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Kornheiser could be facing another backlash


Last year, ESPN suspended Tony Kornheiser for two weeks after he made comments during his radio show regarding ESPN colleague Hannah Storm’s on-air attire.

Lost in Kornheiser’s Tuesday back-and-forth with Colts owner Jim Irsay is the fact that Kornheiser described Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins’ criticism of NFL owners as “shrew-like” and “hysterical.”

The former is a sexist term, the latter is as well, but not as obviously.  As one male member of the media explained it last night via e-mail, “I think the test is would Tony say that about you or me.  Probably not.  I’m guessing Sally feels the exact same way.”

In all candor, the fact that we’ve rarely ever heard anyone use the term “shrew” required MDS and I to explore the issue before labeling the phrase as something that could get Kornheiser into more trouble.  And it could.

For now, we’re not taking a position on whether it should.  In light of his two-week suspension for his comments about Hannah Storm, the question is whether it will.

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46 Responses to “Kornheiser could be facing another backlash”
  1. tv426 says: May 18, 2011 9:23 AM

    Kornholeio is a first class idiot. He thinks that he knows vast amounts about games that he has never played in his life and he kisses up to the “big names” constantly. To him they are all that matters in any sport and that shows his vast ignorance.
    Please put this dude out of his (our?) misery!

  2. lucky5934 says: May 18, 2011 9:26 AM

    We as a society are becoming too sensitive. Since when did we go from “Sticks and Stones….” to calling out someone for using the term “Shrew-like”. So what no freedom of speech? no turn the other cheek? Let’s just continue making mountains out of something much, much smaller? I agree of being PC to a certain extent. And I am not a huge fan of Kornheiser, but come on people…

  3. savocabol1 says: May 18, 2011 9:27 AM

    In reality this is a non issue if Tony wasn’t on ESPN.

  4. donterrelli says: May 18, 2011 9:32 AM

    The question is: if ESPN replaced T.K. with Dan LeBetard on PTI, would the ratings drop? Would Wilbon quit?

  5. richm2256 says: May 18, 2011 9:33 AM

    How ’bout they just fire this guy because he SUCKS????

    Worst sports guy on the air. And I’ve seen some pretty bad ones.

  6. ravensrule1208 says: May 18, 2011 9:34 AM

    For what speaking the truth the Irsay’s are all A**Ho*** .So why should he be in trouble.

  7. santolonius says: May 18, 2011 9:38 AM

    i watch PTI every day primarily because of kornheiser. but i don’t understand his criticism of sally jenkins collum. i read it. it seems pretty reasonable. why doesn’t TK argue the points jenkins has in the article instead of calling her names? why is the yankees vendor thing ok? why is the vikings stadium deal fair? why do the players deserve a billion dollar pay cut? there may be good reasons. so do some homework and argue the points.

  8. nolarules says: May 18, 2011 9:38 AM

    Since this has become a political board lately, Let’s just start if off here.
    If he is a republican, he should be fired immediately and possibly taken to the streets to be stoned by code pink.
    If he is a democrat, this should be written off immediately. Democrats are incapable of being sexist, racist, etc.
    Since it has been posted on your site, PFT, I am going to take it he is a republican. So he must be tarred and feathered immediately

  9. pike360 says: May 18, 2011 9:38 AM

    We really need the strike to end, if only so PFT stops trying to take twitter posts, or harmless radio comment and the trying to inflame the “I hate that dude” nuckleheads to make a controversy where there clearly is not anything. I feel like this is TMZ or FOX level selective outrage and it’s needs to stop.

  10. vadog says: May 18, 2011 9:44 AM

    It’s because of Tony Kornheiser that I have stopped watching MNF. I know that he is no longer in the booth, but the horror of his commentary has scarred me for life!

    Only Tony Kornheiser could have made me long for the good old days of Dennis Miller on MNF!!!

    Actually, in all honesty, ESPN has seemingly cornered the market on hiring the most obnoxious personalities in sports. I refuse to watch anything on the family of ESPN networks.

  11. glt1958 says: May 18, 2011 9:47 AM

    This is so stupid. I am so sick of political correctness. Who cares? Let’s move on to something that matters…like football.

