Tony Kornheiser’s new podcast debuts today. He joined Bill Simmons’s podcast last week (above) to discuss the parameters of it, and the two also delved into other topics such as the apparently impenetrable layer of invisible Saran wrap that keep Michael Wilbon’s expensive suits safe from dinner, the evolution of the sports column, The Night Of, and Tony’s career path.
At around the 40-minute mark — following a discussion about Ben Bradlee, Sally Quinn, and All the President’s Men — Kornheiser described how he was recruited to the Washington Post from the New York Times in the late 70’s. Tony and his wife were set to have dinner with then-Sports editor George Solomon and then-Style editor Shelby Coffey, and their wives, at a DC restaurant called Romeo and Juliet. When they got there, Kornheiser noticed there were two more seats at the table.
“At that moment, Ben and Sally walked in,” Tony said. “And Bill, I’d’ve paid them to work there. They walked in on rose pedals and foam. It was like a scene from a Gene Kelly movie where he starts to dance. I was totally hooked. Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn in the late 70’s are, in my mind, are not only the greatest couple in journalism. To me, they’re the greatest people in journalism. I’m just stunned by it. As they say in Jerry Maguire, they had me at hello. I left the New York Times, which nobody does.”
Solomon, in an email exchange initiated by my Dad, confirmed that this story was all true.
Last year, I wrote a long piece about Solomon’s Washington Post sports section, and spoke with Michael Wilbon, Rachel Nichols, David Remnick, Sally Jenkins, Christine Brennan, Norman Chad, J.A. Adande, David Aldridge, Don Graham, Dave Kindred, Len Downie, and more for it: