Monday, December 29, 2008

Kansas City Star columnist embroiled in another ethics controversy

Controversial Kansas City Star sports columnist Jason Whitlock may have crossed ethical boundaries by offering $50,000 to Ball State University to give a salary increase to a Whitlock favorite, head football coach Brady Hoke. An Indiana newspaper outlines the behavior that is raising eyebrows:
At least one alumnus has concerns whether Ball State's administration will keep Hoke. Jason Whitlock, a columnist for the Kansas City Star who played for the Cardinals from 1985-88, said the administration has handled the situation unprofessionally.

"The university is dragging its feet, and it's disappointing," Whitlock said. "This should've been addressed and wrapped up a month ago. I cover major universities across the country, and that's how you appropriately deal with a coach that has had this kind of success."

Whitlock first told Ball State President Jo Ann Gora she needed to address Hoke's contract situation in September. A couple days before Ball State's game with Eastern Michigan University on Oct. 25, Collins and him had dinner at Gora's house to talk about a potential salary raise for Hoke.

Whitlock said he offered $50,000 during the dinner to help keep Hoke at Ball State."Everybody said the right things," Whitlock said. "But I left there questioning whether they had the courage and will to do the right things."
That is unprofessional behavior for a journalist. But can anybody be surprised at Whitlock's awful judgment? We last saw Whitlock after he wrote a column that mocked Christianity and joked that Mary and Joseph conceived at an alcohol party.

My take: Don't expect publisher Mark Zieman to draw a line on ethical violations at his paper -- he can't enforce ethical standards at the Kansas City Star because of his own shady arrangement involving his wife, Rhonda Lokeman.
Hat tip: Bottom Line Communications, via comments
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Anonymous said...

...I fergit. Is this " Speaking truth to Power " , or is it " Comforting the Afflicted "? Or is it just simple bribery and blatant bias by a mental midget posing as a reporter ?

Anonymous said...

It's a pay-to-play deal in reverse.

The college president had the good sense to shine Whitlock on before showing him the door.

Anonymous said...

At Journal-isms:
-Married to Boss, Columnist Has "No Sweetheart Deal"-
Asked to respond … Lokeman told Journal-isms, "I have always had a strong sense of ethics, that's the very basis of my journalism."

"Leaving The Star left me to write exclusively for Creators, [which picked me up in 2006] for syndication and released my column in 2007 shortly after Molly Ivins died.
(We read how well that worked out in Texas, Bwahahahahahah)
A KC Scar poster commented that Lokeman-Zieman pays Creators to be syndicated?

McC. Watch is mentioned by name for raising unfounded nepotism questions, I guess?

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Chairman, I respectfully refuse to answer on the grounds that I have more melanin than you do."

Anonymous said...

From the looks of Whitlock, it appears he was conceived at a McDonald's. Can you "supersize" that order?