  12. wheresmyjuice says: May 18, 2011 9:48 AM

    Commentary from PFT media on ESPN media bashing Print media.

    Pass me the big bag of who cares.

  13. CKL says: May 18, 2011 9:53 AM

    Well I find it odd that I can’t write “c**ky” on here without the post being deleted, but the mods can curse AND can write “c**ky”.
    I admit I never thought of it as sexist though. Hmmm….. 😀

  14. mybuttsayspft says: May 18, 2011 9:53 AM

    Really….this is what it’s come to? Please come back NFL….pleeeeease!

    And on this ridiculous topic, are we still in middle school? “Billy called you a doo doo head, what are you gonna do?”

  15. rc33 says: May 18, 2011 9:55 AM

    @ santalonius..

    Dude, haven’t you figured this out yet? It’s not about arguing the points of an issue. It’s all about assaulting the character of the individual saying it.
    In ’94, the issue wasn’t about whether O.J. Simpson actually killed a woman, it became whether Mark Fuhrman had ever used the “N” word at any point in his life.
    Our Prez is in office not because of the issues, and certainly not because he had any kind of a resume that indicated he could handle the gig.
    Hope and Change and Bush sucks.
    BOOM. Elected.

  16. whoisgonnasing says: May 18, 2011 9:58 AM

    Wait, arent they friends? I think you’re allowed more leeway if u actually have a friendship in place…

    regardless, we are now parsing every word everyone says and holding it up, asking “Hey, is this an issue? There might be something here to get offended about!”

  17. savocabol1 says: May 18, 2011 9:59 AM

    What I don’t get is reporters can blast the crap out of athletes for whatever the reason may be and nothing happens because that is just their opinions. But they can’t say a damn word about another reporter or business without being crucified.

  18. twonuse says: May 18, 2011 10:01 AM

    Sally Jenkins is a regular guest on Kornheiser’s radio program. If there is a backlash, I doubt it would be led by Jenkins.

  19. scoops1 says: May 18, 2011 10:04 AM

    All you need to know bout TK….from A-Rodge

  20. evilzorac says: May 18, 2011 10:15 AM

    Isn’t TK’s 15 minutes up?????

  21. 3yardsndust says: May 18, 2011 10:23 AM

    Kornheiser is loud and unlikeable, and I might forgive him for that if he ever said anything interesting and insightful. He is kept around as a personality, but his take on sports does not reflect any original thinking or analysis.

  22. markviii says: May 18, 2011 10:28 AM

    For the record, I’m not a fan of Kornheiser, at least not most days. A shrew is defined as a woman of violent temper and speech. Sally is a woman, and that column came across as a pretty angry piece, which, by the way, is just fine. But I think “shrew-like” is a pretty accurate description. And sexist? Please, PFT. Spare us your feigned liberal angst.

  23. jbl429 says: May 18, 2011 10:32 AM

    Kornheiser may be an idiot, but calling these particular statements sexist is a bit off base. It’s on the same line as claiming that anyone who made fun of him balding would be sexist because women don’t typically suffer from male-pattern baldness. Give it a rest already.

  24. raiderinpa says: May 18, 2011 10:35 AM

    T.K. is such a douche… who ever the genius was to make him an NFL game announcer was probably the same one who thought Dennis Miller was a good idea… Poor Howard Cosell probably was doing flips in his grave over them!

    Sports would be much better off without Tony Corn-holer!!

  25. sportsinhd says: May 18, 2011 10:38 AM

    It would be nice to see Kornheiser get fired or suspended from PTI because the show is a lot better without him. Bringing in LeBetard (BAM!) full time would make it a better show, at least Dan actually watches sports.

  26. shea801 says: May 18, 2011 10:40 AM

    Kornheiser is such a smarmy little worm himself. He’s a lacky for Snyder (as this website has proven a few times) and he’s such a journalistic elitist. He’s making his living by thrusting barbs at others, and then is FLABBERGASTED when someone calls him out on either being completely subjective, or having reported misinformation. He’s the poster child for ‘holier than thou’ sports journalist who believe their profession allows them ammunity from any criticism with regards to their reporting, and nowadays, their editorializing.

