OTC: TV 41’s Jack Harry Offers To Quit After Personal Social Media Attacks By KU Fans

“I went to my management [at KSHB TV 41 on Tuesday] and I said if it will help you, I’m ready to step down. These people can have it. I don’t need it. I’m 69 years old. I’m out there and I know I make opinions, ruffle feathers and everything else. But I’ve never ever experienced and seen in my life [this kind of attack] the last three days. It has been awful!”
Jack Harry, on how frustrated and upset he is over some social media attacks he is receiving from Kansas fans following KU’s win over MU in Allen Fieldhouse, 810 AM
GH: Harry sounded almost in tears at times while he opened up to KK and his audience about how devastated he is over the virtual attacks tossed his way via Twitter, YouTube and in email form. Read on.

“I’ve been in this town for 40 years doing what I do. In the past three days I have never been so embarrassed. I just felt like I was beaten up – beaten to a pulp. … This stuff that is on this social media, this thing on Twitter, is the most vile, the most vitriol, ugly thing. You
ought to see the stuff that has been directed at me because I made a prediction before the conference that Kansas wouldn’t win it. I’m a sportscaster and I made that prediction – and the way that fan base has turned on me is the ugliest thing I have ever seen. They have plastered stuff all over YouTube… I don’t even go to it anymore. I don’t even want to be involved. I feel like I committed a murder or something because I made a prediction. It is that bad. It is that ugly.”
Jack Harry, during his Wednesday afternoon segment with Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: I have no sympathy for Jack Harry. This is the life Jack Harry has chosen to lead. Harry made a decision to go down the Kevin Kietzman road of shock-jock sports talk when he became the lead sports anchor at KSHB TV 41. He has reaped the financial and professional rewards in being edgy, opinionated and with his often ridiculous Jack Smack videos that tweak the craw of many a KU and KSU fan. Hey Jack, when you tell Kansas they should drop football, you need to expect that’s going to rile up your KU

“The things that you get from people that are anonymous — that they know you and you don’t know them — and what they will say, what they will do and what they will threaten is unbelievable … I’ve been getting it from the other way. I’ve been getting it from Missouri.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: If you thought KK was going to allow Mad Jack to come on his show and play the victim without getting in some of his own, “Yeah, but what about my suffering?” shots, you don’t know Kietzman. 

“They can say whatever they want. They’re entitled to it. That’s not what bothers me. But when it goes below the belt with your family, I don’t need that. I do not need that! I made a prediction that didn’t hold up and so now all of a sudden I’m the worst damn guy on the
planet! This is sports isn’t it? This is hatred like I have never seen.”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: You cannot have it both ways, Jack. Either people can say what they want without you going to your boss to quit or they can’t. Can anonymous people on the Internet be cruel, crude and vulgar? Yeah, that’s only been going on since Al Gore invented the sucker. But for Harry to publicly overreact and chastise almost the entire fan base of Kansas is even more criminal than a few idiots typing on a keyboard. 

“I bring on a lot of this myself. But nobody, NOBODY, you don’t want to read this stuff! That I got. It is that bad! I’m sitting there thinking, ‘Is this worth it?”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: Of course no one wants to read this kind of stuff — but Harry is a public figure. A flag-waving-Missouri-Tiger-fan kind of public figure who relishes in rubbing the Jayhawks and Wildcats the wrong way with his verbal salvos. It is what you do, Jack. To think you are not going to uncover a few crazies along the way is ridiculously naive. Blaming social media is a crutch. Social media hasn’t birthed these kind of attacks, it
has simply made them easier and more timely. I think Jack would be shocked to
learn how many people in the media have received similar cyber-attacks and shrugged them off. Harry is looking for sympathy by going public and I am all out. 

“I don’t want to become the guy that because of the outcome of a game, I want to spew hatred. I don’t want to be that guy. I don’t know how you live with yourself.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Did KK listen to his attack on the Nebraska fan base prior to the Huskers final game in Manhattan, Kansas? Has he listened to his petty and juvenile verbal shredding of Missouri and their fans for their decision to depart to the SEC? You are that guy, Kev. 

“Why do people follow you on Twitter if they want to make comments like that? It is off the charts! Off the charts!”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: Jack Harry’s salary is commensurate with the number of people he can cultivate to watch him broadcast his sportscasts. He has known this for 40 years. He also knows that not everyone who watches does so because they like him. KK has perfected this to an art form. Twitter is made up of 140-character messages. It is just words. To react like
Harry has is just as ridiculous as those fans who have taken his words as a reason to attack. 

“I will say I received some very nice lettersfrom people who said they were KU fans. I can’t count the numbers. They said I’m sorry you were faced with this because you went on and made a prediction.”
Jack Harry, 810 AM
GH: So why not focus on those positive notes and forget the few crazies who revel in having their fun at your expense? As a broadcaster, you do not get to pick and choose who likes you. You simply learn to deal with both the pro and the con. Harry gives the more elder people in his profession a bad name by not being mature enough to understand this basic principle of his craft.

