Conservative reporter says she was fired by DC Talk radio station for ‘racist’ joke about Kamala Harris’ SOTU outfit

A conservative DC-based journalist says she faced censorship after being fired by talk radio station WMAL-FM for a joke she made about Vice President Kamala Harris.

Amber Athey, Washington editor of The Spectator magazine, written monday that the conservative-leaning radio station, which is owned by Cumulus Media, fired her from the morning radio show “O’Connor & Company” for violating the company’s social media policy with a “racist” tweet.

“About a month ago today I posted a tweet during the State of the Union address mocking Vice President Kamala Harris’ outfit,” Athey says in his post. “Harris wore a chocolate brown suit which was criticized on social media – some users compared it to a Hershey’s chocolate bar, while others wondered why she wore the same color as her chair. I opted for a UPS joke, featuring the now-retired company slogan.”

The joke was, “Kamala looks like a UPS employee – what can Brown do for you? Nothing good, apparently.”

The “what can brown do for you” line is a reference to an old UPS slogan. In 2010, the company replaced this slogan with “We (heart) Logistics”.

But left-wing agitators on Twitter misinterpreted his joke as a racist attack on Harris, who is of black and Indian descent.

“No one had a problem with the tweet until a few days later when I criticized the ‘trans kids’ protests at the University of North Texas,” Athey writes. “A group of maniacal left-wing activists who want to chemically castrate children in the name of ‘gender affirmation’ came after me. All of a sudden Kamala’s tweet was reframed as racist and dozens of accounts Twitter bragged about contacting my employers about my ‘bigotry’.”

She says members of the outraged mob online tried to call her off by contacting her employers at The Spectator. While the magazine was “laughing and quickly deleting angry emails about my Tweet Kamala”, senior Cumulus Media brass took issue with her tweet.

Athey had been hired as one of three co-hosts of “O’Connor & Company” in the fall. On the afternoon of Wednesday, March 9, she says she was contacted by Jeff Boden, Vice President of Cumulus Washington, DC, and Kriston Fancellas, Vice President of Human Resources about her social media post. .

“They told me that the tweet I sent about Kamala was ‘racist’ and that the subsequent follow-ups to defend me and mock efforts to cancel me were unacceptable. I had violated company policy. social media business, they said, and I was terminated with immediate effect,” Athey wrote.

“They didn’t have the courtesy to offer me the opportunity to defend myself, and they didn’t speak to anyone on the program before making their decision,” she added.

Athey says that in multiple attempts to appeal her employer’s decision, “company officials admitted that the perception of racism was more important than whether or not my tweet was racist.” His appeals were unsuccessful.

She also accused WMAL of continuing to use her likeness and biography on its website and social media channels to promote its paid programming, even though she was fired.

“I’m racist enough not to get paid, but not so racist that my likeness can’t be affiliated with the station, apparently,” she wrote.

She says she wanted her job back, but now feels “compelled” to speak out about how she was censored.

“This incident has destroyed the integrity and reputation of WMAL and Cumulus as hosts of conservative content. We have spoken frequently about the dangers of censorship and cancel culture in our program, and yet here they bow to the crowd If I can get fired for making fun of the vice president’s outfit, every host on a Cumulus station could lose their job at any moment Political commentary is worthless if it can’t not be used to speak the truth to those in power without fear of professional consequences.”

Since the publication of his article, Athey tweeted that WMAL and Cumulus are “damage control” and removed his image from their social media pages and websites.

Larry O’Connor, the former co-host of Athey, said on Monday that he “has been fighting all month” to get her back on the air and that he “will continue to do everything I can.”

“I still hope that [Cumulus Media] will do the right thing,” he said.

Cumulus Media did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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