WRKO-AM Boston on Karyn E. Polito’s “Tight Little Butt”: REALLY DAMN SEXIST

REALLY DAMN SEXIST: While covering the Massachusetts race for state treasurer, WRKO-AM radio producer Bill Cooksey recently endorsed Republican candidate Karyn E. Polito for her “tight little butt.” The outrageous on-air remarks came in response to a caller who inquired, “Is she hot?” Cooksey said:

“I think she’s hot. She’s tiny, she’s short. She’s got a banging little body on her. Facial wise, I give her about a seven. Body wise, I give her about an eight-and-a-half. Tight little butt. I endorse Karyn Polito.”

WRKO-AM radio hosts Tom Finneran and Todd Feinburg were amused by the commentary. According to the Boston Herald’s Jessica Heslam, Feinburg responded to the backlash by saying,

“I thought it was delightful and humorous and it’s a form of social commentary. And why do we need to be appropriate?”

Feinburg’s statement conveys two important points. First, he understands that the comments were inappropriate, but second, fails to see how this sort of sexist media coverage affects the political environment for women.  At a time when women are 50% less likely than men to seriously consider running, these comments are not only deplorable, but profoundly unacceptable.

While WRKO-AM spokesperson George Regan insists there will be no apology, even Polito’s Democratic opponent, Steve Grossman, has called for one.

Since the original airdate, the segment containing the conversation is missing from the regularly-updated audio files online. The radio station did, however, post a follow-up interview at the end of which Polito reprimanded the entire crew, saying,

“Listen, you guys were over the line - all of you.”

“It wasn’t right, but move on.  It’s another day and I’ve got a long campaign ahead of me . . . Let’s talk about the issues, guys. I’m all about it.”

The Name It. Change It. Campaign is reaching out to WRKO-AM , urging them to issue a formal apology to Karyn E. Polito, and asking the station sign our Equality Pledge to commit to objectivity, truthfulness and accuracy in reporting.

Karen Polito

Published by Kate McCarthy on 09/28/2010

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