“You can block them. The number-one button on my phone is the block button.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Here we have two of the most opinionated sports talkers in Kansas City talking about blocking out members of their audience. It works both ways, guys. But when enough of your audience decides to block you and your work, it is time to turn out the LED lights. 

[email protected] 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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

122 Responses to OTC: TV 41’s Jack Harry Offers To Quit After Personal Social Media Attacks By KU Fans

  1. Hot Carl says:

    You know, if he just reported the sports like he did for the first 35 years he was on TV instead of giving us his “smack” this wouldn’t have happened. What a bungling dipshit.

    • Max says:

      No kidding.

      I don’t get why its even appropriate for him to infuse his commentary with the sports news. If Mark Clegg were to start giving his opinion on local and state politics in between news stories, he’d be taken off the air.

      Jack’s whining reminds me of the Simpsons:

      Homer Simpson: From now on, I’m gonna be just like Krusty and tell it like it is. Marge, you’re getting a little fat around the old thighs!
      Bart Simpson: Dad!
      Homer Simpson: You too, Bart!
      Marge Simpson: Oh, knock it off, Homer, you’re the fattest one in the car!
      Homer Simpson: [shocked, hurt] You didn’t have to tell it like it is, Marge!

  2. JFP says:

    Social media has stripped away the insular bubble that guys like KK and Harry could be so comfy in. Used to be a time not too long ago when a KK felt challenged or attacked, he could just hang up on a caller, or Harry might hear complaints about him that came via letter.

    No more.

    I’ve always thought that what really gets under the skin of guys like KK and Harry is that they are so shocked that anyone dares disagree with them or doesn’t view things the same way they do that they find themselves more thin-skinned than maybe they themselves never realized. It’s not generational, either. Nick Wright has skin as thick as a wet paper towel.

  3. randyraley says:

    It seems that some “on air personalities” need to grow a pair.
    I got knifed at One Block West for something I said on the radio.
    …(start the one block west jokes in 3…2…1, hey, I was young once)
    I got lucky that I had some friends there. Didn’t do much damage although he sure could’ve. I did my show the next day as I always did. I was bandaged and bruised but I figured if I don’t want to have an effect on people’s lives, I should shut the hell up. Otherwise…you get what you pay for. Want to be the shock jock? Then take the responsibility that comes with it. It’s made him lots of money. This fascination with what people think about or say about you on twitter is way beyond my realm of thought. If you can’t take the heat, I’d be glad to step in the kitchen. My skin is good and thick.

  4. JFP says:

    “You can block them. The number-one button on my phone is the block button.”

    Now that’s just sad. Maybe if the number-one buttons on his phone were to sources who could verify the half-ass crap he comes up with on a daily basis, he’d be better at what he does.

  5. kansas City Guy says:

    KK is a tool. I don’t listen to him anymore. He used to hate Texas BIG 12 schools and spew his anger at them. Now he has turned his hate on 30% of his audience (MU fans). The guy is an idiot.

    • john doe says:

      although he does still kiss the asses of alden and pinkel whenever they are on.

    • Neil says:

      This exactly what I don’t get. Guys like KK and Jack Harry chastise large portions of their audience, which is exactly why people like to rub it in their faces when they are wrong.

      I understand that you cannot please everyone, but for KK to say the things he does about MU and Harry to say the things he does about KU, well then you are just asking for it.

  6. Java Man says:

    So Jack upsets the fans from each of the schools from time to time. For the most part he stays in the lines of good clean trash talk amongst friends. Big deal, we all do it. He just gets paid to do it.

    Unfortunately we live in a day when those lines are often ignored. Good humored smack is fun. Mean, vindictive, personal attacks not so much.

    Just because Jack may piss you off with something he says about “your team”, doesn’t mean you have the responsibility to be a dick.

    • dman says:

      No one has the “responsibility” to be a dick, but I can chose to be if someone else calls me out (as a fan of my team).

      Screw anyone who can’t take it when they do the same thing on the air.

      Besides, how can it be a “personal” attack if I don’t know the guy. He shouldn’t be taking it personally because it is coming from anonymous people anyway.

      Both these idiots bring it on themselves.

  7. Johnny Utah says:

    I read the twitter stuff back to Jack. it wasn’t that bad. it’s typical social media age smack talk, the kind you see on any schools chat board.

    if he’s too old to take this, he’s right. he needs to walk away.

    • TangoAlphaLima says:

      I did the same Twitter search, and I found nothing highly objectionable. Multiple people telling Jack he should retire, and there were some obscene words used, but nothing that should have riled up Jack this much. And I definitely didn’t see anything about his family.

