Michael Kay responded to a plagiarism allegation with a rant that lasted five minutes on his radio show Friday afternoon. The target of his venom was Phil Mushnick who wrote in The New York Post the following:
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 — if he doesn’t credit the author or at least the publication in which it appeared — that’s dishonest, a form of theft.
Mushnick didn’t provide a context to his charge. The entire transcript of Kay’s response is must-read stuff. Thanks to Newsday’s media critic Neil Best for recording it and somehow publishing it without Newsday’s pay wall getting in the way (Take that, Dolans!).
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.
Kay accused Mushnick of his own ethical lapses:
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?
…physically and professionally threatened Mushnick:
You ever scolded me to my face I’d punch you in the face. Scold me in print? No. That’s not the way it works. I’m not going to let you get away with it.
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.
He even invoked the classic end-game debate: Whose funeral gets more attendees?
“Because 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.”
Mushnick’s Sunday column doesn’t mention anything about this. He won’t take Kay’s threats seriously, right?
[Photo via ESPN]