My Interview with Jason Whitlock
Whitlock is a sports journalist whose work goes way beyond what used to pass as traditional sports reporting.
Something special today:
Jason Whitlock is a sports journalist whose work goes way beyond what used to pass as traditional sports reporting. He’s 54 and calls himself “a fat, black man”—he stands just over six feet tall and weighs in at a hefty 318 pounds. But it’s not so much his physical size that makes him stand out. It’s his outsized opinions on all sorts of cultural and political issues, including the hottest one of all—race in America. A New York Times story about him ran under the headline, “A Journalist Whose Sport Is Controversy.”
What makes Whitlock so despised (by elites both in and out of journalism) is he’s guilty of an unpardonable offense: Whitlock is a black conservative—a sin that, as far as liberal elites are concerned, ranks right up there with crimes against humanity.
Which brings us to my history (of sorts) with Whitlock. When I was a correspondent on HBO’s “Real Sports,” I pitched a story about him—a profile of a black, conservative journalist who went to college (Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana) on a football scholarship and was (and still is) making waves in the world of sports. I thought it was natural for a show that often featured smart people with strong opinions. But my idea was shot down. Why? Because Whitlock’s worldview didn’t mesh, I was led to believe, with the left-of-center sensibilities of the show’s host, Bryant Gumbel.
I left “Real Sports” in 2021. So when I was asked to interview Whitlock for Planned Man, let’s just say I was more than a little interested. We talked recently by phone, and here’s part of our conversation:
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