      If Jack and KK are going to get so defensive over these “personal attacks,” I’d really like them to point out exactly which attacks are bothering them, rather than use general descriptions. I’m guessing it’s their thin skin that’s the problem, not the supposed hate and vitriol spewed in their direction.

  8. Peter says:

    Greg, I see you changed the banner picture to show the body blow that T-Rob gave Phil Pressey in the KU-MU game. From the expressions on most of the fans’ faces, it looks like they thought a foul occurred.

    • john doe says:

      they would be correct

      • Kyle says:

        Actually that is incorrect. No foul was called.

        • Cliffy says:

          But they were correct in thinking a foul had occurred.

          • Jim says:

            Buck-toothed midgets who get their haircuts from a barber with epilepsy should not challenge 6′-8″ beasts for the game-winner.

          • Cliffy says:

            Another intellectual gem from Jim.

            From a Mizzou fan (and grad, Tagladucci) here’s the way I look at this. I was playing in a benefit bball game a long time ago and Danny Nee (former Neb coach) was the ref. Our team is down by a point, got the ball back with like 10 secs to go and call time out. Nee leans into our huddle and says, “if you take it to the rim you better hit your shot because I’m not going to bail you out.” So, I can understand the ref’s thinking in Pressey vs. Robinson. However, when Taylor drives out of control to the baseline at the end of OT and throws up some slop and the ref bails him out — that’s not right.

            I never blame the refs, though.

  9. tigerdan4 says:

    I like Jack but in this case, if you can’t take it, don’t dish it out. I don’t blame KU fans one bit for hating him. Just like I can’t stand Fescoe because of all the crap he talks on MU. However I would never attack him on a personal level or anything. I’ll tweet him every now & then to remind him when he says something stupid but I’m not mean about it. Just kinda poking a bear with a stick. Except in Bob’s case it’s more like poking a possum with a stick. Usually he just takes it and doesn’t respond back. Which is probably the better way to handle criticism than how Jack does.

  10. Jim says:

    Cliffy…was it a tough “no call”? You bet it was. But, you can’t point to ONE play and say it was the one that cost MU the game. It was a series of events that occurred over the last 12 minutes of that game that lead up to that ONE play. If any one of them go the other way, the outcome may have been different. If MU only goes 6 minutes instead of 7 minutes without scoring a point in the 2nd half, that could have been the difference. There wasn’t a worse call in the game than the phantom call against TRob early in the game. But since it wasn’t the LAST call in the game, it doesn’t have the same impact/consequence.

    • Cliffy says:

      Read much, Jim? Where did I say one call cost MU the game? I thought I made it clear I never blame the refs. However, the argument you’re making is the one always used by the team who knows subconsciously that they got away with one.

  11. Jim says:

    John Anderson, the SportsCenter anchor who is a Mizzou alum, has called kU “Beakers” before during broadcasts. Multiple times. He usually does it sarcastically.

    I get that Jack Harry’s rant in December was over the top. But so is all of his stuff. I cannot for the life of me understand why kansas fans would take to Twitter, Facebook, whatever and personally attack him. kU won their 8th straight Big 12 title, and should be thrilled with that. And they are. But I don’t understand why they would then think it’s necessary to talk trash to a TV personality that they have never met.

    If one of my teams wins a title, the last thing I am going to do is throw it back in the face of someone who insulted me in the past. What does that prove? It’s petty.

    • Lou Brown says:

      You mean “petty” like intentionally using lower case letters when referring to your rival? O.K., I get it.

  12. Jimbo says:

    I think the issue isn’t so much that he’s being criticized for his take–its the unnecessarily personal and ugly nature of the attacks. I try never to post anything on a message board or in a comment section that I wouldn’t say out loud in a crowded room. But with the anonymity provided by the internet its easy to sit in front of your monitor and type out some pretty hateful stuff, stuff that you would never say to someone’s face. I’m all for level-headed rebuttal to Jack’s often ridiculous takes and even some good-natured name calling. Unfortunately, some people cross the line.

    • Juan De Guzman says:

      so you take Jack’s word for it how deeply personal these “attacks” were? He didn’t give any examples, even edited ones. He’s just acting the martyr here and its another way for him to slam KU’s fans by characterizing the entire fan base as haters when in reality just a few people are reacting to him on Twitter, Facebook, Phog.net etc. It’s ridiculous.

  13. “Anonymous, anonymous, anonymous,” a lot of these media talking heads are always complaining. Yes, many people use anonymity on the Net to act like deranged freaks. But anonymity also offers others an opportunity to fully express themselves in ways they could not otherwise, lest they wished to risk retribution or scorn from people in their personal or professional lives who might happen to disagree with them. That’s why Al Gore made sure to include anonymity as a key feature when he invented the Net. The foresight of that man.

