New Jersey 101.5 Responds To Animal Rights Activists' Call To Fire Hosts
May 28, 2013 at 2:37 PM (PT)
TOWNSQUARE Talk WKXW (NEW JERSEY 101.5)/TRENTON has responded to animal rights activists on the Internet who have accused midday hosts DENNIS MALLOY and JUDI FRANCO and evening host RAY ROSSI of insensitivity towards the plight of an abused dog in the news on MAY 21st, defending the hosts' comments and pointing out that they stated their opposition to mistreatment of animals while engaging listeners in debate over whether to treat abuse of animals with the same gravity that is afforded abuse of humans.
The activists have been posting comments on FACEBOOK alleging that the hosts made light of animal abuse and are calling for the station to fire the hosts in online petitions.
The station issued a statement saying that the hosts, in discussing the case of SAMMY the Cocker Spaniel allegedly left in a trash bag, causing serious injuries, held "spirited discussions of the relative importance of human rights and animal rights, as well as the passions of animal rights proponents, which involved calls from audience members. As is the case with many topics discussed on our programs, the conversation continued after the programs on our website www.nj1015.com, as well as on our social media platforms. Unfortunately, some of the online commentary regarding the discussions which transpired on these programs has become dislocated from the facts."
The statement included quotes from the hosts saying that they "do not in any way shape or form support animal cruelty" and the acts of the couple charged with the crime were "disgusting," "heinous" and "horrible," and that the station and its employees "do not condone or make light of animal abuse. Animal abuse is a vile phenomenon and perpetrators should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. There is no place for animal abuse in civilized society."
"Notwithstanding our program hosts’ clear stated position against animal cruelty," the station's statement read, "the program discussions attempted to explore the relative public concern for animal rights and animal’s lives and human rights and human’s lives, as well as the passion of certain fervent animal rights proponents. While reasonable people can disagree on the relative merits of these positions as well as the passion of animal rights proponents, it is important to not confuse dissenting points of view with condoning animal cruelty."
MALLOY said, “JUDI and I were simply attempting to have a discussion about changing opinions on animal cruelty in the last few years. We referenced a recent criminal case related to animal cruelty in NEW JERSEY. We pointed out several times the heinous nature of the acts involved in the criminal case. We were attempting to draw out a discussion regarding the appropriateness of equating the life and rights of an animal with those of a human.”