Jason Whitlock sat down with Real Clear Sports for an interview that was published Wednesday evening and among the issues he discussed were sports bloggers, the future of print media, why he is so friggin’ awesome, as well as several other topics that we should feel blessed he believed them worthy of expounding upon.
When posed a question about newspapers, Whitlock responds that he cannot “answer this question honestly” but nevertheless informs us that he believes they “are drowning in arrogance” (whereas if Whitlock had to pick a way to go, he would choose drowning in gravy).
More importantly (at least in the context of a discussion of his interview on a sports blog), in between the occasions where Real Clear Sports fawns over Whitlock and basks in his greatness (seriously, I have seen Larry King do more hard-hitting interviews), Whitlock claims has no problem “elevating bloggers” into his realm.
The whole exchange, after the jump.
RCS: In your Leftover Truths column, you said that you were “still waiting for sports blogs to police themselves,” citing the fact that “no one in the blog world or in the print media world attempted to level a penalty against [Deadspin editors] Will Leitch or AJ Daulerio for the crime [of] posting the man-laws-breaking gossip in the first place, [Stu Scott's text messaging].” Except for you.
Then recently, you suggested that as America’s first Racial Apology Czar, Stu Scott may be “allowed to whip Leitch and Daulerio’s asses on national television.”
As we said before, you’re currently the single most popular professional sports columnist. By choosing to react to Deadspin instead of, for example, another sports columnist, are you elevating sports bloggers?
Whitlock: I don’t have a problem with sports bloggers. I don’t mind elevating them. I don’t mind reacting to them. I’m glad they’re out there. Occasionally they do really good stuff. It would be silly to ignore them. They influence the sports conversation. If someone writes something interesting on a sports blog I read, I’ll post a response under my name. I’m a sports fan. No different from most of the bloggers. What Leitch and AJ did was an extreme act of cowardice. It bothered me that no one called them out on it. My read is/was that most of the media grew afraid of Deadspin out of fear of being ridiculed, fear that Leitch or AJ might look through their garbage in hopes of uncovering some dirt. I say expose ‘em. I wish that Buzz Bissinger had asked me a few questions before going on Costas Now. He fired the wrong ammo.
Leitch is an assclown. It’s not a coincidence that traffic on the site has gone through the roof once he and promotion of piss-poor book were de-emphasized. The guy pulled off one of the greatest scams in the history of journalism, parlaying pictures of drunk athletes into a Sports Illustrated profile and a gig at the New York Magazine. Only in America.
I guess Whitlock believes that not only is Leitch an assclown, as he puts it, but by pulling off one of the greatest scams in the history of journalism, Leitch was the Keyser Soze of sports blogs – and like that – poof – he’s gone – on to a lucrative career in “real journalism”, as I imagine Whitlock would refer to the job he performs.
Don’t get me wrong – I believe Whitlock is a great sports writer – provocative, sometimes funny, intelligent – far better than I can ever dream to be – but he falls into the same tired “us versus them” mentality that is as tired as the whole “blogger sitting in his underwear in his mother’s basement” bit. If someone wanted to call out Will or AJ, they were free to do so (and furthermore, you don’t have to look far to find sports blogs that do hammer on Deadspin) – the fact that Whitlock condemns sports blogging as a whole because no one took AJ or Will to task for the Stuart Scott incident is a pointless exercise. While it is their perogative if they choose to, bloggers are not bound by any ethical imperative to call “one of their own” out – if Whitlock believes that is wrong, he’s entitled to his opinion, but he misses the mark. Bloggers can do whatever they want and that bothers Whitlock to no end. Are sports blogs unfair to the athletes and personalities in the sports world that they write about? Sometimes. Is it going to change? I doubt it. Should it change? I’m not sure.
I don’t know, my guess is I’m as sick of reading about Whitlock’s thoughts on blogs as he feels when he reads them. Perhaps we both should stop.
13 Questions With Jason Whitlock [Real Clear Sports]