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Radio DJ Suspended for Race Remark

February 25, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Radio shock jock Doug Tracht, known as ``Greaseman″, has been suspended indefinitely for a race-related remark made on station WARW-FM.

The station’s general manager, Sarah Taylor, announced Wednesday that she suspended Tracht without pay.

Tracht made the remark Wednesday during his morning drive-time show on the classic rock station.

He noted that the Grammy Awards ceremony was scheduled for that evening and played a portion of a song by Lauryn Hill, a young black hip-hop artist nominated for 10 Grammys.

Then he commented, ``No wonder people drag them behind trucks.″

The reference was to the torture and death in Texas of James Byrd Jr., a black man decapitated while being dragged behind a pickup truck. John William King, a white supremacist, was convicted of murder Tuesday in the case.

Taylor said in announcing Tracht’s suspension that she ``deplored the comment and was appalled by it.″

Tracht faxed this one-paragraph statement to The Washington Post: ``I’m truly sorry for the pain and hurt I have caused with my unfeeling comment. I have no excuse for my remark, and regret it. If I could take it back I would. In the course of my show, split second judgment is made over ad-libs. This remark was a grave error in my judgment.″

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