Bill Way, host of “It’s Your Turn” on news talker WNWS-FM (Radiocorp of Jackson, Inc.) Jackson, TN is off the air for now after posting racially inflammatory comments about President Obama on Facebook. Way posted the comments on his personal Facebook page over the weekend. They were aimed at people who voted for President Obama.
Harrell Carter, president of the Jackson chapter of the NAACP, told the Jackson Sun that the comments are derogatory. Carter said that on Friday, Way posted the following on his Facebook page: “A short message to Obama voters. To vote for him with a 9.2 unemployment rate, a (expletive) of Benghazi lies, $16,000,000,000 in debt and an israeli war, (a derogatory reference to the sex scandal involving David Petraeus), a pimp walking prez married to cheetahs daughter…expect what you will most certainly get. bye bye medicare. hello homeless.. I love America except for the idiots.”
Way apologized on air on Monday.
Way did not finish his show Monday after issuing the on-air apology before announcing that he would take a few days off. Another host took over for the rest of the show, taking phone calls from listeners about the situation.
“WNWS-FM learned about the comments Bill Way made on his personal Facebook page,” said station GM Larry Wood in a statement. “In no way do they reflect the positions or thoughts of any of us at WNWS-FM. We certainly don’t condone the comments from Bill and appreciate his public apology. We’re discussing his comments and apology. Considering the gravity of the situation, for now, by mutual agreement, Bill is taking a few days off.”
Carter hosted a news conference to talk about Way’s comments. He said it was irresponsible of someone in Way’s position to make such offensive comments: “We’re asking for a change of direction and attitude from one of Jackson’s most famous and entertaining talk show hosts,” Carter told The AP. “It is unconscionable, the language he used for the president of the United States and the first lady.”
Carter said he used to work at WNWS and knows Guy personally. “This was out of the clear blue sky,” he said. “I don’t know what the circumstances were, but this was surprising and disappointing.”
He said any discussion of the country’s problems needs to begin from a position of mutual respect.
RBR-TVBR observation: While social media is a great thing for many, it has shown to be the ruin of a good handful in media—it’s just as powerful as saying something rash and irresponsible on-air. This goes for the rest of us as well: Anything you text, post or tweet is for keeps. Choose your words wisely, because (especially if you’re a public figure or personality) the wrong ones will end up being the first thing folks find when they Google your name—for years or even permanently.