ESPN radio and TV host Tony Kornheiser went off on all cyclists today after the story of the Pennsylvania Ave. bike lanes came out. He brought out all the old stereotypes of cyclists as law-breaking, aggressive, hostile crunchy granola types who don't have a right to ride on the roads. He mentioned several times his desire to "tap" cyclists with his car, to cause what he implied would be a "minor" accident, nothing fatal. (Thanks, Tony.)
Pretty wacko. Yeah, I know the usual shock jocks come out with this stuff all the time but people like Howard Stern are so far out there that engaging them just fuels the fire. Kornheiser is more of a crank than a shock jock but he has far more publicity and air time among non-shock-jock fans, from his radio show and his popular ESPN TV show "Pardon the Interruption."
This story has extra interest for people here since it's a local issue.
For an unofficial transcript:
I think ESPN needs to fire him. NOW
Plus he's just coming off the suspension from his ESPN TV show "Pardon the Interruption." ESPN suspended him for mocking Hannah Storm's outfit, which TK compared to a schoolgirl uniform that was inappropriate for an "older" woman. But ESPN suspended him only because Hannah Storm is also an employee of ESPN/ABC, not because of the nature of the statements.
That's too bad. I frequently listen to his radio show on my commute. I guess not anymore.
People should really be punished for saying things like that.
he needs to be suspended again.
i don't mind him saying "i hate cyclists or they annoy me" etc and make those type of remarks, but to advocate or say you should hit people with a car just for fun steps across the line.
i doubt he would find it funny if he himself suggested that he assault his daughter or wife "for fun" but you know "nothing fatal".
Loved the TK show for many years, and PTI, and what he's done for Washington DC sports on the national map. Of course, I'm more apt to listen to 106.7 nowadays. Who doesn't love the "Here comes Tony's Mailbag" song?
http://www.thiswebsitestinks.com/downloads/tkmailbagtheme.mp3. You whistle it in your car - love it.
I tell you what. I hope I see him one day. I thik I might just tap him once or twice for walking to slow or taking up sapce on MY sidewalk. What a douche bag. Someone should send him the articles about the case in California, where the Doctor decided to pass cyclist and slam on his brakes. Bet he thought that would just scare them, and look at the results. I can imagine just tapping my rear wheel and me flying off my damn bike, or just losing control. He would have to be praying I can't get up, or he doesn't hit a light.
Are you going to continue to listen to Tony Kornheiser? Or tell ESPN to cancel his show? You didn't say whether or not you're supporting him but it sounds like you think his show is more important than our safety.
He announced on his radio show his hatred for cyclists, how he wants to assault them, and specifically where he wants to do it (Rock Creek pkwy, PA Ave, etc). This is not a murky issue like OJ allegedly killing his wife or the Michael Vick's dog death factory. He's also perpetuating steoreotypes that all cyclists are spandex freaks who are illegally biking in the road. I'm shocked that any cyclist would consider supporting Tony Kornheisder.
Btw, TK didn't help put Washington DC sports on the national radar. I think the 3 Superbowl wins in the 80s/90s by the Redskins did that. Talentless, racist TK had nothing to do with that. He doesn't even have an original theme song! It sounds like a rip off of Leave it to Beaver.
ESPN's customer care form (it's a start):
or you can call them at: 301-230-3500
Lisa, nothing in this world is more important than your safety. I'm not dumb enough to get in the way of what you want, either.
TK rocks. What did he do again?
I'm not as politically savvy as you all. I'm cute, not smart. I'll leave it to you guys.
I like PTI. I listen to 106.7 The Fan rather than Sportstalk 980. For those of you who don't have a clue what I'm talking about, 980 AM used to be the only sportstalk station in town, then 106.7 switched formats. 980 was where TK was, then he retired. When 106.7 switched formats, it drew us sportstalk fans there, so 980 brought TK back to compete, making the listening choice harder. The Mike Wise show on 106.7 isn't quite what TK's show is, but I like 106.7.
If you still don't know what I'm talking about, then you don't listen to sportstalk radio - you don't understand that these guys have "guy" humor that is totally irreverent and tongue in cheek. They don't mean anything they say. They just have fun. I feel sorry for them when they cross the line into the path of fiery, savvy politicos such as yourselves. They are a much simpler creature. Their stuff is not meant for mainstream. They are the ones who say Tiger's main fault was getting married, not that he has sex like guys were genetically made to do and our hormones are made for. But that is not consumption fodder for the mainstream. They are a refuge for guys in this area who just want to hear about NFL drafts, pitchers and catchers reporting, and March Madness bracketology instead of the latest non-profit campaign, lawsuit, government agency program, or healthcare votes. They make fun of the olympics and other sports that aren't 'big 3'. If you don't have the stomach for that, don't listen. I'm more "them" than I am "arrogant cyclist" - I like NFL drafts, NBA playoffs, and making fun of other sports, so I'm staying out of it.
