OTC: Whitlock Gives 610 Sports’ Nick Wright What He Asks For: The Truth

“I couldn’t bring myself to call Kietzman.”
Jason Whitlock, on his reasoning for calling Nick Wright’s show on Monday afternoon, 610 AM
GH: Whitlock said he was recovering from a cold and bored. He had read on the Internet that 610 Sports was going to war with 810 and wanted to talk about a subject with which he had some experience. Wright, who knows good radio when he hears it, eagerly obliged to turn his show over to the former Star sports columnist for the next 30 minutes. It was an excellent decision – despite the verbal flogging Whitlock doled out on Wright.

“We’ve had a little bit of ratings success (at 610 Sports). Not with my show. Kietzman’s still kickin’ my ass. Do you have any suggestions for us?”
Nick Wright, as he began his impromptu interview with Jason Whitlock, 610 AM
GH: I thought this was an excellent topic for Wright to ask Whitlock about. Whitlock had battled Don Fortune in boxing trunks on the cover of KC Magazine. He had led the most shocking walkout in local sports talk radio when he organized the “Maas Exodus” from Kietzman’s 810.  But instead the interview quickly turned into what’s wrong with Niche Wright.

“One thing, and seriously Nick, I don’t mean to be offensive, you are too caught up with your friendships with these athletes. You get so happy that anyone pays any attention to you that you lose all perspective.”
Jason Whitlock, responding to Wright’s request for suggestions to improve his show, 610 AM
GH: Wright blocked me from following him on Twitter due to a similar criticism I leveled at him last fall. He has since lifted that blockage but I have yet to bother re-following him. It was just an immature move by an inexperienced newbie to radio. What Niche doesn’t understand is that he needs critics who promote his work more than we need him.

“Don’t crawl into anyone’s pocket – athlete, coach, whomever – unless there is something in that pocket for you. There’s nothing wrong with being in someone’s pocket as long as there is something good for you and your show. If you’re just in there to say, ‘Hey, I get to brag I’m in someone’s pocket,’ you ain’t really doing nothing.”
Jason Whitlock
, 610 AM
GH: Nick asks for advice but doesn’t want to listen to any. What Pork Chop said here is golden – and perfect for what ails Nick’s broadcast credibility. Whitlock should send Wright a bill for this nugget.

“It’s 100% accurate (that you try to imitate me). And if you were more self-aware and more confident, you’d (realize) it’s not an insult. It’s not a bad aspiration.”
Jason Whitlock, when asked by Wright if he still thinks Wright is trying to imitate Whitlock, 610 AM
GH: Whitlock is still funny as hell on the radio. I taped this conversation while driving to a softball game in Independence. As I listened back to it, I can hear myself laughing repeatedly in the background. The daily grind of a radio sports talk show was too much for JW. But the guy is great in small doses.

“My media shtick is total transparency. It’s total honesty. I’m not insecure about my weaknesses and my flaws – and who I’m trying to be like. You need to get there.”
Jason Whitlock, 610 AM
GH: We all know this is bullshit. Jason knows this is bullshit. At one time I believe Jason did aspire to be totally transparent and honest in his work. It made him a destination columnist. Those days ended back when he was telling us how much he love and respected his coworkers at The Star – years before The Explanation.

“You have some talent. But transparency and self-awareness and self-confidence, you struggle with.”
Jason Whitlock, 610 AM
GH: Wright responded to the above comment with, “Okay, let’s talk that.” And with this sentence Wright opened the floodgates to what has caused him much pain over the past 24 hours. Read on.

“What am I not transparent about?”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: A wise man once said, “Do not ask questions of which you do not want to know the true answer.” Nick obviously is not that wise a man and was ill prepared for Whitlock’s cutting response. Read on.

“There’s no one who listens to the show that can’t see that you’re uncomfortable with who you really are. Those (Chiefs players) will like you more, respect you more the more comfortable you get with who you actually are. You need to be that guy.”
Jason Whitlock, 610 AM

“You judge me and I think a lot of people do because I went to a private school and because I’m white and then you assume I’m playing some role when the reality is you don’t know me.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: Even if you wanted to feel sorry for Nicky, I’m not sure there was any room left at the pity party due to all the room poor Nick Wright was taking up on the dance floor. What a bitch is must be to handle being a white guy from a private school. Damn you racial injustice!!!

