By Martin Finucane, Globe Staff
Controversial right wing radio talk show host Jay Severin, suspended for a month for making derogatory comments about Mexican immigrants, will return to the airwaves Tuesday. He regrets the remarks and understands they were wrong and hurtful, his station, WTKK-FM, said.
"He understands that we will not accept this type of commentary on our airwaves in the future. Based on this understanding, we have agreed to conclude Jay's suspension and he will return." the station said.
Severin was suspended April 30 after calling Mexican immigrants "criminaliens," "primitives," and "leeches," and saying Mexico's leading exports included venereal disease and "women with mustaches and VD."
Severin also called America "the magnet for primitives from around the world," and said hospital emergency rooms had become "essentially condos for Mexicans."
His remarks sparked a firestorm of protest, led by organizations such as the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition. Some sponsors pulled their advertising and said they wouldn't resume them if the station reinstated him. Some observers felt Severin, who had gotten in trouble for other remarks before, was on his last legs.
"We want to emphasize that WTKK still strongly supports an open and spirited debate about the many issues our community and our country currently face," the station said. "There will no doubt be times when people disagree with what Jay says. Our goal is to maintain a level of discourse that is compelling and thought-provoking, yet civil and respectful. While we will not always succeed in walking this line, we will continually strive to do so."
The station posted a similar statement on its website, concluding, "We hope you'll experience what Jay has to say this Tuesday and every weekday from 3 to 7 p.m. Warm regards, WTKK Management."
The station is owned by Greater Boston Radio Inc., which is a subsidiary of Greater Media Inc. Greater Media is the parent company of 23 AM and FM stations in the Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, New Jersey and Philadelphia markets, the station said.
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