I like TK. I think that he's funny and most of the things that he says are off the cuff. He often say in his show that he's a grumpy dirty old man and he he gets grumpier with age. It's a sports talk show that is known for humor ... not the Presidental State of the Union address. I think that folks are taking this a little bit more serious than need be ... in my personal opinion.
I remember back in the early '90's when I was a volunteer EMT/FF for a local fire dept. Some of the fire chiefs wanted to send a letter to FOX complaining about Homie the Clown portrayal of firefighters hitting little kids on the head of a sock or his EMT portrayal of knocking a patient unconcious because the patient was too talkative. While **some** of the chiefs were up in arms, many of us on the ground FF/EMTs were laughing at the episoids and enjoying ourselves.
Sometimes in life we must take a deep breath and look at the context of how things are said. You can't evaluate tone and context from a transcript. Taking what TK says in the same light as what President Obama might say is taking things a little bit too serious. Sometimes we must find the humor in life.
Now, if he starts talking about Vietnamese people then ... you know ... he's way over the line and need to be fire on the spot.
The preceeding message was brought to you by Royalty :)
You may now flame away :)
I've got to stay off this forum....
guy land sounds like a lovely place. The rest of us live here in DC. And don't want to get hit by cars (regardless of how simple or hormone fueled the [likely male] driver is).
But, as always, I hope Simon and Tuan are very happy together. as they were genetically designed.
Since this has turned into yet another personal slander attack, I'll simply address the literalism implied.
If you think that Tony Kornheiser joking about running over cyclists to his guy listening base is going to actually cause guys to, rather than chuckle, to get out on the road and try to hit cyclists, you're a moron. Thanks.
As soon as we have an incident that says "Man who listened to TK enraged and hit cyclist, citing TK as the cause", I'll gladly join your side.
Wait a sec ... it's a slander attack to be compared to Tuan ? ;)
WTF? It's like 'nam 1975 all over again.
Trish ... it looks like we'll be the ones buying you the beer :)
Simple fact is this: funny or not, anyone who advocates hurting people because they're cyclists, pedestrians, drivers of Hummers and Cadillacs, etc. is an idiot and deserving of censure or worse. I watched a friend of mine get "tapped" by an irate driver who thought cyclists should be on the sidewalk and not the road. We were in a bike lane, we were single file, we were following the rules. Result of that little tapping? She received a broken shoulder and a concussion, as well as some seriously ugly road rash. She's a personal trainer, so she also lost income while she recovered. There's no such thing as a "light tappping" when you're driving a 5,000 lb. vehicle and the victim is on a 16 lb. bike. Let the SOB try it with me sometime when I'm riding in Rock Creek Park and I'll own his ass--should I be so lucky as to survive his ignorant behavior.
Not sure if you have ever been to a Chris Rock comedy show. If you were to write down some of the things that he says on a piece of paper and give it to people on the street to read it litterally, I guaranteed you that somewhere within those text many people would say that the dude is advocating violence against someome. It could be violence against a hair stylist, a cashier, some guy in the ghetto, or a politician. However, I doubt that anyone who goes to a Chris Rock comedy show walks out of there with the feeling that Chris Rock was advocating people to act on the words that he says in his show.
I think that that is the point that Simon and I are trying to make. You don't turned the radio dial to TK and afterward think that he is telling you to go out and run down a cyclist. The transcript that of what TK said and some of the posting on this board so far is leading people believe that TK is standing on a soap box ala Rush Limbaugh telling people to start a revolution against cyclist. That is not the case just as it is not the case that Chris Rock is advocating violence in his show.
How many people who have responded negatively so far have actually listen to the TK show for more than an hour to see his angle ... the humor in his words just like the humor in Chris Rock's words in his show? I mean is Chris Rock really advocating people to bitch slap x, y, z when he says that in his show ? Should we condem Chris Rock for THAT violent stance or do we judge Chris Rock with a wider view and in the context where he made those statements ?
