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Stormy Weather(man) Update

The story of KTNV-TV (Las Vegas) weatherman Rob Blair's Martian Luther "Coon" day remark isn't as cut-and-dried as originally thought.

Video of the newscast is now available here (Quicktime), which upon careful listening seems to indicate that Blair never actually enunciates the "n," Listing to the clip seems to indicate that Blair ran 'King' and 'Junior' together ("Koo") before catching his miscue.

Also we learned that the segment was pre-taped, so their was ample opportunity to edit out the gaffe, which was not done. It appears that the weatherman was thrown under the bus by station management to defuse the controversy.


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Comments (23)

That's a shame - I often pu... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

That's a shame - I often put two words together like that - they could have fixed it but didn't so they obviously wanted this guy off their staff. There are better ways of doing it than the way they did it; I feel bad for the guy - some of us have no luck.

Cindy

Agreed Cindy - I can easily... (Below threshold)
Drew - Dallas, TX:

Agreed Cindy - I can easily see how King and Jun... could have been crossed up to make the sound.

I hate it when that happens - I was in a room full of lesbians once doing a presentation about a product and instead of saying "life cycle", I blurted out "lifestyle" - I just wanted to turn around and haul ass running.

Don't you like how they have his picture with a devilish smirk as if he just won a bet with his frat buddies. Who knows, maybe he did. After all, he's white, so it's easy to assume that he is racist. What would have happened had he been any other race - Chinese for instance?

Is he outside? Sometimes if it's really cold it's hard to annunciate.

Sounds pretty clear to me w... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Sounds pretty clear to me what the guy is saying. That it was intentional or not does not matter. See ya later racist.

There was NO racism to that... (Below threshold)
Rick13:

There was NO racism to that at all. Poor guy lost his job because management have the the balls to stand up for him. This victim crap is out of control!

Is he outside?... (Below threshold)
Drew - Dallas, TX:

Is he outside?

I guess after I RTFA (and listened to the video) to answer my own question, it could have been interpreted either way, but it's not like he said "James Earl Ray" day or something. At the risk of being labeled a racist myself I don't think that it's that big of a deal, but the TV station has $ratings$ to maintain. Tossing this guy out the window is probably a small price for them to pay.

But then again, there was a black guy here on a local Dallas station that said "what the fuck" on the air the other day and nothing happened - nothing at all.

Intentional or not doesn... (Below threshold)
BorgQueen:

Intentional or not doesn't matter?

Dave, I think you must be a charter member of the Thought Police!

The actual opprobrious usag... (Below threshold)
PTG:

The actual opprobrious usage is Martin Lucifer... (too ugly even for me to type). I think the poor cat just made a slip of the tongue. Many have come to worse for less, but I hope he finds work in his chosen field again.

Dave, I think you must b... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Dave, I think you must be a charter member of the Thought Police!

I am not, but I may consider joining if they have cool uniforms.

If the thought of "Martin Luther Coon" ran through his head we wouldn't be discussing this. However, he said it on air and must live with the consequences. Apparently the station has a policy against using racial slurs to refer to civil rights leaders. I defend their right to do so.

Dave, how do I put this nic... (Below threshold)

Dave, how do I put this nicely?

You're an idiot.

There, now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's go back to the point where I said this was probably the case. The man made a MISTAKE. He did not use a racial slur it was a slip of the tongue. If you had any intelligence you could see that, but I guess it's easier to jump to conclusions and play "Smear The White Guy!".

Sorry, Dave, I don't agree.... (Below threshold)
BorgQueen:

Sorry, Dave, I don't agree. He's only human, not a machine, and humans make mistakes. His employer hired him knowing he was human and therefore must have known that mistakes were possible.

Unless you have a magic machine that lets you read his thoughts, you cannot decide one way or the other and thus he gets the benefit of the doubt.

You're an idiot.... (Below threshold)
Dave:

You're an idiot.

I am truly sorry that you feel that way.

If you had any intelligence you could see that, but I guess it's easier to jump to conclusions and play "Smear The White Guy!".

I do not feel that I have jumped to conclusions here. In fact I did not comment on this until after I heard the audio just today. Apparently you did not do the same.

Your words: "Granted I've not heard the audio, but it definitely looks like a simple slip of the tongue."

I am not claiming to know this guy's heart and I completely agree that this could have been a mistake. But whether or not it was a mistake is not the point. The point is that it happened and he is being held accountable for his actions.

He's only human, not a m... (Below threshold)
Dave:

He's only human, not a machine

You must not know any TV weathermen (j/k).

I completely agree with you:
-He is human
-Humans make mistakes
-His employer knew that when he hired him
-He deserves the benefit of the doubt concerning his motives.

However, he makes his living looking into a camera and talking. If he cannot do that correctly doesn't his employer have the right to show him the door?

Accountable for what? That ... (Below threshold)

Accountable for what? That he makes verbal gaffes? They should fire all the actors in the world as they goof up too.

And you are accusing him of racism which is a high charge. If you can't hear that he misspoke, you might want to invest in some Q-Tips. There was no need for this to air and hurt either the weather-dork or the TV station. To say he was using an epithet intentionally (which is the only reason he should be held accountable) is just plain stupid.

From what I've read, this c... (Below threshold)
BorgQueen:

From what I've read, this comment wasn't aired live...why wasn't it edited out if they thought it was so offensive?

And if station managers are going to show all of their on-air talent the door for making a slip of the tongue, perhaps they shouldn't bother hiring people for the job in the first place. They could all use the crawlers like on Fox and MSNBC instead. It'd look like my local access channel. Just words on the screen, muzak playing in the background, and hokey photoshop "art" in the background.

