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Radio Host Apologizes for Remarks

December 7, 1999

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) _ A radio station played a taped apology by a suspended talk show host who had told listeners the Rev. Jesse Jackson intervened in an Illinois school controversy in order to become a martyr.

``I apologize for the hurtful comments I made toward the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the controversy I’ve generated and the negative publicity I’ve brought to our city,″ said WSPD-AM host Scott Sloan.

On his Nov. 17 show, Sloan said Jackson intervened in a dispute over expulsions at a Decatur, Ill., high school so that he would assassinated 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 _ a different establishment _ to ask if the rooms had balconies. ``All we need now is a shooter,″ he said.

Jackson was arrested Nov. 16 in his efforts to win the reinstatement of six Decatur students who were expelled for a Sept. 17 brawl at a football game.

David Crowl, a senior vice president for radio at Clear Channel Communications Inc., which owns the station, said Sloan will be suspended indefinitely pending the completion of sensitivity training.

``Racially biased material will not be tolerated as a springboard for humor,″ Crowl said. Sloan also met with community leaders on Monday to apologize for his remarks.

Another talk show host on a Clear Channel station in Toledo was criticized last week for leaving a telephone message asking the leader of the local NAACP chapter to have lunch at a ``rib place.″

Toledo is the state’s fourth-largest city, where blacks make up about 20 percent of the city’s 319,000 residents.

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