I'll listen to the TK show instead of 106.7 for a few days to see if there are ramifications from this. If there are, I will simply congratulation you all on your activism. I also recommend calling the show, that way I get to hear you on the air - cool! Good luck.
sorry but Kornheiser is no Chris Rock by any stretch of the imagination.
putting those two in the same conversation is absurd, they may both be "comedians" and i'm using that term very very lightly when it comes to Kornheiser, its like saying
the movie "the hurt locker" is just as good of movie as "Platoon" which though both are war movies that won Oscars, that is where the similarities end... mostly because "platoon" is easily 10x a better movie if not more than "the hurt locker" which honestly sucked.
put kornheiser in the same category as Don Imus or Howard Stern but not Chris Rock/Richard Pryer/Jerry Seinfeld, etc. those are all true comedians not "shock jocks" of the former category.
The issue isn't the caliber of TK's comedic talent. The issue is that folks are misinterpreting a sports talk show guy making a joke for someone who is writing an op-ed ariticle on why we should run over cyclists or calling for a run-over-the-cyclist revolution ala Rush Limbaugh. If your main gist is that I compared TK to Chris Rock then I am speechless :)
Tony Kornheiser ranted and raved for 2 segments of his show! This wasn't a quick discussion or joke. His transcript is not comedic or in jest. It sounds like he truly wants to harm cyclists. Chris Rock is a completely different entertainer in a different context - a black man and comedian who performs at rated R clubs. TK is loosely an entertainer, but he's reporting sports news, not social commentary.
It's not funny for Gilbert Arenas to make pistol signs as felony indictments loom for illegal gun possession. HAHA funny joke. He's an idiot and unemployed now.
TK has made racist remarks against latinos on espn. Was suspended in Feb. 2010 for criticizing another ESPN employee Hannah Storm - "she's got sausage casing wrapped around her ." He's a racist, ignorant jerk. TK: so the whole city is going to be just for bicycles? I tell you, it's Beijing. It's going to be buses and bicycles. That's all there's going to be.
RACIST. He doesn't deserve a job making millions when the economy is in the tank. Fire him.
Here's the transcript from washcycle/waba's blog site:
Tony Kornheiser Condones "running down cyclists"
I didn't hear the show today (or any show ever really) but someone wrote me to say that on this morning's radio show on AM980, during a discussion of the new proposed bike lanes on Pennsylvania Ave, Tony Kornheiser condoned running down cyclists with his "big, more powerful car." I'm listening to the show now, Once they put today's show online, I'll listen to it, so I'll see if I can find where it happened (update: sometime around minute 38) and what exactly was said. But, let me know if you heard it. The person who wrote me about this also said that they contacted the radio station about the comments and they did not deny them, said that they took it seriously and that many people had called to complain.
Update: Here's my take at the transcript. It's not perfect, but it captures it. I don't know the people so pardon my nicknames for them.
It starts around 31:15
Kevin: Reading: "The center of Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House to the Capitol soon may be reserved for just two things: the president's inauguration and people riding bicycles. A pair of bike lanes are destined to grace the middle of one of the country's most fabled boulevards, an avenue that ranks as a destination with Broadway, Fifth Avenue, Hollywood Boulevard and Bourbon Street. The two lanes will be part of an expanding network of dedicated bicycle lanes in the District, soon to include L, I and Ninth streets NW and more of 15th Street NW. "
Tony Kornheiser: When I read about this early this morning, and I just assumed this would be one of those dedicated bike lanes...
Kevin: To the right
Other Dude: Like you get at the beach, just a little strip
TK: ...on the right hand side, where bicycles are free to go - maybe two by two, but mostly one by one.
Kevin: And they never use them
TK: And I'm fine with those. Then I heard on Channel 4 that these things were going to remove an entire lane of automobiles, which last time I looked the roads were made for automobiles, and that they were going to somehow be in the middle and not on the sides and we were somehow going to be dominated, as if this was Beijing, by hundreds of thousands of bicyclists. And I don't really care what they do on Pennsylvania Avenue, if they can't ride a car on that anyway, but how are they going to get the bikes down there? They're going to have to go through other streets. I think this is a terrible, terrible idea. I don't mind those one lanes, but you get in Rock Creek Park and 3 or 4 of these people start riding abreast, and I swear to you it's all you can do to not RUN THEM DOWN, like Wile Coyote's, run them over. Just stay on the right. Stay on the right. I'm happy to share the road with you, but by share the road what I mean is you have room on the right and I have room on the road. Get the hell out of my way. Am I wrong on this?
Woman: Here's the problem I have. I'll give you bike lanes if we open up Pennsylvania Avenue on one side of the White House and the other street behind...You add this and it's going to make it even worse worse.
OD: These chesty cyclists, I mean they take that right lane and they're already moving over to the middle.
