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Posted at 02:54 PM ET, 11/17/2009

Wise responds to Kornheiser, at long last

Well hold on just a minute. Seems the Redskins drama has suddenly taken a back seat to the media drama.

As mentioned, Tony Kornheiser repeatedly ridiculed Mike Wise on his radio show Monday morning without deigning to mention his name. For example, he said a certain local columnist has "no idea what [he's] talking about," and that anyone who just got here five years ago is basically unfit to write knowledgeably about D.C. sports. Then, Wise spent four hours on HIS Tuesday radio show threatening to go scorched earth on his rival. He challenged Kornheiser to call him on the air, then repeatedly waffled over whether he should say anything or not, despite being egged on by texters and e-mailers and 106.7 The Fan employees.

And just when it appeared to be a four-hour tease, Wise finally got a few things off his chest during his last segment of the day, bumping Wise-vs.-TK way above Sherm-vs.-Sherm and Gary-vs.-JTJr. and Fans-vs.-Vinny on the list of smoldering D.C. rivalries. Still below Riggo-vs.-TheWorld, but only barely.

"I want to say this again before I start," Wise said, before explaining his reasons for leaving the New York Times to join The Post. The last reason: "I wanted to go to work where the great Shirley Povich once worked. Where Michael Wilbon--my friend--[and] Sally Jenkins and Tom Boswell worked. And yes, where Tony Kornheiser worked. This is a guy who was a pioneer in our business, and I still don't see another sports writer...ending up on Monday Night Football. It's just not going to happen. He has a gift, and he's obviously done a lot of good things for people; he and Wilbon do a charity event.

"But I just feel Tony Kornheiser lost the right to be an ombudsman about good journalism in this town, and he lost it the moment when he took Dan Snyder's money. He lost it the moment when he began calling out fans who chanted tasteless things about his new boss in his suite. And he called these fans out in a great American newspaper he used to make proud but now treats like the National Enquirer. How dare Tony Kornheiser criticize something I wrote about a team, when he spends a recent Sunday sitting in the owner's box, sitting elbow to elbow with a guy who is more unpopular in this town than anybody in the history of this town, and that probably includes George Bush.

"Nobody ended his career at The Washington Post. What happened to Tony Kornheiser at The Washington Post is what happened to the short-term memory guy at the end of the Memento movie. He realizes the dead body next to him was his fault. Tony killed his newspaper career. He wanted to be on Monday Night Football--and who wouldn't?--he wanted to do a radio show, which he felt he was best at, and he stopped wanting to be a yodeler.

"At some point--as I've had to do in my life, as other people have had to--when 20 people tell you that there's a problem with you, you look at yourself one day and you realize what's the one common denominator in those relationships with 20 people: Me. You take a look at yourself. So tearing down the good people at a place I'm still very proud to work is just beneath him, and I don't like that at all.

"I've done some stupid things in my career, including forgetting to take some medication once when I was at the 2006 Winter Olympics during a very dark time in my life. I've written some absolute clunkers, columns and stories I'm not especially proud of. But I haven't been consistently, outright nasty and ugly....

"I'm just gonna say, when you make personal attacks on the radio, you need to know that at some point the person you're talking about, it's getting back to him. And they have a right to feel badly about it and angry about it. And I think he needs to understand, if Tony Kornheiser understands nothing else...Johnny Carson when he left had the best quote of all time, and it's what Tony needs today. He really needs to hear this. Be nice to people on your way up, because you'll see the same people on your way back down."

Ok, it might not have been scorched earth, but it got the general point across. And there's just no arguing with the "outright nasty and ugly" bit, no arguing at all. Anyhow, LaVar Arrington came on air after the break, and attempted to burn some of that earth himself.

"Now I know Tony, I'm cool with Tony Kornheiser, but when you come at us, you're coming at all of us, and I just want to give a quick translation for Mike Wise, all right?" LaVar began. "Mike Wise put it in such a great way, and very gentle and very delicate, but what he really wanted to say was, Tony, you were intimidated from the time Mike got here. Mike has that killer charm and sly, dry, very cunning, very deliberate wit about him, almost like what they say about you. And he's younger, he's probably better looker than you, he's taller than you, people listen to what he has to say, he's doing all these TV spots, he's doing all these radio spots, and oh yes, he's still writing for The Post. And he's blowing up.

"Look, all the ratings are coming here, all the ratings are going from there and coming here. And he's a very decent man, he's a good man, and yeah we pick on each other, but we'll be darned if we let anybody else pick on us. So what I'm saying to you is, don't be so jealous where the jealousy kind of spills over into what you say and what you do....

"And last time I checked, you're not from Washington, D.C., either. And you know what, it doesn't take you being here for five years to be able to be a reporter of things that you see....

"I'd be remiss if I moved forward to our show and I didn't jump out there and just put my two cents in there. Because you know what, Mike didn't have to say anything to you. Mike is a better person than that, but maybe I'm not. I'll jump in there and I'll be the one that jumps out at you, because that was inappropriate....For you to be a role model and attack somebody that you've been a role model to, that kind of speaks volumes of where you are. And I'll leave it alone at that."

By  |  02:54 PM ET, 11/17/2009

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