Graham points finger and apologizes

Well, now. A little after 3 p.m., Michael Graham addressed the matter of the dwarfism segment on last Friday’s show on WTKK Radio (96.9 FM) and apologized — not for anything he said, but for Karl Zahn’s so-called joke. The full transcript of Graham’s remarks:

If you listen to the show, you know that when I screw up, if I get a fact here wrong or whatever, I like to correct myself personally, and I like to do it right up front in the show. During Friday’s we had a conversation about Starbucks and a decision to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit. We were discussing the legitimate topic of a dwarf who had a job at Starbucks for which I feel she was clearly unqualified.

Well, during a roundtable some comments went too far. They weren’t funny. They were hurtful. Doesn’t matter who said them. It doesn’t matter that it was a wide-open conversation. This is my show, and I’m responsible. So I’d like to apologize for those comments. I’m sorry it happened. I wish that I could say nothing stupid will ever be said on this show again, but that is obviously impossible. People make mistakes. What I can promise is that I will take responsibility for mine.

I’m beginning to feel sorry for Karl.

Meanwhile, Heidi Raphael, a spokeswoman for Greater Media, which owns WTKK, told me in an emailed statement that the station will not be posting the audio. She added:

Please know we have spoken with Michael about his remarks, and made it clear this is not the type of commentary we expect on our airwaves. Michael’s comments do not, in any way, represent the views, opinions or company culture of Greater Media.

Please note the phrase his remarks in Raphael’s statement, which clearly refers to Graham, not Zahn.

Pending any new developments, I’ll be wrapping this up tomorrow. If you’ve been hanging in there to this point, please stay tuned.

12 thoughts on “Graham points finger and apologizes

  1. Mike Benedict

    “We were discussing the legitimate topic of a dwarf who had a job at Starbucks for which I feel she was clearly unqualified.

    Because heavens knows Michael Graham knows oh-so-much about how to run a Starbucks. Isn’t this the same guy who screams that government doesn’t know thing one about business and therefore should just get out of the way?

    Projectionism! I’d bring up Orange County — the very bastion of Republicanism — being the poster boy for spending what it couldn’t afford and then welshing on its debts, but that would seem like piling on.

  2. Al Fiantaca

    Well, during a roundtable some comments went too far. They weren’t funny. They were hurtful. Doesn’t matter who said them. It doesn’t matter that it was a wide-open conversation. This is my show, and I’m responsible. So I’d like to apologize for those comments….

    That, to me, only sounds like an attempt to make a necessary apology, while passing the blame onto someone else. I don’t believe he’s sincere.

  3. Donna L. Halper

    I’m still trying to figure out Michael’s assertion that a dwarf is not qualified to work at Starbucks– my local Starbucks had a Little Person working there last year (college student) and yes, she used a step-stool, and no, she did not fall, nor did the republic. I fail to see what the issue is for Mr. Graham or his guests. There seems to be a discourse on the right that people with disabilities do not deserve “special accommodations”– except again, I fail to see how using a small stool is a problem. Can someone explain? Also, amused to see Mr. Graham showing his ability to do the famous “non-apology apology,” of the “mistakes were made” ilk. Better than nothing, I suppose.

  4. Laurence Glavin

    It may not make national headlines, but I’ve become aware that a PRIVATE CORPORATION has completely screwed up the scoring of tests administered by school districts in hot-as-hell Oklahoma. The company is now called just Pearson Education; it used to be called Addison-Wesley out of the Town of Reading, MA. “No Child Left Behind” relies on accurate testing, and “You’re OK Oklahoma” has a multi-million $$$$$ contract with this company! So the private sector is NOT infallible. Come to think of it, Joe Ratzinger isn’t either.

  5. Mike Benedict

    @LaurenceGlavin: Trillions of dollars of vanished wealth and the near demise of the entire US banking system wasn’t enough to convince you?

  6. Sean Griffin

    I worked at a Starbucks with a woman who was maybe 4’10” and had physical problems (my guess was that she was born with spina bifida). She was a terrific worker and if she couldn’t reach something there was always someone there to give her a hand and 99.99% of the customers had no problem dealing with her. There are also Starbucks customers who have problems dealing with 6’1″ baristas who perform their tasks flawlessly.

  7. Mike Rice

    If anyone has family or friends vacationing on the outer Cape that are planning to evacuate ahead of the hurricane now is the time. I just returned from food shopping in Orleans and there is currently very heavy traffic heading west on Route 6 which means it’s just going to get worse as people continue to head off-Cape.

  8. C.E. Stead

    Mike – that’s just Orleans in August. Me, I can’t understand all the people going west on the Bass River Bridge at 11 am. Where are they heading, Hyannis ‘early-birds’?

    Since the storm isn’t actually coming until Sunday (per Matt Noyes, the BEST weatherman on Boston TV) even Rt. 6 will empty out in 4 days….

  9. Bob Nelson

    The recent Graham broadcast mp3 may still not be around to hear but I note that the “Dwarf News” group on Facebook managed to find the May broadcast he had done. (I haven’t heard it yet but am giving a heads up with regards to that
    show’s mp3 file.)

  10. Mary Lynch Mobilia

    A measured and forceful defense of little people in general and your daughter.
    We all need to stand up against meanness and discrimination against people merely for being who they are. Sometimes, the most we can do is verbally protest as these things happen. Sometimes, out of legitimate fear, we can only work to raise the next generation to be caring and nondiscriminatory.
    We need to work toward decreasing the number of bystanders as well as victims of discrimination.
    Good wishes to you and your family

  11. Mike Rice

    @C.E. Stead:

    When Hurricane Bob hit the outer Cape as barely a CAT 1, power was out for nearly two weeks. Most lodging facilities and restaurants here don’t have backup generators. It could get ugly real fast for those vacationing who opt to stay.

    I just returned from Sandwich and traffic exiting the Cape is heavy.

    Traffic heading into Hyannis this time of year via Route 28 is just hideous, what’s the attraction? I don’t get it.

  12. Pauline George

    Dear Mr. Kennedy, I am glad I read your article in the
    Boston Globe. How sad there are so many hateful people who express their opinions. I hope you have the opportunity to
    read Big Girl Small by Rachel De Woskin, as it allows the reader to know an adolescent girl’s life in high school. Your
    daughter will like it also.

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