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Saturday, June 10, 2006

AP: Royals revoke credentials from two radio reporters

The KC braintrust appears to have very thin skins…

Two reporters who asked contentious questions at a news conference introducing Dayton Moore as Royals general manager had their credentials revoked Friday. Bob Fescoe of WHB and Rhonda Moss of KCSP, competing sports-talk radio stations in Kansas City, said they were informed by public relations director Aaron Babcock that their credentials were taken away.
...
At the news conference Thursday, the two grilled owner David Glass on the way he handled the dismissal of former general manager Allard Baird. Glass appeared to become irritated and told Moss at one point that her assessment of the situation was “completely wrong.”

Moss has covered the Royals for KCSP for almost three years. Also during the news conference, she appeared to rankle Dan Glass, the team president and owner’s son, when she asked him what his role was in running the baseball operations.

NTNgod Posted: June 10, 2006 at 04:27 AM | 55 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. J. Cross Posted: June 10, 2006 at 04:32 AM (#2058867)
So it appears that the Glasses are not done making themselves look bad.
   2. Halofan Posted: June 10, 2006 at 04:41 AM (#2058887)
Glass, rhymes with...
   3. s.zielinski Posted: June 10, 2006 at 04:49 AM (#2058898)
What the Glasses need is their very own Potemkin Village.
   4. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: June 10, 2006 at 04:52 AM (#2058904)
[S]he appeared to rankle Dan Glass, the team president and owner’s son, when she asked him what his role was in running the baseball operations.

"The owner is my daddy!"
   5. Boots Day Posted: June 10, 2006 at 04:55 AM (#2058910)
[S]he appeared to rankle Dan Glass, the team president and owner’s son, when she asked him what his role was in running the baseball operations.

At first I thought that said "ruining."
   6. J. Cross Posted: June 10, 2006 at 05:03 AM (#2058918)
I'm of the opinion that the Glass's souls are half empty.
   7. Sam M. Posted: June 10, 2006 at 05:08 AM (#2058920)
Apparently, those who live in the Glass houses can't take a few stones being thrown their way.

What idiots. What total morons. You don't like the coverage, so you'd rather turn it away? This is the way you think you will either (a) improve coverage, or (b) increase your team's exposure in the market, or (c) in any way, shape, or form look like a professional organization? Nope. You will simply look petty and unable to deal with criticism, afraid to answer questions, and totally unable to conceive of the idea of an independent media.

Yowsa. This has to be the dumbest thing any team has done all year. Talk about wiping out virtually every ounce of good vibe you created by dumping your failed GM and making a good hire to replace him. Way to go, owners. I wonder if Moore isn't wondering what the hell he was thinking signing on with these guys???
   8. susan mullen Posted: June 10, 2006 at 05:18 AM (#2058922)
Glass is a director of the HOF in addition to many other gifts that've been bestowed on him. But it's not nearly
enough for him and his cronies. He expects and will get even more. Because
no one cares enough to stop him.
   9. Dr. Vaux Posted: June 10, 2006 at 05:43 AM (#2058933)
Most of the general public will agree that the Glasses are well within their rights in censoring those reporters. Freedom of the press is well on its way out in this country.
   10. Repoz Posted: June 10, 2006 at 06:08 AM (#2058945)
Royals revoke credentials from two radio reporters

Yet...John Sterling is allowed to walk around the Yankee clubhouse in his underwear.
   11. stealfirstbase Posted: June 10, 2006 at 06:17 AM (#2058951)
Most of the general public will agree that the Glasses are well within their rights in censoring those reporters. Freedom of the press is well on its way out in this country.

That's a downer. Well, I guess the internet will just have to pick up the slack.
   12. CraigK Posted: June 10, 2006 at 06:49 AM (#2058959)
Heh, glass souls.

Rhymes with ########.
   13. caspian88 Posted: June 10, 2006 at 06:58 AM (#2058961)
Freedom of the press, as protected by the Constitution, only applies to government censorship, not private enterprise. Glass is well within his rights.

This is still monumentally stupid for him to do.
   14. NTNgod Posted: June 10, 2006 at 07:09 AM (#2058963)
Freedom of the press, as protected by the Constitution, only applies to government censorship, not private enterprise.

