OTC: WHB’s Steven St. John Poses W/ Andy Reid In Compromising Position

“It’s Kansas City. Love my adopted hometown but Karen Kornacki has a 30-year career for a reason.”
Jason Whitlock, @WhitlockJason, after retweeting the photo of Andy Reid and Steven St. John in a chummy embrace the same day Reid is announced as the Chiefs new head coach at Arrowhead, Twitter
GH: To me this is an absolute no brainer. St. John looks like an amateur idiot fan with his boyish grin and arm tucked around Reid’s ample waist. I don’t understand why any member of the media would want to be perceived as Joe Posnanski to the 10th power. SSJ obviously doesn’t care about his professional reputation. He just wants to be a giddy fan boy. Okay, but please understand that comes with some consequences – namely your credibility.

“Got a text from a national media guy crushing the KC media. This is a bad look courtesy of RT @WhitlockJason. I didn’t see the pic until the national guy alerted me to it because Whitlock blocked me but Reid must be salivating coming from Philly.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, Twitter
GH: Does one photo of a grinning radio sports talk host demean the entire Kansas City media? Yep. That is kind of how the national media works. St. John did his fellow members in the local media no favors with his pose and pic. He also added to the reputation that Kansas City is a soft media market when it comes to covering professional sports. In other words, not only do our teams suck but the media as well.

“You’re right Danny – I love SSJ too but he’s foolish to take pics like that.”
Kyle Rohde, @KyleRohde, Twitter

“Covering Chiefs here not White House. That’s why SSJ works for me, he’s a fan.”
G Low, @KCPRGuy, Twitter
GH: Not everyone will see SSJ’s decision to pose with the Chiefs’ new coach as a negative. Read on.

“This is the type of thing nobody but media cares about. SSJ is always a pro on radio.”
Rob Desselle, @RobDeselle, Twitter
GH: SSJ is a fan on the radio. That is just fine as long as you understand what you’re getting when you tune in. But a fan on the radio is pretty easy to ignore if you want anything more than emotion.

“The KC media *is* soft, especially when their subject is standing in front of them. For crying out loud Kornacki went 1st 2day.”
@MerleTagladucci, on Karen Kornacki asking the first question at Reid’s presser, Twitter

“My point isn’t a 610 v 810 thing, though I get why you think it would be. I like St. John and think he has the best show there… It’s the perception that KC media is soft and Reid is salivating at the idea of getting away from ‘tough’ Philly market for ‘soft’ KC one.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, Twitter
GH: Is the media on the east coast tougher than what we have here in Kansas City? I don’t spend enough time evaluating the east coast press to have a worthy opinion. But would Karen Kornacki, Bob Fescoe, SSJ and Michael Coleman have similar jobs in Philly, Boston or NYC? I doubt it. What members of the KC media would travel well? Contrary to what many think, I believe Kevin Kietzman’s act would play well wherever he roamed. Nick Wright is making it in Houston. Shan Shariff has a Dallas gig. Damon Amedolara [DA] has a nationally syndicated show on CBS Sports Radio. A number of former Kansas City Star sportswriters have proven their talents are of national caliber. We have talent here, but much like the best athletes, it just rarely stays.

“Sports is full of unwritten rules… And one of the trickiest ones… you don’t go ‘jock-sniffing’ when you’re working. What do I think about it? The picture, obviously, is probably a bad look for St. John, probably just for the timing of it. However, why can’t reporters have a healthy relationship with the people they cover? Why is this rule unwritten?”
Chris Kamler, @FakeNed, RamblingMorons.com
GH: The key word here is “healthy.” If a reporter can maintain a friendly relationship with an athlete, coach or front office person and still treat him/her the same when it comes to covering that individual – have at it. But it almost never works that way. The reporter’s work is almost always compromised because he/she doesn’t want to offend their “friend,” or the “friend” gets upset with the reporter’s unbiased work. Look at Jack Harry and Norm Stewart. Or Jack Harry and Scott Pioli. Or Karen Kornacki and just about anybody she does a story on or about. Cordial is fine. Friends is out of line.

“Furthermore, technology may be to blame here, also. St. John didn’t tweet this photo out. He might’ve just gotten it for his own personal use. Regardless, it’s a little bit embarrassing for St. John, but hardly the end of the world. Tons of media have had their photos taken with head coaches, managers, etc. And it wouldn’t be the first time someone has broken an unwritten rule when posting photos of the media.”
Chris Kamler, @FakeNed, RamblingMorons.com
GH: No one is predicting “the end of the world” because of SSJ’s pic with Reid. But we also shouldn’t be blaming technology. The problem isn’t that somehow this photo was shared on the Internet. The problem is that a member of the Kansas City media would even consider placing himself in this compromising pose.

