FanDuel - WFBC

February 23, 2010

ESPN Suspends Tony Kornheiser: ESPN has suspended Tony Kornheiser for comments he made on Pardon the Interruption last week about network anchor Hannah Storm dressing like a teenager on the air. Kornheiser said, "Hannah Storm in a horrifying, horrifying outfit today. She's got on red go-go boots and a catholic school plaid skirt ... way too short for somebody in her 40s or maybe early 50s by now. She's got on her typically very, very tight shirt. She looks like she has sausage casing wrapping around her upper body ... I know she's very good, and I'm not supposed to be critical of ESPN people, so I won't ... but Hannah Storm ... come on now! Stop! What are you doing? ... She's what I would call a Holden Caulfield fantasy at this point."

posted by rcade to general at 02:42 PM - 45 comments

I can't blame him; it is an awful, awful outfit.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 03:16 PM on February 23

"She's what I would call a Holden Caulfield Tony Kornheiser fantasy at this point"

Fixed.

posted by owlhouse at 03:16 PM on February 23

It's funny this suspension made it into the news. I thought it was an open secret that half of his vacations and golf tournaments were ESPN suspensions.

posted by yerfatma at 03:19 PM on February 23

"I'm not supposed to be critical of ESPN people ..."

Since ESPN is a gargantuan sports media enterprise, with TV channels, radio stations, web sites and a magazine, the company's hard-assed rule against criticizing its own people cuts off healthy self-criticism and gives its people a pass on a lot of scrutiny. I'm surprised this rule doesn't piss off more fans.

posted by rcade at 03:22 PM on February 23

I don't like it. What harm can there be in sports TV personalities making fun of each other? Half of their job is to criticize athletes, coaches, owners, managers, and so forth. Why not each other?

posted by fabulon7 at 04:03 PM on February 23

She's what I would call a Holden Caulfield fantasy at this point."

That's actually a pretty good Catcher in the Rye reference....unless he meant the band.

posted by BornIcon at 04:04 PM on February 23

Since ESPN is a gargantuan sports media enterprise, with TV channels, radio stations, web sites and a magazine, the company's hard-assed rule against criticizing its own people cuts off healthy self-criticism and gives its people a pass on a lot of scrutiny

Yeah, I guess that is what I hate most about them. They are so ridiculously sensitive. Kornheiser says things like this all the time. That is part of his schtick. ESPN only cares because it is one of their people.

posted by bperk at 05:06 PM on February 23

He spoke the truth and I disagree with him getting suspended. On the other hand I never liked him as a commentator and so I won't be missing him much either.

posted by Atheist at 05:12 PM on February 23

"She's what I would call a Holden Caulfield Tony Kornheiser fantasy at this point"

Fixed.

No doubt. I mean, come on, taste aside, he seems to be projecting. Boots like that are worn by every age, every where. I guess red is taboo? And the skirt, other than being plaid, is just a basic skirt. It's almost down to her knees. If the skirt and boots were black I'm guessing he'd approve.

There's a double standard in play. Kornheiser's career is probably safe no matter how wrinkled and bald he gets. I doubt Hannah Storm has, nor feels that luxury.

As a side note, I graduated from high school in the late 80s, and what a movie character would have worn to play the role of a hooker then is basic mall wear today. Not that there's anything wrong with that, just saying.

posted by justgary at 05:19 PM on February 23

I can't blame him; it is an awful, awful outfit.

I agree. I can't believe someone didn't step up before she went on the air and say something.

Not sexy.
Not professional.
Not cute.
Not fashionable.
Not trendy.
Not sports-related.
Not inspiring to women.
Not in any way a positive image for her, her fans, her company, her profession, her career, her image, or her gender.

Just...bad.

posted by grum@work at 05:56 PM on February 23

It's funny this suspension made it into the news. I thought it was an open secret that half of his vacations and golf tournaments were ESPN suspensions.

If that's true, there simply aren't enough of them. Hitting Kornheiser with a large sock filled with manure would sure be fun.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:27 PM on February 23

Couldn't disagree more, grum. There's no accounting for taste and Kornheiser is trying too hard. It's crap.

Not to mention that Jim Gray has made a career of this.

(soto voice: grum, little bit suspect your knowledge of what is and isn't inspiring to women. And don't be all "gender" all up in here. Unless you have some kind of statistics to back it-wait. What's that? You DO have statistics to back this up? Well, I'm not surprised.)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:29 PM on February 23

Hannah Storm pictures #1, #2, #3, #4. I had a point for doing this, but I forgot what it was.

posted by rcade at 06:48 PM on February 23

They oughta give Tony a raise. Up until five minutes ago, I had no idea who Hannah Storm was.

