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Radio personality fired after sparking outrage with racist tweet


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    OMAHA, Nebraska (KETV) — Omaha radio personality Chris Baker was fired over a social media post deemed “completely inappropriate and unacceptable” by the former talk show host’s employer.

Baker hosted a conservative talk program on KFAB radio. He sparked outrage Tuesday with a now-deleted tweet referencing the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former officer convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

C. Taylor Walet III, area president of IHeartMedia in Nebraska sent this statement Wednesday:

“We are aware of the completely inappropriate and unacceptable tweet that was posted late Tuesday afternoon. Please know that this does not represent our viewpoint or our values, and we take this situation very seriously. Accordingly, Chris Baker’s employment with our Company has been terminated.”

Users on Twitter captured screenshots of the post and shared them throughout social media platforms. The image showed that Baker wrote, “Guilty!” above a GIF of a group of dancing Black native men in loincloths.

Anti-racism advocates and fellow conservatives said they agreed Baker needed to be held accountable for his action.

“When I saw it, I was kind of in disbelief,” Krysty Becker said.

Becker, communications manager for Inclusive Communities, said posting the tweet in the wake of what happened in Minneapolis on Tuesday disparaged a moment of relief and accountability for the Black community.

“He joined it with an action that was intended to disempower and an action that was intended to mock. It was a direct, racist comment,” she said.

In response to the calls for Baker to resign and apologize, KFAB had pulled his show’s podcast page from its website by noon Wednesday.

Nebraska State Sen. John McCollister was one of the first public figures to react to the tweet.

“We all make occasional gaffes, but he’s been saying divisive things and making dog whistle comments to his base for years,” he said.

McCollister, a Republican, also wrote about the post on Twitter. He said he thought Baker’s tweet was in character, blasting the talk show host’s rhetoric.

Former Democratic candidate for the 2nd Congressional District, Kara Eastman, wrote her reaction on Twitter, saying the post was “beyond words.”

In the aftermath of the post, corporate sponsors said they severed business ties with Baker’s program.

Manality Health wrote on Twitter, “At such difficult times, our country needs unity and compassion. Messages like this only deepen the divide and drive us apart. Our ownership, employees, and clients do not have the same viewpoint as Chris Baker and have immediately stopped our advertising relationship.”

Restaurant and catering service Fernando’s of Omaha tweeted a similar statement:

“We are now aware of an inappropriate tweet sent out last night by Chris Baker. Fernando’s does not support this and will be discontinuing our marketing relationship with Chris Baker.”

Baker did not go on air Wednesday afternoon. KFAB promoted a “special program” from 2-6 p.m. to 6 p.m. The substitute programming made no mention of Baker’s absence.

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Article Topic Follows: National-World

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