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Media Monster

ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser Is Cranky About The Internet


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.


  • Anonymous

    Generally speaking, sports media hacks are enraged that they aren’t the only ones holding a fire hose. In ‘Olden Tymes,’ a sports media hack like Kornheiser could send out a torrent of thought and sit back smugly knowing that people would have no real public way to respond. Now we do, and Kornheiser doesn’t quite like that. He sees, as all sports media hacks do, the increased hatred aimed at them. They’re hacks, after all! But they live in such an insular world, they believe in their own glory and greatness. And when someone literally or figuratively throws a pie in their face, they get enraged. I’m very happy that the power to convey opinions isn’t solely in the hands of hacks like Kornheiser. He doesn’t like this development, but poor him.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_I6BDS52T6SXV2LG6AONXNVS32Y dennis hernandez

    Have you read some of the Sports Blogs? English grammar was obviously not a major concern for most of the people writing (and virtually all the commentators). BTW the commentator of a broadcast comments on the game, they do not commentate. I have seen the word “onice” instead of onus, the phrase “him making the team is contingent…” rather than “his making the team..,” “broke” instead of broken, the phrase “albeit for me to say,” (far be it for me..) and too many others to continue. I don’t expect Damon Runyon every time I turn to the sports section of the web, but please once in a while use the spell check.


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