Monday, January 29, 2007

The Kornheiser Follies Continue

What a baby

For someone who has spent his whole career playing at how insecure and inadequate he is, Tony Kornheiser is acting pretty insecure and inadequate. First, the backstory...

Back on August 15 of 2006, I wrote my take on Tony's first time in the booth, a poorly-played preseason game between the Raiders and Vikings in which I predicted that Tony's time on Monday Night Football would be a flop, with specific reasons why I felt that way. Someone was reading, because Joel Achenbach at the Washington Post linked up to us and it was our first big traffic day. Thanks again Joel.

At the same time I was drunkenly pounding out my take on Tony's first time in the booth, Paul Farhi, the excellent Washington Post media reporter was pounding out his review. Paul's review was pretty tough, but I would not call it mean-spirited. And anyway what the hell should it matter to Tony? As a recovering professional in the music business, I know the benchmark for professionalism in show business is moving on with your work after a tough night. You can never linger too long on a great night or a bad night.

Tony apparently does not share this conviction. The next day, on August 16, what remains of Tony's column in Sports ran an attack on Paul in which he calls Paul a 'putz' and makes a mean-spirited reference to a drunken Joe Namath making a pass at Suzy Kolber. Joe went into rehab after that and now calls that episode a low point in his life so no sensitivity points for Mr. Sensitive Tony. That day, within the friendly confines of the Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio, Tony said about Paul and the Washington Post:

I apparently got ripped in my own newspaper, The Washington Post, you know, by a two-bit weasel slug named Paul Farhi, who I would gladly run over with a Mack Truck given the opportunity. I understand I'm a public figure and I'm subject to review...I thought my own newspaper would be kinder and I wouldn't be back-stabbed by this guy.

Four days later, right-wing apologist and Post Ombudswoman Deborah Howell ran her Sunday piece on Tony in which she castigates Tony for being such a poor sport and presuming he was above critique, and praising Paul and the Post for reporting objectively on one of its own.

This still did not serve to shake Tony out of his narcissism. Three days later on August 23, Tony, still pissed, took a shot at Deborah in his shrunken Sports column:

We drove all night on the bus to get here and I had the strangest dream. I imagined passing a giant billboard and for some reason, it said, "How many ombudswomen does it take to change a light bulb?" And the answer was: "It doesn't matter. An ombudswoman will still happily scold you in the dark."

Really pathetic, as I wrote the next day.

I never wrote again last season about Tony on MNF, not because I did or did not like him, but because (and I watched some or all of every MNF game), I just thought he was...there. Not offensive, not really adding a whole lot, just hacking it.

Now, he is back in the news, and not in a good way. Tony was 'lured' to WTWP, Mormon-owned Bonneville Washington Post Radio, to host a mid-morning talk show starting February 20. I liked Tony's original WTEM show, didn't like it as much when he went national in ESPN Radio and liked it again when he went local again last year. WaPo media reporter Paul Farhi's article on Tony's new gig ends with this statement:

Kornheiser did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment.

Reading last Friday through, the excellent DC Radio and TV media blog, I happened to see this news item:

Feud Continues: Korny Won't Talk To Farhi - 1/24 - In his Washington Post Wednesday piece on Washington Post superstar sports commentator Tony Kornheiser joining Washington Post Radio, Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi tells us that "Kornheiser did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment." Guess the feud between Farhi and Kornheiser, over Farhi's stinging criticism last summer regarding Kornheiser's debut as a commentator on ESPN's "Monday Night Football," continues. A Post source confirms to DCRTV that when Farhi called yesterday, Kornheiser hung up - refusing to talk to a reporter from his own newspaper about his new radio gig.

Link here. This piece is not yet archived at DCRTV, and I'll have to update this link at some point. So Tony is not only still holding a grudge, he actually hung up on a Washington Post colleague working on a media story that happened to involve him. If I were Ben Bradlee, Washington Post Company VP, I'd spend less time begging Tony not to go to WaPo radio competitor WTEM (same DCRTV link above) and spend more time reminding Tony he is still a journalist and not a whiny-ass titty-baby.

George Constanza and Tony Kornheiser image: Binghamton Alumni Journal, Vol. 12, No. 4, Summer 2004 Online Edition here


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No matter what you say, why love how tony acts! he is a complete genius.