It took just hours for a conservative radio station in New Jersey to suspend two of its most prominent talk-show hosts after the pair repeatedly referred to state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, a practicing Sikh, as “Turban Man.”
“The guy with the turban,” New Jersey 101.5 host Dennis Malloy said on the air Wednesday, referring to Grewal. He then declared he would never learn the name of the state’s top prosecutor, a key foe of President Donald Trump.
“Turban Man,” his co-host, Judi Franco, replied in a sing-song voice during a broader discussion about a recent action taken by the attorney general.
“Listen, and if that offends you, then don’t wear the turban and maybe I’ll remember your name,” Malloy said. “If you called me ‘Baseball Hat Man’ and I was in a culture where no one wore baseball hats … should I be offended?”
The comments mark another controversial episode in the history of New Jersey 101.5, where shock jock Craig Carton once ranted about the “damn Orientals and Indians” and mocked a former governor’s wife for suffering from postpartum depression.
But this latest incident, which gained widespread public attention after audio of the show was shared on Twitter Wednesday evening, was met with swift anger and, to the surprise of some, an apology and action by the station. The reaction seemed to highlight how quickly public outcry can can grow over insensitive comments in an age in which the level of political discourse has shifted dramatically since Trump became president.
The state’s top Democrats quickly weighed in to condemn the remarks and praise Grewal, who grew up in New Jersey and is the first Sikh American to serve as an attorney general in the United States.
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SOURCE: Politico, Ryan Hutchins