NEW YORK -- Jimmy Breslin, New York Newsday's Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, called a Korean-American journalist on his newspaper who criticized one of his columns 'a yellow cur' and was subsequently reprimanded by his editor, a Newsday spokeswoman said Saturday.
Breslin lashed out at New York Newsday metro reporter Ji-Yeon Yuh, calling her 'slant-eyed' and a 'yellow cur,' Friday after she criticized a column in which he bemoaned his wife's decision to go to work as a city councilwoman, reporters who overheard the outburst said.
More than 46 Newsday reporters signed an open letter to Newsday executive editor and senior vice president Anthony Marro about the incident, said Newsday spokeswoman Chiara Coletti. The letter was written by reporter Jesse Mangaliman.
Yuh sent messages Friday through the paper's computer system to Breslin and New York City editor Don Forst, who edits Breslin, complaining about his Thursday column.
In the column, headlined 'Officially, the Spouse is Out of the House,' Breslin expressed annoyance that as an official his wife Ronnie Eldridge no longer has time to take care of his clothes.
Breslin wrote: 'Cop, copette, whatever you call them. I hate official women!'
When Breslin found the message from Yuh, he stormed out of his office, screaming, 'She's a little dog, just a little cur, a cur running along the street. She's a yellow cur. Let's make it racial.'
Breslin also called Yuh 'slant-eyed,' according to a number of reporters who overheard the outburst, Coletti said.
Breslin then sent a private electronic message to Forst saying 'I will absolutely not tolerate being bothered ... I never have encountered such juveneile arrogance.'
However, Friday afternoon the staff received an apology from Breslin in the computer system. 'To the people I work with: I am no good and once again I can prove it,' Breslin said.
Forst also sent a computer message to the staff, calling the remarks 'offensive and inexusable.'
'It's a closed issue as far as we're concerned,' Coletti said. 'Jimmy was spoken to very, very strongly immediately after this occurred.'
No disciplinary action was being contemplated against Breslin, who went home after the incident and was headed to Lexington, Kentucky, to cover the Kentucky Derby, she said.
Breslin, 61, worked 12 years as a Daily News columnist, earning a Pulitzer Prize in 1986 for his observations on New York life.
He switched in 1988 to New York Newsday, where he reportedly now earns $500,000 a year as a columnist. Coletti called the salary estimate 'speculative.'
Newsday reassigned two other columnists last week in what Coletti said were unrelated moves.
Columnist James Revson, who wrote a twice-weekly society column, asked to be relieved of the column, Coletti said. He will now write feature stories.
'The paper and Jim decided that for this particular newspaper a twice-a-week column was not the best way to cover society,' Coletti said.
Also last week, Forst reassigned columnist Denis Hamill to the newspaper's city desk. Coletti declined to comment on the reason for Hamill's move, saying only that it had been Forst's decision.