear Mr. Whitlock,
You don't know me. I mean that in a couple of ways. First, we've never met. I'm just a 33 year old school teacher in the Wichita area that is a die hard Chiefs fan and occasional reader of your column. Second, in hearing your "explanation" today on the radio it is clear to me that you don't know the average sports fan (like me) that is out there listening to you. I'm not sure who you were talking to today, but it wasn't me. The sad part is, you continually stated that the problem with newspapers today is that they are trying too hard to win awards and not writing for the actual people. I think you need to listen to your own advice Jason. Let me explain...
Most of the hardworking average Americans that I know have worked for employers, bosses, or principals that they didn't see eye to eye with or thought didn't appreciate them. That's life. Nobody heard you today and went "Ohhhhhhhhh, he had to work for editors that didn't run the sports section like he wanted and didn't always tell him how great he was! Well good thing he got out of there." If someone who wasn't a supporter of yours heard that they just rolled their eyes and it didn't exactly give your supporters anything to bring to an argument on your behalf. So when you went person by person and item by item over all the problems you had over the years, who was that for?
Now, about the "scandalous" revelations you made about some of your former co-workers. I don't know how a single human being on this planet could listen to you talk about how you suspected people got promoted only because they slept with the boss, didn't get fired because they had seen the boss drunk and high, and of course telling the story about the boss getting drunk and kissing another guy on the neck in a "non-sexual" way and think it was anything other then a sad, pathetic, personal shot on your way out the door. There was no class in it. None. I'm not even questioning if any of it is true. It doesn't matter. Anyone with the slightest ounce of professionalism would not go on a major radio station and air it in public. If you really wanted people to know it was part of the reason you left you could of simply said "I need people to understand that this was not just about money or business, I had major problems ethically with what was going on at the Star". That would of put it on the record but kept the conversation out of the gutter.
However, I don't think your intention was to talk to the "reader" who you claim to write for. Those accusations had one purpose, to burn the building to the ground on your way out the door. You claim to have great respect for the talented and hard working people that are at the Star, yet you didn't hesitate to set the place on fire when you left. If you claim that these "ethical injustices" were so horrible that you couldn't not say anything, then you should of aired them in 2007 when as you said you had the security of two jobs (the Star and Fox Sports) that could pay your bills. You didn't. You didn't set the building on fire while you still worked there. Apparently you didn't feel it was worth saying at that time, but once Fox Sports gave you your big payday it was "burn baby burn". Then you have the nerve to ask these so called "friends" of yours at the Star to back your story. To come out against their boss when they don't have any other job to fall back on like you did three years ago and still didn't come forward with any of this. Who is going to hear that and respect you for it? Who did it benefit for you to do that?
So I ask you Jason, were you talking to me today? Were you really trying to win over the average sports fan listening? Are you really so out of touch that you thought anyone would hear that and feel bad for you? I just can't see it. What I see are two possibilities: first, your ego has become so big that you think people will be so upset about losing your column in our local paper that we will back you no matter what you say or how you say it, or you don't really give a damn what we think and just wanted a way to burn your enemies before you left town. Either way it equates to the same thing, you are no better then the "awards culture" in newspapers that you are up in arms about. You claim they seek these awards at the expense of their audience. So how is that different then you using your air time today to simply carry out your own agenda and make personal attacks when addressing the audience who has read your columns for all these years? It's the same thing Jason, but your "awards" are attention, fame, and money. The sad thing is Jason, the honest answer to most of my questions of "who was that for?" is that it was for you. Not the radio audience, not the readers of your column, not your "friends" at the Star, it was three hours for you to talk with only your own interests and agendas in mind.
I'll leave you with this. What if you were covering a local sports team and the head coach decided he was leaving. Afterwards he went on the local sports radio and did what you did today. Over an hour was just the coach going item by item over every single thing that happened in his time with the team that he didn't agree with. Every person in the organization that didn't treat him the way he thought they should of, he called out. He publicly aired personal and embarrassing information about high ranking people in the organization. Think about that Jason. You are a good writer and have written some excellent columns in your day. So what would you write about that coach and how he handled things? Let's assume everything the coach said was true. Can you honestly sit there and say that you would write a column the next day saying "Good for him, I'm glad he aired his laundry in public." If the answer is yes, then that's fine, but you are truly in the minority and not on the same page as the "readers" that you say you write for. If your answer is no, then it's time to look in the mirror and see that your biggest obstacle to reaching your "audience" is not all the other people out there in the world trying to hold you back. It's your own very large ego.