The high cost of being politically incorrect

Last week was not a good week for new talk radio host Dave Lenihan.

Lenihan was in just the second week of his job as host of the morning slot on St. Louis radio station KTRS and talking about Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s publicly expressed desire to become the new NFL Commissioner.

"She’s been chancellor of Stanford," Lenihan said on the air. "She’s got the patent resume of somebody that has serious skill. 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."

Lenihan says he meant to say "coup" not "coon" but that didn’t stop KTRS from sacking him. Then he tried to sleep in Thursday only to be awakened by Shock Job Howard Stern.

According to the Associated Press:

If Wednesday was rough for fired talk show host David Lenihan, Thursday didn’t get much better. He was awakened at 5:30 a.m. by shock jock Howard Stern, who informed him he was on the air.

Stern wanted Lenihan to discuss his firing Wednesday for using a racial epithet in describing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Lenihan had the morning show on St. Louis radio station KTRS.

"Howard Stern was most upset about it," Lenihan said. "He told me to … sue these people. He said this is moronic."

To top it off, Lenihan was suspended Thursday from his job at Logan College of Chiropractic, where he’s taught anatomy and neuroanatomy since September 2004.

Most of the day, Lenihan took calls from the media. A few white supremacists called him too.

Lenihan also got a call from associates of Larry Elder, a nationally syndicated, black conservative talk show host, who invited him for an interview.

Elder told The Associated Press that he suspects Lenihan morphed the words "coup" and "boon" to come up with "coon." He said prominent blacks have made disparaging remarks about Rice and gotten away with it, and feels Lenihan’s firing was unfounded.

Doesn’t matter. In 1999, Doug Tracht, better known as "The Greaseman," played the music of black singer Lauryn Hill. Tracht called the music awful and said "no wonder people drag them behind trucks," referring to the Texas case where James Bryd, a black man, was dragged to death behind a pickup.

Tracht, broadcasting out of Washington, also issued an immediate apology but still lost his gig, his syndication deal and even a volunteer deputy’s post in nearby Falls Church, VA. For years he remained a pariah, considered untouchable by radio stations and he never achieved national prominence again.