Back when Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s lawsuit against the Washington City Paper first came to light, many noted the silence of former Washington Post columnist/current Pardon the Interruption host/radio host Tony Kornheiser.
Snyder’s lawsuit was – and again is, every time Snyder brings attention to it again – a huge issue in the Washington sports scene, so Kornheiser’s lack of acknowledgment was jarring. The likely reason seemed to be that Kornheiser works for a radio station owned by Snyder, but according to sportswriter/friend of Kornheiser John Feinstein, Kornheiser’s silence was due to personal fondness for Snyder.
Neither explanation, though, was sufficient given the magnitude of the story, and thanks to Snyder’s shoving said story into the spotlight again this morning, Kornheiser finally spoke up earlier today. He admittedly didn’t say too much, but hey – it’s a start. And regardless of what Fenstein might have said, money was a factor:
“I’m gonna preface it by saying that there are two companies that provide me with the economic opportunity that I’ve had in recent years, which has been very beneficial to me. And in the words of my colleague Bomani Jones, I’m not gonna mess around with where the money comes from, ok?”
Kornheiser was then very careful in phrasing his opinion of Snyder’s suit, but it was clear that he, like everyone, thought it was a mistake:
“Let me say that my own opinion about this is that this lawsuit, in its various forms, has given this particular story life that it could never have had before.
[M]y comment would be I would not bring this lawsuit. I would not have brought this lawsuit. I would not continue the lawsuit. I think it’s a losing proposition to do so. I think when you are a public figure there are things that are bothersome and they sort of come with the territory.
And there you have it – Tony Kornheiser pretty much telling Dan Snyder to get over it in the mildest way possible. We’ll give him credit on this; at east he came right out and said that getting that paycheck was affecting what he said about Snyder. We’ll give more credit, though, to the two people with whom Kornheiser shared the air, Liz Clarke and David Aldridge.
Clarke (not an employee of Snyder’s radio station) called the suit “appalling” and “bullying.” Aldridge – who noted he is “paid for his time” on the station – called the suit “very, very wrong,” and also noted the idea that “somehow you are co-opted by Dan Snyder” if you work for the station is “ridiculous.”
That may be true, but Kornheiser’s “not gonna mess around with where the money comes from” line gives the “co-opted” line of thinking some credence, and certainly makes Kornheiser himself a much less viable source for opinion one what should be one of the major figures he covers. Maybe it doesn’t make much difference since everyone piles on Snyder so much anyway, but when a major media figure isn’t piling on someone so eminently pile-on-able, it can’t help but leave a bad taste behind.