Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Fresno Radio Host Suspended for 'News Editors Should Be Hanged' Comment
TLBBHMAP3-U010ALB5ANM-348f959abae2-512-300x300-1
By Jim Jakobs, Digital Producer
Published 3 years ago on
January 8, 2021

Share

Longtime Fresno radio host Ray Appleton has been suspended after an on air comment he made Thursday morning suggesting some journalists should be “hanged”.

Appleton hosts a three hour weekday program on KMJ. The station is owned by Atlanta-based Cumulus Media, which made their decision Friday.

“Cumulus Media operates from a clearly-defined set of programming principles and there is no question that Ray Appleton’s comment is a direct violation of those principles,” the company said in a statement Friday first reported by the Fresno Bee. “As a result, we have suspended him,” the company’s statement said.

Appleton did not appear on a scheduled live show on Friday. A previously recorded episode of his program aired in its place.

The Fresno Bee also reports a spokesperson for the media company said Appleton issued the following apology:

“I realize that my reckless choice of words was irresponsible and I would never condone violence toward anyone,” the statement said. “I want to specifically apologize to my colleagues at KMJ and all who serve in the media. After 50 years in broadcasting, I understand that my choice of words matters and I made a mistake that won’t happen again. I humbly ask for your forgiveness.”

Ray Appleton’s Thursday Facebook Post

After a critical reaction Thursday to Appleton’s on-air comment, the host posted a long message on his Facebook page attempting to explain his remarks. The post was later deleted from his account, but said:

“I made the statement that because of this “inconsistent way of reporting certain news editors should be hanged…….maybe.”KMJ Radio Host Ray Appleton

“I spent a good deal of time talking about how frustrated I was with the news media for not reporting things in a fair and consistent way you know not using the old level playing field routine. I made the statement that because of this “inconsistent way of reporting certain news editors should be hanged…….maybe,” Appleton wrote.

He said he revisited the topic later on his show “to clarify and clear up that statement which was clearly tongue in (cheek).”

“If you were of the persuasion that I meant that? Well, please relax and understand that is not my intent my wish or any reality that I live in. So I apologize profoundly to those of you who were upset by that,” Appleton said on Facebook.

GV Wire℠ attempted to obtain a full recording of the on-air segment for review. KMJ Program Director Blake Taylor declined to provide one and said a subpoena would be required to acquire a copy. Taylor also said that, at the direction of KMJ’s parent company Cumulus Media, he would have, “No comment at this time.”

By Friday morning, KMJ’s website posted hours 2 and 3 of Appleton’s Thursday show, but not hour 1.

GV Wire℠ sent an email to Cumulus Media’s public relations department in Atlanta that was not returned.

Fresno Bee Editor’s Reaction

Fresno Bee Editor Joseph Kieta took to Twitter to voice his concerns about Appleton’s comment shortly after it aired.

Kieta tweeted, “Ray Appleton told his audience today that editors at American news outlets “should be hanged.” Are you threatening my life and the lives of my staff, Ray? Should I call the police?”

Kieta told GV Wire℠ one of his reporters, Tad Weber, “heard it loud and clear.”

Kieta later posted a screenshot of Appleton’s Facebook response. Appleton later deleted the post from his account.

Portrait of Jim Boren

“In the current environment, it is very dangerous to suggest that members of the media should be “hanged” for reporting news that you don’t like.”Jim Boren, executive director for the Fresno State Institute for Media and Public Trust

Fresno State Institute for Media and Public Trust

Jim Boren, executive director for the Fresno State Institute for Media and Public Trust issued a statement Thursday about Appleton’s comments.

As with Appleton’s explanation, GV Wire℠ is providing Boren’s full statement:

“In the current environment, it is very dangerous to suggest that members of the media should be “hanged” for reporting news that you don’t like. I have no problem with people criticizing the media, but don’t suggest violence even if you are joking to make a point. If this was tongue in cheek, as Ray says in his Facebook post, I’m glad that he has cleared this up. That was the right thing to do, and I urge him to also explain it to his listeners on his next show. But even a tongue-in-cheek comment can be dangerous because some people these days take their cues from leaders in our community.”

“In 2020, there were 328 journalists assaulted, according to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, and 76 journalists had their equipment damaged. In D.C. on Wednesday, we saw the mob damaging the equipment of journalists because the “enemies of the people” mantra has somehow given them permission to attack journalists. “Murder the media” was scratched into a door of the Capitol.”

“I believe strongly in the First Amendment, but I also believe that we must be responsible in the language we use against people we disagree with. Criticize their positions passionately, but let’s not ever suggest that violence should be used against anyone.”

This story has been updated to include information about Appleton’s Friday suspension by Cumulus Media, the corporate owner of KMJ.  

[activecampaign form=25]

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

DON'T MISS

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

DON'T MISS

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

DON'T MISS

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

DON'T MISS

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

DON'T MISS

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

DON'T MISS

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

DON'T MISS

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

DON'T MISS

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

DON'T MISS

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

UP NEXT

Several Writers Decline Recognition From PEN America in Protest Over Its Israel-Hamas War Stance

UP NEXT

US Consumer Sentiment Falls Slightly as Outlook for Inflation Worsens

UP NEXT

Tennessee Lawmakers Send Bill to Ban First-Cousin Marriages to Governor

UP NEXT

Instagram Blurs Nude Messages to Protect Teens, Fight Sexual Extortion

UP NEXT

Harvard Again Requiring Standardized Test Scores for Those Seeking Admission

UP NEXT

Wife of Julian Assange Says Biden’s Comments Mean Case Could Be Moving in the Right Direction

UP NEXT

Salmon Fishing Is Banned off the California Coast for the Second Year in a Row

UP NEXT

Making Cement Is Very Damaging for the Climate. One Solution Is Opening in California

UP NEXT

Mom Who Threw 2 Kids Onto LA Freeway, Killing Her Infant, Appeared Agitated by Impending Eclipse

UP NEXT

OJ Simpson, Fallen Football Hero Acquitted of Murder in ‘Trial of the Century,’ Dies at 76

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

2 days ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

2 days ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

2 days ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

2 days ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

2 days ago

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

2 days ago

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

2 days ago

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

2 days ago

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

2 days ago

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

2 days ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

Last June, more than half of California’s lawmakers — Republicans and Democrats alike, with no particular ideological preference — attended ...

14 hours ago

14 hours ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

14 hours ago

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

23 hours ago

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

2 days ago

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

2 days ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

2 days ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

2 days ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

2 days ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend