01/12/2008 08:01 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Reverend Al Sharpton and Kelly Tilghman

Kelly Tilghman is the Golf Channel anchor who was suspended for two weeks on Wednesday for saying that young players who wanted to challenge Tiger Woods should "lynch him in a back alley."
I gather that she was laughing during an exchange last week with analyst Nick Faldo at the Mercedes-Benz Championship. Tiger Woods' agent said that he didn't think there was any ill intent. And if it matters, neither do I.

It was great to hear that societies "arbiter" of race related incidents, the Reverend Al Sharpton "piled onto" the fray in his usual conciliatory way by demanding that Kelly be fired immediately.
Would "the Reverend" been happier had Kelly said "... that young players who wanted to challenge Tiger Woods should murder, stab, kidnap, dismember, torture, or poison him in a back alley?"
Does this foolish yet inadvertent use of the word "lynch" call for her being fired or as happened, suspended? Certainly what she said would be offensive to many, yet does anyone for a moment believe that she meant to use the word as a pejorative? I think not.

Is the management of the Golf Channel proud of itself because of the action that they took?
I remember many years ago that I laughed when on the Today Show, Brian Gumbal called someone a "schmuck" not realizing what the word meant. This has nothing to do with anything but I thought that I would mention it.

I understand, (as well as any white guy can,) the horror of the word "lynch" but doesn't intent and context come into play here Reverend?

OK, it is confession time, I admit that in my lifetime (along with many others) have made inadvertent racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks while adlibbing or attempting to be funny. I tell horrid jokes using a Yiddish accent that certainly diminishes Jews.

I am NOT a racist or anything else like that. At times I do screw up. I would be happy knowing that when I do say something stupid that people will look into my heart and my history before I am condemned.


Society has gone mad to a certain extent, egged on by those pillars of virtue and wisdom at the FCC, as well as my favorites, the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton.

The "Right Wing Control Freaks," and the "Hyper sensitive" including the FCC and others should somehow differentiate between the "accidental, unintentional, or just plain stupid remark" made by a person of generally good will, and the INTENTIONAL use of vulgarity or racially charged language by someone in a premeditated fashion.

NBC and CBS quickly folded under the pressure of advertiser opinions about Don Imus brought to a head by the Reverends throwing "gasoline" on what should have been a small fire and created a conflagration over the incident, and Imus was blown away.

Was "society" well served by the Imus firing and will it be served by Kelly's two week suspension?
Fortunately for me, when I do from time to time say something that is not politically correct in my business, which I often do, few are around to hear it and create a major event out of something that I have inadvertently said.

Kelly was wrong. Kelly was wrong. Kelly was wrong. (Are you happy now?)
Should we "punish her for making a stupid mistake?
I think not!

Norman Horowitz