Anorak News | The Best Jaycee Dugard Jokes Ever, With Mark Whicker

The Best Jaycee Dugard Jokes Ever, With Mark Whicker

by | 10th, September 2009

key5JAYCEE Lee Dugard – Anorak’s look at Jaycee Dugard in the news: Mark Whicker creates a media firestorm by featuring Jaycee in his sports column.

WHILE we await the arrival of the Jaycee Lee Dugard trial, shock news that Phillip Garrido is even more nuts than he thought he was and speculate on how many murders he may or may not have committed, the media can talk among itself, and the subject of the day is: Mark Whicker.

Whicker’s crime is to have been caught playing Tabloid Bingo, the game in which you try to link your vested interest to as many topical news stories as possible. Here’s sports writer Whicker:

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.

Ending with:

Congratulations, Jaycee. You left the yard.

A tired attempt at humour, at best. At worse an awful game of Tabloid Bingo. But how offended are you by it? The media reacts:

“Classy, Whicker. Now please go die in a fire someplace so I can use it as a hook for a ‘who’s hot, who’s not’ bit”JC Bradbury

“This is perhaps the single worst column I’ve read. Ever. Anywhere” – Alex Massie

Keith Olbermann proclaimed Whicker one of the World’s Worst Persons on NBC’s “Countdown” – Media Bistro

“I do not say this lightly: What you’re about to read is the single worst piece of sports journalism ever committed to the page” Tommy Craggs

“The column, which was written as if to inform Dugard about the sports events she’s missed over the last 18 years, was decried on Twitter as the “worst sports column ever” and referred to at the Huffington Post as ‘The Single Most Tasteless Sports Column In The History Of Written Language'” – Michael David Smith

More Reactions (via WW)

* “This is quite possibly the worst sports column ever written,” Matt Welch, Reason.

* “I can’t decide what’s worse about this column, the premise or the kicker at the end. The thing is, Mark Whicker is one of the most underrated columnists in the country. Not sure what he was thinking with this one,” Boston Globe sportswriter Chad Finn, Twitter.

* Greg Simons, a commenter to the weblog Shysterball, claimed he got a response from Whicker to his email complaint. Simons called the column the “most revolting hook I’ve ever read” and asked Whicker if his next column would be about 9/11.

* According to Simons, Whicker responded, “The revolting thing is that you would equate a column that celebrates the release of Jaycee Dugard, and tries to put the length of her 18-year kidnapping in a context that everyone can understand, with a terrorist attack that killed 3,000 people. And then you draw a value judgment about me based on such a preposterous parallel.”

* Whicker, a sportswriter for more than 27 years and a longtime columnist at the Register, describes himself as a “wary refugee in tech-land” on his Twitter account mwhicker, where his updates are protected from view.

* Jason Fry, author of the Reinventing the Newsroom blog, says of the column, “Sometimes we all need to be told, ‘This isn’t running. One day you’ll thank me.'”

Says Marc Whicker:

Whicker was interviewed by Mark David Smith over at, where Whicker says he was “surprised” by the reaction to his piece. In an e-mail response, Whicker writes, “Obviously I mis-read the emotional component of this story because the reaction really has been quite extreme. I think the intent of the column was still valid. I could have changed some ways of expressing it to make it more palatable, I suppose” – Zimbio

As he says in his new follow-up column:

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.

Jaycee Dugard – let’s have a heated deabte…

Jaycee Dugard in pictures

Posted: 10th, September 2009 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink