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

  1. Norm says:

    “KU will be lucky to finish in the top five (Big XII), I’m not kiddin. There is NO WAY the Jayhawks repeat this season…I’m already getting tired of hearing these beakers whine about this being an off year…here’s the problem, Bill Self had a DISASTEROUS year on the recruiting trail. They have NO bench, they have a big problem protecting the basketball…KU FANS NEED TO GET A GRIP AND REALIZE IT’S NOT A BIRTH RIGHT TO FINISH NUMBER ONE EVERY YEAR…”

    Gee Jack. You expect to make asinine uneducated comments like that on your “Jack Smack” segment and not catch grief with it turns out to be COMPLETELY opposite of your predictions?

    Time to take off your diaper Jack and grow a pair.

    • trainor says:

      when he wrote that, he was right about the recruiting trail, the bench and protecting the ball. all he did was predict ‘no way ku wins the big 12.’ what was uneducated about that? it was a prediction. he owned up that he was proven wrong and even called Self big 12 coach of the year when frank haith is almost as deserving. cut the guy some slack. it’s just smack.

      • bwhacker says:

        I think the problem comes when he insults the fans calling them a bunch of whiners. If he had only said that he didn’t think there was enough depth, that they had trouble controlling the ball, and expressed that as simply an opinion, he wouldn’t be catching the backlash that he has.

        But his schtick is to be abrasive, to be loud-mouthed and insulting. That’s how he is, and he’s proud of the fact that he’s been doing it for 40 years in the area. Here’s a news flash: simply being allowed to do it for a long time doesn’t mean that it hasn’t grated on peoples’ nerves for just as long. So, no, I don’t have any sympathy for any of the comments he’s received. That’s short of any threatening or family-related attacks; those are out of bounds. But I also have a hard time believing that this is even close to the level that he’s “whining” about.

        • Juan De Guzman says:

          why does he have to throw in the “beakers” jab and the stuff about KU fans whining and thinking they have a birthright to win the Big 12. There is a line between making a prediction and seeking to provoke. Harry was doing both with this “smack”. If all he had done was make a prediction and left all the attitude out, no one would be talking about this. And no one would watch his show because without his little tirades he’s just another 4th rate local sports hack. But if he wants to engage in the smack, he had to take the backlash.

  2. Scott Simon says:

    Fans who hate don’ t get it. He made a prediction that was wrong and owned up to it. 99.4% of sports media is predictions-without-accountability. Personally, I can’t stand sportscasters and sportswriters who predict outcome of games, league competition, etc. They don’t back up their predictions with real money bets because if they did, 90 percent of them would be living in boxes under Interstate bridges.

  3. trainor says:

    jack riles the crap outta me sometimes, but i also take it all in stride; it’s part of his schtick and he’s mizzou homer. no big deal. i’m sorry that he whined the way he did and threatened to quit – makes him look childish. he does need to grow a pair and just ignore it. however… he’s right that some of the anger and venom directed at him is way, way over the top. i haven’t seen any of those tweets, etc., but just judging from some of the comments i’ve seen on the KSHB site, i can imagine. ku fans ought to show more class than that.

  4. Tim says:

    It’s called a prediction dumbass beakers. Yeah, he got it wrong. It happens, move on. I am sure when he was the only one to predict KU to win the north in football in 2007, you all sent him a message to say good job! If I had a dime for every dumbass beaker who predicted the Tigers to fall apart once conference play starts.

    • Jim says:

      Dumbass Beakers have been right about the Tigers for 15 years, Timbo! That’s alot of dimes.

    • T-Sub says:

      You did fall apart during conference play… you lost to KSU twice and finished 2nd after being undefeated prior to conference play.

  5. donkeypunch says:

    GH, congrats for your site. If you’d get 40 comments per thread it was a success. Now you’re up to 100.

    • Java Man says:

      Unfortunately it becomes a jumbled mess that is almost impossible to read.

    • Greg Hall says:

      donk, It is rewarding to see that readers are enjoying the Comments section and feel free to spout their opinions here. I’m not sure that the number of comments are a good indicator of whether traffic on the site is up, but it sure doesn’t hurt.

      JM, I agree that when the comments stretch out to the three-digit mark it can become tough to stay up with all the new comments. But treat it like I tell readers to treat my OTC, skip over the ones that don’t interest you.

  6. Big idea says:

    Jack says shutdown KU football. I think the “KU won’t win the league” video is kinda the straw that broke the camels back. Really was ridiculous to come and say to shut down the program. If he has been on tv in KC for so long, was he saying that in the 80’s when KU and Mizzou were the worst in the country? Start at 1:15

  7. jenf says:

    I’m not sure that the number of comments are a good indicator of whether traffic on the site is up, but it sure doesn’t hurt.

    if you believe this you are not a smart man.

  8. T-Sub says:

    Jack is a joke. You can be wrong on a prediction but he was too wrong this time. It was a rant to get Mizzou fans riled up. He was dead wrong. Just because he admitted to being dead wrong doesn’t get him off the hook. Anyone making that dumb of a prediction based on obvious bias has no place on the news. He has no credibility.

  9. When a man grows old says:

    It wasn’t that he made a prediction that got KU fans upset, it was the way he said it! It’s Although he was wrong about KU basketball, it’s still apparent he has some insight. Now use your insight and bow out of KC media. You are way past your prime. Maybe you should host a radio show on 810 at 2 a.m., then those who really want to listen to your smack can listen to it. At least that will spare the rest of us who have grown tired of your “in your face, completely wrong” style.

  10. Bob Thurber says:

    Pretty simple Jack. If you can’t stand the tweet, get out of the kitchen.

Comments are closed.