Tweets could shed light on ‘half-breed’ comment

The uproar over 84 WHAS radio personality Mandy Connell calling President Barack Obama “a young half-breed man” has subsided, but it seems those racially insensitive comments may not have been the first the conservative host has used. A Twitter account that appears to belong to Connell contains attacks on Obama and possible racist language, including talk of wearing a white sheet.

LEO Weekly discovered through an account bearing Connell’s name and other personal and professional references that there could be a history of flirting with derogatory racial comments, particularly when mentioning President Obama. Archives reveal the Twitter account, which was started in February 2009 and has been idle since May 28, 2010, is filled with messages that could raise more questions about the sincerity of Connell’s recent apology.

Last week, Connell, who was hired by WHAS in March, publicly apologized for the on-air remarks about the president during her mid-morning program. The station had received almost 75 complaints, some of which called for her firing.

“The only thing I can do is express my embarrassment that was the phrase that came to mind and apologize for the offensive way I was trying to convey my point about the president’s mixed heritage. It was inappropriate, and truthfully, I was shocked when that tumbled out of my mouth,” Connell told The ‘Ville Voice, a local blog. “My only excuse is that when talking for three hours without the opportunity to choose words in advance, sometimes my brain doesn’t do the good or right thing. I am human.”

The management at WHAS agreed that the comment was a gaffe, but rejected calls to terminate the conservative host, arguing everyone makes mistakes and that the incident won’t be repeated.

From The Courier-Journal:

(Connell’s) boss Kelly Carls, director of operations for Clean Channel Louisville, said that the apology was sincere and that the station will not discipline Connell.

“I know Mandy, I know her well. And I know that people have used the word ‘racist’ in connection with her, and frankly that’s ridiculous because she’s not,” Carls said. “ … The only action I’ve taken was a caution to be more careful in the terminology that she uses in the future.”

But it appears Connell might have a history of using such terminology, at least according to the Twitter account in her name.

Earlier this year, for instance, a Tweet posted on May 28, 2010 made this statement: “First black president + tar balls = career ending inappropriate jokes. I’m out.”

Previous Tweets from the account were sent while Connell still was working for WINK News in Fort Myers, Fla., and makes jokes with other questionable language, including allusions to the Ku Klux Klan and unclear references to “raccoon gangs” and failing schools.

“Racism accusations have jumped the shark,” reads a Sept. 17, 2009, Tweet. “Is it tacky to wear my white sheet after Labor Day?”

“Raccoon gangs. It’s probably because they went to failing schools and had no other alternatives,” an Oct. 6, 2009, Tweet reads.

When confronted with accusations that these sorts of comments are at the very least insensitive, a Tweet from Aug. 7, 2009, reads unapologetically: “I no longer care if someone calls me a racist. Too many have cried ‘racist wolf’ too many times. Screw ‘em.”

Connell was unavailable for comment, and messages left with her producer have not been returned.

When asked if Connell had a Twitter account, Kelly Carls told LEO Weekly that she doesn’t have one affiliated with the station, and the local Clear Channel executive isn’t sure if she has a personal one.

“I’ve never discussed it with her,” he says. “Until picking up the phone and talking to you, I never heard of any Twitter account.”

Carls said he would ask Connell about the social networking account tomorrow morning, but wouldn’t discuss hypothetical scenarios or whether he finds the account’s messages troubling

“Well first, I don’t know if they’re real. Second of all, I’d have to see them, and third, I’d have to look at the context,” he says. “I never even heard about this account before, so I’m not going to comment on something I don’t know anything about.”

16 Comments

  1. stu noland
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Nice digging Phillip Bailey.

  2. The Professor
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I knew there had to more…thanks for exposing this…”Raccoon gangs”? and her other tweet: “First black president + tar balls = career ending inappropriate jokes. I’m out.” …but there is still speculation about whether or not she’s a bigot?….if it tweets like a duck….

  3. Sarah
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Bravo!! Now, let me copy and paste this to WHAS’s facebook wall.

  4. Sohl
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t expect anyone posting here to have familiarized themselves with Connell or her show, but you ought to be smart enough to realize that by painting her as a racist, you’re really just providing her with ammunition (and if there’s one thing conservatives know, it’s ammunition). Connell is far more thick-skinned even than she is tactless and insensitive, and though she does have those poor moments often enough, what her audience admires in her is candor. So you can take gaffes and run with them, and hope she gets smeared up down and sideways, but those who relate to her other 90% gaffe-free content will view you as reactionary, sensationalist, and shamefully partisan.

