Tricia Macke, an anchor for a Fox News local affiliate in Cincinnati, has returned to work after a two-day suspension for reportedly calling liberal MSNBC host Rachel Maddow an “angry young man.”
Macke posted the comment on her Facebook page last month, but Fox 19 Cincinnati apparently took no action until the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) brought the issue to national attention, after which she was suspended. Initially, the affiliate station refused to address the reason for Macke’s absence, stating only, “We don’t comment on personnel matters.”
Although she was criticized for the post nearly immediately on her Facebook timeline, Macke initially defended her comment, stating only that she “should’ve said ‘antagonistic’” and that she “knew” what she was saying.
GLAAD stated that for Macke to refer “to Maddow as a ‘man” because she is a gay woman is completely unacceptable for someone in the business of journalism.” The president of GLAAD, Herndon Graddick, called for Macke to apologize “not only to viewers, but to young people in Ohio who are subjected to unfair bullying and harassment like this on a daily basis.”
Macke eventually removed the offending post and issued an apology via the Fox affiliate’s Facebook page, stating:
I recently posted comments on my personal Facebook page regarding cable news anchor Rachel Maddow which were insensitive and inappropriate. I apologize to Ms. Maddow and any others who may have been offended by my comments, as they do not reflect my firm beliefs in individual and equal rights, and they certainly do not represent the opinions or position of my employer WXIX-TV.
Fox 19 apologized, as well, stating:
To all FOX19 viewers and Facebook fans,
We have received several expressions of concerns about a recent Facebook posting by FOX19 Anchor Tricia Macke on her personal Facebook page. Tricia’s response is provided below and is also posted on her personal Facebook page. We also apologize to anyone who may have been offended by her comments.
WXIX Station Management
Although Fox 19 Cincinnati finally took some action, a two-day suspension a month after the offending incident seems, at best, like a slap on the wrist to ameliorate public outrage over Macke’s comments. Additionally, Macke herself can hardly be found sincere, especially after initially doubling down on her homophobic statements. In all likelihood, she probably apologized to keep her job and to keep viewers happy, rather than because she understood the extreme inappropriateness of her words.