“You’re Done”: Conservative Radio Host Fired On The Air After Criticizing Donald Trump

In an example of the increasing intolerance for opposing views, particularly about President Donald Trump, a conservative Denver radio host at 710 KNUS was cut off the air in mid show and fired after he criticized Trump. According to the Denver Post, former district attorney Craig Silverman had just criticized the President in a segment on Roy Cohn when the Program Director Kelly Michaels came into the studio and simply said “You’re Done.” Update: The company belated responded to media inquiries to deny that it fired Silverman for his views of President Trump.

Later on Twitter, Silverman (who voted and supported Trump until recently) said “I cannot and will not toe strict Trump party line. I call things as I see them. I see corruption and blatant dishonesty by President and his cronies. I also see bullying/smearing of American heroes w/courage to take oath and tell truth. Their bravery inspires me.”

In an interview on Sunday on CNN with Brian Stelter, Silverman said that the company was also unhappy about a column that he wrote that was critical of Trump. Silverman said that he found witnesses in the hearings to be quite credible and has rejected Trump’s continued insistence that his call with the Ukrainian president was “perfect.” As of Sunday afternoon, Silverman said that he had not heard from the company. Likewise, various media organization have also said that the company has declined to respond — a curious position for any media organization on a legitimate news story.

The Republicans have long prided themselves on being a “big tent party” but it seems to be shrinking to the size of a pup tent. The party cannot survive as simply the Grand Trump Party as shown in yesterday’s defeat of the Republicans in the Louisiana governor’s race despite multiple visits from Trump. Trump himself cast the race as a referendum on his impeachment in a state where he won by 20 points. The fact is that, while winning on electoral college votes, the GOP has lost the national popular vote in six out of seven presidential elections since 1992. That does not bode well for a party facing massive demographic and generational challenges.

KNUS is owned by by Salem Media of Colorado. It is a Christian values media company was founded by Stuart Epperson and Edward G. Atsinger III. They are brother-in-laws who run the stations as a for-profit company. Epperson is a member of the board of directors of the National Religious Broadcasters Association. The company has been criticized for pressuring hosts to maintain a pro-Trump line on their shows.

There is rising intolerance and orthodoxy on both ends of the political spectrum. However, the termination of a host for voicing widely shared criticism of the president is an ominous sign of this worsening age of rage.

56 thoughts on ““You’re Done”: Conservative Radio Host Fired On The Air After Criticizing Donald Trump”

  1. Profesor Turley, I truly enjoy your perspectives. I define myself as a fair-minded conservative. I listen to KNUS on a daily basis, to both syndicated shows and local ones. Honestly, I never listened to Mr. Silverman’s show for the sole reason that it was on Saturdays and, frankly, I decided a long time ago to make my weekends politics free. You do need to detox your mind and body every so often. When I first heard about Mr. S’s termination, I was mad and frustrated and maybe even silently threatened KNUS to never listen to them again. However, in my almost 60 years on this earth, I have learned that always, always there is another side to the story that you need to listen to. So, I did. It is my understanding that Silverman already had an offer to go somewhere else and that he continually boasted about this on air. I heard a clip from his last show in which he states: “this could be my last show in this station”. I believe he even received warnings from management letting him know that this is unacceptable (it is). Silverman was ready to go, his bags packed and all dressed up for the occasion. So he kept pushing the envelope, until he was, in fact, fired but not for being anti Trump. Through the years I have heard hosts in the station voice opinions that are not necessarily favorable to Trump. I have heard a particular host badmouthing the Bushes, Cheney and the Republican Party in a way comparable only to how CNN would do it. Now, do not get me wrong: KNUS is a conservative station. You can even call it right wing. But the assessment that Mr. Silverman was fired for being anti Trump is, in my extremely humble opinion, naive and maybe even unfair.

  2. Please, Silverman has done great radio shows. But he’s smearing a radio that gives great liberties. I heard the show. Silverman was shut off because he constantly advertised he was going to be on air with another radio station. He liked doing it before. He didn’t name the program, but most knew it was a competitor. Asking KNUS listeners to listen to him on a competitor radio station is unethical. He repeated many times that November might be his last (meaning he was really walking out after show?). Why would they continue airtime when they had asked him before to stop such actions.

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