I've always thought we must have some really, really bad civics teachers in this country that so many people are unclear by what the First Amendment really says :)

You don't have to be a lawyer to understand what the phrase Congress shall make no law means, you know?
   15. NTNgod Posted: June 10, 2006 at 07:24 AM (#2058964)
KC Star: Jason Whitlock - Glass incompetence now has credentials (RR)

Moss told me Friday that she went through all of the proper channels last week in an attempt to arrange an interview with David Glass.

“I called Bentonville, Ark. I told Aaron Babcock I wanted to interview Mr. Glass,” Moss explained. “I saw Dan Glass last week and asked him if I could interview him about Allard, and he told me no.”
...
Interestingly, Moss’ management at KCSP is giving her strong support. Fescoe’s support at WHB is mixed. WHB’s afternoon host/owner Kevin “The New Don Fortune” Kietzman spent part of his Thursday show blasting Fescoe and Moss for making Glass uncomfortable on Moore’s special day.

Fescoe declined to comment when I reached him by phone Friday. He’s in pretty much the same position as Dayton Moore. They both better get used to getting thrown under buses by their bosses.
   16. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: June 10, 2006 at 07:42 AM (#2058969)
Kevin “The New Don Fortune” Kietzman

Who's the old Don Fortune?
   17. NTNgod Posted: June 10, 2006 at 07:49 AM (#2058970)
Who's the old Don Fortune?

It appears the old Don Fortune is Don Fortune, a longtime broadcaster and an old enemy of Whitlock's, according to this article turned up on a Google search.
   18. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: June 10, 2006 at 08:05 AM (#2058972)
Don Fortune, a longtime broadcaster and an old enemy of Whitlock's, according to this article turned up on a Google search.

I always knew Jason Whitlock was annoying. I didn't realize he's a total button-pushing jerk.
   19. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: June 10, 2006 at 08:32 AM (#2058980)
Jason Whitlock is going to have to work harder to become "The Most Evil and Annoying Person Ever", after all John Elway has had that honor locked up for at least 15 years.
   20. Dr. Vaux Posted: June 10, 2006 at 10:49 AM (#2058990)
I know what freedom of the press is. The point is that the populace accepts obviously increasing censorship, and this is essentially private censorship of a public newspaper; it's along the same lines spiritually.
   21. strong silence Posted: June 10, 2006 at 11:05 AM (#2058996)
Vaux,
What evidence do you see that the general public tolerates or accepts censorship?
   22. Dr. Vaux Posted: June 10, 2006 at 11:06 AM (#2058997)
Well, it goes on, and this is supposedly a republic. By the regime's own logic, if something's happening, it must be something the public thinks is okay.
   23. Dr. Vaux Posted: June 10, 2006 at 11:08 AM (#2058998)
Furthermore, they continue to elect and re-elect right wing politicians, which shows that they approve of such policies.
   24. strong silence Posted: June 10, 2006 at 11:12 AM (#2059000)
It's definitely true that the G.P. is indifferent or apathetic to censorship issues. I'd say that is slightly different from acceptance but it's a nitpick.

The G.P. likely cares more about censorship in movies than the direct writing and placement of "news" stories by the Bush administration in U.S. media.
   25. strong silence Posted: June 10, 2006 at 11:21 AM (#2059003)
The left-wing censors too. As evidence, look at the debates about college professors controlling curriculum, or the New York Times (among other papers) withholding information the public needs to know (such as illegal wiretapping.)

Democracy is being threatened, as you know. But it isn't just from the right.

Note: I think our political views are largely in agreement. I'm only stating this to be fair and balanced.
   26. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 10, 2006 at 11:31 AM (#2059006)
See, I disagree with Sam here. I don't think this was either stupid or impetuous. This revoking of press creds will have a chilling effect on the other stations' reporters in KC. They won't have to face nearly the tough questions anymore.

It's a legal and relatively up-and-up way to stop negative coverage of your situation.

It's also classic misdirection - the problems of the Royals are too deep-seated and complex to solve right away. But if you make the media your enemy, you can win that battle today!

As has been stated above, the American public has never in its history been as likely to be either supportive or apathetic about this issue.

