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April 27, 2017

Jim Kenney roasts Howard Eskin: 'The Sound of One Hand Clapping'

Philly mayor responds to WIP host's criticism of soda tax

Sports radio host and perennial provocateur Howard Eskin has been leading a Trump-esque campaign against Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and the 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks he championed and got passed to pay for city programs.

Thursday morning, Kenney fired back — and certainly didn't hold back.

Kenney appeared on SportsRadio WIP's morning show sporting a Brian Dawkins jersey hours before the festivities opened for the NFL draft in Philly.

"Here's what I don't understand about Eskin. First of all, he's in that prime spot of 8-10 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Awesome," Kenney said, mocking Eskin's weekend slot on WIP. "I mean like, it's like the show should be called 'The Sound of One Hand Clapping.' Cause no one hears it."

Host (and PhillyVoice contributor) Angelo Cataldi then pointed out that Eskin's son, Spike Eskin, is the program director at WIP and, therefore, their boss. Spike then jumped in to shake his hand and say he's "100 percent" for the soda tax.

Kenney, still in roast-mode, asked Spike, "Did you ever think of changing your name legally?"

Spike, for his part, has been known to troll his father's hot-take opinions on Twitter in the past and did so subtly shortly after Kenney's segment aired Thursday.

Howard Eskin has been using his Saturday morning slot to lambast the soda tax, calling Kenney a "bully" and acting as a voice piece to the critics who say the tax is costing people jobs and is driving consumers to the suburbs.

Kenney's administration has responded to those claims on multiple occasions, but on Thursday, the mayor responded to Eskin's "fixation" specifically.

"He's fixated on this," Kenney said. "My brother was listening to the show, I don't know why, but he called me and said 'Is WIP still a sports station?'"

"The issue for me is, if we were like regular people sitting at a bar, and he was doing that to me, there'd be a consequence," Kenney said to the hosts' delight, noting that a bar fight isn't acceptable behavior for an elected official.

Asked if he was a "possible foe" in the next election, Kenney noted that Eskin would have to actually move into the city first.

Ball's in your court, Howard. You can listen to the full interview here.