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Covering This Against Our Own Will

Those of you who said that violence in Iraq would outlast Kornheiser-gate may want to think again.

From yesterday’s washingtonpost.com chat with Michael Wilbon:

    Leesburg, Va.: So what was Tony’s reaction to Gene Weingarten’s article from last week? I loved the “review”. The only thing funnier then the satirical article was the reaction of the people who didn’t get the joke. Joe Thiesman made a comment that he would no longer be friends with anyone who write an article like that about him. I think Joe needs to get a sense of humor. I hope Tony found the article funny, but I’m worried that enough people didn’t get the joke, and that would bother him.

    Michael Wilbon: I haven’t talked to Tony about any more of those pieces. I know this for sure: most people weren’t certain if it was satire. I read the piece not knowing for sure until the agate type at the end…and that day (Tuesday of last week) I ran into a bunch of prominent Washingtonians who are faithful readers of the newspaper (we’re talking senior partners in law firms and one noted politician) who said to me they didn’t know for sure what to think, whether it was satire…Everybody’s sense humor, and this should be underscored, ain’t the same. Anyway, we know what Weingarten was trying to do and to some it was successful. I think Tony, who has taken millions of hard shots over 30 years, has to suck it up, be a big boy, and live with criticism. Don’t throw the rock if you’re not willing to take one on the forehead.

    Having said that, the first critique in Style I found mean and agenda-driven. When you work in a sports section all your life, even one as prestigious as The Post’s, there are always jerks in features and news sections insulting sports writers and I, for one, come out swinging. Way too many of them think they’re superior in talent when they’re not. The definition of “deadline” for too many of them is ” a week from tomorrow.” They wouldn’t know how to write on deadline if their lives depended on it, in some cases. They make far, far, far less money in a lot of cases and hate that. There’s a jealousy factor involved and directed at sportswriters, just the way sportswriters have directed bad behavior at TV sports people for years and years…So, when the first piece ran I said some rather harsh things about the writer, which I neither regret nor take back even though I have rather enjoyed his work, lots of it. …

    Los Angeles, Calif.: Michael,

    Yes, it’s true that sportswriters work on deadline and Style reporters don’t, but when was the last time TK wrote on deadline? Newsday?

    Michael Wilbon: Ha! That’s a winner. I’d say the early 1990s. Barcelona for the Olympics. I’m serious. That’s 14 years and counting. But I’d take Tony in a deadline situation over ANYBODY in Style. There’s a competition for you!

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