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Shock Jock Dons Sackcloth

A Washington-area shock jock who lost his job because of an on-the-air comment he made about the dragging death of James Byrd Jr. says he is willing to go to Texas to apologize to Byrd's family.

"Not even a big mouth like me can explain my own mindless stupidity," said Doug "Greaseman" Tracht, who was fired Feb. 25 from his morning drive-time job at WARW Radio.

Tracht said at a news conference Wednesday that he would like to meet with the family of James Byrd Jr. to apologize personally for his racially insensitive reference to Byrd's brutal death. He said the comment "trivialized" the murder.

After playing a portion of a song by Grammy-award winning recording artist Lauryn Hill, who, like Byrd, is black, Tracht had said, "No wonder people drag them behind trucks.''

The remark sparked outrage among black leaders and broadcasters. After protests and a deluge of phone calls, WARW Radio fired Tracht.

"I'm compelled by the hurt, pain and distrust that I've caused to apologize to many people," said Tracht.

Local radio talk show host Joe Madison is trying to arrange for Tracht to visit the Byrd family in Jasper, Texas.

"Whatever I can do physically, emotionally, for the Byrd family, I will do," said Tracht.