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Radio host fired for racial slur back on air

Lenihan says epithet referring to Condoleezza Rica was an accident
/ Source: The Associated Press

A St. Louis talk-radio host fired after using a racial epithet to describe Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is back on the air.

David Lenihan was fired by KTRS-AM on March 22 within minutes of twice using the word “coon” to refer to Rice during an otherwise laudatory discussion of her credentials for the possible job of NFL commissioner.

An apologetic Lenihan has said he misspoke while trying to say the word “coup.”

On Monday, Lenihan returned to the airwaves on KRMS-AM in Osage Beach, near Lake of the Ozarks.

He will continue in the 4-6 p.m. slot, Monday through Friday, for the next two weeks, said station owner Dennis Klautzer, who said he has also talked to Lenihan about a full-time job.

“I consider him a great talent,” Klautzer said Tuesday. “Everybody can make a mistake and say something he shouldn’t have. ... It was obviously a slip of the tongue.”

Lenihan, whose primary job is teaching anatomy at a chiropractic college, said he was grateful for the second chance to host a radio show, no matter how short-lived.

“I’m just down here getting back behind the mike,” he said. “You just have to learn from things and move on.”

Immediately after using the slur on air, Lenihan said, “Oh my God. I am totally, totally, totally, totally, totally sorry for that.”

Rice said she accepted his apology.