Dear Tony Kornheiser, host of “Pardon the Interruption” on ESPN,
You are not Tiger Woods. You are somebody named Tony Kornheiser who I have never heard of before today, i.e., you are not so famous that you should be thinking normal people’s rules no longer apply to you. Did you reeeally think not a single person would care when, on your radio show, you said of ESPN colleague Hannah Storm, co-host of Daytime “SportsCenter”:
“Hannah Storm [was] 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?”
Uh, no, you should stop. What are you doing?Other than some old time-y ass-grabbing, could a more clear-cut instance of sexual harassment exist? (I don’t know if that’s what Kornheiser was officially suspended for by ESPN; I’m saying that’s what I call it.) How brazenly sexist, not to mention creepy! Storm is a good-looking woman who wears flattering outfits both on “SportsCenter” and off-camera, but Kornheiser’s comments go beyond the bounds of what’s appropriate.
ESPN was not amused — heck, they are probably still smarting from ex-baseball analyst Steve Phillips emblazoned on the front page of the tabloids for schtupping his 22-year-old production assistant. According to SportsByBrooks.com, ESPN Executive Vice President of Production Norby Williamson issued a statement to say:
“Hannah is a consummate professional and one of ESPN’s most respected voices. The comments were totally inappropriate, which Tony recognized. He apologized to Hannah and addressed it on his radio show. We are in the process of reviewing the entire situation.”
So, like the non-Tiger Woods joker that he is, Kornheiser made a public apology on his radio show:
“I apologize unequivocally. … I was wrong. This is sort of what I do, and I’m sorry for it. … Not the first time and won’t be the last time but I apology for it this time.”
SportsByBrooks.com said Storm was “cordial” accepting his apology and even offered to send a pair of her “red go-go boots” to Kornheiser’s studio to be auctioned off to charity. Yet he still got suspended.
Here’s hoping ESPN doesn’t bring Kornheiser back, making it clear that sexual harassing comments are unacceptable on their network. And, in the future, Kornheiser should leave the fashion commentary to The Fug Girls, the only people allowed to use the phrase “sausage casing.”