“More embarrassing than that.”
Nick Wright, when Whitlock mistakenly said Wright was a kid from Bishop Miege High School, 610 AM
GH: This is one of the most telling comments made by Wright. As a graduate of Leawood’s prestigious Barstow High School and Syracuse University, Wright should take great pride in his academic achievements. Instead, he feels embarrassed by his excellent educational roots. Wright is obviously unhappy with who he was. Whitlock believes Wright remains unhappy with who he is. Read on.

“You’ve been confused for a long time, Nick. We’re all aware of that.”
Jason Whitlock, after Wright informed JW he has been this guy since he was 10 years old, 610 AM
GH: One of my favorite lines of the interview. Game. Set. And Match to Mr. Whitlock.

“Let me tell you something. If this is an act then I am making my life a million more times more difficult than I need to.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: This from a 26-year-old guy who started a new radio job as the afternoon drive-time talk show host on 610 Sports, moved in with a black woman (who desires to play in the all-women lingerie football league) with two black children, and moved from KC proper to the Kansas side of town. Starting a new high-profile job is tough enough on anybody fresh out of college. But add an already made mixed-raced family with two kids, moving households and having your life play out on the air 20 hours each week and yeah, you might say you have made your life far more difficult than it needs to be.

“You have the radio skills and the work ethic. You just need to get more comfortable in your own skin.”
Jason Whitlock, 610 AM
GH: This comment irked Wright. He later lashed out at me on Twitter for agreeing with Whitlock. Me thinks Wright doth protest too much. Those who are comfortable in their own skin are not nearly as vulnerable to criticism about their comfort level as Nick. Nick can disagree all he wants — but the more he does, the more obvious it becomes.

“So you’re saying I’m racist. So, you really think that if all things were equal and Rory McIlroy was black and had cornrows instead of that Cabbage Patch hair I would root for him? I’d be defending him?”
Nick Wright, in a conversation earlier Monday afternoon with Jared Carter, his producer, and Carrington Harrison, 610 AM

“No, I (don’t think you’re racist). I just think you’re pro-(black).”
Jared Carter, responding to Wright’s above comment, 610 AM
GH: Carter was tiptoeing around Wright’s rant. He was attempting to be honest with the host but respectful of his sensitive feelings. Read on.

“There’s a lot of people texting that are saying Carter is right. Is that why you think I’m a Lebron fan? Because he’s black? … A lot of people are agreeing with you guys. There’s a lot of people agreeing with Carter. I’m absolutely floored by it but the (listeners’) text line tends to agree. … It doesn’t hurt. I’m just surprised by it.”
Nick Wright, to Jared Carter, who proposed that Wright would defend Rory and praise him if he was black, 610 AM
GH: Whitlock and I are not the only people out there who think Wright is Bizzaro Michael Jackson. He wants to be black and from the ghetto instead of white and from Hallbrook.

“Jason Whitlock is considered one of the preeminent voices in race relations. (His phone call to Nick Wright was) an outright character assassination of Nick. … It blew my mind and any credibility (Whitlock) had.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: A character assassination??? Whitlock simply responded to questions and a topic that Wright brought up and pursued. Nick has to be a bigger boy than to allow his Syracuse school chum go on the air and rip Whitlock. JW did more for Wright’s show in 30 minutes than will happen on Parkins’ show in the next eight months. Did these two Syracuse grads learn nothing about radio?

I’ve known Nick for six years. He is a very unique guy. He is who he is. He’s one of the most real people I know. And Whitlock just character assassinated him without knowing anything about him. How can you take that guy seriously after he does something like that? Kinda sad.”
Danny Parkins, 610 AM
GH: It is even sadder that Parkins thinks any of us take Whitlock seriously. Did Parkins come to Kansas City by way of Jupiter?

“Whitlock is just so great! That was just captivating, man!”
Carrington Harrison, a contributor to Wright’s show, following the Whitlock interview, 610 AM
GH: Interesting that Carrington, who didn’t graduate from Syracuse, had such a different opinion of Whitlock’s words than Parkins.

“I’ve got a good therapist for you. That’s what you really need.”
Jared Carter, to Wright after he asked for a Black & Mild cigar following his interview with Whitlock, 610 AM

“Wright even attempted to suck up to Whitlock, but the interview continued to get even worse. In the end, it may have been 25 minutes of the most brutal radio in Kansas City history.”
John Landsberg, BottomLinecom.com
GH: I disagree with Landsberg. Any radio that is as compelling as this interview was is a success. Despite Whitlock’s uncensored and scathing critique of Wright’s work, it brought attention to Nick’s show. Landsberg wrote about the interview. Twitter was abuzz over it. My OTC column today is dedicated to it. It is what Nick Wright needs more of not less. Wright should get Whitlock on his show once a week just to move the needle.

