Phil Mushnick Responds Calmly To Michael Kay’s Meltdown
You might remember a couple days ago, when we pointed out that Michael Kay recently threw the second-largest tantrum he's ever thrown on his radio show. (Again, for reference, here's #1.) This time, the target was the New York Post sports media columnist/hater of most things Phil Mushnick, who included an aside in his column Friday about Kay presenting others' material as his own. In response, Kay noted that he'd punch Mushnick in the face if he "scolded" him in person, and that a majority of people will celebrate Mushnick's death. Today, Mushnick responded.
Interestingly, Mushnick seemed to take Kay's rant in better humor than he takes most things:
Friday on 1050, Kay responded -- and here I'll provide him the benefit of the doubt -- as if he were doing an imitation of a psychopath.
Mushnick's response to the "happy about him dying" talk:
And then this: "When I die, more people are going to be sad than happy, but when you die it's going to be the opposite." Fine, just as long as we can find out in alphabetical order.
Oh, and the actual substance of Mushnick's original accusation. Here's how he said this whole brouhaha began:
...this appeared in my May 23 column:
"How can Dave Winfield as an ESPN studio panel analyst be so bad, yet, this past Thursday with Michael Kay on 1050 ESPN, be so good? That's the problem when you're part of a panel and you get only two or three shots to be heard; the pressure to sound good can make a mess of you."
Four days later, following his next session with Winfield, Kay piped that Winfield is so much better on radio than TV, then explained why -- for the same reason I had.
Not only was Kay's thought the same, the order of how he presented it corresponded to what I'd written.
Remarkable coincidence? Not a chance.
So in Friday's column, in a brief jab -- Kay is far better than most at crediting sources -- I reminded him that failure to source is dishonest. I didn't write particulars because I didn't want it to seem self-serving, nor was it worth wasting much space on -- space I'm now forced to waste.
But really, he probably should have "wasted" that space from the start. If you're going to make the accusation, as Mushnick did when he said:
Now, a scold. When Kay lifts a chunk from a newspaper column, repeats it, almost word for word, on his radio show as if it's his original thought -- if he doesn't credit the author or at least the publication in which it appeared -- that's dishonest, a form of theft.
...then you've got to be more specific. (Note also he didn't mention originally how he believes that "Kay is far better than most at citing sources.") It's not certain that this would have lessened Kay's anger - when he goes off, he goes OFF - but it would have been more thorough on his part.
Also interesting is that according to Mushnick, ESPN Radio is refusing to release Kay's offending clip:
But 1050 VP/GM Dave Roberts, in a phone call, Saturday eve, said he was satisfied that Kay's identical take on Winfield was a matter of pure coincidence, thus no tape would be provided. I protested that once Kay publicly demanded that I put up or shut up -- er, before dropping dead -- the public should judge.
"I'm certain Michael Kay is willing to provide copies of this segment," said Roberts, "but in this case I don't feel that's necessary."
In this case, I couldn't disagree more. I'm not the one who threw a five-minute fit on 1050, then demanded proof.
And here, we agree with Mushnick. ESPN Radio should get everything out in the open, like Mushnick finally did today by expanding on his original claim. Though it's taken all sides too long, this debate can finally conclude once all information is publicly available. Let's just hope it's not too long until Kay's next tirade.
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