    I’m tired of extremes, personally. Ok, she’s not dinner-company material. But if we shoot of the racist parade and fireworks show every time a conservative gets a little bigoty, what the hell

  5. Sohl
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    … is it worth? [darn mobile posting]

  6. unclebart
    Posted August 11, 2010 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    This woman makes my skin crawl. Didn’t get to hear her address P. Bailey’s story this morning but look forward to listening to the podcast.
    Please, please, please, do not let this get swept under the rug like her previous slurs. Making racist comments to your racist friends does not make it OK “in context”.

  7. Steve Magruder
    Posted August 11, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Of course Connell will likely figure out a way to make hay out of this, probably ultimately exclaiming that it’s others’ fault she can’t keep her bigoted thoughts to herself. This, of course, is the Glenn Beck mentality — the idea that you can say anything, no matter how destructive, and never have to take full responsibility for it.

  8. Martin
    Posted August 12, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Threatened the President lately, Mr Bailey?

    And have you ever done ANY “digging” on ANY Democrats, liberals, or African-American public figures? Or do you just care about finding dirt, real or imagined, on people you disagree with?

    I think the average LEO reader needs to read and talk to people of more diverse world views…find some people who don’t agree with and believe all of the same things they do.

  9. Phillip M. Bailey
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    “And have you ever done ANY “digging” on ANY Democrats, liberals, or African-American public figures?” — Marty Messex

    Why certainly. Here are a few examples:

    Nov. 25, 2009 — ‘Jerry’s Kids’ on Metro Councilman Jim King, a Democrat, whose mayoral campaign was caught distributing an e-mail using St. X’s logo without permission. A story I originally broke.

    Nov. 18, 2009 — ‘Mount McKinney erupts’ an unflattering interview of former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, who is black and a Democrat (or was).

    Oct. 14, 2009 — ‘Do you want ‘Moore?’ criticizing a documentary of Michael Moore, a liberal.

    Oct. 7, 2009 — ‘Beware of blog’ that asked critical questions about the relationship of local — some would call liberal — bloggers.

    Sept. 23, 2009 — ‘Daddy dearest’ on Councilman King and his daughter, Judge King, and their violation of campaign finance laws.

    Mar. 18, 2009 — ‘Whistleblowers blocked?’ exposing how the mayor’s office, a DEMOCRAT, killed plans for an ethics tip line.

    Nov. 18, 2008 — ‘Civil (rights) war’ examining the split in the Justice Resource Center after the death of Louis Coleman.

    Aug. 1, 2008 — ‘Attack of the activist’ exposing the quick temper of a well-know civil rights leader, who is black, that resulted in her brief suspension from her organization.

  10. Phillip M. Bailey
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Mr. Messex,

    I raised only a few examples to demonstrate that your knee-jerk charge is lazy, bunk and distracting.

    Lazy because you’ve obviously “googled” me but didn’t care to read the full catalog that shows my work focuses on various local figures

    Bunk because asking critical questions may be inconvenient, but does not demonstrate a bias against conservatives, Republicans or whites.

    Distracting because it overlooks the content of the story and clumsily tries to ‘shoot the messenger’ (cliché). That strategy, however, won’t work given the due diligence on LEO’s part to get a solid answer.

    Next time please take a little more time to read, think and then respond.

  11. Jaison Gardner
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Right on, Bailey.

  12. Ed Springston
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Phillip trust me on this. Rarely does anyone actually take the time to do the reseacrh they accuse others of not doing. Welcome to the negative hits my friend.

    While we would not certainly agree on every issue as you know I certainly do believe you do a good job of trying to be fair. That is rare in Louisville these days.

    Keep up the good work. And by the way I liked your refernce to the King KREF scandal above.

    I feel prouder every day of that accomplishment of mine. FYI it is still under an ongoing State Police investigation. I will let you know when I get details.

    Take care!

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  15. Native To Colorado
    Posted June 26, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Well, I Certainly do thank all you….very racially sensitive “Folks”, and bone headed people for loosing you mind over such a brainless comment, like “half-breed” Jesus people! She said something stupid! who cares. But I do thank you for sending her out here to Colorado, we will Gladly use her to bolster our Pot smoking, Gun toting movement that all us nutty, socially privileged white-folk enjoy your game Social Justice police.. “Bad-boys, whatcha-going to do, when they come for you”

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