To bring you up to speed, in case you haven't been following along with this increasingly nasty sports-media feud: Last week, New York Post sports-media columnist Phil Mushnick scolded Michael Kay ("scold" being Mushnick's word — that'll come into play later), saying, "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."
Kay responded in the form of a four-and-a-half-minute rant on his radio show, helpfully transcribed here by Neil Best. Some of the highlights:
• "If I inadvertently or unknowingly gave the same kind of thought that was in a newspaper column without crediting it, well then I apologize for that. But I want you to tell me what I did and when I did it. Because the way you write it it's like it's a constant thing, and that's fraudulent on your part. Fraudulent. That is not true. And 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?"
• "Don't scold me. I'm not your son. How dare you scold me? You ever scolded me to my face I'd punch you in the face."
• "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. Nobody respects you and then you have the nerve to take me on? Well, it's not going to happen."
Mushnick, unsurprisingly, responded himself today, this time bringing specifics: He accused Kay of repeating his thoughts on Dave Winfield — both men argued that the Hall of Famer is better on the radio than he is on TV — and said that the order in which Kay presented his thoughts "corresponded with what I'd written." (Mushnick says that 1050 ESPN Radio won't provide him with the audio in question from Kay's show because they're satisfied that any similarity is "pure coincidence.")
And then there's this from Mushnick, in response to Kay's line about the reaction to each of their deaths: "Fine, just as long as we can find out in alphabetical order." Ouch.
Whichever side you're on — and by all means, take sides in the comments, especially since this has evolved from a journalistic discussion about crediting sources to a contest to see who can be crueler to the other — you'll surely agree that this has gone to an ugly, ugly place.
Previously: Michael Kay vs. SNY: Who Ya Got?