ESPN reveals the ugly truth
Let’s have a moment of si lence for those who can not speak for themselves.
Starting today, ESPN, TV’s ancestral home of un wholesome jerks, sex addicts, the racially insensitive and politically putrid, imposes a two-week gag order on another of its on-air personalities.
The network of boneheads and beer peddlers has suspended sports commentator Tony Kornheiser, punishment for the crime of speaking an unpleasant—yet incontrovertible—truth.
“Hannah Storm is in a horrifying, horrifying outfit today,” Kornheiser said on his radio show Feb. 16, a reference to his ESPN colleague, the pert and pretty but sartorially challenged TV babe who anchors “SportsCenter.”
“She’s got on red go-go boots and a Catholic-school plaid skirt … way too short for somebody in her 40s or early 50s by now.” Storm is 47.
“She’s got on her typically very, very tight shirt. She looks like she has sausage casing wrapping around her upper body.”
Youch! That hurts.
It is also true.
In a perfect universe, Storm would properly bitch-slap Kornheiser, then promptly burn her wardrobe, invest in a floor-to-ceiling mirror and accept the sound advice of this 62-year-old fashion policeman. But in this nervous and hypersensitive environment, in which the practice of speaking one’s mind about any woman is considered as hurtful and potentially litigious as committing a physical deed, Kornheiser got his hand caught in the feminist/ageist/lookist mousetrap.
He will be punished, silenced, sent to sensitivity re-education camp. That is, if he doesn’t get canned.
The sorry part of this episode is that this kind of enforced correctness goes one way. Women who ogle, make lewd and suggestive comments, or even grab at men in a sexual fashion get laughs and high fives. Men get restraining orders.
Men who leer at, touch or discuss the physicality of women are called dirty bastards.
Women who treat men like sex objects are called something else: cast members on “The View.”
Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, Whoopi Goldberg, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and assorted guest yentas on TV’s daily estrogen fest routinely gawk at, paw, harass and make men palpably uncomfortable.
On one show, elder stateswoman Walters told actor Zac Efron, young enough to be her grandson, “You are so cute!” Behar immediately ran her fingers lasciviously through his hair. I feared gang rape. Zac looked as if he wanted to die on the spot.
In another, Shepherd asked actor Hugh Jackman about stories that he and his wife dress up in character. “Do you ever dress up as Wolverine?” she said raunchily, as her hand grabbed his upper thigh, millimeters from his crotch. The color drained from Jackman’s face.
Thomas Jane of HBO’s “Hung” was asked by an on-fire Shepherd if he wanted “to take your shirt off. Right now!” Her fellow yappers laughed and leered. But complain and risk looking like a sissy? I think not.
ESPN is feeling touchy these days. It employed Steve Phillips, the married former baseball analyst who bedded an assistant/stalker in a parking lot, entered sex-addiction rehab, then cried on Matt Lauer’s couch. This led to the suspension last October of football analyst Bob Griese, for saying a Colombian NASCAR driver was “out getting a taco.”
The lesson here is—if you’re a guy, be careful what you say.
If you’re a woman, the nastier, the grabbier, the raunchier the better.