« Follow-Up Story to Nanny Murder Through Craigslist.org | Main | "Chessboard Killer" from Moscow Gets Harshest Sentence Possible »

KQRS Criticized for Comments About Red Lake

Due to comments made by Tom Barnard and Terri Traen on Barnard's extremely popular morning show about the Red Lake Indian Reservation, a meeting was held Monday with tribal leaders and American Indian advocates, StarTribune.com reports.
The morning show linked the high suicide rates in Beltrami County, which includes Red Lake and Bemidji, with incest and genetics.
According to KSTP.com, Traen said "Maybe it's(suicide) genetic; isn't there a lot of incest up there? I think there is, don't quote me on that, but I'm pretty sure."
Barnard went on to criticize the Shakopee Sioux saying that Mystic Lake Casino, located in Bemidji, is "doing a hell of a job helping them out."
However, according to Clyde Bettencourt, American Indian Movement co-founder, said that Red Lake has received nearly $4 million in grants from the Shakopee Sioux. Also, there has not been a suicide on Red Lake reservation in more than two years.
The station will offer public apologies from Traen and Barnard that will air six or seven times throughout the day. The station also promises to offer equal time for positive representations of the Indian community and run announcements for a suicide hot line. Bettencourt did not think that was enough.
"It's a start, but we are not satisfied. We think they should have suspended the guy or let the guy go. We'll be monitoring them."
This was not the first time that this show has been in trouble with comments made on the show. In 1998, the show got in a lot of trouble making fun of the Somalis and the Hmong community. Barnard also got in a lot of trouble wishing that Paul Welstone "drops dead," 39 days before he died in a plane crash.
The main difference between these two sources is that KSTP.com included that exact text of what was said, as well as provided an audio link to the radio show. Startribune.com provided good history into the show, and what trouble they have gotten into in the past, whereas KSTP.com did not.