The frontrunner for all ALL-SPORTS TALK RADIO shows in DC is HAROLD BELL & INSIDE SPORTS. The ALL-SPORTS TALK SHOW FORMAT in DC is a ill-fated and a watered down copy of INSIDE SPORTS!!!!!
I took sports talk radio to a brand NEW level and ALL SPORTS TALK RADIO in DC followed my TRAIL. I went where there was no TRAIL and I left a PATH for others to follow and ALL-SPORTS TALK RADIO followed!
My question, what did they do different–did I miss something in Andy Polin’s story in the Washington Post in May 2017?
WHUR Radio sports talk show host and jazz historian the late Ron Sutton, we are seen at the integrated NBA Bullets press table in the early 70s, despite breaking down this barrier little has changed for blacks in sports media.
In fact, it was on the John Thompson “The Sacred Cow” sports talk radio show with his co-host Doc Walker when NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd said, “Harold Bell maybe controversial but I have yet to hear anyone call him a liar.” The silence that followed his statement was deafening, you could have heard a mouse piss on cotton.
I am still trying to figure out where were “The All-Sports Talk Shows” format when Big John became the coach of Georgetown in 1974 and could not win a game? He needed a sports talk show to promo his team to help save his job and guess where he landed—Inside Sports and Harold Bell?
Since I pioneered the sports talk show format in 1970 with The Original Inside Sports on W-O-O-K Radio, men of a certain hue and some brothers and sisters (National Association of Black Journalist) have all tried to diminish my influence and contributions to sports talk media throughout America and the World.
One local mega church Minister John Jenkins paid the loud month clown of ESPN Stephen A. Smith to come in and speak to his congregation!
Minister Louis Farakhan called the NABJ a bunch of “Uncle Toms” as a guest speaker at their convention in 2007 that should give you some idea who these folks really are.
First, the Washington Post kidnapped my title “INSIDE SPORTS” in a joint effort with a Style Section reporter by the name of John Walsh.
He would travel to New York City with the blessings and financial support of owners Kathy Graham, son Donald and sports editor George Solomon to publish “Inside Sports Magazine” in 1978. The magazine bombed out and two years later it folded. Walsh was never able to copy my successful radio talk show format and transfer that success into print.
He was eventually picked up by ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut and retired as a VP several years ago. ESPN would become an “Out Post” for the Washington Post sports department. It became known as “Washington Post North.”
Long time Washington Post columnist Colby King even used his influence to get his son a job there as an Editor for ESPN Magazine. ESPN and HBO were the first to copy the Inside Sports format, ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Sports Reporters and HBO’s Real Sports were all dressed up with makeup and brand new shiny shoes, but the Inside Sports’ smell gave Bob Levy and Bryant Gumble away.
The COPYRIGHTS to Inside Sports now belong to NEWSWEEK and guess who owns NEWSWEEK—how about the WASHINGTON POST?
The sports media ass-kissing personalities who have tried to drag my name through the mud include, Tony Korheiser, John Feinstein, Leonard Sharpiro, Norman Chad, Mike Wise, the common denominator, all Washington Post sports’ reporters and a wanna-be reporter, Dave McKenna. Unlike most most of their targets, they could not find a trail of lies, jail, drug and alcohol abuse.
Sharpiro became pissed off at me when he tried to promo his new book “The Real John Thompson” on Inside Sports and my review was not to his liking. My on air question to him was “How was this going to be an accurate portrayal of John Thompson and you never interviewed him, his family or friends?” He left the studio pretending to take a bathroom break during a commerial and never came back. I heard he only sold 10 copies of the book to family and friends.
And then there was, Earl Guskey (LA Times), Dave Kindred (Atlanta Journal) and the late Bryant Burwell (Washington Star) to name just a few who dared to Player-Hate on me without doing their homework! All of these guys including Burwell should be glad they were not born black (no talent). Burwell was trying to close a book deal with Sugar Ray Leonard when he use me as his sacrificial lamb and wrote a negative and a not true column on my relationship with Ray.
The brothers who once worked in the Washington Post Sports department were all decent human beings to include Dave Dupree, Donald Huff, Dave Aldridge and Michael Wilbon. Wilbon lost his way when he allowed a ZERO like Feinstein to call him “The biggest ass kisser in sports media” and he never responded! One of Michael’s problems, he is a follower and his word means absolutely nothing. Its called “The Korhisner Effect” birds of a feather flock together.
Feinstein became a Player-Hater and was pissed off with Wilbon because he became an “ass-kisser and cheerleader” for some of the biggest names in pro sports, John Thompson, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Charles Barkley (Sacred Cows) and Feinstein didn’t have the same access.
The only thing Korheisner ever wrote in the Washington Post about me was during a Riddick Bowe vs Elijah Tillery a heavyweight brawl at the DC Convention Center in October 1991. Bowe was awarded a 1st round tko after the fight turned into a kicking match between the two fighters.
