Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mark Whicker Apologizes for Remarks He Made About Jaycee Dugard

A lot of strange things have happened in the world of journalism. And this one is right up there. Keith Olbermann has dubbed him the Worlds Worst Person in American on his show “Count Down”.

The man in question is Mark Whicker. He’s a sports writer for the Orange County Register and had an article published on the 7th of this month. The article was extremely rude, and absolutely stupid. It had nothing to do with sports at all…except he did talk about them…

Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped on June 10, 1991 while waiting for the school bus. Her kidnapper, Phillip Craig Garrido was caught on August 26, 2009. During that 18 year time span Jaycee was raped multiple times by Phillip and she bore two children between 1994 and 1998.

She was forced to live in the backyard of Garrido’s house inside a shed that had sound proof walls and had to shower and shit outside in a tent.

So in comes Mark Whicker, a sports writer who has the worst taste I have seen in a while. I can’t even find a way to put it into words…I’ll just post the whole article he wrote.


It doesn't sound as if Jaycee Dugard got to see a sports page.

Box scores were not available to her from June 10, 1991 until Aug. 31 of this year.

She never saw a highlight. Never got to the ballpark for Beach Towel Night. Probably hasn't high-fived in a while.

She was not allowed to spike a volleyball. Or pitch a softball. Or smack a forehand down the line. Or run in a 5-footer for double bogey.

Now, that's deprivation.

Can you imagine? Dugard was 11 when she was kidnapped and stashed in Phillip Garrido's backyard. She was 29 when she escaped. Penitentiary inmates at least get an hour of TV a day. Dugard was cut off from everything but the elements.

How long before she fully digests the world she re-enters? How difficult to adjust to such cataclysmic change?

More than that, who's going to explain the fact that there's a President Obama?

Dugard's stepfather says she's going to need a lot of therapy — you think? — so perhaps she should take a respite before confronting the new realities.

So, Jaycee, whenever you're ready, here's what you've missed:

•Barry Bonds, who was just leading the Pirates to their second NL East title, wound up breaking Henry Aaron's home run record. How did such a skinny guy manage that? We'll deal with that later.

•Well, actually, some baseball players began taking drugs in order to hit more home runs and throw faster fastballs. Football players, who had cornered the market on most of their drugs, began driving drunk, slapping their wives, selling drugs, and killing people. The baseball players caught more grief.

•Michael Jordan did indeed win the big one, and five others.

•Yeah, this golfer really is named Tiger Woods.

•Stock car drivers now marry international models and are invited to the White House.

•Domed stadiums, like the ones in Houston and Minneapolis, are considered obsolete, or at least unfit for baseball.

•John McEnroe became a respected television analyst, just as tennis adopted a replay system that eliminated the need for McEnroe to argue.

•Magic Johnson is a billionaire businessman, and most of us have forgotten just why he had to retire.

•You missed absolutely no Servite victories over Mater Dei in football.

•Or World Series championship for the Dodgers.

•Or Stanley Cup championships for the Kings, even though Wayne Gretzky took them to the Finals in 1993.

•Mike Tyson now makes fun of himself in movies.

•The Anaheim Ducks won the Stanley Cup in '07. Yeah, a hockey team came to Anaheim. Yeah, they built an arena in Anaheim.

•I know you've had trouble digesting all this so far, but they also built a basketball arena at USC. Honest to God.

•A guy from East L.A. named Oscar De La Hoya now makes boxing contenders rich and famous. Just as he did when he was boxing.

•The Angels won a World Series. When you learn who they beat, you'll understand why.

•Speaking of the Giants they did not move, but they did get a new stadium downtown. The Florida Marlins, who did not exist when you left, won two World Series and are getting their own ballpark. Even if you were there, it's hard to believe.

•For the most part, fans have stopped doing The Wave.

•In fact, you don't see many beach balls in Dodger Stadium or Angel Stadium anymore.

•The two NFL teams that we used to have? They've been gone for 15 years. You haven't heard anyone complain about that? Neither have we.

•Jackie Autry isn't in charge of the Angels anymore, as you might have surmised by looking at the standings.

•Joe Torre now manages the Dodgers, after a fruitful detour through New York. Tommy Lasorda? Sure, he's around. He hasn't called?

•You disappeared a couple of months before John Daly came into our lives at the '91 PGA. Who's John Daly? Never mind.

•Todd Marinovich showed why careers aren't played on paper.

•USC is one of college football's elite programs, three coaches later.

•The Red Sox won two World Series, which proves that history is bunk. The White Sox even won one. But not the Cubs.

•Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played but never threatened Vladimir Guerrero's record for most consecutive swings.

•One blessed constant remains: Vin Scully.

•And ballplayers, who always invent the slang no matter what ESPN would have you believe, came up with an expression for a home run that you might appreciate.

Congratulations, Jaycee. You left the yard.

This crazy nut…who gave him a job and not me? But he did apologize…


For Tuesday's Register, I wrote a column that clearly offended and outraged large portions of our readership.

It was not my intention to do so. But it's obvious that I miscalculated the effect the column on Jaycee Dugard, and the events that she might have missed during her captivity, had on those who read, buy and advertise in our newspaper.

For 22 1/2 years at The Register, I feel like I've had a good and direct relationship with our audience and I think most of the regular readers know how I go about reporting and commenting on sports.

This column appears to have disconnected that bond with at least part of our readers. For that I apologize.

It's impossible to unring a bell or to bring back a column that has already been transmitted. In many ways the damage is done. I'm hopeful that I can be forgiven for this lapse of professionalism by those who were affected most profoundly.

I'll try to earn back the trust of those customers in my future endeavors.

Again, I regret this incident and apologize to all concerned.

The man did this for some weird reason, but I can’t figure it out yet. Why would he do this? He ‘miscalculated the effect the column on Jaycee Dugard, and the events that she might have missed during her captivity…’

I still can’t figure out why you did it. But lets see how long it takes before anyone takes you seriously again.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, that's a pretty huge lapse in judgment. The poor girl was locked up and tormented daily for 18 years of her life, missing HER ENTIRE TEEN YEARS, and all this guy can think she might want to do is learn what lousy sports trivia she might have missed? Hell, I WASN'T locked up for that time and I don't know, or really care to know, most of it.

    I mean, the article really didn't have much to do with her other than to use her as a jumping off point for some wild ponderings, but still, WHY? It's like using Iraq as a jumping off point for talking about dry weather. "Yep, we're being shot at every day, but DAMN, can you believe this heat?"


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