Tony Kornheiser, co-host of Pardon the Interruption and long-time Washington D.C. sports media figure, has taken some criticism for not discussing Washington Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder‘s lawsuit against Washington City Paper on his D.C. radio show. Some thought it might have been because Snyder writes the radio host’s paychecks, but author John Feinstein, a regular guest on Kornheiser’s show, says it’s a matter of friendship.
Tony Kornheiser has specifically asked me not to bring up Dan Snyder on his show. I feel queasy about this but Tony’s my friend and it is his show. It isn’t as if there aren’t plenty of other forums for me to talk about Snyder and Snyder is one of those guys Tony simply isn’t going to go after–not because he’s paid by him but because he likes him.
Kornheiser built his career on the reputation that he was unafraid to go after powerful people in the sports world, and his radio show focuses on current D.C. sports events. Yet, while the rest of the D.C. sports media is jumping on the story of how the Redskins owner seems to be attempting petty revenge for being criticized in an alternate weekly newspaper, Kornheiser is remaining silent.
The radio host and ESPN personality is taking the wrong approach. As a veteran journalist, he should understand that his personal relationships should not get in the way of discussing a story. How can you host a sports radio show and not be able to talk about the owner of the football team?
Whether Kornheiser wants to badmouth the owner of the station, and a man he considers a friend, is his choice. But he should not simply ignore the fact that a major story is going on. His listeners deserve an opinion, or at least an explanation why they aren’t getting one.