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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  • AWD

    Hat's off to you Mike!!!!

  • Kevin

    My hat's off to Steinberg.

  • noodlez

    SO THE BROTHER PORTRAYING HIMSELF AS THE ANGRY BLACK MAN PUNCHING DOWN TO THE KNOW IT ALL WHITE GUY WHO HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS OCCURRED ON FACEBOOK AND NOT AT THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE ON WEDNESDAY.

    WHO KNEW???

    WILBON IS WRONG ABOUT DC BEING A CRUMMY SPORTS TOWN HE KNOWS BETTER AS A SPORTS WRITER, JUNKIE AND ENTHUSIAST. HIS HOMETOWN, CHI-TOWN CONNECTION CLOUDS HIS JUDGEMENT CONSTANTLY.

  • Typical DC BS

    Wilbon forgets where he started and how he got to where he is now. Major fail.

  • Frank Lee Mahdear

    Wilbon was great when he was the beat writer for the Dips. Didn't know he was still around.

  • Tim

    Meh. Neither Kornheiser nor Wilbon have sacrificed marriages for their careers, so how dedicated can they possibly be. Lightweights. And they can diss the blogger all they want, but that cheese plate he brought to the Pollin service was the bibbity bomb.

  • SRS

    I'm disappointed in Wilbon (childish Facebook rant not withstanding -- at least do that on Twitter). He's lived in DC long enough to know that this is a sports town. Maybe not a baseball and hockey town until recently, but for decades its been a Bullets/Wizards and definitely at Redskins town. Just ask someone's who's from here. How else do losing teams still sell out games? C'mon...

  • http://lemax-spookytown.com JoeD

    I really used to like Wilbon's columns, but ever since he got famous riding Kornheiser's coattails, he's become an insufferable bore who's completely full of himself.

  • 20011

    The only thing proven in this whole travesty is that Mike Wilbon is a fucking asshole. This town helped him become how incredibly successful he is today and he does nothing but piss in the faces of those who live here. Along with Gary Bettman, I would smile if I heard Wilbon was hit by a Metro bus.

  • http://onewhocares Robert Hottinger

    The Fire Chief in Washington, D.C is a joke. He is by far the worst Mayoral appointy he has in his suspect administration. He is vindictive, devicive, and his sole objective is to tear this, what was long thought of as one of the premier Fire Dept. in the country into one of the most disfunctional agencies period , regardless of there operation in the country. Please help us.

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