I love D.C. media warz. Love them more than anything.
So when I saw Pro Football Talk’s implication on Tuesday that Tony Kornheiser had lashed out at Sally Jenkins, I was all-in.
Especially when PFT upped the ante on Wednesday with this headline: “Kornheiser could be facing another backlash.” Here’s the gist
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.”
Well. Having an anonymous male member of the media guess what Sally Jenkins might feel about Tony Kornheiser’s word choice is certainly one way to try to figure out what Sally Jenkins might feel about something. Another method would be to ask her.
For the record, here’s the full extent of what Tony said about Sally on ESPN 980, during a discussion of the latest lockout news.
“I read Sally’s shrew-like, hysterical column, in which she just bangs the owners around, constantly constantly constantly, and I’m really sick of that.”
If you’ve listened to Tony for any length of time, you’d know that he frequently makes fun of Sally, and also frequently praises her, and also says things that are similarly “controversial,” I don’t know, 5,000 times a day? I mean, this would not have even made me look up from my Special K had I been listening live.
Still, I asked Sally whether she was offended. Her e-mailed response:
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 am WAY more offended by PFT not even bothering to call me while designating all sorts of thoughts and feelings to me.
So yeah, this is not really a D.C. sports media war, is it?
Though I guess it became a media war all the same, because Sally — who has always been extremely kind to me — then eviscerated PFT on her Twitter feed. I suppose the lesson, as always, is that it’s better to take a minute and get something right than to hit publish first and ask questions later. Also, maybe three dudes shouldn’t be the ones in charge of deciding what a particular woman might find offensive.