With this, we would officially like to nominate Detroit WXYT radio host Mike Valenti for Keith Olberman’s nightly “Worst Person in the World” segment. Why? He felt it was appropriate to read out jokes instant messaged in to his sports talk show, the Sports Inferno, about Corey Smith after the former Lion defensive end was deemed lost at sea.
(From left, Mike Valenti and Sports Inferno co-host Terry Foster.)
According to the DETROIT FREE PRESS, Valenti has acted quickly to apologize for reading out one instant message that cracked a joke about Smith and another about the capsized boat that eventually claimed the lives of Smith, Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper and former South Florida football player Will Bleakley. Of course, Valenti only apologized after the Lions team president, Tom Lewand raised his disgust about Valenti’s comments on Wednesday.
Here’s Valenti’s official on-the-air apology:
“… (reading the jokes was) a very, very, very stupid decision on my part, probably the dumbest, most reprehensible decision I’ve made in my radio career. I just offer you my sincerest apologies. It was completely ridiculous to put it on the air, and again, it comes to me. The only thing I can promise you, as my listeners: It won’t happen again. Otherwise, I’ll tell you right now, I don’t deserve to be around.”
He’s right, if it happens again he doesn’t deserve to be around. Then again, it’s clear that he’s going to get the chance to make those mistakes again, because WXYT has no plans to further punsh Valenti.
“We fully agree that the comment was absolutely inappropriate,” said Debbie Kenyon, the station’s market manager. Asked whether Valenti would face further discipline, Kenyon said: “I think I’ve said enough. We’ve addressed the issue with Mike the way we feel is best. The on-air apology is pretty big. We don’t do that very often.”
Really? You sure you’ve said enough, considering the fact that one of your lead radio hosts read out a lewd joke about a professional athlete in your city who was tragically lost at sea, slipping away to his own demise in icy water? A small apology covers that? That’s incredible job security. How can we get that during this economic recession?
(This man has incredible job security.)
For what it’s worth, Lewand’s apology seemed much more appropriate in tone, and sincerity, and he doesn’t even work for WXYT; he apoligized because the station is the flagship radio home of the Lions.
“There was some reading of jokes and some incredibly inappropriate comments that were made, and on behalf of our organization, I feel obligated to apologize to the Smith family on behalf of our flagship station,” Lewand said. “It’s not something we’ll condone. It’s not something the Detroit Lions organization wants to be a part of, and I’m hopeful that they’ll take appropriate steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”
Step No. 1: Someone notify Olbermann. We’ve got his “Worst Person in the World” right here.