ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser railed against blogging and tweeting and assorted newfangled gizmos during his morning radio show today, saying that new media “[diminishes] the craft and nuance of writing.” In addition to rehashing an argument that’s been made millions of times before, he successfully made himself look like a stereotype.
The host of Pardon the Interruption and former columnist for the Washington Post is easy to pigeonhole as an olden-tyme sportswriter as it is, because of his crotchety nature and general crabbiness. But his crotchety nature is why he works so well as one half of America’s favorite sports-obsessed married couple every evening at 5:30PM.
The difference between his polished-for-TV fist-shaking and what we heard today, though, is that on PTI Kornheiser (usually) knows what he’s talking about. Today, he clearly didn’t.
Here’s what Kornheiser said on 980 ESPN this morning:
Look, of all the things that I have done in a career of being a sportswriter for a long period of time — I know I yodel now, but I used to be a legitimate person who went out and wrote, didn’t blog, didn’t just sit there and give my own opinions on what I was going to eat for breakfast, didn’t tweet, didn’t do any of these things that so, so diminish the craft and nuance of writing…
As Deadspin notes, Kornhesier traded in being a “legitimate person who went out and wrote” for ESPN cash, giving up his Pulitzer-Prize-winning column in WaPo to whine it out in the booth at Monday Night Football. Eventually, he was replaced by Jon Gruden.
There’s no point in looking at the merits of Kornheiser’s argument, because it’s lazy and tired. There’s also no use in crucifying Kornheiser for making it, because he’s from a different generation, and obviously doesn’t want to understand the current one. Which is disappointing.