DJ says "coon" on the air; gets fired

Anyone else see this story?


A radio DJ, while praising Condoleeza Rice and talking about the possibility of her becoming NFL commissioner, says that that would be a big coup – except he accidentally says “coon.” He immediately apologizes on air…and shortly afterwards is fired from his job. (The station manager agreed it was likely a mistake, but that it was still “unacceptable, reprehensible and unforgivable.”) Not only that, but according to this article, the guy appears to have been fired from his teaching job at a local college as well over the mishap.

Thoughts? Was the firing justifiable or not?

There’s actually a Pit thread going on the subject right now. The consensus seems to be that he got a raw deal. I think it was probably an innocent error. Being fired from the radio station for that is excessive, and losing the other job is even worse. Lenihan seems to be being punished for being involved in a controversy rather than for actually doing anything wrong.

Ah, didn’t think to look in the Pit.

I agree with your take on the issue.

I heard the exchange on the radio and he didn’t call her a coon. He said she would be the big coon and I assume he was trying to say big kahuna and just couldn’t get it out. He apologized 12 ways to Sunday in what could only be described as befuddled embarrassment.

I sincerely hope karma catches up to people who fired him (that’s the polite version of how I feel).

He actually said “She’s African-American, which would kind of be a big coon. A big coon.” You can hear it at that link if you scroll down. Having actually heard the way he said it, I’m not sure what I think.

I think he had ‘boon’ and ‘coup’ in his head at the same time and got them muddled up. Firing the guy was a bullshit decision.

You’re saying you think he might’ve meant something by it? What came out of his mouth doesn’t even make sense; he was clearly trying to say coup and boon and jumbled them because he was talking too fast.

Well, “boon” doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I think it probably was a simple newbie malapropism, or “spoonerism”. Apparently, he’d just started at that station.

If he was new to the job, he wouldn’t have built up enough goodwill to avoid being fired.

He was interviewed on Howard Stern and said he meant to say “coup”.

I’m surprised no one (that I’ve seen) has compared this to the guy who lost his job because he used the word “niggardly” in conversation a few years back. link

Yes, I’ve heard it too. He was dizzy stupid after he said it trying to apologize. It was not what he intended to say. I have a pretty low tolorance level for bullshit and I’d be the first person to toss his ass.

I think that it’s ironic that a college would fire somebody for saying something controversial, esp. when it wasn’t on college time.

I don’t think he meant anything by it (after more reflection), but somehow I can’t quite close the door in my mind. I think it’s because of the way he laughed. The sentence wouldn’t make sense, I admit, but you can insult someone without putting the insult in a working sentence. I don’t think he shouldn’t been fired on such flimsy grounds.

Which means?

It means that he should not have been fired without any other evidence that he meant to say something offensive. If he’d made similar “errors” in the past, for example. Even if I’m a little suspicious of Lenihan, I think he deserves more leeway than he got.

I heard the same interview…
What he was actually trying to say was “That would be a big COUP IN the NFL”. He just slurred “coup” and “in” together. I don’t think he should have been fired.

Thanks, I couldn’t really make sens of the double negative in your post, but in hindsight I see it was probably a typo.

Even if my grammar is not very good, I think the explanation is making it worse. The correct way should be “would be a big COUP FOR the NFL” or I’m wrong in noticing that in his explanation he was trying to say that Condi was going to take over the NFL in a hostile way?

Yeah, it was.

Evidently he misspoke while misspeaking. It happens.

I can’t believe nobody has picked up on this part of the story:


Say what? The guy tripped over his words, and this warmongering bitch queen starts spouting gibberish about slavery and “mature democracies”. Jeez.