Being a cheeseheaded girl by birth, I’ve got a long history of loathing Mark Belling, and no one is happier than I am that he finally tripped over his own vile tongue:
Talk radio host Mark Belling, one of the most powerful voices in Milwaukee radio, was suspended Monday 12 days after he made an ethnic slur on his program.
On Belling’s Oct. 27 show, in a discussion about voter fraud, he used the word “wetback,” a derogatory term used to describe illegal Mexican immigrants. He apologized on the air numerous times last week, but those apologies were couched in sarcasm and attempts at humor.
Belling issued a written apology over the weekend for his initial use of the ethnic slur and for what he called his “inept and insensitive” handling of the matter.
“Everyone deserves a second chance,” McDowell said in the statement. “Mark will return to the air. Right now, both Mark and the station are focusing on how we can educate the public on ethnic diversity.”
As numerous letter writers to Romenesko (where I picked this up) have pointed out, Marky Mark should study up before he begins witnessing to the community about diversity. Milwaukee isn’t redneck, it’s not the north woods, and you can’t say crap like that and not be met with the disgust you deserve.
Some of his listeners aren’t waiting for Belling to convert to his new, sensitive mode. They’re hitting him where it hurts:
Country Insurance & Financial Services pulled its ads from WISN radio, and Jack Safro’s Lexus North Shore dropped its commercials from Belling’s show.
“Country does not want to be associated with this or any other controversial radio personality,” said Cathy A. Oloffson, a company spokeswoman, who called Belling’s remarks “inappropriate and unacceptable.”
James Tessmer, vice president of Safro’s Lexus North Shore, said the dealership buys an ad package from WISN that includes Belling’s show.
“We’ve requested to be removed from the Belling program, and they were very accommodating,” he said.
Those advertisers join Carlson’s Wagonlit Travel, which pulled its ads last week.
Go them. Seeing Rush Limbaugh’s backup go down would do a lot to lift my spirits, that’s for sure.