A Milwaukee news anchor is off the air for a mean-spirited social media post questioning why “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek died this year while Senate Republican leader Mitch McDonnell keeps on ticking.
Ted Perry, WITI’s main anchor for its 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts, was suspended by the Fox owned and operated station for a Facebook post on his personal page in the aftermath of Trebek’s Sunday death at 80 due to pancreatic cancer, sources close to the matter told The Post Friday.
“2020 takes Alex Trebek but leaves Mitch McConnell?” Perry wrote in the since-deleted post, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. “Just end already.”
Perry, 56, shut down his Twitter account and personal Facebook page following the controversial post. He still maintains a Facebook profile via the Fox affiliate, but hasn’t posted there since Saturday.
A message seeking comment from station reps, as well as Perry, was not immediately returned early Friday. Sources, meanwhile, told The Post it’s unclear when Perry would be back on the airwaves.
Perry apologized for the post, which led to blowback both on Facebook and Twitter, including from conservatives who said the comment revealed the anchor’s “bias,” while others called for him to be fired. Hours later, he took it down, the Journal Sentinel reported.
“I made a statement on my personal page that was insensitive and does not reflect my journalist values and I was not speaking on behalf of my employer,” Perry’s mea culpa read. “I deeply apologize for my inappropriate and outrageous comments and have deleted them accordingly.”
Perry, an Illinois native, joined the station in 1993, according to his bio. It’s unclear whether he’ll be paid during his time off, the Journal Sentinel reported.
McConnell, 78, won his seventh term in the Senate last week, defeating a well-funded Democratic military vet. He was later re-elected unanimously on Tuesday as Senate Republican leader, but whether he’ll retain his role as majority leader or cede it to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is still yet to be determined ahead of runoff elections in Georgia set for January.
McConnell’s health became a topic in Washington as recently as last month when large purple bruises were spotted on his skin. Dermatologists said the marks and his bandaged hands were likely from a common condition called senile purpura.
“Your skin just naturally becomes more fragile as you age,” a Manhattan-based dermatologist, Dr. Doris Day, told The Post. “I think it’s just a bruise – a solid good bruise.”
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