November 29, 2015

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Racial Joke Lands Java Joel In Hot Water

Robert Feder in the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Joel Murphy, the nighttime jock known as Java Joel has talked himself out of his job at WKSC-FM Chicago.

After three years at the Clear Channel CHR station, Murphy was fired Wednesday for telling a joke on the air deemed racially insensitive by his bosses.

"WKSC will no longer air The Rubber Room program hosted by Java Joel," John Gehron, regional vice president of Clear Channel Radio and general manager of "Kiss FM," said in a statement. The comments made by Java Joel on the Jan. 11, 2005 show were inappropriate and do not reflect the opinions of WKSC or its employees."

During the 9 p.m. hour on his show Tuesday, Murphy alluded to "Mr. Belvedere," a 1980s sitcom about an English housekeeper who helps raise three youngsters. That led Murphy to joke about the possibility of adopting "three black kids" and "taking them to the zoo to see where they came from."

At least one listener who heard the bit complained to the station, prompting an internal investigation and Murphy's dismissal.

It wasn't the first time he ran afoul of his bosses. As recently as last October, Murphy was suspended for one day without pay for making inappropriate remarks on his show.

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