Thursday, March 23, 2006
I don't want to work at KTRS
From KSDK Channel 5 St. Louis:
It was in KTRS 550 AM studio D Wednesday morning that talk show host Dave Lenihan was rallying for Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice to become the next National Football League commissioner. Then Lenihan, on the job for just 8 days, says he made a career ending slip.Lenihan said on the air, "She loves football, she's African American which would be kind of a big coon. Oh my God, I totally, totally, totally, totally am sorry for that. I didn't mean that." Lenihan spoke to Newschannel 5 and said, "This morning I was on the radio and I was talking about how great it would be to get Condeleezza Rice to be the commissioner and I meant to say it would be a 'coup' and, unfortunately, I said what a coon it would be."KTRS 550 General Manager Tim Dorsey says it didn't take him long to decide what to do. "Within about 2 seconds of listening to it," says Dorsey.Dorsey fired Lenihan, and apologized to the Secretary of State saying there is "Zero" tolerance for a remark like that."More than anything else, I apologize to Condeleezza Rice and to our listeners for having to hear a remark like that," says Dorsey.
I've heard the clip. Maybe he did it on purpose, maybe not - I can't tell. That's my rub. If he did in fact, simply slip up - this is terrible. In the course of sitting in front of a live microphone for countless hours each week (something I know about) - it's unreasonable to expect a human not to make a mistake from time to time. Get on the net and search around for the Sheppard Smith FOXNEWS video of him saying "Blowjob". Everyone from David Brinkley to Casey Kasem has been caught by a live microphone. The way KTRS management reacted was waaay over the top. They fired the guy within minutes. His explanation wasn't considered. Its obvious to me this is political correctness - nothing more, nothing less. What Lenihan said was unfortunate at best. There was no pattern to his decision making. He'd been there just 8 days.
I can only imagine how my company would react to me making the same blunder. My bet is they would stand behind me. If I appologized - and mis-speaking didn't become commonplace, they'd listen to my explanation - and I'd go on. One thing for sure, if every single word I spoke could result in my firing - I'd freeze up - unable to utter a sound.
The Big 550 KTRS St. Louis. Another of the over 10,000 radio stations I have no desire to work for.