O'Donnell: TNT merits sad props for quickly showcasing Steve Kerr's call against arms

  • Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr had quite a bit to say about Tuesday's school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, before a playoff game that night in Dallas.

    Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr had quite a bit to say about Tuesday's school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, before a playoff game that night in Dallas. Associated Press

Updated 5/25/2022 2:33 PM

NOW, IN THE WAKE OF Buffalo and Uvalde, the American capacity for outrage is once again overflowing.

But in lobotomized lockstep, the American capacity for sustained, corrective outrage remains as improbable as stopping more anonymous gun acquisitions.


That's why TNT's handling of the breaking reaction to the latest Texas massacre on its pregame show before Game 4 of the Golden State-Dallas Western Conference Finals Tuesday night was so sadly commendable.

Those who watched it won't forget it.

Those who didn't should YouTube "Steve Kerr" to feel the essence of it.

WITHIN THREE MINUTES of opening, host Ernie Johnson prompted a cutaway to Kerr's dramatically poignant statement about the nation's latest slaughter of everyday innocents.

Kerr skipped any pregame thoughts about the Warriors-Mavericks. He instead used his podium for three remarkably evocative minutes on the ceaseless wave of gun-spawned mass murders in America.

He pleaded, "When are we going to do something?"

He chastised the 50 U.S. Senators -- only Mitch McConnell by name -- for their ongoing failure to move on HR-8, leaving the other 50 members of the chamber neutered.

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HR-8 is the "Bipartisan Background Checks Act," a bill that crawled through the House of Representatives before its passing in March 2021. It has languished in the Senate ever since.

KERR SLAMMED THE DESKTOP and concluded: "It's pathetic. I've had enough."

It's a well-known fact that Kerr's father was assassinated by parties unknown in Lebanon 38 years ago.

Malcolm Kerr was president of the American University of Beirut. He was far too human rights-oriented for his position.

Amid a civil war, after an invasion of the state by Israel, he allowed vetted Lebanese to effect academic sanctuary on university grounds.

He also deflected demands by Israeli agents to search those grounds for "terrorists."

A short while later, he was shot and killed outside his office.


HIS SON'S STATEMENT Tuesday night trivialized basketball and underscored the fact that the America of 2022 is indeed of untethered soul.

Steve Kerr pointed at the Mitch McConnells of the frightening Washington backstage.

But his thoughts also recalled the words of Cassius in Act I of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar":

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."

And that line was thus spake with neither Cassius nor Brutus having any vision of the power of all of the "lobbying money" of The National Rifle Association.

IN ITS BRIEF EXISTENCE, the Cubs' Marquee Sports Network has gained a well-deserved reputation as a place where finger-tipping media and baseball personalities go to wither.

The web is co-owned with Sinclair Broadcasting. It's boring. It's poorly programmed. And it centers on an MLB team that's currently as exciting to watch as a Zoom tea party hosted by RuPaul.

But GM Mike McCarthy and staggering crew outdid themselves during a recent taping of a startup gap filler called "The Reporters."

The core concept of the show was intended to resurrect the spirit of the old "Sportswriters on TV." That was the 1980s vehicle produced by John Roach and engined by the brilliant Bill Gleason, still one of the greatest sports thinkers in the history of Chicago arts and letters.

THE NEW MARQUEE WHIFFER is hosted by the career amiable Bob Sirott, who has been notably sensitive about the project since its inception.

An assemblage of guests for that recent edition included an array of B- and D-listers including columnist-turned-sports talker David Haugh, fringe perennial Peggy Kusinski and Maddie Lee.

The group apparently came a little too close to calling the Cubs' rebuild "a rebuild." Taping was halted. Before the reboot, the trio was reportedly told to ease off on the perception of negativity.

A CREDIBLE SOURCE SAID Haugh threatened to walk, but didn't.

After all, he and Mike Mulligan are the best thing on the sinking ship of radio cabin boys called "The Score." And, such an abrupt public exit might threaten his standing as an all-time Ball State "Happy Hoosier."

The taping concluded. The tempest goes into the file marked "Banal and Bemusing."

HERE'S ONE Rx FROM a veteran Insouciant:

Do no sports talk shows. Very simple.

That way, no needless merchandising of knowledge or talent. No concerns about doing lowbrow schtick on no-audience gabfests. No need to have to show up and sniff the wind.

Let the Cubs have their propaganda outlet. Just as the Reinsdorfs and the Wirtzes have theirs with NBC Sports Chicago.

But ditch the title "The Reporters."

Instead, how about "Captive City?"

• Jim O'Donnell's Sports and Media column appears Thursday and Sunday. Reach him at jimodonnelldh@yahoo.com.

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