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Slate suspends podcast host after discussion about racial slurs

The online publication Slate has suspended a well-known podcast host after discussing with colleagues whether non-black people should be able to cite racial slurs in some situations.

In an interview, Mike Pesca, host of the news and culture podcast The Gist, said he was suspended indefinitely on Monday after defending the use of slurs in certain situations. He had a discussion last week in a conversation with a colleague about the inter-office messaging platform Slack.

In a long message thread, the slate staff was discussing resignation. Donald G. McNeill Jr.A reporter said he would resign from the New York Times this month after using a slur during a racist debate while working as a guide for student travel in 2019.

White Pesca said he felt he could use the slur, according to a screenshot of Slack’s conversation shared with the Times. Dan Check, CEO of Slate, intervened to conclude the debate.

Katie Rayford, a slate spokeswoman, confirmed that “The Gist” had been suspended indefinitely while waiting for the investigation, but did not comment on Mr. Pesca. “We can’t go into the specific claims under investigation, but we can confirm that this wasn’t a decision based on an isolated, abstract discussion on the Slack channel,” Rayford said.

Defector media, Digital outlet Focusing on sports and culture, he previously reported on Mr. Pesca’s suspension and internal debate on the slate.

In November 2019, Slate requires podcast hosts and producers to discuss the use of racist terminology in pending episodes, both inside and outside the cited material, before recording it. Introduced.

Pesca investigated the discussion about the use of slurs for black guards who were dismissed for using slurs in the 2019 podcast. In an early version of the episode, Pesca said he used the term when quoting men. After consulting with the producer and boss who opposed the slur quote, he said he re-recorded the episode without it.

“A version of the story with offensive language was never aired, and this is the way I think the editing process should go,” Pesca said in an interview.

Mr Pesca said no action was taken against him after conducting a personnel investigation into the slur’s citation. He said he apologized to the producers involved.

Pesca said Chief Executive Check and Slate Editor-in-Chief Jared Hohlt took up a previous case of quoting a slur when talking to him after a Slack conversation. He added that they referred to his other example using terms he did not remember.

Mr. Pesca, whose style of interview appears to embody the contrarian brand of Slate, said he was told on Friday that he would be suspended for a week unpaid. He said on Monday he was informed that the suspension was indefinite and that he would have to accept retirement or be subject to investigation.

Pesca, who has worked for Slate for seven years, said he was “painful” for hurting his colleagues, but added that “I hate the idea of ​​being indisputable or unspeakable.”

Jacob WeisbergSlate’s former chairman and editor-in-chief, who left the company for podcast startup Pushkin in 2018, called Pesca “a huge talent and a fair journalist.”

“I don’t think he did anything worthy of discipline or consequences. Unfortunately, I think it’s an example of a kind of overreaction and lack of judgment and perspective,” Weisberg said.

Joel Anderson, Slate’s black staff who hosted the third season of the podcast “Slow Burn,” opposed it. “For black employees, it’s a very small question not to listen to that particular slur, and not discuss whether white employees may use that particular slur,” he said. It was.

Slate suspends podcast host after discussion about racial slurs

Source link Slate suspends podcast host after discussion about racial slurs

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