Neil Rogers of WQAM in Miami has joined in with singer and dancer Harry Bellafonte in accusing Defense Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell of being slaves in the Bush White House — field hands who are allowed in the big house because they do so well at agreeing with the master.

Rogers has taken it a step further by running seemingly satirical audio tapes describing Powell and Rice working in the White House and performing such duties as cleaning the toilets and worse. Rogers also constantly and provocatively uses the "N" word.

The radio talk show host justifies all this by saying he bashes everyone, anywhere, anytime... and because he is a liberal — in the sense that he dislikes conservatives and dislikes the Bush White House — like Bellafonte, he will do anything to make the president and his staff look bad.

In other words, his is an opinion. Like elbows, everybody's got 'em and so what?

What Rogers is doing is making a lot of ugly talk acceptable. You can be angry at Rice or Powell for lack of solidarity with their racial political bloc, if you want, but the tone of Rogers' attacks on Powell and Rice is purely racist. If it were directed at anybody else, it might get slapped down very quickly by the FCC.

But in this case, the FCC is headed by Colin Powell's son, Michael Powell, and it isn't going to look good for him to be going after Rogers if it seems he's only settling a score for his father.

So Rogers has a free-fire zone — not only the First Amendment, but he's got the administration in a "Gotcha!"

All in all, it's a low blow. Rogers should be doing his show in the smallest market possible, if he intends to keep it up.

That's My Word .

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