In summary, I think it will be effective, and I don't think there will be a storm of protest. I wouldn't have pulled this move (I disagree with it philosophically), but that doesn't stop me from admitting that I think it will work.
   27. strong silence Posted: June 10, 2006 at 11:35 AM (#2059007)
It appears that the Glasses think press conferences are fora for expressing their views and their views only. As I understand them, they are voluntary and this one appeared to have been instigated by the Royals. That, in itself, suggests that they have control of the topics. Yet, they could, and have the option of, politely declining to answer questions that they don't like. That is definitely a better option than pulling credentials from the standpoint of improving public image of the team.

I would appreciate learning from the journalists lurking around about the rights and responsibilities of both side - subject and reporter - during press conferences.
   28. NTNgod Posted: June 10, 2006 at 11:46 AM (#2059008)
The left-wing censors too. As evidence, look at the debates about college professors controlling curriculum, or the New York Times (among other papers) withholding information the public needs to know (such as illegal wiretapping.)

Since when has unfettered information or discourse NOT been the enemy of any political party or power-holding organization, whatever their professed beliefs? Keeping or gaining power/acceptance of your viewpoint is sure a lot easier when you can control the flow of information.
   29. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 10, 2006 at 11:58 AM (#2059009)
There was no indication of a prior history in the story. What if the Glasses had said to each of these reporters "Stop asking questions like that or we'll pull your credentials"? several times before the event?
   30. Sam M. Posted: June 10, 2006 at 11:59 AM (#2059010)
I don't know about the general public, but I sure know what the media organizations should do: stop covering the team. No publicity whatsoever. If the team is going to use its leverage to try to dictate favorable coverage, in effect force editors NOT to send reporters who are critical of the team, then editors (and publishers) should respond by sending no reporters at all. It is a central tenet of independent journalism that the subject of the story cannot dictate who writes the story. Period. The Glasses are trying to dictate who writes (or talks) about them. No self-respecting media organization can allow this. If either WHB or KCSP does so, they are a disgrace.
   31. strong silence Posted: June 10, 2006 at 12:05 PM (#2059011)
Since when has unfettered information or discourse NOT been the enemy of any political party or power-holding organization, whatever their professed beliefs?

I know why Socrates died!
   32. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 10, 2006 at 12:21 PM (#2059017)
The Glasses are trying to dictate who writes (or talks) about them. No self-respecting media organization can allow this. If either WHB or KCSP does so, they are a disgrace.

In today's landscape, where anyone with a computer and fingers is a media producer and "mainstream" media outlets are more tightly focused than ever in a counter-move, can a KC sports radio station really maintain listeners and ad revenue without talking about/covering the Royals? In a town like NYC with other teams and other interests, I could see WFAN, for instance, not spending time on the Mets in protest. But would this work everywhere?
   33. no neck Posted: June 10, 2006 at 12:24 PM (#2059018)
The logical move for Glass would have been to revoke Whitlock's credentials.

The money saved from the press box buffet would be enough to sign a free agent for 2007.
   34. Sam M. Posted: June 10, 2006 at 12:30 PM (#2059019)
can a KC sports radio station really maintain listeners and ad revenue without talking about/covering the Royals?

They HAVE to. They just do. Either that, or they have to send someone to cover the team who is ten times as critical, to make it abundantly clear they are not going to be intimidated into not covering the team effectively. If the Royals are going to use the credentialing process to try to cut off critical coverage, then the media outlets MUST respond with either no coverage, or with hyper-critical coverage. The one thing that must NOT happen is for the Royals to accomplish their goal. This is a declaration of war on independent media coverage, and it's a war the Kansas City media cannot allow them to win. Period.
   35. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 10, 2006 at 12:39 PM (#2059024)
I agree that they have to in order to maintain some journalistic credibility as well as to assure relatively unbiased coverage of the team. But again, today's media is different from yesterday's. In the entertainment/business areas of upper managment of these stations, I can tell you that many of the suits will say something like, "Send whoever they want over there - we need to continue to pull in ad sales and attract listeners no matter what."

This message carries a lot more weight today than it did years ago.
   36. Sam M. Posted: June 10, 2006 at 12:54 PM (#2059030)
I can tell you that many of the suits will say something like, "Send whoever they want over there - we need to continue to pull in ad sales and attract listeners no matter what."

They can put on a host who'll talk about the Royals without having a credentialed reporter assigned to the Royals. Just have the host rip them a new one for two hours of his three hour show. Have him/her interview local personalities about the Royals rather than an actual station employee who has been hand-picked and approved by the Royals. The one thing they cannot do is send a credentialed employee who says at the end of his reports, "John Smith, WHB, reporting from Royals Stadium," who is not truly independent.

