Bob Davis, half of the outspoken “Davis & Emmer,” show on Clear Channel’s KTCN-AM News Talk 1130 Minneapolis-St. Paul has sparked a firestorm after he said live on air 4/19 that he’d like to tell the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting victims to ‘go to hell’ for infringing on his rights to own a gun.
Davis was discussing gun control when he made the comment about the Newtown, CT tragedy earlier this month: ‘I’m sick and tired of seeing these victims trotted out, given rides on Air Force One, hauled into the Senate well, and everyone is just afraid — they’re terrified of these victims,’ he said. ‘… I would stand in front of them and tell them, “Go to hell.”
‘I have something I want to say to the victims of Newtown, or any other shooting,’ Davis later said, according to Minneapolis’ City Pages blog. ‘I don’t care if it’s here in Minneapolis or anyplace else. Just because a bad thing happened to you doesn’t mean that you get to put a king in charge of my life. I’m sorry that you suffered a tragedy, but you know what? Deal with it, and don’t force me to lose my liberty, which is a greater tragedy than your loss.’
The remarks prompted scores of angry comments from listeners, with most claiming the hosts were ‘despicable’ and should be ‘ashamed’ of themselves, reported The Daily Mail.
One listener wrote on their web page: ‘(This is the) most unbelievably insensitive thing I have heard, I will NEVER listen to this station again and will encourage all my friends and acquaintances to do the same.’
Another wrote: ‘Davis and Emmer and your station should be ashamed of the callous stance taken about guns and Newtown. Two angry men, who also care nothing for the pain their words cause. No one is bothering your “liberty” nor do you have a “king.” Two immature men who seem smugly satisfied with the venom they spew. I hope your sponsors bail on you as fast as they can and your show vanishes. You help nothing with your hate.’
A few days after the vicious tirade, Davis addressed listeners: “Here’s what you need to know and what some of you already know about me is that, ah, this is not a contrived show, I do not hide behind flowery language I do not pull my punches, when I’m passionate about something it comes out on the air, it’s real and it will always be that way.”
He then characterized his comment as “an emotional predecessor to a thought which can and will find a more refined expression by me and others in the future, I guarantee you.”
RBR-TVBR observation: It’s interesting that this time, no punishment was meted. While the comment was out of line, it appears most listeners knew what Davis was trying to say. He explained himself—without apology—and Clear Channel did not take the matter further. Bottom line, there are a lot of intense emotions out there today and talk radio has always been the place to air them.