DJs fired for making fun of beheading
May. 14, 2004 04:00 PM
PORTLAND, Ore. - Two disc jockeys were fired after playing an audiotape of the beheading of American Nick Berg by Iraqi militants, and cracking jokes about the grisly death.
Listeners called the radio station to complain after hearing Berg's bloodcurdling screams in the broadcast of the tape, followed by the DJs laughing and playing musical accompaniments.
The DJs, known as Marconi and Tiny, were fired Thursday from their morning show perch at Portland's KNRK-FM, which is owned by Pennsylvania-based Entercom Communications Corp. Their producer, known as "Nickie J," also was fired. Station employees would not release the legal names of the three.
"It was so over-the-top that I don't know that there is any logical, appropriate way to attempt to spin it," Clark Ryan, Entercom's vice president for FM operations in Portland, said Friday.
The station's manager sent an apology out over the airwaves, saying: "The actions of the KNRK news morning show were insensitive, inappropriate and repulsive. On behalf of Entercom Portland and KNRK, I apologize to our listeners."
Immediately after the broadcast, the DJs were suspended, and then fired the next day, Ryan said. The station specializes in new rock and alternative music from the 1990s.
One of the DJs apologized on his Web site, posting a statement that read, "I have become so numb to the horrific things that happen in this world that I sometimes forget there are still people who feel. I in no way meant to be insensitive to anyone. My comments on this were inapropriate (sic)."
Berg's headless body was found Saturday in Baghdad. Three days later, a videotape posted on an al-Qaida-related Web site showed him decapitated by hooded, armed men.