Standards of verbal accountamability

Yesterday in St. Louis, society showed once again that it can accept a President who cannot pronounce "nuclear," but cannot stomach a single racially sensitive slip of the tongue.

Dave Lenihan of KTRS AM 550 was fired on the spot for accidentally (and trust me, if you hear the audio of this, it was very accidentally) using the term "coon" in a discussion of our favorite Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. Lenihan immediately apologized for using the term, and later explained that he meant to say "coup," but it just came out wrong.

Now, that sounds sketchy when it's boiled down to that little detail, but you've got to hear the whole thing before you pass judgment. This is the text of the pertinent moment:

"She’s just got a patent resume, of somebody that’s got such 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, OK? I didn’t mean that. That was just a slip of the tongue."

The link above still has the audio posted, so get there while you can to hear the sheer terror in his voice when that word left his lips. It was immediate. I cannot say it any more clearly than that.

Is it worth firing a man for this? Do you think it is impossible for this to have been an accidental slip of the tongue? Do you think he should have been fired even if you believed that it was accidental?

Let me run this by you:

"J.Lo's new song 'Jenny From the Block' all about Lopez roots, about how she is still a neighborhood gal at heart, but folks from that street in New York, the Bronx section, sound more likely to give her a curb job than a blow job or b-block party. The New York post...whoops, sorry 'bout that slipup there. I have no idea how that happened, but it won't happen again. And that's your news." --Shepard Smith, FOX NEWS

"Well, that's not the same thing," you say. "Smith's slip-of-the-tongue doesn't make any sense. You can't give a woman a blow-job." Does it make sense for Dave Lenihan to call Condi a coon right after talking about how awesome she is? It may not make sense to think she's that awesome, but he certainly wouldn't be expected to praise her as he did, and then throw a racial slur at her.

And where is Shepard Smith today?

Same job.

Unfortunately that, as W might say, is "uniquely Merkin."