When will TV news guys learn that you can’t mess with TV news gals?

ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser is the latest to learn the Clarice Rule. He’s been suspended for daring to criticize the wardrobe of colleague Hannah Storm. His rant was funny, with lines such as “She’s what I would call a Holden Caulfield fantasy at this point.”

Kornheiser is a TV entertainer. Why suspend him for being entertaining on TV? Makes no sense.


But that’s what happens when you break the Clarice Rule.

The rule (which I just made up) isn’t named after Clarice Starling, the Jody Foster character in Silence of the Lambs.

It’s named after KDFW-TV news anchor Clarice Tinsley, who was notoriously pushed into a swimming pool at an after-work party in 1986. As the story goes, she wasn’t happy about it and let management know of her displeasure.


Tinsley has remained at the station for more than 30 years.

Not so much for sportscaster Kevin McCarthy, the guy who took the blame for Tinsley’s soaking.

He was fired.

McCarthy would later reinvent himself as a radio talk show host.


  1. Scott Sams was fired for calling Alexa Conomos a greek bitch. His comment may be too harsh to qualify as Clarice Rule punishment, however.