After a Deadspin story last week on sports-talk troglodyte Tony Bruno’s racist claim that most professional basketball players are illiterate, national broadcaster Sports Map Radio has dropped his evening program, the network confirmed Friday. SiriusXM has also reportedly yanked his boring afternoon show. These developments are hilarious, welcome, and probably long overdue.
Sports Map told Deadspin in a statement:
We are no longer carrying the “Into The Night” program with Tony & Harry. We will be introducing a new program, starting next Tuesday (Sept 8th) entitled “Sports Map All Night” with host Bill Schmid. This was actually something we were contemplating previously, as [with] the start of the NFL season, we wanted live content and interaction across our network.
Following our August 26 story — headlined ‘NBA Players Can’t Read,’ Idiot Proclaims on Radio — and shortly before he was canned, Bruno took to the air with a big, dumb salvo aimed squarely at Deadspin.
“I’m going to have to get a cease-and-desist,” Bruno griped. “That is fraud. And I’m going to have to get legal people on the case here.”
Deadspin’s crime? Taking what Bruno said and writing it down. Lock us up, I guess.
“When you’re gonna come after me with some slipshod hack writer, who’s not even a journalist, who basically his only job is to go and do hit pieces on people, I’m not gonna have somebody try and ruin my life and my reputation because they’re incompetent,” Bruno said.
“He is criminantly, criminally negligent,” Bruno continued. “What he did is consumer fraud, and he should pay.”
“Criminantly,” for those keeping score, is not a word.
“I will do everything in my power to make sure Deadspin is taken care of and brought to justice,” Bruno said, waving his index finger at the camera as if addressing a misbehaving dog.
Deadspin has not yet heard from Bruno’s legal team.
He went on to offer listeners an impromptu “Journalism 101” lesson, hammering home the importance of accurate reporting after identifying the story’s author as a “cracker,” eager to be “down with the brothers,” who once argued in a New York Post column that NFL flop Geno Smith was a better quarterback than Drew Brees.
As the cracker in question, let me assure you: I have never written about Geno Smith, nor have I ever worked at the New York Post. Thanks for the tips on accuracy, Tony.
Bruno’s screeching continued for several more minutes — I’ll spare you the rest of the play-by-play (you can watch it here, starting at 2:13:10, if you hate yourself) but there was one final gem:
“Deadspin is Hitler, literally. Well, not literally. They can’t be, because Hitler’s dead. They’re worse than Hitler.”
So is this “cancel culture” run amok? We strafe a guy for no reason, then delight as our hatchet job sends him further into obscurity?
Of course not. Bruno played himself. This is abundantly clear to anyone who has heard more than four seconds of his terrible radio program or browsed through his racist-uncle Twitter feed. What we did was write down his bullshit — with an audio clip from his show accompanying the text — and his employers took it upon themselves to “cancel” him.
Like many cavemen of a certain age, Bruno objects to a press that has grown increasingly hostile toward casual bigotry. The way he tells it, we’re bent on muzzling him because what he has to say is too earth-shattering for our snowflake ears to process. Too real. Too raw. Indeed, Bruno and his ilk are the only truth-tellers left in a fake-news world out to stigmatize his views.
We didn’t cancel him, we amplified his message. Bruno, like all of us, has every right to say stupid things in public. But the First Amendment only protects him from prosecution — not getting his ass dropped from the airwaves.
Good riddance to this fucking kidney stone.