First, DC lost long time radio sports talk show host Ken Beatrice who died after a long illness several weeks ago. Glenn Harris a Washington native and long time sports broadcaster retired shortly after Ken’s death. he retired from Channel 8 TV sports after 24 years. Glenn went out with a bang. He had Georgetown Coach John Thompson Jr. as his in-studio guest and loads of celebrity sports personalities on the telephone.
The home town line-up included, Dave Aldridge (TBS NBA sideline reporter), boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard, CBS NFL studio host James Brown, NFL WR Reggie Rucker, former TV 7 sports anchor Tim Byrant and Washington Wizards play by play announcer, the classy Steve Buckhantz.
In the final analyst it was a great time had by all. I thought the show was a little too short for a guy who spent the last 40+ years in sports media and had an “A List” of celebrities on the phone lines, it was said they were backed up like airplanes at Reagan National Airport during a snow storm .
I don’t want to rain on Glenn’s parade, but I also want to set The Record straight. I am here to add a little sunshine to my parade in sports media and it will be at his expense. There were several lies told in the story written in the Washington Post by Dan Steinberg (a Tony Korheiser clone), he does not have a clue. Steinberg is allowed to look and sound like a fool twice a day sometimes (two columns).
For example; he quoted ESPN and former Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon saying, “Glenn is a civic treasure. I learned everything about local basketball from Glenn. Everything.”
I don’t need to go back into my archives for those of you have followed my career in the community and sports broadcasting to prove that Michael Wilbon talks out of both sides of his mouth. I have him on tape and e-mail saying the exact same thing about me. He is pissed at me because I called him out after he said on national TV that it was okay to use the N word among family and friends? Come on man!
Dave Aldridge is a good brother who has just got caught up in the BS of sports media. Listening to him ramble on the phone on Friday evening, it sounded like he would rather have been some other place or he was some other place!
John Thompson without a doubt is one of the biggest sports frauds to come out of Washington with Sugar Ray Leonard running a close second. John continues to tell the big lie of how he backed down drug lord Rayford Edmonds as it related to his hanging out and around his players (liar, liar pants on fire).
James Brown, there is some hope for him, but he continues to stumble here and there. I am keeping him in prayer. Sugar Ray Leonard when he comes home to Washington is usually disguised as an “Undercover Boss”, but he told Glenn, ‘The next time I come home, I will look you up.’ If Glenn believes that, I have some MGM Casino stock I will sell him at National Harbor where his friend Cathy Hughes thinks she is a minority owner. All four came through Inside Sports before their 15 minutes of fame (including Cathy Hughes).
The Washington Post even under new management continues to mislead the black community when it comes to the truth in media. They were responsible for Ken Beatrice having a nervous breakdown after their sports department Hatchet Man Tony Korhiser conducted a “Witch Hunt.” Korhiser and his Dictator Editor George Solomon wrote several columns saying his education credentials were falsified and the tale of the tape and stats relating to the athletes he reported on were often inflated.
Inside Sports was an extension of the Washington Post sports department in the 70s and 80s. George, Dave Dupree, Byron Rosen, Tom Callahan, Wilbon, Aldridge, among others were regular guest. I have written free lance columns for the paper and when they established their own television sports talk show I was a regular guest.
In the meantime, George and a Style section writer by the name of John Walsh were scheming to take my title “Inside Sports” to New York City. It was there he published a new sports magazine called guess what, Inside Sports. I wonder how they came up with that title? The scheme met with the approval of owner Katherine and her son Donald Graham. News Week now owns the copy rights to Inside Sports and the Washington Post owns News Week.
When I launched Inside Sports in 1970 at W-O-O-K Radio I was the only game in town to talk “Real Sports” and speak with authority when it came to community concerns.
I was a community personality long before I became a radio/television personality. Washington Post High School columnist Donald Huff once wrote ‘Harold Bell get his ratings off the streets.’
I spent a lot of time in and out of the Washington Post sports department as my talk show was taking off. It was amazing because the show was heard on am radio stations, W-O-O-K, W-U-S-T, and W-Y-C-B where mostly gospel music was the trademark.
White media ignored the show but in 1980 I was the first sports media personality to be honored as Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine, Redskin QB Joe Theisman was among the honorees.
William Taaffe radio and TV critic for the Washington Star in September 1980 wrote a lionizing column that read “Inside Sports Blazes a Trail.” He said, “Inside Sports rules the roost because of content, freshness and a crusading kind of honesty. As Bell says, people want to hear the truth as long as it is about someone else and not about themselves.”
I have been honored at the White House by the President of these United States (Richard M. Nixon), cited in the Congressional Record four times and by four different politicians from both sides of the isle for my work with at-risk children and youth gangs.
Muhammad Ali’s business manager Gene Kilroy once said, “Harold Bell if you had been white you would have been a millionaire.”
In 2007 the nation’s radio Fly Jock, Tom Joiner heard in 130 markets honored me during Black History Month, he said, “Harold Bell is a little known Black History Fact.”
Dr. Harry Edwards coordinated the 1968 Olympic Boycott led by sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith. Dr. Edwards is also a consultant to the NFL, NBA and MLB. He said, “Harold your sports archives belongs in the Smithsonian African-American Museum. It belongs there for the edification of generations to come.”
It took me almost 20 years as a sports media personality to get the Washington Post to write a story relating to the trials and tribulations of black radio and television sports broadcasters in DC. In 1989 George Solomon agreed to write a column spotlighting me as the torch bearer.
One month into the project, George came to me and said, “Harold I want to include Martin Wyatt, James Brown and Glenn Harris in the story.”
I said, “hell no, I am the trail blazer who opened up the doors for them.”
I felt this was another way of the paper lumping all us together and I didn’t like it one bit. I told George to do the story without me and I walked away.
Two weeks later George calls me for lunch to get me to change my mind, I would not budge from my previous position. He then made me an offer I could not refuse, he said, “How about if I included you in the main story and we do a second story on you alone.” I said, ‘you got a deal!’
When the Washington Post hit the news stands on Friday, June 22, 1989. The sports pages were the talk of the town. On Page One of the sports section there were pictures of Glenn Harris and myself, the title read, “Local Anchors: Shutout.” Page two read, ‘Turn the Sound On, Hear Bell Sound Off.’
In the story Glenn Harris didn’t have any problem raining on my parade. He let the writer turned snake, Norman Chad trick him into saying something negative about me and my work in the community.
He said, “Harold is not one of my fans, sometimes he thinks the world owes him something.” That was a no-no, Chad did not have the balls and he knew better then to ask me anything about another black colleague in media. It was then I knew I had to watch smiling faces and my back.
Check the archives of the Washington Post for Friday, June 22, 1989 and see who you believe, me or your lying eyes.
When the naysayers and Player-Haters in media outlets, athletes and sports personalities like the Washington Post, Doc Walker, John Thompson, Michael Wilbon, say Ken Beatrice and Glenn Harris are the barometer that sports talk show host should be measured, I just say, “Its best to be thought a fool then to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”