Much like Skip Bayless, the person he used to sit next to before that became yet another gig in the litany he’s fucked up and lost, Jason Whitlock’s purpose in media and in life is merely to billow pollution. It doesn’t really matter what it’s about or how marooned it is from logical or defendable, it’s point is to exist and to get people talking.
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But unlike Bayless, whose purpose is to billow his run-off in every direction so that everyone can choke on it equally, Whitlock exists not only to be the conservative/MAGA chud/illiterate sports fan’s “Black friend,” but to additionally assure them that they see the world correctly. Because if a Black man is saying it, it must be really true, right? So if you think minorities complain too much or women get to do too many things because either the executives are trying to sleep with them or they’re afraid of the backlash if they don’t hire more women or both, Whitlock is here to tell you you’re correct. He will be Blofeld’s reassuring hand on the cat’s back of willful ignorance.
Whitlock reared the ugly head of his vacuous and self-serving thoughts again this week, though he’s lost the ability to hide his petty jealousy and bitterness anymore. It started with Whitlock penning a column on whatever swamp-shack of an outlet will have him these days about Maria Taylor, and how it was important for her not to follow the path of victimhood in her career, or to even boost her career. As if Taylor is somehow responsible for those who unfairly criticize her (anyone else notice that the two to publicly do so were old white men? Everyone? Figured).
Whitlock’s desire, like all the stick-to-sports crowd, isn’t for Taylor or those like her to take the high road simply because, but so that they don’t have to think about it. They don’t want to see it at all, much less consider what’s really going on. To them it’s just noise, and noise that just might, by some miracle, cause them to look inward. And who wants to do that when what they’ll see is so ugly?
Whitlock gives the game away of course when mentioning himself—also makes his desire to not see Taylor “take herself too seriously” utterly hilarious — and how he could never get a job at a younger age at ESPN and that Taylor could. Even though Whitlock did work at ESPN for years. Whitlock wants to discredit anything Taylor or any woman accomplishes at ESPN by merely labeling it a beauty contest, mostly because he got himself shit-canned from ESPN for being a fuckwad.
Of course, Whitlock isn’t going to just fixate on one target (first rule of online shit-trolling: Why take a swipe at one more talented woman when you can take a swipe at two?). In his column about Taylor, he also side-swiped Katie Nolan, deriding her salary and accomplishments as merely the work of horny executives and writers merely trying to get close to Nolan. Whitlock is focused on Nolan’s salary, as he mentions it in the column about Taylor and then the one he penned yesterday about Nolan herself. Wonder why that might be?
It is truly telling reading when Whitlock lists the places Nolan has worked, the sites and publications that have spent considerable time and ink extolling her or bidding for her services, and then read the list of places Whitlock has been tossed out on his considerable ass from and not see the real aim here. Websites and networks chase Nolan, and they catapult Whitlock from their ranks like a disposed corrupt medieval sheriff.
Nolan fired back at Whitlock after his Taylor piece, which prompted not only Whitlock’s Nolan-centric piece, but a deluge of trolls on Nolan’s Twitter, which prompted her to turn it to private. A familiar if not infuriating tale.
At the base of all this is Whitlock hardly rising above that of the unpopular high school boy spitting vile things at the prom queen, simply because of their appearance, and justifying it by saying all that she has is because of appearance when it’s merely petty jealousy and encompassing self-loathing. We’ve seen how that can have dire, dire consequences when allowed to fester.
Somewhere in there, and you would need rubber gloves that go up to the elbow to find it in this mess, Whitlock’s contention that appearance plays a role in women’s roles in sports TV has a slice of merit. But that’s not the fault of Taylor or Nolan or anyone else getting the jobs, but the execs doing the hiring. It’s not Taylor or Nolan sifting through resumes and tapes and auditions and making the choices. But these days, with everyone having an immediate reaction portal through social media, if Taylor nor Nolan couldn’t actually do the job, ESPN would know it in a hurry.
Whitlock was only taking shots at Taylor because she happened to be in the news and it would generate clicks to go the other direction from the main discussion. He wouldn’t have said anything had Taylor been able to go about her job without other brainless men making spectacles of themselves.
Which has obviously never been a problem for Whitlock.