Former Style section writer John Walsh of the Washington Post was bankrolled by billionaire newspaper owner Katherine Graham to hijack Inside Sports to
New York City. It was there he published “Inside Sports Magazine” which failed after 33 issues. Newsweek owns the Copy Rights to “Inside Sports” and the Washington Post owed Newsweek. Earlier this year Walsh retired from ESPN and Katherine Graham died in 2001. Remember, this is the same newspaper that called President Richard M. Nixon a crook—what is the difference?
When the legendary radio and television talk show host Petey Greene gave me five minutes to talk sports on WOL Radio in the late 60s, he planted the seed for Inside Sports. I had no idea where this opportunity would lead me and neither did he. The opportunity will lead me to co-hosting a sports talk show on Saturday at 12 noon with the No. 1 DJ in the country, WOL’s Bobby Bennett. Bobby was a “Closet” wannabe sportscaster. I parlayed that opportunity into hosting my own radio sports talk show on W-O-O-K Radio one year later–the birth place of Inside Sports. The movie portraying Petey “Lets talk” never did him or his family and friends justice. The determining factors—selfishness and greed.
There were no black own radio or television outlets in DC in the 60s and 70s including WHUR (paid for and supported by the Federal Government). The stations were “Black Oriented,” and sounded black but white owned. I remember, I was contemplating the format for my new talk show at dinner one evening when I asked my wife Hattie “What should I call my new show” and without hesitation, she said ‘Inside Sports!’ I was blown away because the show title fit. I put my fork down and asked “How did you come up with that title?” Her response, ‘You get the behind scenes news on the athletes before the TV news and newspapers.’ She made sense to me and in 1971 Inside Sports hit the airwaves for the first time in American media history. On hand and in studio for my first show was Hattie and Attorney Derrick Humphries. From the very beginning Derrick advised me to Trademark the name Inside Sports but I was not listening, I was in another World (ego trip).
For the next decade, the one of a kind Inside Sports talk show would take DC by storm. The show made me the first black to host and produce his own radio sports talk show in the Nation’s Capitol. It was one of a kind, I was Out Side the Lines, Real Sports long before ESPN & HBO. The guests were top of the line, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Red Auerbach, Don King, Doctor J, Bert Sugar and the list goes on and on. Inside Sports was the first sports talk show to discuss racism on and off the field of play (front office), the first to play message music (Wake Up Everybody, What’s Going On, Someday We Will be Free, Black & Proud, Respect Yourself, etc.). The first to establish sports media round-tables, first to write commentaries on any and everything to enhance the growth of black people in America. The show was the first to encourage pro athletes, politicians and entertainers to participate in community outreach programs. Inside Sports and Kids In Trouble cared long before the NBA, NFL and MLB.
DC native and NBA Hall of Fame player, Dave Bing salutes Kids In Trouble’s Hillcrest Saturday Program basketball All-Stars. In 1972 NFL Films tape first ever community service promo for national television at Hillcrest. The emphasis was on water safety with Washington pro football players, Larry Brown (MVP-RB) and Harold McLinton (LB).
In the 70s I was the only talk show host in the District, Maryland and Virginia buying time from the radio stations and paying them and not vice-versa. I controlled what was heard on the airwaves, unheard of today. Most sports’ talk show host today are entertainers (clowns and cheerleaders), they wear earplugs that are plugged into the control room and are told what to say and not to say. Michael Wilbon (ESPN via Washington Post) claimed on national television that it was all right to use the N word as long as you are among friends and family. He had proudly told me he was not going on ESPN’s Outside the Lines to discuss the use of the word, because the white host didn’t have a horse in the race. The following Sunday who is front and center on Outside the Lines, Michael Wilbon. He has young children and has not stop to think he is teaching another generation of blacks to use the N word.
In the meantime, my studio guest also included, the Washington Post sports editor George Solomon, and his writers, Dave Dupree, Byron Rosen, Tom Callahan, Donald Huff, Dave Kindred, Leonard Shapiro, Michael Wibon, and Dave Aldridge. The Washington Post went on the air with their own television sports talk show in the late 70s, I was a frequent guest. While I am making sports media history, the Washington Post’s brain trust were scheming on how to get paid with my title Inside Sports. The brain trust would include, the mom and son team, owners Katherine and Don Graham, their side kick sports editor “Devious”George, and a fraudulent Style section writer by the name of John Walsh. Walsh left the Washington Post for New York City in 1977 with the financial blessings of the Grahams and published Inside Sports Magazine. It was not like I was a stranger to Don Graham or Solomon—it all had to do with greed and no-respect. I knew Don when we both worked the mean streets of DC, he was a cop and I was a Roving Leader (Youth Gang Task Force) for the DC Recreation Department. His mother Katherine pulled the plug on his law-enforcement career. She asked him to resign and turn in his gun and badge for a three piece suit at the newspaper. Here they could stick-up the community without a gun.
