Bob’s Blitz’ lengthy (and somewhat profane) interview with NY Post media critic Phil Mushnick was mentioned in this space Friday, which just happened to be the same afternoon ESPN 1050’s Michael Kay (above) went nuclear on The Bearded Conscience Of All Things Sports Media, with the transcribed comments provided by Newsday’s Neil Best. Here’s a few of the highlights :
This is a quote from Phil Mushnick’s column in the Post today: ˜Now a scold: When Kay lifts a chunk from a newspaper column, repeats it almost word for word on his radio show as if it’s his original thought and he doesn’t credit the author, or at least the publication in which it appeared, that’s dishonest, a form of theft.”
“First things first: Who the hell are you to scold me? My mother and father scolded me and they’re dead. You’re not, OK? Don’t ever scold me. You don’t have that right to be scolding me, nor do you have that gravitas. You’re nothing, OK? And what you wrote is untrue. Because of all the people that you talk to, even people at this station, I’m obsessed with giving credit. Some of my best friends in the world are newspaper writers and I always give credit.
If I inadvertently or unknowingly gave the same kind of thought that was in a newspaper column without crediting it, well then I apologize for that. But I want you to tell me what I did and when I did it. Because the way you write it it’s like it’s a constant thing, and that.
It’s fraudulent on your part. Fraudulent. That is not true. And I’ve got stuff on you. You want to question ethics? I’ll bring it out, too. I™ve got plenty of things that would question your ethics and your morals and the way you do your job. And I’m going to leave it open-ended, too. How does that feel?
You guys have thin skins. If you think about, what are critics? and critique it. Do something on your own. I’d never steal a line from your column, Phil, because I know every single day exactly what you’re going to write.
Let’s see: You’ll rip Mike Francesa, who’s one of the most successful people in this business. You’re going to rip John Sterling, who’s one of the most popular people that does major league baseball. Oh, yeah, you also don™t like when people say, ˜Let’s break it down.
And you don’t like the term ˜walk off.™ And you think that ESPN self-congratulates itself. Oh, yeah, and black uniforms. You’re a six-trick pony, baby. You write the same thing. You don’t get off your couch in your living room and you have the nerve to question my ethics and my honesty? How dare you? You have no right and you have no credibility to do it.
One day when I die more people are going to be sad than happy. And when you die it’s going to be the complete opposite. Because people hate your guts in the business. Nobody respects you and then you have the nerve to take me on? Well, it’s not going to happen. The next time you rip me, I’ll rip you again, and I’ll say all the things I know about you. I’ll rip you again! So don’t you ever come after me, with my ethics and my morals and my honesty, because I am beyond reproach with that.”
Though I’m obviously not going to debate Kay’s charge that Phil loves beating a dead horse (BECAUSE I’VE BEEN SAYING THE SAME THING FOR YEARS, thanks), the above rant reveals far more about the Yankee broadcaster than the Post columnist. Kay might consider Mushnick “a parasite”, but it’s the latter’s job to provide his personal take on the sports media sphere. If Kay wishes to work in a world where celebrities, radio hosts, etc. are off-limits, that pretty much wipes out a big chunk of whatever he’d like to discuss during his program or on a Yankee telecast. Also, who actually believes Mushnick was accusing Kay of lifting material from an “Equal Time” column?
(ADDENDUM : actually, that’s exactly what Mushnick is claiming.)
As for the charge that Mushnick is widely “hated in the business” and his funeral would be a cause for celebration ; if my job description was the same as Phil’s, I’d consider that a compliment.