Mark Madden Apologizes, Not Suspended, For Harsh Remark
May 23, 2008 at 11:45 AM (PT)
Popular ESPN WEAE-A/PITTBURGH afternoon host MARK MADDEN was given what THE PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE describes as less than a slap on the wrist after he made inflammatory comments about the condition of SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY. Early on in his show last WEDNESDAY (5/21), MADDEN said on-air, "I'm very disappointed to hear that SEN. TED KENNEDY of MASSACHUSETTS is near death because of a brain tumor. I always hoped SEN. KENNEDY would live long enough to be assassinated ... I wonder if he got a card from the KOPECHNES."
(The KOPECHNES is a reference to MARY JO KOPECHNE who, in 1969, drowned in a car KENNEDY was driving after it fell off a bridge and sank underwater.)
Reportedly, MADDEN was asked to apologize by his superior, which he did on the air about two hours later. GM MIKE THOMPSON told the paper's reporter that no suspension or firing was called for because "we took action right away. Frankly, it was a comment that was stupid. He admitted that. I don't think it requires any such thing as [discipline] ... I had a long talk with him after the show, and we went out for dinner. He clearly understands my position. He was wrong. He knows that firsthand and he also knows that [management] is involved in this process."
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