TK: And they all wear...my God...with the little water bottle in the back and their stupid hats and their shiny shorts, they are the same disgusting poseurs that come out in the middle of a snow storm with cross country skiing on your block. Run them down. I mean, let them use the right I'm OK with that.
OD: Or they can ride on the top of the curb
TK: I don't take my car and ride on the sidewalk becaue I understand that's not for my car. Why do these people think that these roads were built for bicycles?
Kevin: Because they're crunchy granola, they just want us to live in a cleaner world.
TK: I know someone's going to hate me for this, am I wrong?
Woman: I'm all for people truly sharing the road. I'm all for people getting their exercise.
Kevin: They don't share it now.
TK: They don't share the road. They dominate the road. They dare you to run them down.
Kevin: Yes they do.
TK: And then when you do, they get angry. What is that about?
Kevin: If you honk, they slow down...in front of you
TK: And so you tap them. I'm not saying you kill them. I'm saying you tap them. Tap them once.
Kevin: Just a spill, not a fatal spill, but a little spill.
TK: If you're not rubbing, you're not racing right? So you pop them a little bit and see what happens.
Kevin: They're so annoying. This is a Fenty move. He's a big cyclist.
Woman: With his security detail of course.
TK: But again, why can't they just.. what's wrong with the little lane on the right. I don't drive in the little lane on the right.
Woman: Here's the argument they would make - because the little lane on the right is often covered up by cars that are parked at the wrong time of day and buses that have pulled into the path...
OD: Tell them to take Metro
TK: Really? Then they can veer out a little bit. My objection to them is when the ride in the middle of the road. They give you the finger. They do all the time. They think they own it. Because they think that you think that you own it. I don't think I own it. I own it. I have a car. I have a large powerful car compared to your stupid little bicycle.
OD: It seems a little discriminatory to me. What about unicyclists? Why can't they have a lane
TK. They can have the same lane on the right. Anything with less than four wheels, or three wheels...
Kevin: ...can use the right lane, if there is one. If there isn't one, take the Metro.
(Group makes fun of segways)
TK: so the whole city is going to be just for bicycles? I tell you, it's Beijing. It's going to be buses and bicycles. That's all there's going to be.
Kevin: There are plenty of paths. The Capitol Crescent Trail gets you to Georgetown and then you can take the Metro from there. Get on a bus.
TK: Yes. What is their problem?
(Group makes fun of leg shaving)
So yeah. Just full of a lot of ignorance, windshield perspective and anti-cyclist comments. I don't see a point in refuting them one by one. They're just so ridiculous.
Update: From the second hour at 32:03
Kevin: OK get this Tony, we talked last hour about the expansion of bike lanes in the District, apparently a right hand bike lane isn't enough for these people.
TK: It's such a plague
Kevin: We've got to move them to the middle of the street.
TK: Why are they in the middle of the street?
Kevin: Well, who knows...
TK: I want to be in the middle of the street. I'm driving a car.
OD: It seems to increase the likelihood that they'll be struck
Kevin: Google doing more for these people, they've come out with their latest product Google Maps for Bikers.
TK: yeah I know.
Kevin: So now you can google map your...
OD: Not bikers. Cyclists.
OD: Bikers ride motorcycles.
Kevin: The Oregonian, which is the newspaper of note in Crunchville, USA - Portland, Oregon. The Oregonian panned the new Google maps for cyclists, saying it was "incomplete and inadequate". Meanwhile a couple of cyclist stories that have broken in the last few hours that are reflective of this category of people. In Brunswick Maine, two men on bikes tried to rob a pregnant woman. In Windsor, Ontario, two men on bikes assaulted a male driver through the window of his car after a road dispute. We've all been there before.
TK: They do that all the time. They go right up to your car and they start banging on your car, trying to make you feel guilty for owning a car and somehow the law does not allow you to run them down.
Kevin: In St. Louis, a woman on a bike riding in rush hour traffic blew a tire, tumbled into the middle of the road in front of oncoming traffic, she was run over by a taxi. She survived, but the taxi driver had to be rushed to the hospital with an injured neck. Meantime, Neal from Rockville wrote in to say that he recommends that you buy a Toyota, as it provides you with a built in defense if you accidentally strike a bicyclist while driving to work.
Later, in response to a story about a prom being canceled to prevent gay couples from attending, he said "People just need to stop being awful to each other". That's good advice.
There were a few emails then about cyclists in the last two minutes. He ends with "if you're out there tonight in the rain cyclists, wear white. Which you can wear with your ridiculous shirt and your fat thighs in bike shorts."
Sounds really friendly and funny, right?