“Hannah Storm in a horrifying, horrifying outfit today,” Kornheiser said. “She’s got on red go-go boots and a catholic school plaid skirt … way too short for somebody in her 40s or maybe early 50s by now.
“She’s got on her typically very, very tight shirt. She looks like she has sausage casing wrapping around her upper body … I know she’s very good, and I’m not supposed to be critical of ESPN people, so I won’t … but Hannah Storm … come on now! Stop! What are you doing?”
I’m interested to hear your thoughts about Kornheiser’s comments and punishment in the comments, but first, here are my thoughts.
1) I doubt the punishment would have been this severe if Kornheiser was a woman. Joan Rivers says horrible things about the way people dress and has made a very good career out of it. Change Hannah Storm to actress Teri Hatcher and stick her on a red carpet and no one would think twice about proclaiming her too old for that dress or too fat for that shirt.
I think if this had been a woman, the press would describe the incident as a cat fight, the transgressor would apologize and we would move on.
2) On a related note, if someone were to send me a photo of a middle-aged woman in red, knee high boots, a short plaid skirt, and a skin tight top, the odds are fairly good that I would post that photo. Provided, of course, that the face wasn’t showing and she wasn’t a Member of Congress, a Cabinet Secretary or some other person who could get me canned with a phone call. What can I say? I’m a coward who likes health insurance and a steady paycheck.
3) But perhaps the problem isn’t that Kornheiser is a man, perhaps it is the medium and the context. He didn’t insult her clothes on a fashion blog, he insulted them on a TV show aired on the same network that she works for. I don’t care who you are, that’s going to hurt. And it’s going to bruise with added zing when you are one of the few women at the top of a male dominated industry.
4) As for the comments themselves, I think that was a tasteless and rude thing to say about your female co-worker. His remarks contain comments about her age, her body and an unmistakable sexual connotation. And he made them on-air on his radio show for a cheap laugh.
Should he have been suspended? I don’t know, that’s really up to Storm and ESPN. But either way, there are plenty of groups who are going to want his head on a platter. So this probably is not the end of this story.
And in case you are curious as to whether he apologized, he has:
“I apologize, unequivocally … I’m a sarcastic, subversive guy … I’m a troll, look at me. I have no right to insult what anybody looks like or what anybody wears. That, I think, should go without saying.”
So ladies and gentlemen, what do you think? Was Kornheiser out of line? And was the apology enough or should he be suspended/fired? Leave your thoughts in the comments, but remember to play nice with the other commenters or else I’ll have to get cozy with the delete key.