Well, that didn’t last very long.
Right wing radio talk jock DORI MONSON is back on right wing talk radio station KIRO 97.3 after a very brief suspension for transphobic remarks he made earlier this month.
Go here for the original story but in a nutshell, Monson tweeted a transphobic remark during the October 7th gubernatorial debate between Democratic incumbent Jay Inslee and Republican candidate Loren Culp.
Western Washington’s LGBTQ community was outraged by the remark and area groups like Seattle Pride demanded KIRO and the Seattle Seahawks, who also employ Monson for coverage of their football games, take action against Monson. Both the station and the ‘Hawks responded by suspending the radio personality on October 9th but without much detail.
Well, the suspension didn’t last long because Monson is back on the air as of today, Tuesday, October 27th. He issued an apology:
These have been a really challenging couple of weeks for a lot of us. If you’re a regular listener to this show, you know that I have been away from the air almost three weeks at the request of Bonneville Seattle and KIRO Radio.
It started after the gubernatorial debate between Jay Inslee and Loren Culp. I was on Twitter and wrote a comment about what I saw as a disconnect between what Jay Inslee calls “science” and the way Washington state allows a person to change the sex on their birth certificate decades after they were born.
My tweet didn’t hit the mark. Instead, it was painful for some of our listeners and many in the Twitter-sphere. For that, like I said on the air the day after the tweet, I apologize. On that Thursday, I said, “I’m sorry. That was not where I was going. That was not my intent on that.” Hours before that show, I shared a more personal apology by phone with a couple I know – a couple who was angry because they have a transgender adult child.
Even with my apology that day, criticism of my tweet started pouring in. They said I was making fun of transgender people, which honest to goodness didn’t even cross my mind then. But people called me transphobic. The Seattle Times called me transphobic. Websites called me transphobic. The truth is, I couldn’t care less if an adult wants to adopt a different gender. At the time, I was commenting on our governor and changing official state documents.
Nonetheless, it’s clear that my Tweet has caused some people quite a bit of pain. So I want to repeat what I said on October 8 to those who might not have heard it: I am sorry, if you – directly or indirectly – were harmed. Our station has taken a lot of heat for the tweet – and I feel awful about that, too. Our producer, Nicole, is tough as bricks, but I also want to apologize to her and thank her for standing strong. The person here at KIRO who answers our phones, they had nothing to do with this tweet, but I apologize to them, too. Can you see a lot of people have been touched by this?
Since October 9, advertisers on this show and our station have felt the pain. I accept responsibility for this. Not only do I value and respect the relationships that I have with our advertisers, but I cherish them. Your commitment has been an incredible strength. Honest to goodness, besides my family and my faith, I get up every morning with you and our listeners in mind. I will never give you less than 100 percent of myself.
All of us – Bonneville, KIRO, me, and you, the listeners – we’re going through our own storms right now. Some of these are storm after storm after storm. As a Christian, I will continue to pray that each of us – each and every one of us – comes out of 2020 stronger. As a Christian, I pray for forgiveness if my words caused you pain. On top of that, I’m praying that each of us uses diversity of thought to get to a greater strength. Honesty and diversity of thought are part of what has made Bonneville such an incredible place for listeners and hosts like me. Bonneville has worked to handle this carefully and to make sure that everyone was treated fairly, and I’m grateful that I am back on the air. Meanwhile, I will also pray that my words today create some healing for us all.
And, Seattle Pride has already issued a statement on Monson’s apology…they weren’t very impressed by it.
As we’ve seen over the past few weeks, actions and words are important. The decision by KIRO 97.3 FM to suspend Mr. Monson in response to his transphobic tweet was an appropriate initial action, however Mr. Monson’s apology statement and on-air remarks did not specifically address the transgender community or the impact of his hurtful words to that community – spending the bulk of his remarks apologizing to his advertisers, producer and KIRO’s receptionist.
Mr. Monson and KIRO 97.3 FM had a real opportunity here to mend the relationship with the LGBTQIA+ community and remind people that hate speech and public ridicule of transgender people – who deserve the same respect and human dignity as we all do – has no place in our community. Unfortunately, Mr. Monson and KIRO 97.3 FM fell far short.
As of yet, no response from the Seahawks if their suspension of Monson has also ended.