I recently asked a notable local radio personality for an interview, and she turned me down—Doesn’t she know who I think I am?—but in shooting the bull with her, she said something along the lines of, “It’s horrible what they’re doing to Jeremy Kappell. Someone turned him into the FBI.”
Now, I wrote an UncoverDC article featuring Kappell some time ago, and I was under the impression that his story had more or less run its course, and it didn’t involve the feds. The only possible loose end was that Kappell had an open court case against Rochester’s Mayor for her role in the termination of his employment. What would that have to do with the FBI?
For those unfamiliar with my article, “The Weatherman: Backdrop to Rochester Riots,” Kappell’s life was destroyed when he mispronounced the name of a public park on air while in his role as a local weatherman. Yeah, you heard that right. It sounded to some as if Kappell had thrown a racial slur into the mix. No reason, and no suggestion of an explanation, has ever been lodged for why a squeaky-righteous weatherman given to itemizing in an online blog his blessings from God would whip out a racial slur as part of a weather report. Even the nation’s weatherman Al Roker came to Kappell’s defense, explaining verbal flubs are a normal part of the work.
Rochester’s Mayor jumped into the Kappell controversy and called for Kappell to face the consequences for the alleged slur, and without an investigation by his station that involved him, Kappell’s employment was terminated. And so Kappell lost his job and was tarred in the press as a racist kingpin,