Monday, August 22, 2005

Pro-terror group silences Washington talk show host

A group whose leaders have expressed support for suicide bombers has silenced a Washington, DC talk show host for his views on Islamist terrorism.

Michael Graham, host of a live morning show on WMAL radio (AM 630), was suspended without pay after the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) pressured the management and the parent ABC/Disney organization to get him off the air. Not satisfied with the suspension, CAIR kept on the pressure, prompting WMAL to fire the rough-edged but passionate commentator.

CAIR has a long history of support for organizations that the US State Department has deemed "terrorist," including Hamas and Hezbollah. Several CAIR figures are serving long sentences in federal prisons for terrorism-related crimes.

Despite its documented terrorist connections and statements, CAIR has managed to pull itself off as a "civil rights" group.

In a statement about his firing, Graham said, "When CAIR is able to quell dissent and label every critic a "bigot," the chilling effect is felt far beyond ABC Radio and 630 WMAL. If anyone is owed an apology, it is the moderate, Muslim community who have been failed once again by the mainstream media."

Graham is right. WMAL, ABC Radio, and its owner the Walt Disney Company have caved into supporters of terrorism. CAIR has targeted conservative radio talk show hosts for quite a while now, and it's won its first victory.

Who's next?

WMAL responds. WMAL President and General Manager Chris Berry responded to this writer, who had sent a note prior to posting this entry. The text of Berry's response, an apparent form letter, appears below:

Typically we don't comment on personnel matters, but given the
misstatements being communicated by Michael, I want to set the record straight.

Some of Michael's statements about Islam went over the line - and this isn't the first time that he has been reprimanded for insensitive language and comments. In this case, as previously, Michael's on-air statements do not reflect the attitudes or opinions of station management. I asked Michael for an on-air acknowledgement that some of his remarks were overly broad and inexplicably he refused.

Michael has also tried to position this that we were pressured into taking disciplinary action against him. For the record we make our decisions independent of external pressures or third parties and we will not permit an employee to willfully violate our policies or disregard management direction.

Chris Berry
President, General Manager
News Talk 630 WMAL


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