This afternoon, Dennis Prager was discussing the story of a talk radio host canned for inadvertently making a racist remark:
A radio personality at 550 KTRS was fired on the spot this morning after using the word "coon" on the air in a conversation about Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Dave Lenihan was dismissed after what he called an inadvertent slip of the tongue. Within 20 minutes, station CEO Tim Dorsey apologized on the air to listeners and announced that Lenihan, who had been with the station for less than two weeks, had been let go.
Lenihan was listing what assets Rice could bring to the league, including her tenure as a top academic officer at Stanford University and the fact that she is African-American.
"She's just got a patent resume, of somebody that's got such serious skill," Lenihan said on the air. "She loves football, she's African-American, which would kind of be a big coon, a big coon--oh my God, I am totally, totally, totally, totally, totally sorry for that, OK? I didn't mean that. That was just a slip of the tongue." Lenihan later said he meant to use the word "coup."
Reached at home, Lenihan said he was still trying to figure out what happened, and was drafting a letter of apology to Rice.
"I was trying to say 'quite a coup' but it came out 'coon,'" he said. "I caught myself and apologized. It wasn't anything I was meaning to say. I never use that word."
This seems to be an overreaction. The guy simply misspoke, which can happen to the best of us. He clearly did not intend to make a derogatory comment about Rice, which was demonstrated by his sincere contrition once he realized what he had said. Tough break.
Fortunately, we've managed to stay clear of any such offensive slip-ups on the Northern Alliance Radio Network. Due in no small part to our conscious decision to steer clear of topics that might lead us into dangerous waters. For example, this Saturday we plan to discuss the ongoing saga of Minneapolis Fire Chief Bonnie Bleskachek and what can be done to prevent spring flooding in the upper-Midwest. No icebergs there. No siree.