    Take your lumps, Tony. You insist others do when your throwing jabs at them.

  27. cscfriarbob says: May 18, 2011 10:41 AM

    Kornheiser IS a first-class idiot, as somebody else said above. This is obvious.

    Wait, a second, did I just class-discriminate by calling him first-class?

    And that’s the point. Free speech used to be free. If somebody disagreed with you they’d present a logical argument against your position and you could have a debate. And when it was over even if you still disagreed you could still be friends. Now anything you say that’s remotely controversial is labeled racist, sexist, or one of a hundred other “ists” or “obes” to get you to shut up. And if you won’t, you’re sued, fired, or worse.

    There are (fortunately) not very many men (or even women for that matter) who are “shrew-like” but they do exist in BOTH genders. The word shrew may well be applicable to only one gender, but he didn’t actually call her a shrew, he just said she was acting like one. Whether she is or isn’t is beside the point, he’s allowed to have an opinion even if we disagree with it.

    Heck even Rashard is allowed to have an opinion (where it’s opinion, at least, instead of blatant stupidity and need for education into rock-solid iron-clad fact). Punishing them for displaying their opinion publicly when it embarrasses their employers is understandable, but we must never forget they are still allowed to have an opinion.

    And unfortunately I’ve known MANY men who are (or have at times behaved like) hysterical idiots. So I can’t consider the last word — whether true in this instance or not — that big a deal.

  28. innerlign says: May 18, 2011 10:43 AM

    Shrew-like is hilarous. Get over yourself, Sally.

  29. armchairgm9 says: May 18, 2011 10:50 AM

    Jenkins was bashing the owners terribly in her article. She generalized all owners on the actions of a couple, so it made them all look bad. Kornheiser was defending his boss, Daniel Snyder. Yeah, Snyder signs Kornheiser’s paychecks. Like I said before, it’s the parrot repeating the pirate.

  30. gavinmac says: May 18, 2011 10:53 AM

    Shrews are small. that’s why women are more likely to be called shrews. I don’t think it’s sexist. Is it sexist to refer to a man as an oaf or a buffoon?

    We need to preserve individualized insults. We can’t even say retarded anymore.

  31. giboxer5 says: May 18, 2011 11:09 AM

    Once upon a time PTI was a pretty good show. For the past few years, both hosts have become grouchy, out of touch dinosaurs. It’s unbelievable that both, much less either, are still employed. Wilbon is a straight-up racist (always has been but is getting MUCH worse) and Tony is just an idiot. So us all a favor and just go away!! BOTH of you!!

  32. whatswiththehate says: May 18, 2011 11:28 AM

    Okay, here is a fan’s question to my peers, since when all this neanderthal like behavior from these ego diven sports media folks become acceptable news?

    Honestly, it doesn’t even feel like real sports news anymore. Just regurgitated gossip and a whole lot of immature instigating.

    I guess this is what happens when you allow a sport network, ESPN, that started off as pure comic relief to becoms so big and powerful that it now dictates how sports news should be presented.


  33. kchoya says: May 18, 2011 11:50 AM

    Couple of points:

    1. Kornheiser WOULD use these terms against other people – male or female. Have you listened to his show?

    2. As mentioned in another comment, there’s not going to be a backlash by Jenkins. She and Kornheiser go way back to when they both worked at the Washington Post and she still appears as a guest on his radio show. He praises her columns as much as rips them.

    3. That’s a BIG stretch to claim he was being sexist. Yes, hysterical may have originated as being connected to the uterus, but do you really think that’s where Kornheiser was going with that comment?

  34. docredskin says: May 18, 2011 11:52 AM

    rc33 says:
    May 18, 2011 9:55 AM
    @ santalonius..

    Dude, haven’t you figured this out yet? It’s not about arguing the points of an issue. It’s all about assaulting the character of the individual saying it.
    In ’94, the issue wasn’t about whether O.J. Simpson actually killed a woman, it became whether Mark Fuhrman had ever used the “N” word at any point in his life.
    Our Prez is in office not because of the issues, and certainly not because he had any kind of a resume that indicated he could handle the gig.
    Hope and Change and Bush sucks.
    BOOM. Elected.

