KBYR Host Suspended Over On-Air Comments
September 16, 2008 at 1:41 PM (PT)
KMBQ CORP. Talk KBYR-A/ANCHORAGE has suspended radio host EDDIE BURKE for broadcasting the phone numbers of women involved in a protest rally against SARAH PALIN over the weekend, reports THE ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS. Station manager JUSTIN MCDONALD released a statement, noting that BURKE's actions broke "station policy" and would be suspended for one week without pay.
"Though I do not agree with some of the comments he made, as a licensee, we attempt to respect everyone's First Amendment rights, including EDDIE BURKE's, our listeners' and our non-listeners'," MCDONALD's statement said. "That does not mean I condone inciting violence or harm in any way to people wanting to voice their opinions with peaceful protest."
BURKE, a conservative Talk host, called CHARLA STERNE and ILONA BESSENYEY, who organized the rally that drew 1,500 people, "socialist, baby-killing maggots," read their phone numbers on-air and encouraged listeners to call them. Needless to say, the women's voice mail quickly filled with angry, profane and in some cases, threatening messages.
BURKE has apologized for the name-calling and claimed he didn't realize he was giving out personal cell phone numbers.