Thursday, August 25, 2005

Michael Graham, fired... and bouncing back?

After weeks of deliberations folowing his suspension, WMAL radio has finally fired conservative talk show host Michael Graham over his statements that "Islam is a terrorist organization."

Michael's version of events is here, and the Washington Post covers the story here

Meanwhile, Michael has found himself a new talk show, this time on conservative Internet radio service RighTalk.

The bottom line: Michael's comments on Islam were clearly inappropriate. Major corporations naturally dislike offending people, especially by the ultimate American crime of negative stereotyping. Legally, his employers had a right to fire him; contrary to Michael's protestations, the First Amendment doesn't apply to private employers. If I were Michael, I would admit that I had gone too far this time, apologize and move on.

All that said, it never looks good to fire a political commentator for expressing his political opinions. To do so in response to a threatened advertiser boycott by a terror-sympathizing outfit such as CAIR is in a way a minor victory for the terrorists. What mainstream media personality will dare take on the Islamists now?

Ultimately, my interest here is selfish. Michael is a talented radio personality and I enjoy his show. He's also a great friend of Israel.

The Internet may be bigger than the Washington, DC, radio market, but face it, Internet broadcasting simply doesn't have the prestige of a three-hour slot on a major station in the nation's capital. It's telling that he (presumably) couldn't find another job over the airwaves.

Comprehensive blog coverage: Radio Equalizer

(Weird - two talk radio posts in a row!)

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