“Still haven’t figured out what team I’m rooting for tonight…Trying to decide which head coach I’d rather take a picture with…”
Steven St. John, @SSJ_WHB, prior to the start of the BCS title game Monday night, Twitter
GH: SSJ poked some fun at himself and his critics on Twitter and again on his Tuesday morning show. He made light of it and that’s probably not a bad play. But the photo is a bad look for him, 810 and Kansas City. Jokes won’t change that fact.

“No worries St. John, just shows you’re KC through and through. Why the city loves you, you’re one of us.”
Timothy Miller, @timthegm, Twitter
GH: If SSJ’s goal is to be “one of us,” he has set his sights far too low for his broadcasting career. It may allow him to drink free at his favorite pub, but he pays for it in professional credibility – and credibility is far too expensive to squander.

“Thanks…I criticize people on my show all the time…I shouldn’t be immune to it…If I dish it out, I should ready to take it.”
Steven St. John, @SSJ_WHB, responding to Miller’s tweet above, Twitter
GH: The criticism toward SSJ has only begun on this one. That photo of him and Reid is going to get as much play as the pic of Jason Whitlock taking that nap on 1510’s couch back in the late 1990s.

[email protected] and Twitter / greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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54 Responses to OTC: WHB’s Steven St. John Poses W/ Andy Reid In Compromising Position

  1. JP says:

    SSJ is one of the most talented and entertaining voices on the radio. He is a fan and doesn’t hesitate to tell anyone. He is also the first one to unload when one of his teams disappoints, as routinely happens to KC fans. The photo doesn’t bother me in the slightest. It looks like a guy who is waiting for a winner to come to KC. SSJ speaks for a lot of sports fans in Kansas City, and I have no problem with this photo. SSJ reflects a lot of us that want the Chiefs to return to post season, as they regularly went in the 90’s.

  2. Greg Hall says:

    rcal, check out Boston and New York.

    • rkcal says:

      “We’re bigger, so it’s more important if it happens here” is the only logic I see at work. I don’t believe the quality of journalism, percentage of jock sniffing, or any other media proclivity is greater, or forces the teams to be better, which is what is implied.

  3. Cliffy says:

    This is Greg’s dumbest post since he claimed the KSU receiver who drew a penalty for saluting after a touchdown in the Pinstripe Bowl would become a household name.

  4. Joe says:

    I have no idea why SSJ is receiving all these accolades about his show. If he would drop the comedy act, and focus on sports, it would be 100x better. SSJ is what this picture shows he is. JH

  5. donkeypunch says:

    To piggyback on everybody else, this picture does nothing to/for me regarding the ability of SSJ to cover a team. I never have considered him part of the media per se. He’s a radio host, but a fan first. This takes nothing about his ability to entertain me in the mornings.

  6. MightyMo says:

    I admire the standards, Greg, but not sure I care. Limbaugh does an excellent bit on what the role of a broadcaster is – maximizing audience so the station can extract exorbitant rates for advertising. SSJ’s entire show is predicated on his fandom of MU and the opposing KU viewpoint. It is why I listen to him. Your commentary would have more bite if SSJ tried to pretend to be objective or waive the journalist flag in our faces. He doesn’t, so I have no problem with the pic.

    • Barles James says:

      The problem is -these guys occasionally actually get interviews with people in authority – like Pioli or coaches. How Jack Harry, Karen Kornacki, and others who have “become friends” with the people they cover don’t see these “relationships” for what they are is staggering. Jack Harry – Scott P doesn’t want your friendship. You are being used. Soren Petro – look at the fantastic access you have been granted because you won’t ask difficult questions you have no problem airing when the interview subject isn’t sitting in front of you. These coaches, GMs and others are not looking for friends when they call up nerdy microphone and keyboard jockeys. They’re looking for influence.

  7. Reason says:

    Seems to me that Greg, Chris Kalmer and this Kyle guy are just wannabe, taught by the book but never successful “journalists”. Both would give left and right nuts to have half the jobs these guys have in media here in KC. Go flip your burgers or record you podcast no one will ever listen to.

