Same MLK-Tied Racial Slur, Different Newscaster

This time a St. Louis newsman is apologizing for on-air misspeak; he won't be fired, station says
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2019 11:25 AM CST

(Newser) – Saying Martin Luther King Jr.'s name out loud recently caused some unexpected trouble for a newscaster in upstate New York—and now, with the holiday honoring King nearly upon us, another newsman finds himself in similar hot water. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that KTVI's Kevin Steincross was telling viewers about an upcoming tribute to MLK Jr. on the station's early morning show when he made what he now says was an inadvertent slip: He called the civil rights activist "Martin Luther Coon Jr.," swapping in the racial slur for King's last name. Steincross seemingly didn't realize he'd said the word, per an apology he offered on the air a few hours later. "We have heard from a viewer about a mistake I made," he said in his mea culpa, noting he "unfortunately mispronounced [King's] name."

Steincross continued: "Please know I have total respect for Dr. King, what he meant and continues to mean to our country. This was not intentional in any way, and I sincerely apologize." The St. Louis County chapter of the NAACP didn't seem impressed, retweeting news of his apology and calling the incident "unacceptable and very disappointing." KTVI parent Tribune Broadcasting, however, has accepted Steincross' apology at face value and—unlike the fate of newscaster Jeremy Kappell, who got fired by his New York station for a similar flub—won't take any further steps. "We believe that it was truly inadvertent and does not reflect Kevin's core beliefs," a company rep says in a statement. "Kevin is extremely upset by the mistake and regrets it deeply." (MLK's daughter says maybe Kappell shouldn't have been fired, either.)

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