Don and I had an open door policy. If I thought the paper was short-changing the black community in its coverage, I would contact him. We often disagreed, but we agreed to disagree. But he totally blindsided me when he conspired with his mom, Solomon and Walsh to take my Inside Sports show title and make it their very own. I understand that no one is playing fair but I thought he had a little more integrity then Solomon, but they say “Birds of a Feather Flock Together.” I overlooked all the warning signs that something was not right. In several of his notes to me after making donations to Kids In Trouble, he kept using the catch phrase, “Anonymous please!” I figured he and his mother were trying to hide something, never thinking he was stabbing me in my back and hijacking me for Inside Sports.
In November 1982, after three years and 33 issues, Inside Sports magazine was shut down. The abrupt ending dealt a hard blow to Walsh, the man who had personally persuaded legendary Washington Post Chairman Katherine Graham and her son Don to financially support the magazine.
My first encounter with Walsh was at an NBA All-Star media luncheon in Houston, Texas. NBA broadcaster and playground basket legend Sonny Hill and I were seated at the same table with “Mr. Inside Sports,” when I spotted his name tag with Inside Sports on it. I immediately got up and headed toward Walsh when Sonny got up and blocked my path and said, “Let it go” and I did. It is a decision I now regret.
I remember coordinating a Black History Month tribute to NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd on Bolling Air Force in February 1998. I discovered that the Washington Post sports department was ignoring my press release on the event. According to my “Deep Throat” source in the newsroom, George Solomon told his writers to ignore the tribute. After the successful tribute was over I contacted Don letting him know my displeasure with Solomon and his underhand tactics to sabotage the tribute. You can see his response above saying,
“Dear Mr Bell, nice to hear from you. The Post should have covered the reception at Bolling. George says he simply did not know about it at the time.
Best, Don Graham
Sam Jones (NBA), James Brown (CBS), HBell (Inside Sports), the late Earl Lloyd (NBA). 1998 Black History Month tribute at Bolling AFB
When I discovered that Solomon and Walsh were the thieves of my title Inside Sports, I tried to distant my self from the Inside Sports Magazine. I changed the title of my show to “The Original Inside Sports.” My grandmother had given me some of the best advice I have ever had. While growing up in her house she taught us and prepared us on how to deal with situations like this. One day she called me aside and said, ‘Grandson I don’t know what life wholes for you in the future, but I want you to remember one thing. I want you to always tell the truth, because a lie will change a thousand times, but the truth never changes.’
Its too bad that Don Graham, George Solomon and John Walsh’s grandmothers didn’t give them some of that same advice. It looks like they were taught to take any thing they wanted. I sucked it up despite my disappointment and my lawyer telling me I could still get some nuisance money, by taking Walsh to court. I had proof, I was the first to use the title (newspaper stories, tape recordings of my show, etc.) but I passed. Money does not make you smart, Graham, Solomon and Walsh are the best examples. As I am trying to distant myself from Inside Sports Magazine with my new show title “The Original Inside Sports.” I get a tip to google Walsh from my inside source “Deep Throat” at the Washington Post. I pulled up Walsh’s bio and discovered that he was now claiming that he was the founding editor of The Original Inside Sports Magazine (1979-82). Now this is a case of being greedy and not leaving well enough alone. He is not only a thief but he is a greedy thief and a liar (he wanted the credit for everything spelled Inside Sports). I was going to go along to get along until I read his ESPN bio. It has since been deleted from his bio because I called him out, but I printed the page for safe keeping and proof. John Walsh is a fraud in every sense of the word.
My “Deep Throat” source at the Washington Post made me aware of how Donald Graham and George Solomon were willing participants in the charade. I was also told to checkout who own the Copy Rights to Inside Sports. Walsh’s bio read, he held a number of editorial positions at Newsweek (1970-73). Newsweek owns the Copy Rights to Inside Sports and the Washington Post once owned Newsweek. These guys left a trail that Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder could follow, but you have to give them credit, when they steal they steal Big. The system even made up a name for this kind of thievery—“White Collar Crime!”
With further research I found out that George Solomon was on the ESPN payroll as its first ombudsman. This was his pay-off from John Walsh for helping him hijack Inside Sports. According to Webster’s 7th New Collegiate Dictionary, an ombudsman is someone who investigates complaints made by individuals who cite abuses or capricious acts by a company’s employees. Solomon had his work cut out for him because there were on-going complaints that ESPN writers working for Walsh were accused of plagiarism (copying other writers stories and making them their own). Solomon swept the accusations under the rug and moved on to Maryland University.
