‘Completely irrational’: Caro blasts Luke Darcy’s ‘pathetic’ attack on Kane Cornes

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Veteran footy journalist Caroline Wilson has defended Kane Cornes after Luke Darcy criticised the divisive AFL commentator in an icy on-air exchange over the weekend.

At Gather Round in Adelaide, Darcy confronted Cornes during a live segment on Triple M’s Friday Huddle — and it got awkward.

The lighthearted interview began with questions about Nathan Brown’s dominant boxing win over the Port Adelaide great on Wednesday night.

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However, it all turned suddenly frosty when Darcy asked Cornes about being “more mean spirited and nasty to people than anyone in the history of our industry”.

The confrontation comes after a week when football media figures have traded verbal barbs following the Sunday Footy Show co-host’s “character assassination” of Channel 7 rival Trent Cotchin.

Cornes mocked the Richmond premiership captain by mimicking a TikTok clip from the Channel 7 Sport account that showed Cotchin analysing a piece of play.

The vision went viral and was slammed by Seven personality and Tigers great Matthew Richardson, who tweeted: “Taking the piss out of 2 AFL premiership captains. Bar getting lower and lower.”

Darcy also said he saw Cornes at their hotel gym and thought the former Port Adelaide player “looked like someone who doesn’t want to bump into people”.

Watch Caroline Wilson’s response to Luke Darcy’s attack on Kane Cornes in the video above.

On Nine’s Footy Classified on Monday, Wilson said it was actually Darcy who was the “nasty and mean spirited” one on this occasion.

“Luke Darcy attacked my colleague Kane Cornes the other day,” Wilson said.

“He called Kane nasty and mean spirited, and evoked an image of Kane working alone in the gym — alone and sad and relatively friendless in a football sense.

“It was one of the nastiest and more mean spirited attacks I’ve witnessed between footy media — and that’s on Luke, not Kane.

“Bizarrely, Luke could only name one example to support his theory. And equally weird, his description of Kane’s career as purely transactional.

“He said he wasn’t up for the debate. How pathetic. And a bit rich, given Luke has sat alongside the worst boys club attacks on the Footy Show. And Triple M has had its moments too.

“But of course Luke Darcy is also the Western Bulldogs football director and he said his attack on Kane had nothing to do with Kane’s ongoing criticism of coach Luke Beveridge.

“I have to say, I hope that kind of completely irrational performance is not reflective of the Bulldogs board or its footy or coaching department.”

Darcy’s live radio swipe at the footy shock jock appeared to take even his co-hosts — Mark Howard, Hawks legend Jason Dunstall, Footy Show colleague Brown and reporter Damian Barrett — by surprise.

The show was being broadcast live from Norwood in Adelaide ahead of the Brisbane Lions’ Gather Round clash with North Melbourne at Norwood Oval and Cornes appeared via a phone link.

“Kane, I have been wanting to ask you this question and I’m not being critical, so please take this the right way,” Darcy began asking.

“You are a 300 game player and you have a special place in the footy community, as you should have for your deeds on the football field, and I feel like the footy community is a golden ticket of people that generally have each other’s back.

“But you take a position that is almost unique where you have been probably more mean spirited and nasty to people than anyone in the history of our industry.

“That trade obviously gets you paid well. Do you feel like that trade is worth it when you sit back after a weekend like that? Is it something you are comfortable with?”

Luke Darcy confronts Kane Cornes in prickly interview

Cornes didn’t take a backwards step in his response.

“Yeah, I’m comfortable with it, Darce. I don’t say anything I don’t believe in,” he said.

“I am not sure what you are referring to in terms of nasty and mean spirited. If you want to give me some examples, I am happy to hear them and debate them.”

Darcy responded: “I could send you a number of edits. Your commentary on Trent Cotchin I thought was particularly nasty.

“Your commentary on some AFL coaches is nasty at times.”

Cornes defended the Cotchin segment by saying “a lot of people” found it funny.

Darcy responded by saying: “There is a view in the community that you have taken an edge that very few people have done before.

“I’m not being critical, that is a role you take, and people like Piers Morgan do that in the UK and make a lot of money for it, and there is always a role for a Steve Price in this job.

“That is the role that you play …. (and with) people genuinely uneasy about that, is that something you feel is worth it?”

Cornes again held his ground.

“I wouldn’t do it if I did (feel uneasy). You would say nasty, I would say outspoken, I would say divisive, possibly,” he said.

“I would say that I have got strong opinions but anytime you can ring me up and debate them with me if you think it’s out of line … I don’t make things up. I don’t say things for the sake of it.

“Have I got it right all the time? Absolutely not. Have I gone 20 per cent too hard at times? Absolutely I have. But I don’t think we always get it right.”

As seen in a video shared by Triple M on YouTube, the Friday Huddle panel appeared to be trying to apply the brakes to Darcy’s line of questioning, however, the 48-year-old pressed on.

“I saw you in the gym today and you looked like someone who doesn’t want to bump into people, and I find that a little bit sad,” Darcy said.

“I’m wondering if that trade (off is the price you’re paying).”

Cornes responded again by saying he is an introvert who is quite comfortable being without company — and said he is always happy to meet with people in the footy industry that he has publicly criticised.

The 41-year-old poked the bear when suggesting Darcy’s personal attack was motivated partly by Cornes’ track record of criticising Bulldogs premiership coach Luke Beveridge.

Darcy did not appear happy by the comment and responded by saying Cornes was “putting words in my mouth”.

It’s then that Barrett and Dunstall stepped in to defend Cornes.

“It doesn’t sound like you’re being positive,” Dunstall said after Darcy was forced to defend the line of questioning.

“I know Kano didn’t win the fight the other night, but I think he did win this one. I’m on Kane’s side. I reckon he’s spot on.”

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