They could even make a show of it. "Here's your independent Royals report!" And throw it to Rhonda Moss in the parking lot at Royals Stadium, who couldn't get into the stadium without credentials, but who will do a commentary about the latest stupid thing Glass has done, or about last night's bad plays that cost the Royals another game. Let her cover the team that way, and make the Royals look even worse. The corporate suits want ratings? This could turn into a ratings bonanza if they play it right.
   37. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 10, 2006 at 01:02 PM (#2059032)
They probably have a couple dozen people working at the station, so that's at least two weeks' worth of reporters' credentials they can burn through if necessary.

Joey the Janitor: "Mr. Glass, I'm no rocket scientist, but even I can see there's something wrong with you. How did this happen? Is there lead paint up in the owner's box?"
   38. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 10, 2006 at 01:03 PM (#2059035)
I hope you're right, Sam. My J-school hopes you're right. But I can't help being pessimistic - I feel that this controversy will end with a whimper, not a bang.

And I agree with the above posters that "Poor us - the Royals won't give us access" won't fly as an excuse today.

There was a stir just like this a few months ago (before the season) in Yankeeland. One of the YES reporters was nearly taken off of the coverage because she asked Joe Torre "tough" questions. That's an even more stilted issue - YES is owned by the Yankees, and the Yankees actually hire the announce teams. So a revokation of credentials in that situation would result in unmitigated ratings disaster - YES depends on the consistent ratings for Yankee game telecasts for survival.
   39. Urban Bovine Knievel Posted: June 10, 2006 at 03:42 PM (#2059083)
With regards to Jason Whitlock, if there is a more whiny, petty and self-centered sportswriter in the U.S., I'd be surprised to see it. I know he's got tons of competetion, but he's just that bad.
   40. Urban Bovine Knievel Posted: June 10, 2006 at 03:44 PM (#2059085)
Whitlock and Keitzman are also enemies. Jason used to be the morning host on WHB, and actually walked out during a broadcast.
   41. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 10, 2006 at 03:46 PM (#2059086)
I've decided that "playing the race card" is largely a dishonest expression used by people whose agenda is for you to believe that no racism could possibly still exist in a country as great as America.

But I think Whitlock (and Screamin' A, although to a lesser extent) "plays the race card". Everything is a race thing with that guy.
   42. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 10, 2006 at 06:29 PM (#2059225)
On another note, WHB, where Fescoe works, is the flagship station of the Royals. This is their second year of being the flagship station after outbidding KMBZ, an Entercom station, who had been the longtime rights holder. This was during the great season of 2003. Since then, the on-air talent insists this has been a money loser for the station, and that their criticism of the stadium renovation had put them at odds with Royals management. It appears that renewal of their contract is extremely unlikely.

The Whitlock affair was beyond pathetic. He had a morning show on WHB, but wanted the afternoon slot, but it was held by one of the part owners and was the most popular sports talk show in the city. So he ####### and moaned and started doing a half-ass job and allegedly didn't come in one day and called in his own show incoherent. Then a rival station goes all-sports and wants to sign Whitlock so he splits and does the afternoon show. After less than a year, he simply walks off the job in the middle of a show. Now supposedly he wants to get back in, but they don't want his fat ass back, despite getting hammered in the ratings.