I feel sorry for the late legendary Washington Post sports columnist Shirley Povich, a man of integrity. He was a sports media pioneer in equal rights on the playing field, in the press rooms and at the press tables in America. Mr. Povich must be turning over in his grave when he sees a hypocrite like George Solomon leading the charge at Maryland University as the first Director of The Shirley Povich School of Sports Journalism with several dubious members on the faculty.
I remember just before Solomon retired from the paper we bumped into each other in the press room at a Wizard’s game. He invited me to come down to the paper and have a “Spot of tea” with him. This was a strange request because we had not spoken in several years. It was also strange because we had become friends/associates over the years. He had become a frequent contributor on Inside Sports in and out of the studio. One year he called-into my show while he was across the pond covering The Wimbledon Tennis Tournament. He was a regular donor for the KIT toy party for needy children and he was a participant in my annual Inside Sports Celebrity Tennis Tournaments. He even allowed me to write several freelance columns for the sports department. In other words, I could count on George Solomon. I did join him for a ‘Spot of tea’ in his office several days later but the conversation went nowhere, he wanted to talk about my relationship with John Thompson, Jr. and there was no relationship to talk about.
George Solomon, Jim ‘Bad News’ Barnes, HBell and Donnie Simpson
In 2012 a column written in “Dead Spin Magazine” two different journalism students at the University of Maryland confirmed the allegations: ‘that Walsh—the living, beating heart of ESPN’s news gathering operation—told their class that Deadspin’s coverage of ESPN’s serial plagiarist Lynn Hoppes was a vendetta caused by Hoppes having stolen the writer’s girlfriend (John Koblin). It had nothing to do with Hoppes having blatantly copied and pasted material from Wikipedia in his work for ESPN. A ‘romantic rivalry.” A love triangle was the reason the column was written,’ according to Walsh. In the column for Dead Spin, writer Koblin denies the love triangle, but he points out, ‘All along, the defining feature of the Hoppes case has been ESPN’s shamelessness. There was the weird obviousness of the plagiarism itself, right under the nose of Walsh, who’d brought impeccable credentials—managing editor of Rolling Stone in its heyday, founding editor of Inside Sports (also copied)—to the network’s news operation. And then came the weird stonewalling, as ESPN’s news division simply refused to correct or publicly punish what would have been retraction-and-firing stuff in most major news organizations.’
ESPN would become “Graduate School” for the writers of the Washington Post sport’s department. The parade to ESPN would include Tony Cornhiser, Michael Wilbon, Dave Aldridge, and countless others that included Solomon’s son and columnist Colbert King’s son. In 2007 King had promised to write a column on two DC legends, NFL Hall of Fame player Willie Wood and the legendary One Arm Bandit, Gary Mays. King attended Dunbar HS when Gary and Willie were attending Armstrong HS. The two schools existed directly across the street from each other. In 2007 there was a benefit tribute being planned in Willie’s honor to help pay some of his nursing home bills, he was showing signs of early dementia. The special guest included his former Green Bay Packer teammates, Bart Starr (QB), Paul Hornung (RB), Boyd Dowler (WR), Willie Davis (DE). The great Jim Brown, Charlie Taylor, Lance Alworth and the late John Mackey (TE) were also in attendance. King went back on his word and never followed up on the story. I figured it out, it had to do with his son’s ties to ESPN. Despite the deception by King and others in media they can never change the fact, The Original Inside Sports changed the way we talk and report sports in America. Every radio and television sports talk show format in America is a copy of Inside Sports. My wife Hattie’s timely title Inside Sports is now used all over the World.
Green Bay Packer (RB) and NFL Hall of Fame player Paul Hornung offer words of encouragement to his former teammate Willie Wood at a tribute in his honor.