    • Barles James says:

      yeah – moms basement, yada yada yada – thanks for paying my salary. That about cover it?

    • Kyle Rohde says:

      Like I said, I work in marketing – KU’s journalism school, like MU’s and others, is split and offers “Strategic Communications” which is basically an advertising or PR major. I have a Strat Comm degree, and never spent a minute trying to work in traditional journalism.

      Thanks for thinking I failed though!

  8. The Smartman says:

    KK would get the piss beat out of him by listeners in any New England or Tri-Metro market. His schtick would not fly there. Howard Stern would have a bounty out on him and probably an ad parody for Kevin Keitzman Ready To Use Douche.

    If I was a radio GM I’d hire three PI’s to follow certain players, coaches and executives around. My station would be like The Inquisition. When you’re friends and not respectfully adversarial you will never get any real scoop. I want my journo’s to be feared and respected but certainly not liked or loved.

    KC sports talk is frat boyish at best. Nowhere near as aggressive or relevant as the east coast guys. The “edge” in KC sports talk couldn’t cut a decent fart.

  9. Goose13 says:

    I’m more concerned that people will think that all of Kansas City are a bunch of redneck hillbillies. Really, looking like that makes KC look bad more than just a picture with the new head coach. This is not Arkansas. He looks like someone out of the movie Deliverance.

  10. chuck says:

    SSJ’s bonhomie plays with a midwestern, casual approach to sports imo.

    Jesus, one fuckin Keith Olberrman, shrill, shill for all things sacrosanct in the CNN universe is way too many sports guys who thought and found out to the contrary, that they and their opinions were far more churlish and predictable when vetted on a national stage and elevated from games to real life.

    Give a smooch Steve.

  11. Barles James says:

    I’ll add this – if you’re ok with media members becoming buds (at least in their own minds), you’ll be ok with Reid, Dayton Moore or anyone else NOT having to answer a tough question when their team, school or franchise is still sucking two, three or four seasons from now because said radio host or reporter doesn’t want to cut off his supply of access or occasional golf outing. Maybe the picture is being blown out of proportion, but the idea of this being inappropriate and making KC look small timey is dead-on.

    • KCPRGuy says:

      Do you really think you are going to get anything other than a PC answer from any coach/GM/player when pressed with tough questions? It’s SPORTS people – we are not talking about someone’s decision to bomb another country or gun control.

      I have no expectations for any sports radio host to be Walter Cronkite or Edward Murrow. Just be real and by funny. SSJ does that for me enough.

      I could care less what other media think of KC media.

      • Barles james says:

        An interview or presser is supposed to represent a figure facing the public. If the individual representing the public is too afraid or embedded to ask questions about a franchises’ failure, the public isnt served. Yes, sports arent as important as politics or wars, but our spending and voting habits reflect the opposite.

  12. tiad says:

    Wow! I didn’t realize SSJ is “terrorist Danny Devito.”. Lol!

  13. John says:

    check out Jim Hill (cbs2/kcal9) in LA… #1 jocksniffer of all time, making a pritty good living out there.

  14. Ptolemy says:

    Don’t understand the outrage – though I never have myself photographed with anybody famous ’cause I don’t care.

    Would anybody make a fuss if Johnny Carson or any other entertainer had themselves photographed with someone on their show? SSJ is not a journalist. He is an entertainer. There are vastly different standards in those two professions.

    • Taxee says:

      Originally, Andy was going to be pictured with Nate Bukaty, but when Nate kept clearing his throat like he does on the air, Andy thought Nate had a cold and didn’t want to catch it and then asked “for the other guy”.

  15. Larry Mondello says:

    The embarrassing thing for St. John is not the Glamour shot with Reid (although that is gay as hell). It is the stupid fucking al Quaida beard with a shaved scrotum head. He looks like a member of the Village People.

  16. Matt says:

    I don’t have an issue with the picture. Greg, haven’t you told us all the time we should care less and less about what the national people say about us? Besides, this photo would hurt his chances to get a job somewhere else, but that’s the key – SSJ isn’t moving anywhere. Let the national media think what they want about us.

  17. Rick says:

    Seriously, who cares? Biggest NON-ISSUE ever. The real embarassment is that brain dead idiots like Danny Parkins and Carrington Harrison have a sports radio show in this city and have absolutely no frickin’ idea how to be sports talk radio hosts. Those guys are about as un-professional and un-knowledgeable as they come.

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