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Radio Co-Host Suspended for Comments

October 03, 2003|From Associated Press

BOSTON — The co-host of a radio sports show was suspended Thursday for two days without pay for on-air comments comparing a zoo's escaped gorilla to inner-city students who use a voluntary busing program known as Metco.

John Dennis of WEEI-AM apologized to listeners Wednesday for the remark he made two days earlier after seeing a newspaper photograph of the gorilla standing by a bus stop. He said the animal was "probably a Metco gorilla waiting for a bus."

The state-run busing program lets minority children from the inner city attend schools in nearby suburbs.

In announcing the suspension, station vice president and general manager Tom Baker issued a statement apologizing to the community and "anyone offended" by the remark.

"John Dennis has been an outstanding employee at WEEI for the past seven years," Baker added. "During that time, he has never said or done anything that has caused even the slightest negative reaction."

Dennis did not return calls for comment.

His remarks outraged black leaders in Boston, who had argued that Wednesday's apology was not an adequate response.

"Based on the fact that he's making fun of black children, he should be gone," said Sadiki Kambon, director of the Black Community Information Center.

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