The benefactors of Inside Sports and Kids In Trouble reads like a Who’s Who, Dave Aldridge (TNT), Jim Brown (NFL), James Brown (CBS), Dave Bing (NBA), Tim Baylor (NFL), Kevin Blackistone (ESPN), Jamie Foster Brown (Sister 2 Sister), Adrian Branch (NBA), Adrian Dantley (NBA), Bobby Gardner, (NFL) Jo Jo Hunter (NBA), Darryl Hill (ACC), Grant Hill (NBA), Cathy Hughes (Radio & TV One), Dave Jacobs (Boxing), Don King (Boxing), Jair Lynch (Olympian), Sugar Ray Leonard (Boxing), Earl Lloyd (NBA), Butch McAdams (Radio One), Oden Polyniece (NBA), Tony Paige (NFL), Aaron Pryor (Boxing), Bill Rhoden (NY Times), John Thompson (GT), Omar Tyree (Author), Chris Thomas (BET), Mike Wilbon (ESPN), Doug Williams (NFL), Willie Wood (NFL)
Thanks to Kids In Trouble and Inside Sports hundreds of inner-city children have been able to take their education to the next level without selling drugs. There were forty-five years of Christmas toys for tots parties without the benefit of grants or loans. The toy part touched thousands of elementary school children in the DMV. The doctors, lawyers, teachers and Indian Chiefs who benefited from our good works are too many to count. The millionaires who came through the programs before their 15 minutes of fame when they didn’t have two brown pennies to rub together. You will need both of your hands and all ten fingers to count them (see roll-call above). Gwen Thompson the ex-wife of Georgetown coach John Thompson, Jr. donated $50,000 to Kids In Trouble thanks to a divorce settlement she received from the first black coach to win a NCAA Championship. Big John was hiding behind trees threatening her with bodily harm when she was filing for divorce. Gwen asked her attorney to call me so I could tell her where all the hidden skeletons were in his closet. I armed her with enough information that the last place John Thompson wanted to be was inside a courtroom. He gladly settled out of court. Sugar Ray Leonard another kid in trouble became the first pro boxer to earn $100 million. This is a direct quote from him made during a radio interview on Inside Sports after his big win over Felix Trinidad, he said, “Harold, I am the Welterweight Champion of the World because you were there when no one else was.” Where is the beef?
I am amazed when blacks are often heard saying, “White folks don’t like black folks.” Nothing could be further from the truth, white folks love black people. The problem, black folks don’t like themselves! For example, Suntan lotion is a billion dollar industry, who do you thing are the consumers? Plastic surgery is a trillion-dollar industry because big butts, big lips, big noses are in. They have taken over soul music (Oldie But Goodies aka Do Wop). The Oldie But Goodie concerts are more popular than the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus. Tickets prices start at $100 and up. The audiences are overwhelmingly white. Have you tried getting into a soul food restaurant or tried to get your clothes cleaned at black cleaners or laundry lately? Check out a mall anywhere in America and see who are the jewelry vendors, one guess, they are not Jewish or blacks. We can’t even get down in a ditch on a construction site or hold a sign that says “Stop or Go!” We built this country and now the 1% is pissed off because we refuse to work for slave wages.
You can be a witness in our everyday lives and see their actions of brutality, it has nothing to do with hate and everything to do with envy and jealousy. The acts of police brutality is rooted in police departments all over this country. The KKK started the Code of Silence and the Thin Blue Line. They were established to protect white Sheriffs and cops who brutalized black folks. They hid behind the Thin Blue Line and Code of Silence to protect them, today’s black cops have been brainwashed into thinking “Its us against them.” White cops have been brutalizing black folks across America long before Rodney King, Trayvon Martin (killed by a wannabe cop), Eric Gardner, Mike Brown, the couple in Cleveland whose car was riddled with one-hundred and sixty-five bullets fired by the Cleveland Police Department because the couple’s car back-fired. When the car was finally pulled over, one cop jumped on the hood and empties his revolver into the car. He went to trial and was found not guilty. Lets go back to Cleveland for a minute and remember the 12 year-old black kid shot down in cold blood without warning, because he was in the park playing with a toy gun. The next move is to the riots in Baltimore and on to Charleston, S.C. where in June 2015 a white 21-year-old racist walks into a Bible Study class and opens fire killing nine black adults–this was not an act of hate. This was an act of learned behavior by some envy and jealous adults. Have you forgotten “Black Wall Street?” Do you remember, when the white media came down hard on President Obama and the First lady for celebrating on national television after the election with a “Fist Bump?” They have since taken over the ritual of the ‘High Five and Fist Bump.’ My favorite musical message played on The Original Inside Sports, was the classic vocal by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, “Wake Up Everybody.” We are evidently, still asleep if you believe that white folks hate us. The solution to this madness, is to love ourselves and to stand for something instead of falling for just anything.
Media Notes: Former TV 7 anchor Paul Berry got the idea for 7 On Your Side from his guest appearance on Inside Sports and now every television station in America has a Consumer Protection Program. Check to see how many TV stations had these programs before Paul started his on TV 7.
Charles Hall a veteran sports writer for the Spokesman-Recorder in Minnesota says “Nothing has changed at Deadline in media press rooms in the Twin-Cities.” http://spokesman-recorder.com/whites-still-rule-newspapers-sports-reporting/