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Radio Host Suspended for Comment

November 29, 1999

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) _ A radio talk show host began a weeklong suspension Monday for telling his listeners that the Rev. Jesse Jackson wanted to be assassinated when he intervened in a dispute over expulsions at an Illinois high school.

``There is a limit to what we will allow on the public airwaves,″ said Andy Stuart, vice president and market manager for Clear Channel Communications Inc., which suspended WSPD-AM host Scott Sloan without pay.

Stuart said that while Sloan was not trying to incite violence, his ``attempt at humor was totally inappropriate and outside the bounds of good taste.″

Sloan’s phone number is unlisted, and he could not be reached for comment. Station management said Sloan plans to talk about the suspension on the air when he returns.

During his three-hour show on Nov. 17, Sloan said Jackson intervened in the Decatur, Ill., dispute to be a martyr like the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who was shot to death in 1968 while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn.

Sloan called the Lorraine Hotel in Miami to ask whether the rooms had balconies. ``All we need now is a shooter,″ he said on the air.

Six students in Decatur were expelled for a Sept. 17 brawl at a football game. Jackson, who has been protesting the expulsions, was arrested Nov. 16 at the school.

The Rev. Rudolph Sutton, president of the Baptist Ministers Conference’s Toledo chapter, had asked the station to fire Sloan, whose show has been on the air for more than three years. Sutton said he wasn’t satisfied with the suspension.

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