As previously reported here, a Prescott City Councilman and talk show host has been making an issue about an elementary school mural that used actual school kids of various ethnicities as models — helping stir up hatred so the mural painters were cussed out and the school principal later claimed that for artistic reasons he did what educators who have murals are not known to do: insisted that the skin color of his school’s kids depicted in the mural be lightened.
Besides being a City Councilman, Steve Blair is also a well-known afternoon talk show host for radio station KYCA. Well, make that “was” because he has been removed from his radio talk show as of today, due to a controversy over the mural painted on Miller Valley School.
The discussion about the mural has been controversial ever since the paint began being brushed on the wall. Now it’s a full blown controversy, with statewide and even national media paying attention. Right now, the spotlight is on Blair, who made comments that some interpreted as being racist.
Blair freely expresses his opinions on the radio. Today, after being let go by KYCA, he took the time to talk to Prescott eNews about the situation.
Go the link to watch the You Tube.
Meanwhile, expect Blair to get a job offer by some other station or talk radio chain now that he’s famous for being famous and showed that he can push a hot button that worked so well that the skin color of non-white students was ordered to be lightened. To some he’ll be a hot radio “hot talk’ property with all the right attitudes to make it big.
Place your bets in Vegas now: he’ll have a regional or national talk show or be on a conservative cable show.
FOOTNOTE: Make sure you read my original post on this. I made a point of stressing that the majority of people in Arizona would not agree with Blair’s fixation over some of the skin color in the mural and that many educators would have defended their students, the mural artists’ right to accurately reflect the school’s ethnicity, and their student’s families’ honor.
So now we have an ex-talk radio host. Don’t expect for there to be an ex-principal but it probably isn’t going out on a limb to say ordering the skin color of some of the figures on the mural to be lightened may not prove to be a great career move.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.