Sunday, March 26, 2006

Should he have been fired for this?

A radio DJ uttered a racial slur on-air, concerning Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. He immediately apologized, for what seems to have been a slip of the tongue.
Ms. Rice accepted his apology.

He was fired the same day.

What do you think? Is there more to this that I don't know about?
(Click on headline above to see a wire story on this.)


Anna said...

Since the man apologized immediately, and profusely, it seems like overkill to me.

Sad commentary. The same kind of slur against Christians or the mentally ill would either be ignored or praised.

Mike said...

Here's some background on the situation. The St. Louis Cardinals recently bought a major ownership position with the station. In January they fired virtually the entire on-air staff and replaced them with what they called hipper, edgier talent. The words "shock jock" were used frequently. The new people are basically just annoying and the station's ratings have declined.

The decline should be reversed when the baseball season starts and the Cardinal broadcasts begin. (They were with their previous station, KMOX, for fifty years. There was quite an outcry when they announced the change.) The question is whether people will listen during non-baseball hours.

The bottom line is that there are several scenarios being discussed here in St. Louis. One is that the guy is truly a racist. But, considering that the alleged racial slur came at the end of a piece where he had been heaping praise on Ms. Rice, it makes no sense to say that it was intentional.

Second is that it was exactly what it appears to be, a slip of the tongue.

Third is that the whole thing is a publicity stunt by the station. It has been a topic of discussion now for several days and even made it into the Sunday morning national news.

Most talk stations operate on a delay for exactly this reason, though it's usually the callers who are "dumped" before their offensive comments make it on the air. There are three people in the studio who have access to the "dump button" who could have prevented the comment from getting on the air. Why didn't anyone press the button? Hmmm.

I think most people here are starting to lean toward number three since most of us like a good conspiracy theory. Also, the same station was recently involved in a stunt where the red birds were removed from a Cardinals billboard, supposedly an act of vandalism. A few days later the birds appeared on a billboard for the radio station saying the Cardinals had moved.

I agree with anna, if either scenario one or two is true, it's extremely unusual for a radio personality to be yanked off the air and fired on the spot.