Dateline: December 5, 1997
Tom Barnard's Sidekick Gets Sacked Over Hoax!

by Bob Wolfley, SportsDay


The Cabe, a morning radio personality (aka The Crazy Cabe) with radio station KQRS in Minneapolis who aired a story Monday that claimed Brett Favre was in a hotel room with a woman other than his wife, was fired on Wednesday.

The Cabe (pronounced Ca-BAY) admitted to station management that the story was a hoax acted out by him and a female accomplice.

KQRS issued an on-air retraction and apology for the first time Wednesday evening (the station is to air the retraction and apology several times today.)

"We inquired when we first heard this report, this hotel room broadcast, about its authenticity, because it was such a bold story," said Mark Steinmetz, the group president for ABC Radio which owns KQRS, when SportsDay reached him at his Minneapolis office on Wednesday night.

"We were assured that it was legitimate," said Steinmetz. "Only through our investigation over the last couple of days have we come to realize that it may not be. Through further questioning he admitted today (Wednesday) that it was not. He was terminated immediately."

Acting on what he said was a tip, Cabe pretended to be an employee of the Marriott City Center, where the Packers were staying, and knocked on a door he said was occupied by Favre. According to Cabe's story, a woman answered the door, said she wasn't Favre's wife and said that Favre was in the shower. She then slammed the door.

"She's a great actress," said Steinmetz. "I don't know if you heard the tape, but it's very believable."

Steinmetz said station management was "angry and embarrassed and contrite" about the incident.

"We certainly meant no harm to the Favre family," said Steinmetz. "We hope the Green Bay Packers fans will forgive us as well."

On Monday afternoon, in the wake of the stir the Cabe's bit created, KQRS station manager Amy Waggoner issued a release in which she said the station stood by its story.

"This incident did indeed occur," said Waggoner. "This was not a comedy bit."

Waggoner was not at work on Wednesday.

After the victory against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night, Favre vehemently denied he was staying in a room other than the one for him on the Packers' floors.

"It's (expletive)," Favre said. "(Expletive) anybody who prints it."

Joe Sweeney, Favre's marketing agent, said on Wednesday afternoon that an attorney in New York who was representing the station told him a retraction was forthcoming. Sweeney said both he and Bus Cook, Favre's agent, had been in contact with station officials and the station's attorneys, requesting the story be retracted.

"They said to me, 'They (KQRS) are running a retraction and issuing an apology' and they wanted to know if there was anything Brett wanted to say. I said, 'Whatever Brett would want to say, you couldn't print. The damage has been done.' "

DeVora Labino, an attorney in New York representing the group that owns KQRS, ABC Inc., declined to comment.

In the statement read on air, KQRS apologies to Favre, his family, the Marriott Hotel and the station's listeners.

"In fact, Mr. Favre was never in the woman's room," the statement reads in part.

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