Given the name, I would have guessed she was a contract girl for Vivid.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:56 PM on February 23

I'm surprised you've never heard of her. She's been a SportsCenter anchor since 2008 and was a CBS Sports mainstay for a bunch of years before that.

posted by rcade at 07:04 PM on February 23

Anything that can get Kornheiser off the air, for any reason, is much appreciated. The guys a tool who thinks he's much, much funnier than he is. Where a clown like him gets the ego he has is one of life's great mysteries. I truly believe the outfit Hannah Storm was wearing left much to be desired, but clothing notwithstanding, she has more class and talent in her pinky toenail than Kornheiser has accumulated in his entire lifetime.

posted by dyams at 07:45 PM on February 23

I'm not the most politically correct guy on the block, but even I felt that his comments were completely inappropriate about any woman, much less a co-worker. But since I would rather pound nails into my head than listen to him, I'm some glad he's suspended.

posted by irunfromclones at 08:17 PM on February 23

CBS Sports mainstay for a bunch of years before that

She started with NBC Sports way back in the day and she still has that annoying habit of trying to be sexy even though it comes off as sexy as designed by a Japanese robot programmer. And before that she starred in a little-seen spin off of Mr. Ed.

I'm surprised this rule doesn't piss off more fans.

Drives me nuts when Wilbon and the fill-in host sort of look over their shoulders when they mention Tony during his vacations? It's crazy people who at one point wanted to be journalists would accept these kinds of rules.

And yet what actually pisses me off is ESPN's humorlessness provides such an opportunity for a good competitor, but instead we get "Best Damn Sports Show Period".

posted by yerfatma at 09:27 PM on February 23

she still has that annoying habit of trying to be sexy even though it comes off as sexy as designed by a Japanese robot programmer

I still don't understand why that's NOT sexy.

posted by owlhouse at 10:47 PM on February 23

I think he's just jealous because she looks better in red than he does.

posted by dviking at 12:05 AM on February 24

I'm surprised you've never heard of her. She's been a SportsCenter anchor since 2008 and was a CBS Sports mainstay for a bunch of years before that.

I haven't seen ESPN since I moved out of the country. Amazingly, here in Canada, TSN has an hour-long sports highlights show (SportsCentre) where they talk about sports, show highlights and the anchors don't try to turn themselves into stars by dropping catch phrases or dressing like an extra from an Austin Powers movie.

It's very refreshing.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:16 AM on February 24

Deadspin suggests that Kornheiser got the two-week major not for his comments about Storm, but for saying that Chris Berman got fat again. If so, that would say even more about ESPN's gender politics.

posted by etagloh at 12:17 AM on February 24

Wow. They're certainly not trying to keep this one under wraps, seeing as they just announced it on SportsCenter.

posted by boredom_08 at 12:18 AM on February 24

but for saying that Chris Berman got fat again

I don't understand how that happened. He endorses Nurti-System. And Applebee's.

posted by yerfatma at 08:55 AM on February 24

she still has that annoying habit of trying to be sexy even though it comes off as sexy as designed by a Japanese robot programmer

I still don't understand why that's NOT sexy.

I agree, those design robots are magical.

*crawls back into bed with the lifesized Japanese girly pillow*

posted by tahoemoj at 10:12 AM on February 24

Wow. They're certainly not trying to keep this one under wraps, seeing as they just announced it on SportsCenter.

I think they were dragged into this story. Kornheiser talked about it on his radio show, then it hit real news.

I enjoy Kornheiser's radio show. It is better than any other one I have heard in the DC area. Most of them are just echo chambers.

posted by bperk at 10:22 AM on February 24

*crawls back into bed with the lifesized Japanese girly pillow*

Hello Kitty.

posted by BornIcon at 10:46 AM on February 24

I enjoy Kornheiser's radio show. It is better than any other one I have heard in the DC area.

He's not in the D.C. area but check out the Dan Patrick Show on iTunes and I'll bet you that you'll get hooked. The DP show is the best radio/simulcast show out there IMO and he'll leave you in stitches by the time the shows over.

posted by BornIcon at 10:54 AM on February 24

but for saying that Chris Berman got fat again

Better that than a critique of Berman's broadcasting skills. He would have been expelled.

posted by cjets at 12:09 PM on February 24

Friend of Tony, John Feinstein, on the incident:

"ESPN is, for the most part, a celebration of mediocrity. I was reminded of that this morning when I heard the various taped paeans from sports people to Mike and Mike's,' 10th anniversary. (Question: Does Greenberg think that every single coach or manager alive is named, coach or skip?' Question: Is Golic capable of asking a single non-football question not written for him by a producer?)

