‘The last word’

TV news anchor responds on-air to viewer’s racist insult

TV news anchor Sharon Reed. (Twitter)

Local news anchor Sharon Reed was covering Atlanta’s mayoral election this week, a hotly-contested race that almost resulted in the city’s first white mayor since 1969, when she publicly responded to a viewer who called her the n-word in an email about her coverage. Sitting alongside her CBS 46 colleagues Ben Swann and Alicia Roberts, Reed, the only African-American on the panel, read the viewer’s note aloud as it was shown on-screen to viewers.

“You need to be fired for the race baiting comment you made tonight. It’s o.k. for blacks to discuss certain subjects but not whites. Really??? you are what I call a N***r not a black person. you are a racist N***r. you are what’s wrong with the world,” a woman named Kathy Rae wrote in an email to the station.

Reed then delivered her response, live on the air.

“Quite the contrary, we think that race is an authentic discussion to have. It’s one we’re having tonight because it’s one that you are talking about at home and it’s one that has clearly entered the Atlanta mayor’s race. That’s why, behind the scenes, my colleagues and I — white and black — we decided, hey let’s go for it,” she said.

“When arguing with somebody you have to be careful not to mischaracterize their viewpoint, so I won’t mischaracterize your view either, Kathy Rae,” Reed added. “I get it. On Dec. 5, 2017, you think it’s okay to call this journalist a ‘n****r.’ I don’t. But I could clap back and say a few things to you. But instead I’ll let your words, Kathy Rae, speak for themselves. And that will be the last word.”

Needless to say, Reed’s scathing riposte was a hit on social media.

In the recent mayoral election, independent candidate Mary Norwood, who at times has been compared to Donald Trump, lost by just 800 votes to Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Democrat. Norwood called for a recount on Wednesday, and on Twitter appeared to imply that she felt her turnout was negatively affected by voter intimidation.

Watch Reed’s on-air response below.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is independent of and separate from any views of The New York Times.