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"Isn't there a lot of incest up there?"

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  • Robert Schmidt
    http://www.startribune.com/389/story/1515148.html Indian leaders win several concessions from KQRS after Barnard show comments By Curt Brown and Terry Collins,
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 30, 2007
      http://www.startribune.com/389/story/1515148.html

      Indian leaders win several concessions from KQRS after Barnard show
      comments

      By Curt Brown and Terry Collins, Star Tribune

      Last update: October 29, 2007 – 1:11 PM

      American Indian leaders secured several concessions today after meeting
      with executives at KQRS Radio (92.5 FM) in the wake of troubling on-air
      comments during Tom Barnard's popular morning program.

      After the meeting at the station's corporate offices in southeast
      Minneapolis, KQRS president and general manager Marc Kalman said the
      station would take the following steps:

      -- Broadcast a public apology.

      -- Give equal air time to positive issues involving the American Indian
      community.

      -- Work to hire American Indian interns.

      -- Continue airing public service announcements for the suicide hot line.

      -- Invite members of the Shakopee Mdewakanton and Red Lake tribes to be on
      the morning show.

      Tribal leaders said that overall they're pleased but would have preferred
      stronger measures including some of the on-air personalities being fired.

      The uproar stems from a broadcast last month in which Barnard and co-host
      Terri Traen talked about the Red Lake and Shakopee tribes while discussing
      a report by the state Health Department that Beltrami County has the
      state's highest rate of suicide among young people.

      The jocks then mentioned Bemidji and the Red Lake reservation, both in
      Beltrami County.

      "Maybe it's genetic; isn't there a lot of incest up there?" Traen said
      about the tribe.

      "Not that I know of," Barnard replied.

      "I think there is," Traen continued. "Don't quote me on that, but I'm
      pretty sure."Well, I'm glad you just threw it out there, then," Barnard
      said to laughter in the background.

      Barnard also criticized the Shakopee Sioux, who own the Mystic Lake Casino,
      for "doing a hell of a job helping them out."

      Traen commented, "They don't give them anything?"

      "Hell, no!" Barnard replied.

      Bellecourt said Red Lake has received nearly $4 million in grants from the
      Shakopee tribe since 2004 toward building a new Boys and Girls Club,
      assisting with the recent rebirth of the tribe's walleye fishing industry
      and creating a center in Bemidji to address sexual assault.

      More than a dozen Indian leaders filed into the KQRS corporate offices
      about 10 this morning to lodge their formal complaint.

      "These were irresponsible comments that are way out of bounds and
      intolerable," said Red Lake Tribal Chairman Floyd (Buck) Jourdain, before
      the meeting at the offices in southeast Minneapolis. Jourdain compared the
      comments to those several months ago by Don Imus about the Rutgers women's
      basketball team that were racial and sexual in nature. Imus lost his
      syndicated radio job over that incident.

      "Those comments [by Imus] were about losing a basketball game, and these
      are about life and death," said Jourdain, "and we're not going to endure
      this ignorance any longer in a state that emphasizes Minnesota Nice."

      Jourdain added that there has not been a suicide on his reservation in more
      than two years.

      Joining Jourdain and others from the Red Lake reservation for the meeting
      were members of the American Indian Movement and the Shakopee Mdewakanton
      Sioux.

      AIM co-founder Clyde Bellecourt on Sunday said the remarks about the Red
      Lake Chippewa and Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux tribes were "ignorant."

      The KQ morning show, known for its pull-no-punches style when delivering
      weird news, ethnic jokes and political diatribes, is among the most popular
      morning programs in the Twin Cities.

      Barnard has been "getting away with this crap for years," Bellecourt said.

      Minority groups have long criticized Barnard and his crew for their on-air
      banter.

      In the late 1990s, members of the Somali community picketed over Barnard
      and Co.'s mocking of Somali dialects after a Somali cabdriver was slain.
      Before that, the Asian-American community was irate when Barnard and his
      co-hosts made fun of a teenage Hmong girl who was charged with killing her
      newborn son.

      They said of her potential $10,000 fine: "That's a lot of eggrolls."
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