Tony Kornheiser wants to run you down.
As noted at the end of this morning’s post, Kornheiser — former sports columnist for the Washington Post, and longtime host of Pardon the Interruption on ESPN and the Tony Kornheiser Show on Washington’s ESPN980, recently went off on a more than six minute anti-cyclist rant.
Evidently, he doesn’t have many listeners. Even though the show aired a week ago, it didn’t make any waves until word reached Lance Armstrong — who responded by tweeting his 2.4 million followers on Twitter, calling Kornheiser a “complete, f-ing idiot.”
And when Lance tweets, people listen.
The segment starts out as a rant against a planned bikeway on Pennsylvania Avenue. And quickly devolves into a vile condemnation of cyclists, including repeated suggestions to just run them over.
Yes, he actually urges his listeners to commit violence against another human being. Or rather, countless human beings, most of whom he has never met, and probably never will.
Yet he still wants to kill you. Or maim you. Or maybe just scare you and fuck up your bike, since he later backs off and says “So you tap them. I’m not saying kill them.”
In other words, he only wants his listeners to commit assault with a deadly weapon, not murder.
Well, thank God for that.
Of course, it’s still a crime to incite violence. Had he suggested that his listeners pull out a gun and shoot African Americans or Hispanics or Asians or Gays or Muslims, he would have been off the air in minutes.
And probably be standing before a judge before the day was over. Especially if anyone was fool enough to act on his suggestion.
But fortunately for him, he only suggested running down cyclists. Which makes it okay, I guess.
Now Lance says he just got off the phone with Kornheiser, who is “very sorry for his comments re: cyclists.”
Yeah, I’m sure he is.
So was Dr. Thompson after he was convicted. And I’m sure all those cyclists who have been the victims of road raging drivers take comfort in that.
Armstrong says he’s going on Kornheiser’s show in the morning to talk about it. If you want to listen in, you can hear it by clicking on the Listen Live tab at the ESPN980 website between 7 am and 10 am PDT.
Then again, if you’ve already had enough, you can tweet them at @ESPNRadio980 to express your displeasure, or call Red Zebra Broadcasting — owners of ESPN980 — at 301/562-3776. Or just email them through the station’s website; I already did.
And some people are already taking more direct action; however, despite my earlier comments, while Disney owns ESPN, they don’t own the radio station where Kornheiser made his comments.
We’ll have to see what he has to say to Lance tomorrow. And just how much he’s willing to work with local cyclists to make up for the damage he’s already caused.
My guess is, not much.
Or at least, not enough.