Kornheiser’s offends*, apologizes

*Not really. But as long as he said he was sorry, how about firing him from "Monday Night Football"?

Topics:

Did you hear Tony Kornheiser’s weird, contextless non-apology apology-for-something during Monday night’s Eagles-Cowboys game? It came as ESPN made one of several nods to Hispanic Heritage Month with a graphic showing the teams’ names in Spanish.

“On that subject,” Kornheiser said, “I said something before I shouldn’t have said. I apologize for it. Not my first mistake, undoubtedly won’t be my last. But a 100 percent apology.”

Hmm. OK. Didn’t take a genius to figure out he’d said something that might have offended people of Hispanic heritage. I doubted it was a big deal, hadn’t gotten a ton of e-mails about it, which I would have if he’d uncorked something really bad, so I gave the idea of going back to try to find it all the consideration it deserved, then didn’t waste another thought on the matter.

Awful Announcing did the work, so you can see and hear the initial transgression and the apology without those pesky couple of hours in between. What happened was play-by-play man Mike Tirico introduced a replay of Felix Jones’ touchdown kickoff return, saying “Here’s what it sounded like on ESPN Deportes.”

Spanish-language announcer Alvaro Martin’s description of Jones’ run consisted of one line, repeated once: “Nadie lo va a tocar!” Kornheiser said, “I took high school Spanish, and that either means ‘nobody is going to touch him’ or ‘could you pick up my dry cleaning in the morning.’”

Some suit must have whispered in Tony’s ear to apologize, just in case. I doubt the Disney switchboards were flooded. It would take some mental gymnastics to turn the dry-cleaning comment into something offensive to Latinos. Is there some dry-clean-laziness stereotype I don’t know about?

Kornheiser was just making weak, unfunny fun of his own inability to speak Spanish, although — this is kind of postmodern — he does speak at least enough Spanish to have gotten the translation right: “Nobody is going to touch him.”



But here’s the thing: Steve Lyons got fired by Fox for saying something on a baseball broadcast that wasn’t any more offensive than what Kornheiser said. It was the same kind of deal, a dumb, unfunny joke with no offense intended and none inflicted without major effort being expended.

I don’t think Lyons should have gotten the boot over what he said, though I wasn’t sad to have him off the air. I’ll say what’s good for Psycho is good for Mr. Tony. If I have to pretend to be offended to get Kornheiser off of “Monday Night Football,” I’m game.

J’accuse, Tony Kornheiser! That’s either French for “I accuse” or “Please stick to ‘Pardon the Interruption’ and let Ron Jaworski talk about coverage schemes.”

King Kaufman is a senior writer for Salon. You can e-mail him at king at salon dot com. Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    "Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>