I'm really surprised Whitlock has lasted in KC as long as he has. No one I know likes him. I guess he "gets people talking" but in a smallish midwestern city, people don't like rabble-rousers that much, particularly ignorant ones. Once he started getting appearances on The Worldwide Leader, I thought he would have moved on to a bigger market, but I guess bigger markets don't want him.
   43. Pint of blood = Quart of Scotch Posted: June 10, 2006 at 06:53 PM (#2059255)
Not to belabor the general vibe, but this crap is unbelievable. Reminds me of the time, while still a the helm of Wal-Mart, when Glass was presented video evidence of fire victims from a Wal-Mart supplier factor in some god forsaken third world country. Several children died in this fire, making goods for Wal-Mart. You know, child labor, locked doors in the factory, etc....Glass had the nards to assert that there was really no way to tell how old the kids were just by looking at the gruesome photos. Repugnant. The revocation of a couple radio press pass' is comparitively minor, but another window into a twisted, arrogant, and completely out of touch mental state. I guess thats why they call it F*@$K YOU money. I've seen more tactful interpersonal communication between junior high peer mediators than I see from Glass. Completely bush league. I hope Moore bolts.
   44. Pint of blood = Quart of Scotch Posted: June 10, 2006 at 06:53 PM (#2059258)
Not to belabor the general vibe, but this crap is unbelievable. Reminds me of the time, while still a the helm of Wal-Mart, when Glass was presented video evidence of fire victims from a Wal-Mart supplier factor in some god forsaken third world country. Several children died in this fire, making goods for Wal-Mart. You know, child labor, locked doors in the factory, etc....Glass had the nards to assert that there was really no way to tell how old the kids were just by looking at the gruesome photos. Repugnant. The revocation of a couple radio press pass' is comparitively minor, but another window into a twisted, arrogant, and completely out of touch mental state. I guess thats why they call it F*@$K YOU money. I've seen more tactful interpersonal communication between junior high peer mediators than I see from Glass. Completely bush league. I hope Moore bolts.
   45. Tom Poquette Posted: June 10, 2006 at 08:30 PM (#2059395)
Fesco is like paparrazi; he baits people into reacting. This wasn't a one time deal with Glass; the reporter has been badgering the Glass family for years. I'm not justifying the ban, but these guys have had a tendency to attack the Glass family personally for a long time now.
   46. Banta Posted: June 10, 2006 at 09:29 PM (#2059433)
Freedom of the press, as protected by the Constitution, only applies to government censorship, not private enterprise


What happens when your government IS a private enterprise?
   47. Ben Posted: June 10, 2006 at 09:46 PM (#2059441)
Vaux- "The point is that the populace accepts obviously increasing censorship, and this is essentially private censorship of a public newspaper; it's along the same lines spiritually."

Are you trolling, or are you seriously this stupid? I must have missed the "inalienable right to ask David Glass questions" part of the Constitution. Idiots like yourself do a serious disservice to the people who are actually fighting for freedom of the press.
   48. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: June 10, 2006 at 10:49 PM (#2059470)
"I'm really surprised Whitlock has lasted in KC as long as he has. No one I know likes him. I guess he "gets people talking" but in a smallish midwestern city, people don't like rabble-rousers that much, particularly ignorant ones. Once he started getting appearances on The Worldwide Leader, I thought he would have moved on to a bigger market, but I guess bigger markets don't want him."

I guess Whitlock is the price Kansas City pays for getting Joe Posnanski.
   49. Russ Posted: June 10, 2006 at 11:58 PM (#2059501)
I guess Whitlock is the price Kansas City pays for getting Joe Posnanski.


Posnanski: All those stories...

Whitlock Don't you see? Now that we know who you are, I know who I am.
   50. caprules Posted: June 11, 2006 at 12:13 AM (#2059506)
Russ, I loved your line, even before I made the connection that a Mr Glass was involved in the story.
   51. Russ Posted: June 11, 2006 at 12:24 AM (#2059508)
I thought about spinning it the other way, using another owner, but I couldn't think of a good enough one to use...
   52. Russ Posted: June 11, 2006 at 12:26 AM (#2059510)
Actually, I probably could have just used Posnanski... but I digress... there's hockey to be watched.
   53. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: June 11, 2006 at 01:47 AM (#2059555)
I don't get it.
   54. Flynn Posted: June 11, 2006 at 02:56 AM (#2059616)
I've decided that "playing the race card" is largely a dishonest expression used by people whose agenda is for you to believe that no racism could possibly still exist in a country as great as America.

But I think Whitlock (and Screamin' A, although to a lesser extent) "plays the race card". Everything is a race thing with that guy.


I've decided it exists, but it's something that needs to be used sparingly by blacks and whites. Blacks need to imply race as a factor sparingly, and whites should accuse blacks of playing the race card (which to me implies an unseen prejudice that likely doesn't exist) rarely.

But it does happen. I'm pretty sure Dave Stewart played the race card when the Brewers didn't hire him to be GM. I think we'd all agree race wasn't a factor there.
   55. caprules Posted: June 11, 2006 at 04:38 AM (#2059724)
CFBF, if what you don't get is the exchange with me and Russ, its a take from a movie that I love, "Unbreakable". Explaining the line would kinda ruin an ending, so I don't want to do that, even if the movie has been out for six years.

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