OTC: Should KSHB TV 41’s Mad Jack Get Sacked? Did He Say Gayhawks? Has His Buffoonery Expired?

“You don’t think they’re overrated – these Jayhawks, Gayhawks!”
Jack Harry, while discussing the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team’s recent loss at Colorado with Frank Boal Sunday night, KSHB 41 Link
GH: This was an unscripted casual conversation between Harry and Boal and Harry looked to me to be having some fun with it. He smirked when he said what sure sounded like “Gayhawks” to emphasize that he thought Bill Self’s team is overrated. Gayhawk Gate has ensued. Read on.

“It was clearly a slip up. It sounds like he may or may not have used a homophobic term to describe the Kansas Jayhawks. … They need to suspend Jack Harry and issue an apology.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe is a KU grad and a self-professed Kansas homer. He is maybe the only local member of the local sports media to admit his favoritism – which is somewhat admirable. But he pretty much disqualifies himself for commenting on Gayhawk Gate by his own admission that he is biased about all things Kansas.

“I think that was a conversation you have with a buddy that you probably have used that term before and you let it slip on the air. … I do (think he should be fired). Yeah, I do. I would expect serious repercussions. … Putting the standards of myself – if I said something like that even if it was a slip up of something you might say…When you’re broadcasting in that context, no you can’t (say that).”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Klingler works for the Jayhawk Radio Network and has close ties to the Kansas athletic department. He is far more objective about Kansas than Fescoe but his opinions on this also have to be weighed against the fact that he is employed by the very sports department that Harry is accused of attacking.

“He said it & is trying 2 cover it up. As an MU fan I don’t ‘claim’ him, like I know some KU fans don’t claim Fescoe.”
John Petrovic‏@photogwingsfan, Twitter

“I heard the video. He said it, but it may have been just a slip of the tongue. Maybe Jack has been reading Tigerboard too much.”
Jeff Gelski‏@jjgelski, Twitter

“What a crock. Then, Jack Harry, if that wasn’t what you said, what did you say?”
Joel Grillot‏@jbenny81, Twitter
GH: This is a great question. Harry definitely did not say “Jayhawks” as he did right before he uttered the controversial term. He even emphasized the word for shock value.

“He corrects himself and says it louder with inflection. He even jumps out of his seat a bit like he is excited.”
Ted Klein‏@TheRealTedKlein, Twitter

“Somehow, someway I don’t know what happened but it got out on the social media today that I used a derogatory term in talking about the Kansas Jayhawks. Believe me folks, I would never ever go on the air. That’s not what I am all about. I’ve had my go around with Jayhawk fans but I would never say what I have been accused of. I felt compelled to get that out today.”
Jack Harry, responding in his Monday night sportscast to the Gayhawks controversy, KSHB TV 41
GH: There are more holes in Harry’s prepared statement that the Mizzou defensive scheme against Auburn. Let’s expose a few. “Somehow, someway I don’t know what happened…” What is Jack even talking about here? Did he not review the video and audio? There is no mystery as to why there is a controversy. For him to act like he is completely unaware of why this occurred just adds to his guilt. Then the comment, “that’s not what I’m about.” Actually, that is pretty much ALL of what Jack is about. He is Jack Smack trying to get a rise out of his audience to increase his ratings. Some people work hard and then there are guys like Jack who sling mud. Well, this time he got himself dirty.

“He’s always been unprofessional. Just tries to get a rise out of people.”
Jason King, @JasonKingESPN, Twitter

“It sounds like Dayhawks as much as Gayhawks. They’re only sensitive to the suggestion because of that Pitch article from yrs ago.”
‏@bkparallax, Twitter
GH: I don’t think an old Pitch article is fueling this fire but rather Harry’s penchant for verbally baiting Jayhawk athletes, teams and fans over the years. He called for Kansas to drop football a few years back. What legitimate sportscaster in Kansas City would do that? Harry has built a professional persona of being “Jack Smack” and he and his station are now reaping the fallout.

