RUSH: A teachable moment comes from a town I lived in for ten years, Kansas City, Missouri. Well, I actually lived in Overland Park, but it’s all part of the same metro area. I had a great time there. By the way, anybody who knew me in Kansas City for those ten years would say I was an abject failure. (laughed) I failed. But those ten years of failure were among the most valuable that conditioned me, prepared me for what was to come later when I left Kansas City. I still stay in touch with the Kansas City media, and I have a lot of friends that are still living in Kansas City that I’m in regular contact with, golf buddies and so forth. I occasionally still read the Kansas City media, the local newspapers, the Kansas City Star. They have a columnist who has written things in the past that we’ve quoted favorably on this program, other things he’s not been so favorably quoted on, but I like this man, and I think he’s really brilliant at times, and I think he’s very creative.
In a clouded, clogged, overrun media community, Jason Whitlock still manages to write pieces that stand out. And he’s fearless. He has been fired from places like ESPN, which, to me, is a badge of honor. He has been fired for his outspokenness. Jason Whitlock has also taken his hand at hosting talk radio and sports. Jason Whitlock has a column that ran Saturday in the Kansas City Star. Now, it’s about the Kansas City Chiefs. For those of you in Port St. Lucie and Rio Linda, that’s the football team there. They just hired a new general manager, they got rid of king Carl Peterson, and they just hired Scott Pioli from the New England Patriots, and they just hired a new head coach from the Arizona Cardinals, the offensive coordinator, Todd Haley. Jason Whitlock — now, stick with me on this because it’s a teachable moment. You’ll be amazed at what I am going to read to you from Jason’s piece. The headline of Jason’s piece is: ‘It’s OK to Question Pioli and the Chiefs.’
Now, keep in mind as I go through this and read excerpts, this is a column about football. Football does not determine your tax rate. Football has nothing to do with your individual liberty or freedom. It might have a little to do with your pursuit of happiness, if your team wins or if you like to root them on, this sort of thing, but there’s no football team that can unilaterally enact a policy that will change your life, make you poorer, raise your taxes, or infringe upon your freedom. Jason Whitlock begins his piece.
‘Wednesday afternoon, on my drive on I-70 to watch the Tigers and the Sooners tangle, I passed the time listening to sports-talk radio. I find one of our local stations unlisten-Neal-able, so you can assume which station and which show entertained me along the highway. And you can guess which host nearly made me drive off the highway. The New Don Fortune–‘ Don Fortune is still there, Don Fortune is a sports guy, sports TV anchor when I was in Kansas City in the mid-seventies. He’s still there.
‘The New Don Fortune expressed his disinterest in needing access and information from our New Carl Peterson, Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli. The New Don and his trusty sidekick, Mad Jack Harry–‘ Jack Harry is still there! I knew Jack Harry, Channel 5 in Kansas City when I was there. Fortune I think was at Channel 9, if I’m not mistaken. Anyway, these two guys, Fortune and Jack Harry, they do a duo show, and Jason was listening to them. He wasn’t liking what he was hearing because Fortune and Mad Jack Harry spent several minutes telling their listeners that we just have to trust the new general manager Scott Pioli implicitly. We don’t need to waste emotion and energy worrying whether Pioli, the new general manager of the Chiefs, reveals himself or his plans or his players to the media. ‘Having worked in sports-talk radio, I’m aware the discipline requires a dramatic and healthy loosening of journalistic standards. But basic common sense and backbone are allowed and occasionally encouraged when hosting a radio show. Supporting the new regime does not equate to rejecting the primary (and redeeming) role of the media.’
Now, folks, Jason Whitlock is talking about a football team! He’s talking about a football general manager and two media people who said, ‘I don’t need to question him; I trust him; I think I know what they’re doing; I don’t need to have access to them. I believe in what they’re doing.’ Whitlock is saying, ‘You trust ’em? You’re a journalist. You gotta get in there and ask them questions, you gotta hold them accountable.’ It’s a football team! ‘It’s our job,’ Jason Whitlock writes, ‘to acquire information and pass it along to you. Based on what we’ve seen from the Bill Belichick era in New England and our first two months with Pioli, gathering pertinent and enlightening information about the Chiefs is going to be rather difficult.’ Do you see where I’m going with this, Snerdley? Folks, the rest of you, do you see where I’m heading with this? Jason Whitlock is aghast that the media is laying down, has no interest, is not curious, is blindly accepting whatever comes out of the Chiefs front office. He wants to dig and find out what they’re trying to hide. He’s writing this about a football team! A football team which cannot raise your taxes; a football team which cannot take away your freedom; a football team which cannot tell you what kind of car to drive.