    Probably the smartest thing said on this blog in months.

  35. Mac B says: May 18, 2011 11:55 AM

    A series of Sally Jenkins’s Tweets (sallyjenx)- maybe you’d like to respond.

    Tony Kornheiser is a bounder, a cad, a rake. He’s also my friend of 30 years. Stand down.

    Anyone wishing to attribute thoughts to me should probably call me first. It’s called journalism.

    I mean you Pro Football Talk.

    Paging PFT. Please pick up the courtesy phone. My phone still isn’t ringing. Dead…total…silence. How bout this. Maybe I should call YOU.

  36. midgetwrestler says: May 18, 2011 12:06 PM

    Wow…a glimpse of stories on this site in a world without football. Scary!

  37. JSpicoli says: May 18, 2011 12:09 PM

    She does sound like a shrew though.

  38. georgeanderson2 says: May 18, 2011 12:15 PM

    Mr. Tony should pack up his stuff and spend his days paling around with Dominick at Grottos down in Rehobeth. Who needs this over sensitive crap. Everything anyone says is disected by millions and eventually someone finds something wrong with it.

  39. jackfnburton says: May 18, 2011 12:48 PM

    Tony Kornholer is a tool. As long as he stays the hell away from MNF I couldn’t care less what he says.

  40. knucklebucket says: May 18, 2011 12:55 PM

    All the talk lately has been about the NFL lockout getting under the skin of fans. But a side effect of it is that is stories like this are posted. Please owners and players, get this done so we can read stories about OTA’s and free agent signings and leave this crap for “entertainment tonight”.

  41. jharmon64 says: May 18, 2011 12:55 PM

    I cannot stand Tony K, but this is ridiculous. Let it go, nothing sexist in those comments.

  42. drexelvol says: May 18, 2011 2:39 PM

    Calling a woman a shrew is certainly derogatory, but sexist? I dunno about that. A woman who is referred to as a shrew is one that is loud and obnoxious, men aren’t shrews by definition.

    Sorta like calling a loud and obnoxious guy a meathead.

    Anyway, TK is a hack – plain and simple. He should not get any airtime in any way, shape, or form.

  43. ditkastache says: May 18, 2011 2:54 PM

    Tame her, Petruchio!

    Seriously though, what a dumb story.

  44. hsirah says: May 18, 2011 3:04 PM


    You are a better than this. I know with a lockout looming and your self admittance that traffic to the site has decreased , you would probably resort to desperate means to stay relevant. I wish that a journalist would not have to compromise on his or her integrity even in bad times.

    Although you probably don’t care but Dan Steinberg has excerpted Sally Jenkins response on his Washington Post blog.

    “No, I was not offended. First of all the word shrew is an extremely mild term to me, especially compared to many e-mails from readers I’ve received. Second, I myself am concerned that I’m piling on the owners, which was Tony’s real point and an absolutely valid one. And third, I was raised by a father who proudly hung a letter on his wall from Notre Damers calling him a son of a bitch. Fourth, who cares. Fifth, nobody has helped and promoted women in sports more than Kornheiser, and personally no one has taught me, promoted me or cared about me more than Tony Kornheiser. ”

    I think every man makes mistakes and you made yours in this instance. You can win a few hearts by owning upto it and apologizing to TK and Sally Jenkins

  45. justanotherdummy says: May 18, 2011 5:29 PM

    Generally, I do not like seeing people get fired. But I would not lament being rid of this guy, never found him particularly bright, funny or insightful. He seems to just be another monkey flinging poo at a wall to see what sticks, and he somehow became famous for doing so.

  46. paulieorkid says: May 18, 2011 5:45 PM

    Kornhole is a disaster. Atrocious.

    Other than ESPN, who respects him? Other than ESPN, who admires him? He’s garbage.

    Anyone recall his gawdawful combover he trotted out for like 15 years? It involved 3 or 4 crusty reddish hairs carefully placed across a pasty barren scalp.

    Talk about shamefully misguided desperation.

    Who is in charge of casting at ESPN?

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