Sinclair TV host resigns after vulgar comment about Parkland student
Another conservative commentator is facing criticism, and consequences, for making indelicate comments about David Hogg, the Parkland, Florida, student and gun control activist.
Two days before Fox News’ Laura Ingraham experienced an exodus of advertisers for mocking Hogg, a St. Louis TV and radio host said he was “preparing” to assault the 17-year-old.
On Tuesday, Sinclair Broadcast Group, which has come under fire for bashing its fellow media in promotional spots, confirmed to CNN that Jamie Allman has tendered his resignation and his nightly show, which ran on KDNL in St. Louis, has been canceled.
“We have accepted Mr. Allman’s resignation and his show has been canceled,” Ronn Torossian, a public relations executive acting as spokesman for Sinclair, said in an email. There will be no further statement at this time, he wrote.
Allman also hosts a morning news talk show on KFTK 97.1 FM in the city. He was off the air there, too, as of Tuesday morning, said Esther-Mireya Tejeda, spokeswoman for Entercom, which owns the station. Allman will remain off the air until the company, which only recently acquired KFTK, can “look into this entire situation with more detail,” she said.
Attempts to reach Allman via phone and email were not immediately successful.
Allman has been critical of Hogg and other Parkland survivors advocating for tougher gun control after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February.
Allman took to Twitter on March 26, two days before Ingraham ridiculed Hogg on Twitter for being denied admission to several universities, and boasted that he was planning to assault the teen with a fireplace implement.
“When we kick their ass they all like to claim we’re drunk. I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow. Busy working. Preparing,” the tweet said, according to CNN affiliates who captured a screenshot of the post.
The context of the tweet — and why Allman was citing March 27 as the day for the assault — was not immediately clear. Allman has since made his Twitter account private.
Hogg is one of the most prominent of the Parkland students who have been demanding tougher gun laws and organizing marches since the February 14 shooting. He has become a lightning rod for his outspokenness and a target of fake news and conspiracy theories.
Following Allman’s Twitter attack on Hogg, angry listeners demanded advertisers pull funding from his shows. Calling his tweet “cruel and obscene,” state Rep. Stacey Newman posted a list of Allman’s advertisers on Facebook.
“He has repeatedly attacked Stoneman Douglas High School gun violence survivors and Parkway School District high school students on social media in the most vile manner you can’t even imagine,” wrote the Democrat in her post, referring to the public school district in St. Louis County. “We demand advertisers stop being complicit. Stop supporting an adult who spews such hate.”
Several advertisers, including the Ruth’s Chris Steak House chain and local realty and health care companies, did just that, announcing they were no longer purchasing ads for the Allman Report.
“Upon further investigation, our franchise partner has stopped its advertising,” Ruth’s Chris has tweeted in scores of replies since Friday.
Added Palm Health: “We have contacted the radio station not only to voice our concern, but we have also stopped advertising on Jamie Allman’s show.”
It doesn’t appear Allman has issued an apology for his tweet, unlike Ingraham, who quickly apologized for any harm she caused Hogg or other Parkland survivors. She further said Hogg should be proud of his 4.2 grade point average and invited him to return to her show for “a productive discussion.”
Hogg declined to accept her apology, saying her mea culpa came only “after a third of her advertisers pulled out.” CNN has since learned that the University of California, Irvine, has accepted the high school senior, who will take a year off before college to pursue political causes.
Ingraham is back on air and on Monday night said the ad boycott targeting her show was part of “the left’s plot to silence conservatives.”
“There is a contraction of free speech all around us, and few seem to even notice!” she said on her show.