Jay Severin's double secret suspension

Boston.com reports that boundary-pushing WTKK-FM host Jay Severin has been suspended for some deragatory commentary involving Mexicans and the swine flu. But the story doesn't say what those comments were.

Don't blame reporter David Abel. I tried contacting Heidi Raphael, the spokeswoman for Greater Media, WTKK's parent company. Via email, she confirmed Severin's suspension, but declined further comment. WTKK's handy searchable archives are no help, either: as of this afternoon, one WTKK program--Severin's--seems to be unavailable.

Fortunately, New York's El Diario La Prensa has some additional details:

At the Boston radio station WTKK, Jay Severin is using the flu to attack Mexicans and immigrants. For Severin, Mexicans are “criminaliens” and primitives who export venereal diseases to the United States. The shock jock referred to the strain of flu as “swine-aka-Janet Napolitano flu.”

That’s not the end of Severin’s anti-immigrant rants. Immigrants are leeches and their children, he warns, don’t speak English, will retard schools, add to crime and spread disease. Amid all of this, Severin has the audacity to state, “I don’t mean to hype the story.”

Meanwhile, a colleague of mine says that--when he tuned in to WTKK yesterday--Severin was identifying venereal disease and women with mustaches as Mexico's main exports.

I'm trying to get more specifics from Raphael--but since her previous email contained the phrase "no further comment at this time," I'm not hopeful. If Raphael provides additional details, I'll post them here.

In the interim, I'll state the obvious: any Greater Media efforts to hold Severin accountable by suspending him will be seriously undercut by a refusal to acknowledge what Severin actually said.

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