    • Max says:

      Kinda like “anonymous sources.” Suddenly journalists don’t mind anonymity!

      • The Independent Rage says:

        Very true. I seem to recall KK relying every bit on anonymous sources for his so-called “story” insinuating that MU to the Big 10 was all but a done deal. Of course, anonymous sources (when trustworthy and accurate) are often an important part of good journalism. But talking head shocksters like KK and Harry rarely engage in anything remotely resembling journalism, whether it be the good or bad form. And I think they’d largely admit that, if only privately. They do the thing they do, and they’ve both been very successful at it. I just never get why so many people take them so damn seriously! But that’s just me…

  14. Mike says:

    The Tigers are taking their ball and going elsewhere. This is the perfect for Jack to do the same thing. I skipped any communications with Jack in favor of a nicely worded e-mail to HyVee. I am now a Dillon’s man until Jack is gone. If you keep hitting the Beehive with a stick you cannot complain about the stings that follow. Goodbye Jack. It is time to go.

  15. Steve says:

    Jack Harry has brought this on himself. He has made it personal the way he degrades KU fans on his show every week with his “beakers” comments and generally bad mouthing the fan base every chance he gets. He is obsessed with putting down and pointing out everything he can find wrong with KU and then taking cheap shots at KU and KU fans. Jack is now reaping what he has sown. When MU looked like the favorite to win the Big12 Jack looked gleeful in saying MU would go to the SEC with the Big12 title and that KU wouldn’t finish top 5 in the conference. The guy should step down, he is pathetic.

  16. Merle Tagladucci says:

    I don’t buy Jack’s reaction. I think it’s a calculated and self-serving “I’m the victim here” platform for him to moan about a few KU fans who have taken great satisfaction out of ridiculing him, and I think he’s more embarrassed about being dead wrong than he is hurt over a few tweets. This is just a convenient way of deflecting attention away from his busted prediction and shattered credibility. There may even be some cognitive dissonance at work here but I’m not a psychologist.

    • dman says:

      The only issue I have with your statement is that he hasn’t had any credibility for years. It’s not like this is the prediction that shattered it.

      He had already crapped on his journalism degree (if he ever had one) when I left KC back in 2004. Now that I am back, he is even less professional.

  17. Juan De Guzman says:

    I think Greg Hall nailed this one, except I don’t see Jack making disparaging comments about KSU. Maybe I’m just missing them but all of his invective seems to be targeted to KU and KU fans. Calling Bill Self “Bucknell Bill”? The guy owns the Big 12 and has one of the best winning percentages of any active D1 coach but this dickhead thinks its cute to use a derogatory nickname for him? Could anyone imagine the reaction he’d get from MU fans if he started calling their FB coach Gary Drinkel?
    And then Jack wants to make all of this about his “wrong” prediction. Does anyone think he really thought KU would be lucky to finish 5th, or was this just another way for Old Jack to wind up KU fans? The guy is just a disingenuous little creep with a hard on for the most popular school in his market. It’s weird. Where else could he even keep his job pulling this kind of BS?

  18. randyraley says:

    Again, I don’t understand why any media figure would publicly trash a portion of their audience and then get indignant when that audience trashes them. Call me old school, but just about the last thing I would do on the air in KC would be to trash KU. If I was on the air here in St. Louis and trashed MU, I don’t think I’d be employed long.

    • R.H. says:

      From my viewpoint as a fan, today’s media figure (the so called “new school”) thinks it’s not only fashionable, but a way to drive listenership and eyeballs to get attention and notoriety. With that, as Peter Parker’s dad said, comes with great responsibility.

      Jack thought by trashing KU fans, no one would reply back to what he said. Unfortunately for Jack, Kevin, and others who resort to this act, social media, Twitter especially, is a small pool full of pirahnas that will eat anyone alive, if you keep pestering them to the point of no return.

  19. Rodney King says:

    Why can’t we all just get along!

  20. R.H. says:

    This is where Lester Bangs would walk in and offer some hard truths to Jack.

    If you want to be a celebrity so badly, then you better learn how to accept the criticism on the same level that you accept the admiration. If Jack can’t handle what’s being said towards him on social media, then he should get the hell off of it tonight.

    What you say carry weight on places like Twitter. If you want to be the BMOC on Twitter, then you better be prepared to have a fan base or fans in general to attack back.

    I with Greg, I don’t feel sorry for Jack, and he can’t have it both ways. And Jack, spare us with the emotional angle and the age angle. Either quit social media all together, if you don’t want to read the “mean” things people say about you and your act, or learn how to stick to what you tweet and let it roll off of your shoulders.

    Fans are not dummies anymore. We know how to humble a blowhard: we tweet back…at you.

Comments are closed.