As I was tuned in another station awaiting the start of America’s Black Forum (which turned out to be an ‘all pile on Armstrong’ session), I missed a ‘Ron Burgundy Moment’ on the ABC affiliate:
KTNV-TV, Channel 13, fired weekend weather anchor Rob Blair on Sunday, a day after he made an on-air racial slur about Martin Luther King Jr.
Jim Prather, vice president and general manager of KTNV, said Blair “stumbled” during a weather update at 7:55 a.m. Saturday but added that “this kind of incident is not acceptable under any circumstances, and I’m truly sorry that this event occurred.”
Blair was delivering the extended forecast when he said, “For tomorrow, 60 degrees, Martin Luther Coon King Jr. Day, gonna see some temperatures in the mid-60s.”
About 20 minutes later, Blair told viewers at the ABC affiliate, “Apparently I accidentally said Martin Luther Kong Jr., which I apologize about — slip of the tongue.”
He offered a full apology during Saturday’s 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts.
At 6:11 p.m., co-anchor Christina Brown, who is black, announced, “Right now we want to pause for a program note. Rob?”
Blair, seated at the news desk with co-anchors Brown and Shawn Boyd, said, “On a weather report earlier this morning, I made an accidental slip of the tongue when talking about the Martin Luther King holiday, and what I said was interpreted by many viewers as highly offensive. For that I offer my deepest apology. I in no way intended to offend anyone. I’m very sorry.”
Apology accepted, but being that he violated the public trust by making an “accidental slip of the tongue”, he had to go. Rikki Cheese, Christina Brown, Dennis Evans, and Channel 13’s viewers would’ve rightfully demanded it.
There are just some things you don’t say on live TV. Period.