I mean, they can rape you financially with ticket prices, but that’s up to you if you want to pay it. You at least get some value back. ‘Overall, we attempt to be a watchdog of those with power,’ writes Mr. Whitlock. ‘When we fail to play that role, generally speaking, terrible things happen. The Iraq War is a worst-case scenario. We trusted our president implicitly, led the cheers when we declared war on Iraq and declined to demand answers to difficult questions. Hundreds of billions of dollars later, and with our economy in collapse, we now blame poor, minority homeowners for the fall of our society.’ He’s talking about football! Jason, you laid down, led the cheers? Have you forgotten the Democrat Party’s role in trying to secure the defeat of the US military in Iraq? The media laid down for George W. Bush? Jason, the media is laying down and has checked its professionalism at the door with Barack Obama! The very demand, Jason, that you are making, that local media hold a football team general manager accountable, you don’t even think to reference the national media holding a president accountable? There’s no curiosity, there is blind acceptance of Barack Obama, Jason, right in front of your eyes. They’re stenographers.
From Jonathan Alter to Chris Matthews to whoever, they’re taking dictation from the White House, Jason. They’re taking dictation from Rahm Emanuel; they’re taking dictation from James Carville; they’re taking dictation from Robert Gibbs; they’re taking dictation from Stan Greenberg; they’re taking dictation from the president of the United States. And you’re upset that the general manager of a football team won’t tell you what’s going on with the draft? I can understand, Jason, you’re writing about sports, but you brought the Iraq war into this. ‘Unchallenged leaders,’ he says, ‘are dictators, and quickly turn unethical.’ He’s writing about football. He’s writing about Scott Pioli because Scott Pioli comes from a dictatorial regime, the New England Patriots, and the dictator is mad Bill Belichick, and Jason’s all worried that Pioli is in the mad dictator image of Belichick. ‘Unchallenged leaders are dictators and quickly turn unethical.’ He’s talking about a football team. The column amused me because King Obama, King Obama is in danger, or engaging in behavior that makes Scott Pioli and the dictatorial New England Patriots — (laughing).
Jason, are you afraid the Chiefs might win and you won’t know how they did it ’cause Pioli won’t tell you? Or, Jason, do you want Pioli to fail ’cause he won’t open up with you guys and he won’t tell you how he’s doing what he’s doing. Then he concludes the piece, writing now to the fans who read his piece in the Kansas City Star, ‘It’s in your best interest to demand better from us. Don’t be fooled into believing we should go away or act as a propaganda machine for some newly elected, popular-in-comparison,’ general manager. Of a football team! Now, he does throw Bush in that last sentence. Let me reread this since I missed this, cause it’s parentheses. ‘It’s in your best interest to demand better from us. Don’t be fooled into believing we should go away or act as a propaganda machine for some newly elected, popular-in-comparison-to-Peterson (or Bush) leader.’
Jason, you’re better than this. To say that George W. Bush had a lapdog media? I don’t know how you would describe this media other than to say they are stenographers covering for Barack Obama. But here’s the point, the bottom line of this. Now, I know Jason Whitlock is in sports, but do you get how angry he is? He’s irritated that two of his brethren in sports talk radio said, ‘We don’t need to question the Chiefs,’ and that sets him off on 750 words, we damn well gotta question the Chiefs. He is exorcised over a potential dictatorship football team, but a similar scenario playing out in his country escapes him. I’m just here to help, Jason, ’cause you know I love you. And, by the way, Jason supported me in the Monday Night Football gig. He really did. He thought it would help fat guys everywhere, and he’s bigger than I am.