“That video seems to suggest Jack did say that. He is handling this all wrong. Say you slipped, apologize and move on.”
Bill Knust‏@billknust, Twitter

“That guy is an ass. I’m in college for sports journalism. Def can’t say that.”
@BTBliz, Twitter

“Too close to call. I can’t believe he would be that careless on air.”
troy chrisman‏@TinthekeyofC

“I love America, but when I see people defend ignorance like Jack Harry saying “Gayhawks” I understand why we’re so far behind.”
Mike Welch, @RealMikeWelch, Twitter

“While Jack Harry is opinionate, he knows the difference between legitimate sports discussion and unacceptable, uncalled for language. After speaking at length with Jack, we believe jack when he tells us that is not what he said. We stand by Jack and encourage him to speak his mind when it comes to sports in Kansas City and beyond.”
41 Action News Staff
GH: The explanation by 41 Action News is as poorly written as Jack’s explanation. They don’t even exhibit the professionalism to mention what Jack has been accused of saying on the air. How confusing is this to viewers who are unaware of the controversy? How does KSHB promote “Jack Smack” and then turn around and act like Harry is a legit member of the media? KSHB is in this mess because they “encourage him to speak his mind.”

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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98 Responses to OTC: Should KSHB TV 41’s Mad Jack Get Sacked? Did He Say Gayhawks? Has His Buffoonery Expired?

  1. JP says:

    There’s no doubt what his intent is. He wanted KU to drop football, and is always making snide remarks about Mount Oread. Ask yourself if a politician (in particular a Conservative Republican) made a similar comment, how long would he last in office. Having said that, I don’t want to see him fired if it was a slip of the tongue. It happens, but his raging idiotic opinions are now seen for what they are, as much as his bias’.

  2. I just hope Harry doesn’t run into Dave Armstrong anytime soon out on the links. Dirty Dave’ll slap the Gayhawks out of Harry’s mouth faster than a first half “WOW!”

  3. Jason says:

    Look at the video and it is hard to hear him clearly say gayhawks. What a joke! Jack is the best and KU sucks! Get a clue Rico!!!!

  4. Jerry says:

    Why in the world would Jack say Gayhawks with the diverse staff he works right next to on the set (if you know what I mean)! I am not a fan of his at all but he did NOT say Gayhawks!!! Get a clue!

  5. Lanth the GayHawk says:

    KU fans are doing just as much harm to the gays as Jack Harry did, by refusing to be associated with them.

    Be proud, Gayhawkers. We all see the rainbow stickers in the back windows of your Prius.

  6. Village People says:

    I just played it backwards in slow motion and I swear he says “Butt Pluggers”.

  7. Tim says:

    The only for sure result from this is that somehow, someway, Frank Boal will voice a commercial referencing this incident.

  8. John Giardino says:

    I just think Jack Harry should be fired for being a crappy sports television personality – not necessarily because of this episode. I’m not a KU fan but I grow tired of this guy’s impetuous tantrums on the air.


  9. Lanth the GayHawk says:

    So I gueth we can athume Bill Thelf will be fired since he already hath three lotheth?

  10. Alec Baldwin says:

    He definitely said jayhawk or possibly fathead.

  11. Julio Frippo says:

    Those that are in denial about Harry’s crappy comment remind me of the old axiom, somewhat amended. . “Who are you going to believe, Harry or your lying eyes and ears.?

  12. Bob James says:

    Nice Dig on Mizzou’s Defense there Greg. I guess kU fans need something else to talk about besides their loss last night…

    • UncleTeardrop says:

      Are you denying that the MethZoo defense choked? Given mU’s history of choking in every big game, are you surprised?

  13. Murray says:

    It is clear what Jack said and it is clear Jack is not man enough to own up to it. He is trying to convince the public otherwise but he knows what he said. You don’t say “Jayhawks” twice in a few words and about jump out of your chair the second time unless it is emphasizing the crude bar slang. Man up Jack.

  14. Chris says:

    He didn’t say it I’ve watched the video 3 times and I didn’t hear him say “Gayhawks”. It sounded to me like he may have tripped up on his words a little bit. If he did say it, he should be reprimanded. But he didn’t say it.

    • UncleTeardrop says:

      He tripped on his tongue because he started to say Gayhawks and realized he probably shouldn’t.

      That’s why he said in his lame apology that he’d never say it ON THE AIR.

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