Sat, Mar 25, 2006 - Page 7 News List

US talkshow host fired for secretary of state racial slur

THE GUARDIAN , NEW YORK

A US radio station has sacked a talkshow host who used a racial slur to describe US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In a slip of the tongue, Dave Lenihan, a presenter for KTRS radio, in St Louis, Missouri, used the word "coon" while arguing live on air that Rice should become the next commissioner of the National Football League.

"She's got the patent resume of somebody that has serious skill. She loves football, she's African-American, which would be kind of a big coon," Lenihan said. "Oh my God -- I totally, totally, totally, totally am sorry for that. I didn't mean that."

He later told a local television news channel he had meant to say "coup."

The general manager of KTRS, Tim Dorsey, said: "I apologize to Condoleezza Rice and to our listeners for having to hear a remark like that."

On air, Dorsey said: "It was a most unfortunate racial slur. There can be no excuse for what was said. Dave Lenihan has been let go ... there is enough hate. We certainly are not going to fan those flames. That is not what we're about."

The local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People applauded his decision to sack the presenter.

The incident parallels the case of a TV weatherman sacked last year for an apparent racial slur against Martin Luther King.

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