In the end, 'The Explanation' wasn't nearly as bad as some thought it might be. After talking to some folks in the industry over the last week, I was waiting for Jason Whitlock to take down a lot more people than he did on Friday afternoon.
The two biggest targets from Whitlock were his sports editor and the KC Star editor. Let's just say that it's going to be an awkward Monday morning for those two.
The first hour was more of him recapping his career in Kansas City and at the Star. He had trouble with a few former editors in the 90s and then a few more in the 00s.
How it all went down with the Star
On May 26, the day of his final column, he had written about the KU ticket scandal. In the column, he referenced the Yahoo! Sports report that broke the story open. His editors didn't want that refernece to Yahoo! Sports because, as Whitlock explained, it wouldn't put them in the running for certain awards. Whiltlock accused the Star of being obsessed with awards and said the "awards culture is on steroids".
So Whitlock, feeling strongly about this, told his editor that he would not write any more sports columns for the Star if that Yahoo! reference did not run.
It didn't run.
What I'm taking away from The Explanation
Whitlock will never have a boss he gets along with for a long period of time. Every boss, it seems, he's had an issue with and I don't see why that will change moving forward. He seems like a very difficult person to work with -- or, to work above, rather.
I also realize that this is a big, big deal to him and he does care about all this. He broke down emotionally several times and didn't take his three-hour forum as a chance to bash everyone in the business. You can tell he really wanted to talk to folks (and the attention probably didn't hurt) about why he left.
- He's going to have a home in L.A. and Kansas City
- Claims Carl Peterson called the police and kicked him out of the hospital after Derrick Thomas' accident
- He thinks the Star is unfairly portraying KU athletic director Lew Perkins
- He talked and referenced often about how much money he made
- At one point, he was talking to the Star about becoming sports editor.
- While talking graphic details about the Star's editor and, getting "drunk and high", he was cutoff for about 10 minutes. The station apparently claimed it was a mistake.