So here's what ESPN did: It subjected Tony to public humiliation so it could take a phony bow and claim to be a great defender of women. It did this to punish Tony for being Tony. The guy they hired because they liked who he was. What complete hypocrites."

posted by yerfatma at 02:15 PM on February 24

Sympathy for Tony Kornheiser: "He may be a rotten bastard, but his ESPN bosses are idiots for suspending him."

posted by kirkaracha at 04:35 PM on February 24

The suspension is bogus. Kornheiser's comments about Storm were mild by his own standards and not terribly insulting in any case. I think Storm can survive somebody dissing her outfit.

posted by rcade at 04:44 PM on February 24

dissing her outfit?

If it was a simple comment about it being a bad color or bad style for her it could have been passed off. But the comments were made not ony about how certain of her body parts were covered, but her intent for dressing in that "fantasy" style. What gives him the right to even bring that topic up on a sports show? It was completely out of context.

If one of my wife's co-workers had made comments to that degree in public about what my wife was wearing, he would find himself waking up in a hospital room a week later wondering what the hell happened.

posted by irunfromclones at 07:40 PM on February 24

What gives him the right to even bring that topic up on a sports show?

As Feinstein says in Yerfatma's link, that's the kind of stuff he says all the time on his radio show. He is a curmudgeon who takes shots, mostly good natured, at people. No one who listens to his show could have been surprised at all that he said those things about Hannah Storm.

Regarding the "Holden Caulfield fantasy" comment, that's a weird allusion to figure out. My guess is that he was saying she was dressing far below her age because she's obsessed with youth.

If one of my wife's co-workers had made comments to that degree in public about what my wife was wearing ...

Unless your wife is a public figure who is on television 2-4 hours every day, that's a bad analogy.

posted by rcade at 08:09 PM on February 24

kirk's link explains the Holden Caulfield thing, apparently. It still doesn't work for me, but there you go.

posted by yerfatma at 08:19 PM on February 24

*crawls back into bed with the lifesized Japanese girly pillow*

I used to have one of those, but I divorced her 25 years ago. The US model is much better and less expensive to maintain.

posted by Howard_T at 10:26 PM on February 24

I truly detest Tony Kornholio....yeah, yeah..... I think he spends way too much time talking about silly BS shows like American Idol and why he is on a sports show to begin with amazes me. What did he play in high school.... chess? I mean come on, he has no right to insult anyone for dress when he is a bald, vest wearing clown.

posted by Mickster at 11:26 PM on February 24

kirk's link explains the Holden Caulfield thing, apparently.

That theory seems awfully obtuse to me. He was referring to a prostitute in chapter 13?

posted by rcade at 07:57 AM on February 25

I mean come on, he has no right to insult anyone for dress when he is a bald, vest wearing clown.

Kornheiser calls himself a "bald troll" so it's not he thinks that he's some good looking guy. Tony makes these sort of comments all the time but even he acknowledged that he went overboard and apologized to Hannah Storm twice, which she accepted. After he apologized to Hannah, that should've been the end of it.

posted by BornIcon at 09:11 AM on February 25

Kornheiser calls himself a "bald troll" so it's not he thinks that he's some good looking guy.

You know, each of the linked pieces defending him mentions this. I don't see how that makes it ok to knock Hannah Storm for her appearance.

posted by yerfatma at 09:21 AM on February 25

I don't see how that makes it ok to knock Hannah Storm for her appearance.

Not saying that it does justify him saying what he said about Hannah Storm or her choice of outfit, it just means that this is the sort of thing he does all the time regardless if it's a man or woman and he even says these things about himself. The suspension was just a bit much IMO.

posted by BornIcon at 10:07 AM on February 25

Unless your wife is a public figure who is on television 2-4 hours every day, that's a bad analogy.

What exactly does her line of work have to do with it? The same standard should apply to any office situation. And just because he says it all the time on his radio show doesn't make it right.

posted by irunfromclones at 07:59 PM on February 25

C'mon, Clones. People who are on TV for a living invite scrutiny of their appearance in a way that people in regular office situations do not. There's a reason most talking heads on TV don't look like Tony Kornheiser.

Somebody taking shots at your wife's attire is nothing at all like a nationally syndicated radio host talking on the air about a national TV sports anchor's outfit. Equating the two is weird. This is not an "office situation." TV is not the real world.

posted by rcade at 08:49 PM on February 25

He should be fired for his lousy book reference...

posted by StarFucker at 11:17 PM on February 28

He should be fired for his lousy book reference...

Are you implying that The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz is a lousy book, or that he poorly referenced it ?

posted by tommytrump at 11:43 PM on February 28

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