Liberals and progressives aren’t the only ones right-wing media can be unfair to: they can also be horribly unfair to conservatives. And one of them appears to be radio host Craig Silverman, who says he was fired by Denver’s KNUS 710 AM on Saturday for criticizing President Donald Trump on the air.
As much as right-wing outlets complain about “political correctness” and hypersensitive liberal “snowflakes” who are intolerant of other points of view, those same outlets often expect their employees to be in total lockstep politically — which, in 2019, often means not saying a word against Trump. According to Silverman, he was doing a segment on the late right-wing attorney Roy Cohn (who represented Trump in the 1970s) when KNUS’ program director entered the studio and told him, “You’re done.”
On Sunday, Silverman told CNN that executives at KNUS (which is owned by Salem Media Group) expected him to “toe strict Trump party line.” The conservative media figure asserted, “I was frustrated that we couldn’t talk about the facts of the impeachment case, and it all came to a head as I was excoriating Donald Trump on my show yesterday.”
But Brian Taylor, general manager for KNUS, denies that Silverman was fired for criticizing Trump. Taylor told the Denver Post that Silverman was taken off the air on Saturday for discussing a planned appearance on a rival outlet — asserting, “The notion that he was relieved from his program because he criticized President Trump is absolutely untrue. We’ve never told Mr. Silverman the position to take on (Trump’s) impeachment.”
Although Silverman is an independent contractor, Taylor said that he didn’t want him promoting a rival outlet during his show. Taylor told the Denver Post that KNUS interrupted the Saturday broadcast but didn’t cancel Silverman’s show altogether.
Silverman’s alleged firing comes not long after the departure of Shepard Smith from Fox News. Although Fox News is quite favorable to Trump most of the time, Smith — along with Judge Andrew Napolitano and Chris Wallace — was among the Fox employees who wasn’t shy about criticizing Trump at times.
On Saturday, Silverman tweeted, “I cannot and will not toe strict Trump party line. I call things as I see them.”
Silverman discussed the impeachment inquiry against Trump with CNN, praising the diplomats who testified publicly last week: William Taylor, George Kent and Marie Yovanovitch. The radio host told CNN, “I thought Taylor and Kent were great. They laid a base. I’m a trial attorney, I’m a former prosecutor; I know how to put on a case. And then, Marie Yovanovitch — she inspired me. She was an outstanding witness. But if nobody on radio talks about it, how are the American people going to understand?”
KNUS’ lineup includes the nationally syndicated programs of Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, Mark Levin and others.
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Those crude attacks have consequences, said one former FBI agent.