Audio: Craig Carton's 2009 on-air attack of Jennifer Capriati

Circa June 2009, Phil Mushnick wrote of Craig Carton's on air attack on Jennifer Capriati:

WFAN’s Craig Carton has a problem. He wants to make a living being a pig without ever being called one. Like most shock jocks and schoolyard bullies, Carton is extremely sensitive. About himself. For all his cheap shots and low blows he can’t take a punch; he cries like a baby.

Monday, Carton and Boomer Esiason had on 33-year-old Jennifer Capriati, the now inactive tennis prodigy, once ranked No. 1 and the winner of three Grand Slam events. She apparently was under the impression she was on FAN to promote an event she and Jim Courier were headlining in Rockefeller Center. She seemed to have no idea who Carton is nor what he does. She likely thought he’s a let’s-talk-sports morning drive radio host.

At first.

But Carton soon began asking her about her body, and then whether she’d have sex with a woman, and then whether she’d engage in a threesome with him and another woman [Joanna Krupa]. She caught on; Carton’s another radio low-life bottom feeder, and she was the target of his ambush.


Carton: Not that you're not hot but you're no Joanna Krupa. How hot was she?
Capriati: Uhhh, you know, not bad, not bad.
Carton: Would you ever get it on with a gal like that or no?
Capriati: What kind of questions are these man?
Carton: I only ask because she’s a beautiful woman.
Capriati: [Uncomfortable laugh]
Carton: And I don’t know about your sexuality, it’s irrelevant to me, whether you like women or men or both.
Boomer: Now come on...
Carton: But as a single woman you appreciate that Joanna Krupa’s gorgeous right?
Capriati: I appreciate beauty. Yes. Her personality was great too.
Carton: Great, so I don’t know if you drink beer or if you’re totally on the wagon with everything but is there any moment where you could see you and Joanna maybe getting it on or no way?
Capriati: No, no way.
Carton: You like men, yes?
Capriati: Yes.
Carton: Damn it.
Capriati: These are, yeah, these are...
Carton: Can you lie to me so when I go to sleep tonight and close my eyes there's the possibility that you, me, and Joanna Krupa could get it on or no?
Capriati: No. In your dreams.
Esiason: In your dreams is right. Way to go Jennifer.

Mushnick continued, And, just because he could, Carton threw an insult at Courier, who wasn’t on the line, calling him “Mr. No Personality.”

He also called him 'half a woman.'

Before saying that his wife would probably participate in a threesome with him if the third was the aforementioned Joanna Krupa.



This was a typical Carton session. Over several minutes, he didn’t allow 10 seconds of intelligent conversation. And because he was neither clever nor creative, Carton — not Capriati — became the victim of Carton’s pathetic art.

And when WFAN attached the interview to its Web site, the come-on paragraph read that Carton spoke with Capriati about her “preferences,” as if the interview had been predicated upon her agreement to discuss her sex life, which never before had been an issue. Carton just wanted to talk naughty on the air to a woman.

Carton though, seems genuinely hurt that his act has been condemned by local sports TV/radio newspaper columnists. He has taken that hard, responding with — what else? — vulgar name-calling, even repeatedly speaking a total fabrication about one of the columnists’ career until some fools believe it. (The fabricated tale with which Carton pretends to be very familiar would have occurred when he was 18.)

But as long as this gutter-talker, name-caller and put-down artist takes criticism so hard, what would he regard as a credible written assessment of his labor? What else could any of us write? Maybe he’d approve if we framed it differently, if it read something like this:

“Carton’s ability to turn just about any conversation or issue into a junior high school-level sexual innuendo session is truly admirable, among his greatest strengths.”

Or, “Carton never hesitates to objectify women, to measure their worth purely on their appearance, especially breast size. To that low end, he’s a master!”

Or maybe he’d approve of, “Hats off to Craig Carton! There isn’t a disability or infirmity, physical or neurological, that he won’t mock. And while he’s never funny in doing so, such consistency is the mark of his greatness.”

Or perhaps he’d like, “Carton’s chameleon-like interviewing skills are superb. One minute, while talking with faceless, nameless callers, he can be pointlessly coarse, obnoxious to the core. The next minute, with some political or entertainment big shot on the line, he’s a different chap, a gentleman who keeps it way up here. As full-fledged phonies go, few can roll with Carton!”

And maybe he’d prefer to read, “Carton, Esiason and WFAN must be particularly proud that program director Mark Chernoff answers complaints about the vulgar content of the show by telling the displeased they should tune to a different station or shut off the radio when kids are in the car. This morning-drive, radio sports show is aimed only at adult males, Chernoff responds, thus isn’t recommended for kids, teens and women. Good job all around for Carton, Esiason, Chernoff and FAN!”

What good, Craig — and I know you’ll read every word of this — could any credible critic write about your daily performances? That you have near-perfect attendance?

Meanwhile, for all his retaliation by fabrication and name-calling, the fellow who has left a long, chronicled trail of genuine shame through several radio stops is Carton. He has the shock jock checklist pretty much covered, having trashed gays, Asians, those afflicted with dwarfism, Hispanics and even sufferers from post-partum depression. And none of it can be minimally excused as clever; his takes and riffs are always coarse and cruel.

WFAN lost the tapes of the Carton / Capriati ambush disappear.

Until today.

Not surprising that 7 years later Carton with be joined on air by Gov. Chris Christie...the latter lusting all over Maria Sharapova & Caroline Wozniacki.

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