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After racism controversy, don't expect to see Airborne Eddy back on the air

“Airborne” Eddy Dobosiewicz told my colleague Tim O’Shei Wednesday night that he hopes his return to the airwaves is an “open question.”

Sorry, Eddy, the idea that either Channel 7 or WBBZ-TV would allow you to return isn’t going to fly after you sent a racist tweet out concerning the situation in Baltimore that included a photo of multiple baboons climbing a car.

Eddy’s defense to O’Shei was “I was trying to shed a light on man’s inhumanity to man, not on a particular race of people.”

I’m not sure what is scarier to think about – how racist that tweet was or the fact that Eddy didn’t immediately realize the imagery was racist.

Dobosiewicz defended himself further by saying that his office is on the East Side, “the area of the city that has the most African-American neighbors. They’re all over the place.”

All I could think of after that line is that Eddy better just stop talking.

But he added “they’re my neighbors,” he has lived next door to an interracial couple for 30 years and “anybody who knows” him realizes “there’s not a racist cell in my body.”

It sure sounded like a laughable defense of “some of my best friends are African-American.”

Channel 7 General Manager Michael Nurse and WBBZ General Manager Chris Musial immediately suspended Dobosiewicz after learning of his tweet and rightly so.  The fact they didn’t use the word “fired” may suggest that he could return to do more “Queen City Chronicles” for Channel 7 or continue doing bits on “Off Beat Cinema,” which airs on WBBZ. But why would either station want him back?

Dobosiewicz has done some good community work in organizing and growing the annual Dyngus Day celebration in Buffalo. And America gives people second chances.

But Dobosiewicz already has gotten a second chance at Channel 7, according to multiple sources. He used to be a fixture at the Variety Club Telethon. However, he was removed from it and other live programming at Channel 7 at least a decade ago after inappropriately doing an off-color standup act at the Riviera Theater before some telethon supporters.

Thankfully, it wasn’t on television, but enough supporters were appalled that Dobosiewicz was considered too big a risk to do live TV anymore. He also was warned to know his audience and realize what is appropriate to say and do. As this week’s tweets illustrate, he never learned his lesson.

Nurse gave Dobosiewicz a second chance as an independent contractor to supply his nostalgic stories occasionally for the station’s newscasts.

Those stories are pleasant enough but aren’t worth being associated with someone who will find it very difficult to remove the stigma that he has racist attitudes no matter what he, his friends, co-workers and family say.

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