Bowe’s entourage joined in the brawl and I was suckered punch by a Convention Center employee and all hell broke loose. The next day Korheisner wrote in his column “The best fight took place in press row between sports talk host Harold Bell and a spectator.” No harm no foul and I ignored his jab at me.
The difference between me and Wilbon and other brothers in the media, I don’t allow any of these cowards in sports media to talk negatively about me without a response. My contributions in the community and sports media—are one of a kind, there are no comparisons.
Every four or five years the media will get someone like a wanna-be such as Andy Polin to take a shot at my contributions and even though they don’t write my name and their columns, I am good at reading between the lines. For example; Korheiser and Junior (Feinstein) where visiting a sick friend on his death bed, this same friend once represented me in a settlement case against a major bottling company (radio sponsor).
I discovered he was trying to make his own deal with the bottling company and tried to convince me to settle for less than half of what was owed to me and I said, “Hell No”. Evidently, he told these two idiots about the settlement and while he was lying there on his death bed they were talking about the one thing the three of them had in common, “They hated Harold Bell.” The story appeared on the sports pages of the Washington Post.
I have not forgotten the late sports talk show host Ken Beatrice on WMAL Radio. Ken was one of the nicest guys you ever wanted to know, but he exaggerated his knowledge of sports on his radio show.
Ken came to DC in 1977 and joined WMAL as host of Sports Call, the station’s nightly sports show. I had been on the air for eight years, by the time he had arrived in town and according to the Washington Post, Washington Star and Washingtonian Magazine, Inside Sports was the best talk show in the DMV.
Andy Ockenhouser WMAL’s GM was the greatest “Spin Doctor” in radio. He wanted to make Ken the greatest talk show host in the city. Ken became one of the city’s most popular talk show host thanks to his PR man, Ockenhouser. The Washington Post jumped on the band wagon, but jumped off just as fast as they had jumped on. The paper assigned its “Hit Man” Tony Kornheiser to investigate Ken and his credentials.
Ken is standing on the back row in sun glasses supporting my Kids In Trouble Celebrity Tennis Tournament in Anacostia Park in SE DC, kneeling in sun glasses is Washington Post Mafia type Godfather, sports editor George Solomon.
The pressure was so great on Ken he confessed that he did not play football at Boston College, that his doctorate degree was from a diploma mill in Ohio and that his scouting system only involved people who scouted as a hobby. On February 20, 1981 he made the addmission to the Washington Star newspaper.
Ken knew that Kornheiser was about to drop a story in the Washington Post on him admitting he had no role in the Boston Patriots drafting the great QB Fran Tarkenton as he had previously said on his talk show. When the story broke Ken took a leave of absence, but returned five weeks later. On August 16, 1991 he suffered a heart attack, which required him to undergo triple bypass surgery. The beat down by the Washington Post and the stress of trying to survive the Player-Haters in the sports media here in DC was a little too much for him. He died in 2015 at the age of 72.
I never saw Ken as a threat to me and my show, Inside Sports and Sports Call were two completely different entities. He was able to easily to gain popularity and raise monies for his non-profit charitable community programs, despite having no background of ever doing anything in any community. He had plenty of company with a host of black journalist (NABJ) who have no record of doing anything in the community before becoming experts on the black community. Despite our differences Ken and I still became friends.
Michael Wilbon is one of those black NABJ journalist whose only experience in the black community is he was born black. We share a laugh at Ben’s Chili Bowl during a salute to the black athlete for Black History Month. He sees John Thompson, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and Tiger Woods as “Sacred Cows”! DC sports legend Gary Mays sits neaby.
I tried to warn my buddy Wilbon who had a similar experience as Ken. He had to be rushed from his home in Arizona after suffering a heart attack in 2008. My advice to Wilbon, back up off of the cheerleading and ass kissing. I am not sure he heard me. He has reverted back to his oldself and lying ways.
There is a difference between me and Wilbon and his colleague and friend Stephen A. Smith (in-house ESPN clown), the Greatest, Ali, Red Auerbach and Jim Brown never required me to jump through hoops or kiss their rings and asses for an interview.
There have been several “Witch Hunts” aimed at me by several writers, one writer went all the way back into the radio archives in the 1930s trying to find something negative in my history. The writer, Dave McKenna’s only discovery was that there was a radio station that once use “Inside Sports.” His problem, he could not verify that my wife Hattie had gone into that same radio archives and found the tag “Inside Sports.”
My beef with McKenna is when he wrote a disparaging column on me in the City Paper during a Black History Month celebration on behalf of NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd, he forgot how Korhisner and Solomon “White Balled” him out at the Washington Post.
