City Desk

The Michael Wilbon-Dan “Sports Bog” Steinberg Facebook Fight, Dissected

Michael Wilbon

Washington Post Sports Bog blogger Dan Steinberg just can't catch a break from his Post predecessors. First Tony Kornheiser nicknamed him "The Cheese Boy," and now, Kornheiser's Pardon the Interruption co-host Michael Wilbon has all but called him garbage people.

Wilbon's feud with Steinberg has been simmering since Tuesday, when Wilbon called D.C. a crummy sports town. Steinberg said Wilbon was wrong, and Wilbon shot back that Steinberg should do less homer cheerleading and more speaking truth to power.

Steinberg then asked Wilbon how much truth-to-power speaking he was doing when he participated in a charity golf game for Post heir Don Graham's scholarship fund, featuring Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

And then, last night, an incensed Wilbon took to Facebook to finish Steinberg off, and along the way, produce a master course in pulling rank. In just 260 words, Wilbon questions Steinberg's finances, career, fashion sense, and loyalty to the Post. Adolescent cyberbullies, take note (emphases always added):

I've seen increasingly how impressed Dan Steinberg is with himself and his non-column.

Dan Steinberg is a blogger. Michael Wilbon hates bloggers, which explains why he is running his personal burn book on Facebook of all places, and not on a blog, like a normal global media brand.

What I wonder is whether he's smart enough to know that when he takes a shot at Earvin Johnson flying to a celebrity roast at Landsdowne Steinberg also is belittling Don Graham's massive charitable crusade to raise millions of dollars for tuition of D.C. High school children.

Not only do I know your boss, I play golf with him.

Don Graham, last I checked, is still Steinberg's boss…or does he think it's the other way around?

Really though, I'm sure no one is happier about this spat than Graham. All sitting on his slowly-diminishing but still huge pile of student loan and hospice money, the Sports Bog's Google Analytics running in the background.

And when Don asked me to co-host that golf tournament to raise those dollars, I was thrilled to do it. If Dan wants to match Earvin's donation to help a D.C. Kid pay college tuition, it would be welcome.

Dan Steinberg isn't even as rich as Magic Johnson! How can he afford a blog?

Then again, If you're going to wrap yourself in D.C. Sports patriotism, Dan, have the decency to come to a public service honoring the patriarch of D.C. Sports (while representing The Post, no less) in a professional manner. Then again, I'm sure you'll find some excuse for that, too.

Apparently, Steinberg did not meet Wilbon's standards at late Wizards and Verizon Center owner Abe Pollin's memorial service in 2009. This is like that thing when someone makes you mad for just one thing, but you're looking to build up a whole bill of goods about what a jerk they are, so you throw out a bunch of old stuff that didn't even bother you at the time.

You and your tag-team partner, Bram Weinstein, seem to think I'm under some obligation to run my opinions past you, like you're my editors…or even qualified to be that.

For a guy whose TV show is all about affectionate bickering, and whose employer runs a show where the only entertainment value is yelling, doesn't Wilbon seem pretty confused about the concept of disagreement? Twice now, he's hinted that if Steinberg writes about him or Graham enough, he'll become their boss under Sports Fight law.

Anytime, anyplace you want to post and compare resumes or career highlights I'm more than happy to engage. Until then, I'll form my own opinions, popular or not, without seeking your permission.

Wilbon has since apologized.

Correction: This post initially stated that Wilbon criticized Steinberg's clothes at Pollin's funeral. In fact, he was unhappy with what Steinberg wore to a memorial service.

Photo by Diamondback Photo used under a Creative Commons license.

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