Tony Kornheiser has been suspended from Pardon the Interruption for “some time” (read: a few days) due to his comments about Hannah Storm’s wardrobe last week. Kornheiser – who apologized to Storm the day after the kerfuffle – was missing from PTI yesterday (Dan LeBatard filled in) and he opened his radio show today by quickly addressing the matter. An ESPN spokesman confirmed the suspension, which is anticipated to be “a few days.” [UPDATE: ESPN Executive VP John Skipper released a statement at 6 pm today saying Kornheiser is suspended for two weeks.]
While we did a couple of posts on the story last week, we never offered up any thoughts on the matter. We’ll be brief: Silly suspension. Storm’s Sportscenter wardrobe for nearly two years has been embarrassing. Male anchors are dressed in suits; Storm frequently wears outfits that you might see on a cougar at a bar. Is she going dancing or talking about the Kentucky Wildcats? Erin Andrews has cleaned up her sartorial act on the sidelines. Is it too much to ask Storm to do the same?
Nobody expects Storm to be covered in burka, but she could definitely learn a bit from the likes of Chris McKendry or Sage Steele. [Ed. A reader passes along this Steele outfit. Guess we missed that day.] Norby should go home and ask his neighbor’s wife what she thinks of Storm’s short skirts, tall boots, and plunging necklines. He might be surprised.
Furthermore, ESPN must loosen up. (We thought this problem had been solved over the last year – the network had come a long way from the early 00’s – but apparently not.) Why can’t it have its top talent – Bill Simmons, Tony Kornheiser, etc – making commentary about the media? Colin Cowherd opened his show today talking about Mike Wilbon’s silly take on Tiger. Is he going to be suspended next? The more restrictions you place on your talent, the easier it is to lose them when it’s time to re-sign them.
And unlike earlier this decade, the ESPN talent – writers, radio hosts, and TV stars alike – has plenty of options.