TV weatherman fired for racial slur

Jan. 19, 2005 at 8:49 PM
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LAS VEGAS, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Civil rights leaders in Las Vegas praised KTNV-TV for firing its weather forecaster for an alleged on-air racial slur but friends say it was an overreaction.

Rob Blair was fired for his broadcast Saturday. Blair's friends defended him, saying he is not racist and did not deserve to be fired.

"I know what it's like to have a slip of the tongue," said Linton Johnson, who described himself as a close friend of Blair. "I think people are overreacting. As a black person, I can say he is anything but racist. This guy has a history of working for and helping minorities," reports the Las Vegas Journal Review.

Blair was delivering the extended forecast early Saturday when he allegedly said, "For tomorrow, 60 degrees, Martin Luther Coon King Jr. Day, gonna see some temperatures in the mid-60s," the Journal Review reported.

"I don't think it was slip of the tongue, no way," said Gene Collins, director of the Las Vegas branch of National Action Network, a civil rights group.

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