Fred Toucher could have politely thanked Hurricanes beat reporter, Chip Alexander, subsequently making this a non-story. Instead Toucher, who booked the interview, hung up the phone after four minutes, blaming Alexander’s southern accent as the reason why.
It didn’t go over well in Raleigh, where Alexander is a longtime sports media contributor. It didn’t even sit well with many Bostonians who went after Toucher on Twitter, some with below the belt comments far worse than hanging up the phone.
“I could see if I attacked a group of people or made fun of a kid, but this is ridiculous, I hung up on a boring interview,” Toucher said on Thursday in response to the national firestorm he set off by hanging up on Alexander.
“When I saw later what happened, it’s a little offensive, obviously, for someone to say they hung up on you basically because they didn’t like your accent,” Alexander told his employer, the Raleigh News & Observer. “If the information I was giving was bad or not very good, that would be another thing.”
Alexander handled being hung up better than many others would have, ignoring the incident on Wednesday and thanking his supporters in a Tweet on Thursday.
Toucher’s 98.5 The Sports Hub morning show co-host, Rich Shertenlieb didn’t support the way the interview ended, but also didn’t deny that hanging up the phone made for more interesting and attention-worthy radio even if it was rude.
“There are some things in my career I’ve done that I regret, none of them here,” Toucher said with a chuckle. “But this is by far the dumbest thing that anyone’s gotten upset at me about.”