The seeds were planted for this post Thursday. We spent the last few days bouncing the following names off a few media members. You will find one thing in common with everyone here: They’re wildly successful. And really, is being thin-skinned the worst thing in the world? The criticism means you’ve arrived; the thin-skin means you’re human.
1. Keith Olbermann – Overwhelmingly gains the top spot, probably more for his antics at MSNBC than his Sunday night work at NBC. If you mention his name anywhere – radio, TV – it’s as if he has a sonar and picks it up. Supposedly, there are many tales of his payback at ESPN – one day, you half expect, “Olbermann, the collected works” to appear on the rack at Barnes & Noble.
2. Bob Costas – According to media members, he’s not above contacting anyone who writes something negative about him. A recent conspiracy theory that a media member floated our way: After Costas was mercilessly ripped last March following his “I hate blogs” comments in the Miami Herald, we hear Costas was so upset about the internet backlash that he plotted payback . Even though we cannot confirm the story, you know how it ends: Buzz Bissinger and Costas tag-teammed Will Leitch.
3. Mike Lupica – His lilliputian tales of insecurity and thin-skin are legendary. Last year, just prior to the Super Bowl, he ran a Daily News colleague off from the paper. It isn’t the first time he’s pulled that kind of stunt, either. Lupica’s famously made The Sports Reporters unwatchable … because he controls the damn show.
4. Tony Kornheiser – For years, he’s feuded with folks in (and out) of the sports department at his old paper, the Washington Post, about criticism of his work. Even his friends say he’s the most thin-skinned journalist they know. But he’s conquered print, books, TV and radio – that’s a lot of opportunities for criticism.
5. Chris Berman – He’s getting up there in age, and as the criticism mounts, he cannot seem to contain his bubbling anger. If he handled it all like, say, Joe Morgan, we’re guessing he wouldn’t be such a target. Honorable mention: A few of the names that were kicked around in our informal media poll: Rich Eisen, Bill Simmons, JA Adande, Mike Francesa (radio), Jay Mariotti, and Jason Whitlock.