There is a difference between White Ball and Black Ball, McKeena was run out of the newspaper business by white folks. Black Balled is when you are tripled team by the NABJ, The Museum of African American History and Culture and the likes of the Washington Post. Houdini would have had a problem beating those odds.
Google Oscar Award winning Actress Mo’Nique as she explains the difference between being blackballed and whiteballed on stage at the Apollo theater in New York City on May 6, 2017, this video is x-rated.
McKenna was able to return to the Washington Post and the no talent Korhisner is still on national television with his “Boy” Michael Wilbon and I am still on the “Outside” looking in! I will probably be dead and gone, but maybe one day when McKenna is retired from the newspaper business, he will write a book on the media and the Fake News and its Play-Haters that existed during his tenure as a writer.
The proof is in the pudding, try to get one them to go on the RECORD using their names as it relates to HAROLD BELL—ANONIMITY will be requested.
History stolen and suppressed! I am the Archie Bunker (All in the Family) of sports talk radio. I have been copied, but never duplicated!
DC native CBS/NFL studio host of “Inside The NFL” James Brown forgot the Player-Hating experiences he had at WTEM and WUSA TV 9 earlier in his career. He tried to surpress our relationship by telling friends and family that the legendary radio and television icon Petey Greene was his mentor. I had to remind him that was not true. JB like Magic Johnson was living in a fantasy world while being showcased around Major League Baseball as ‘Minority Owners’ nothing could have been further from the truth. JB was living out this fantasy at cocktail parties and receptions for the rich and famous. In the meantime, his role as a minority owner was limited to reading the starting line-ups on ‘Opening Day’!
I reminded JB he made no baseball decisions (trades, drafting players or hiring coaches and front office personnel) for the Washington Nationals and neither did Magic Johnson for the LA Dodgers. I stayed in his ear until he finally confessed on the late George Michael television sports talk show on WRC TV 4. In response to a question from George relating to the Nationals, he said, “I make no baseball decisions for the team.”
There are guys like JB, Wilbon, Barkley, Magic, and Stephen A. Smith who think money and status is going to protect their children from racism are in for a rude awakening. Their cry to their colleagues should be the same cry we all see while riding public transportation, “If you see something say something!” Why should our children have to face the same racism that our parents and we have faced? No risk no reward!
Top: My mentor Petey Greene and James Brown / Bottom: Sam Jones (NBA), James Brown (CBS), HBell and Earl Lloyd (NBA)
“Harold Bell has always been a voice for people who didn’t have a voice. He has always called them as he saw it. He has been an inspiration and motivation for me and a lot of other black broadcasters.” James Brown (CBS)
Remember, Harold Bell and Inside Sports, COMMON SENSE–STREET SENSE–BOOK SENSE–SPORTS SENSE–UNDEFEATED!
Andy Polin, is just another wanna-be, his only claim to fame, he was a relative of NBA Washington Bullet/Wizard owner Abe Polin. If you don’t know you need to ask someone, the conclusion, all sports talk show formats in America are a copy of THE ORIGINAL INSIDE SPORTS and not even a good copy.
I would like to remind Andy, a LIE will change a thousand times the TRUTH never changes. I clearly understand, if you don’t speak up for yourself in this “Fake News Media” environment no one else will. The univited elephant in the room is still racism and they are still trying to sweep it under the rug.
The bottom-line, when you have to use John Thompson (Sacred Cow) as your “Poster Boy” for sports talk media you have definitely reached the bottom of the barrel!
In case you missed it, check out The Bleacher Report (CBS own) for my story on “The Real John Thompson” before they delete it—I am still waiting for someone to call me a liar! The blog/story received over 50,000 hits before they shut it down (its latest count is a little over 5,000 hits another lie).
It was this blog that got the attention of 106.7 the fan sports talk show host and former Washington Post columnist Mike Wise (ESPN Undefeated). He invited me to come on the show to discuss my blog on John Thompson. Mike and I had a back and forth email relationship/conversations about some of his colums both good and bad.
I had no idea that I was headed into a “Double team” with his Howdy Doody co-host Chris Johnson who I had never seen or heard of!
As an athlete who wanted the ball in his hands when the game was on the line, I was familiar with the “Double Team” by the opposing team, but the only game Mike’s co-host had played was making sure Big John had a clean towel draped over his shoulder during Georgetown’s games. Dave McKenna then a columnist for The City Paper wrote a lionizing pargraph in my favor saying something to the effect, “Harold Bell left the Mike Wise talk show with his legendary status intact”!
Mike Wise would later email me saying, “Harold in my opinion you belong in the sports hall of fame, but you have probably pissed off all the judges.”
I have no problem pissing people off, especially, when they are standing up on the roof pissing down on me—claiming its only rain!
References: Bleacher Report, Washington Post, LA Times, Atlanta Journal, Washington Star, NY Amsterdam News, Washington Afro
My question, “What is in your wallet?”