Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
Tonya Harding does not care what you or Obama think
Fifteen years later, Tonya vs. Nancy at the 1994 Winter Olympics remains the highest-rated non-Super Bowl in the history of American sports TV.
On the HBO "Real Sports" premiering Tuesday, Tonya Harding sits down with Bernard Goldberg, and sounds as if she might be ready to, um, whack someone upon hearing Barack Obama bring her up in a campaign speech.
Click below for highlights.
Photo: GettyGoldberg: Is there any point, Tonya, where you have to take some responsibility for this?
Harding: How much responsibility do you think I need to take? I paid my debt to society, all right? I live an every day life trying to succeed in whatever I do trying to keep a roof over my head. How much punishment do you think I need to go through?
Narration: "No, it wasnt the way she wanted it but Tonya Harding did secure her place in sports history in American culture actually and after fifteen years for good or for bad shes even part of our vocabulary "
Obama at a campaign speech: And when we were down 20 points in the summer, all the pundits and all the smart folks they were saying, 'OK, his only chance now is hes gotta knee-cap her. Hes gotta do a Tonya Harding on the front-runner.
Goldberg: He said, 'I'm not gonna pull a Tonya Harding.' You know what that means?
Harding: Yes, absolutely. Because obviously he didn't have enough people looking at him? He has this country to think about, he has the candidacy to think about, the war to think about-- and he has to bring me up? What the hell is important in this world today? Oh, that's right, Tonya Harding. But guess what, I get jobs because he used my name on national television because people forget who Tonya Harding is. All publicity is good publicity.
Goldberg: You're a piece of work.
Harding: Do you think I care what other people think?
Goldberg: Apparently not.
Harding: No, I don't. I'm sorry, it sounds really harsh, it sounds like I'm just being a back-wood hicks girl, but you know what? That is who I am. If you like me, great. If you don't like me, that's okay, that's your opinion. But I betcha you'll still pay money to come see me.