A liberal Wisconsin talk radio host has apologized after making crude sexual jokes about the state's female lieutenant governor, as well as mocking her survival of colon cancer.
On Monday, Madison-area WTDY morning host John "Sly" Sylvester criticized Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch's cold-calling attempts trying to woo businesses from Illinois to Wisconsin in the wake of the former state's financial woes. In response, Sylvester mockingly impersonated Kleefisch and said she was only elected after performing sexual acts. He then later referenced Kleefisch's bout with colon cancer and wondered if her hairstyle is a result of having to wear a wig:
The comments can be heard in full by clicking here, courtesy of WTMJ in Milwaukee. [WARNING: Contains graphic content.]
Wisconsin Republican Party executive director Mark Jefferson told WKOW-TV the remarks by Sylvester were "offensive." The American Cancer Society called them "disrespectful" and said Sylvester's comments were made "under the guise of political discourse."
Kleefisch responded by calling the comments "unfortunate" and delivering a message to young girls in Wisconsin:
Initially, Sylvester's program director defended the remarks as comedy to WKOW. "It was obvious sarcasm and was not intended to be taken literally," he said on Tuesday.
But on Wednesday, Sylvester said on-air that he sent an apology letter to Kleefisch and admitted his comments "might have been a little too crude."
"I didn't need to take it the sexual reference part," he said, adding that he was "not mocking [Kleefisch's] cancer."
The controversy is especially relevant in the wake of Tucson shootings, which many in the media and the left have tried to blame on conservative rhetoric.