[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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51 Responses to OTC: Whitlock Gives 610 Sports’ Nick Wright What He Asks For: The Truth

  1. Merle Tagladucci says:

    Do I need new speakers or did Wright’s voice sound about 3 octaves higher during this conversation? Sounded like a freshman getting five valuable minutes from a senior.

    Side note: Feels strange giving Whitlock credit for anything, but this was amusing.

  2. Big Dub says:

    The funny thing to me is 610 has had some strong shows that I think could have competed with WHB, they just chase them off. DA was great radio, and I really enjoyed Doug and Grunny. If they could have kept those shows on the air with Rome in the middle, I think they might have had a great run as the strong No. 2 station in all demos. That isn’t the case with the lineup they have now, and we all expect more changes in the next 12 months.

    • Cliffy says:

      I don’t think DA was great but he had promise. He sometimes tried too hard to be funny and it was annoying when he let the same callers on the air EVERY morning. If he had received some good advice on how to tighten up his show I think he could have succeeded.

      But you’re right … in hind sight he was much better than anything they’ve been able to come up with since.

      • Big Dub says:

        Good point on DA, Cliffy. Let’s just say he was great by 610 standards. The bar is pretty low, though I thought DA was good.

    • Jess says:

      Ya, when Grunny left that was the last straw for me. I used to listen almost 70 30 in favor of 610 back then, now it is 90 10 for 810. The only reason for the 10 is sometimes I listen to Jim Rome.

  3. Brian (Indep., MO) says:

    Gee, Greg I feel so enlightened now! I was so stupid for not realizing your comments are all “business.” Of course you have nothing personal against Nick. That’s why you brought his family into it and called him a “Bizarro Michael Jackson.” I can’t believe I didn’t realize your racist name-calling was all business! By the way, what business is this exactly? Please don’t tell me you get paid for this garbage.

    • kcredsox says:

      Unless he pays himself, I doubt he gets paid a dime Brian. I find OTC very entertaining and it appears that most people that posted comments do also. Maybe you just don’t come to this site anymore and waste you precious time reading OTC.

      • Jame Gumb says:

        Brian is an idiot.

        • Greg Hall says:

          Brian,
          I get that you like Nick and perceive my comments to be personal. Here is what I can tell you, I treat Nick the same as I treat Kevin Kietzman or Steven St. John or Michael Coleman and Karen Kornacki. And Pete Enich and Don Fortune before them. My audience is my boss. They will tell me when I miss the mark.

    • Jess says:

      Can someone seriously tell me why the race card was brought into this. Isn’t Nick white? I don’t get it.

      • Brian (Indep., MO) says:

        Yes, the race card gets thrown around too much. But you’d have to ask Greg why he brought it up first. Even though Greg didn’t use the word “race,” I’m just calling it what it is. I’m not saying Greg was using some kind of reverse racism (yes I’m aware Nick is white). What I’m saying is Greg sounded as if he were implying Nick should act white and Michael Jackson should have acted black. Why else would he bring up Nick’s family and call him a “Bizarro Michael Jackson?” It sounds as if Greg were saying Nick is trying to “act black,” even though the concept of “acting white” or “acting black,” is ridiculous.

        Bottom line: I was responding to Greg’s reply from yesterday saying how I don’t get it- that his comments were all business. If Greg’s comments were all business, why did he bring up Nick’s partner’s race and resort to name-calling. That’s all.

        • Greg Hall says:

          Why would you expect me to comment about the members of the media I cover any differently than the media comments about the sports figures they cover?

      • Kyle Rohde says:

        Jess – yes, Nick is white. The thing that Whitlock and many other people believe about Nick is that he’s embarrassed by his privileged white upbringing and has adopted a hip hop lifestyle/persona to compensate for that embarrassment. Not totally unlike Rob Van Winkle (AKA Vanilla Ice). As to why that matters to his radio show? His befriending of Chiefs players is a detriment to his credibility, according to many. And lots of people have opinions on other ways it hurts the show.

        I don’t like his show much but can’t put my finger on what it is exactly I don’t like.

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