Now that's what I call offensive!

Dave, if the comment was so... (Below threshold)

Dave, if the comment was so incredibly, unmistakably racist then why didn't anyone notice it when he first recorded it? This should've ended up on the cutting room floor or the blooper reel with all the other stupid slips people stutter out on the air. It didn't, so this guy gets boiled in oil.

People say unintentionally offensive stuff all the time. Most of the time the mistakes are not really even offensive, except to people who base their self identity on being perpetually angry.

People, Dave is just pullin... (Below threshold)
Neal:

People, Dave is just pulling your leg. No one is really that dense.
What happened to the reporter is a societal tragedy. That is a reflection of what the MSM, and many other institutions, have become. I suggest the station hires Chris Rock do the weather if they want premeditated, race-free reportage.

Actually, just to make sure... (Below threshold)

Actually, just to make sure I am clear on something: I couldn't care less if the TV station canned the guy because of body odor: As a business, it's their right to employ someone or not.

What I am rallying against is labelling this schmuck as a racist for a slip of the tongue. There are plenty of other racists out there who deserve our scrutiny, let's not waste the torches and ropes on Vanilla Ice here.

THis has been just blown up... (Below threshold)

THis has been just blown up and I can't stand it anymore. Dave if you want to hold people accountable why not the editor or even the station manager? Half the freaking station should be fired if this wasn't a live broadcast. If this video went on air after it went through editing, then we shouldn't be saying a anything right now. Here's a little inside info, why don't you check into who made complaints to the station about this. It is my understanding from what i have read is that they were looking for a way to get this guy outta there. They had already been interviews new weather people. In my eyes it's a shame that this happened but once again it's the meadia using a mistake to fill airtime and make ratings and money.

What happened to the rep... (Below threshold)
Dave:

What happened to the reporter is a societal tragedy

That there were 1.3 million Americans legally murdered last year is a societal tragedy.

What happened here is that a private company chose to enforce it's own standards on one of it's employees.

If the private company was ... (Below threshold)
HAL9000:

If the private company was enforcing its policies, why wouldn't it have edited it out in the first place.

Lets pretend instead of the weather he delivered a powerpoint presentation on how black people love watermelons.

Do you think the news affiliate should run the programming as normally scheduled, then fire him afterwards, or would it make more sense to edit it, and deal with him accordingly.

Anyone want to see and hear... (Below threshold)
Aviva:

Anyone want to see and hear the video for themselves...?

I believe he misspoke. Poor kid. This was his first real TV job. He'd only been working there 3 months. I believe he was used as a sacrifice.

Video:
http://wizbang.mirror.unitedemailsystems.com/robblair.mov

Also - I came across an article to the editor written by an African American friend of Rob Blair (the weatherman).

http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2005/Jan-22-Sat-2005/opinion/285643.html

Bullsh--, at best if it was... (Below threshold)
Marian:

Bullsh--, at best if it was a mistake and he has speech issues, he doesn't need to be in a profession in which the use of certain language can make or break the overall vibe of a station. At worst, he is f--cking racist and should be worst than fired. By the way, Drew, fuck is not a racial slur, but I am sure that living in your world, that is probably one of worse words you could imagine being spoken in reference to you.

I have know Rob for over 11... (Below threshold)
Jen:

I have know Rob for over 11 years. I have also been out with Rob and his friends-some of whom are African Americans. I also have had Christmas dinner and other meals with him and his family and one of his best friends who is African American. He also is friends with a very well known meteorologist (who is African American) from his home town. He is also known and very well like in the broadcast and radio community. Rob started in radio when he was 14yrs. old. He started out that early because that was his dream to be news/anchorman. He is very dedicated, gifted and hardworking. I know he sacrificed a lot of sleep to get where he is also. I also know his heart and what he has done to help others over the years. We both helped an older lady that had some difficult handicaps for a long period of time. And, if you needed to talk to someone or going threw a tough time, Rob was always there to listen.
Rob went to high school in a large city with a very diverse group of people from all different ethnicities, religions, and walks of life. He also was involved in many activities where he worked with folks of many ethnicities.
What I do know is that he is a very compassionate, caring, and dedicated person. He is also a man of faith. He has worked his ass off to get where he is today.
The other thing I also know about Rob is that he speaks very fast at times. He also had a racoon for a period of time. A racoon is also called a coon in are area. Back from where we are from people use the term "coon hunting" when dogs(certain breeds of dogs like a beagles and/or blood hound dogs)are used during hunting season. I apologize if this situation has hurt or offended anyone. I understand the sensitivity and nature of this topic and how long it has taken America-LAND OF THE FREE-to get where it is in regard to racism. It is still a MAJOR problem and we as Americans should be ashamed that it still exists in 2005.
This could not have happened at worse time when we as Americans celebrate and show honor to Martin Luther King, Jr. In history he was one of the most courageous people who lived.
I truely believe from the bottom of my heart that this was a slip of the tongue. Rob would be the first person to fight against and not tolerate racism or prejudice. However, I do wonder why those who were editing this piece did catch this. I am familiar with the business and this was huge No No. Sounds like those who were editing this piece bear a large responsibility in this matter and should have been held accountalble, whatever the consequences.
I hope this was not a situation where they were trying to hang him out to dry or hire some one else. It is a very competitive and cut throat business. But, people are human and make mistakes. Sometimes you have to check and see who is doing the judging and what way the finger in the mirror is pointing. I hope you are doing well Rob! God Bless, Jen




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