Unfortunately for Billy, most of America isn't familiar with the fact that the word fag has a lot of meanings. In England a "fag" is a cigarette, in the US we immediately jump to the derogatory meaning concerning gays. When Billy was young, it had a completely different meaning.
From Dictionary.Com (and Random House Unabridged):
1.to tire or weary by labor; exhaust (often fol. by out): The long climb fagged us out.
This was the context Billy was making the comment in, not calling Charlie Rose Gay. Now people who don't understand that words sometimes have more than one meaning want Billy fired. I'd like him gone because I hate his announcing style, but not for his comment.
It's too bad that our "never offend me" country has come to this. It's easier to write the editor about something while completely clueless than it is to get informed before you spout off.
Mitt Romney and John McCain have had similar experiences with the phrase "tar baby", which today is a derogatory term towards blacks. Forgetting they have to speak to the lowest common denominator in society; folks who do nothing but watch TV; they used a term that got it's origins in an 1881 Uncle Remus story, he used tar to trap Brer Rabbit. The actual definition and origin of the term (from American Heritage Dictionary):
tar baby n. A situation or problem from which it is virtually impossible to disentangle oneself.
In the context both used it (Iraq) it's a true and appropriate term, if your audience understands it. To the dismay of both politicians, they found out that most people don't understand it.
Now, after three 12+ hour days in a row, I'm completely fagged out, and will be leaving for the weekend. Everyone have a happy Easter, if you celebrate it. If you don't, enjoy the weekend. See you Sunday
Technorati Tags: Fagged Out, Billy Packer, Mitt Romney, John McCain, English Language, Tar Baby