Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Watch your words

Tony Kornheiser was announcing the Monday Night Football game last night. They cut to a play call in Spanish in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

As a joke Kornheiser said, “I took high school Spanish and that either means 'nobody is going to touch him' or 'could you pick up my dry cleaning in the morning.’ It’s one of those two.”

Later in the broadcast they create an opening by announcing that they are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month during the broadcast and Tony chimes in… "On that subject I said something before I shouldn't have said. I apologize for it. Not my first mistake, undoubtedly won't be my last, but a 100% apology."

And everybody was thinking the same thing: Huh? What’d I miss?

We will never know how that apology came about. Did someone phone in a complaint? Was it a decision by the brass to avoid a Don Imus moment.

Now, I’m analyzing the comment and as an insult it doesn’t make any sense to begin with. Who is going to pick up the dry cleaning? The football player? The Spanish announcer? Tony Kornheiser?

And I’ve picked up the dry cleaning before. I never thought that was demeaning work or something only a peon would do. I just don’t get the slight.

Now, maybe the comment was disrespectful to the Spanish language. I don’t think so, but maybe they took it that way.

If so, every person who speaks Spanish in the United States in the presence of someone who does not is being far more offensive. Maybe we could make that behavior politically incorrect.

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