Letter to 97.1 St. Louis: Drop Allman
Trigger warning for threat of r*pe
At least three advertisers have pulled their ad buys from Jamie Allman’s show on FM NewsTalk 97.1 in St. Louis, Missouri after the radio and tv host came under fire for a threat he made against David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland mass shooting, in a tweet I won’t post here but is not difficult to find. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, The Gellman Team, and Palm Health have announced they will no longer be advertising on Allman’s show and TGT went so far as to say they will no longer spend their money at 91.7. Their statement:
We have immediately suspended all spending related to Jaime Allman indefinitely. We will not be deploying those dollars back into the station. We want to make a clear point, that this behavior is unacceptable. –@TheGellmanTeam
Below is the letter I sent toFM NewsTalk 97.1’s program manager, Jeff Allen, cc’ing James Modglin, the assistant program manager, and Annie Frey, the Digital Brand Manager at FM NewsTalk 97.1, who apparently also receives comment emails from the website at her address.
Again, I’m not posting or quoting the tweet, but I do describe Allman’s threat graphically below.
I’m writing to ask what you plan to do in response to the fact that one of your hosts has threatened a Parkland shooting survivor with violence. No matter what you think of David Hogg and even if you don’t believe that Jamie Allman’s threat was “credible” (i.e. that he would actually “ram a red hot poker” into a person’s—a minor’s—anus), I can’t believe that you think that this is an acceptable way for a person with a large public platform (or any halfway decent person) to behave.
Parkland students have endured harassment and threats from conservative adults since the day of the shooting. I’m not talking about criticism. I’m talking about the kind of vile, threatening, dehumanizing language Jamie Allman used in his tweet. I know because I have seen it with my own eyes. And this isn’t about harsh language. I curse like a sailor, people, and I believe in freedom of speech. But freedom of speech does not equal freedom from consequences and it does not entitle one to a particular platform. What Allman said was foul and legally may very well qualify as a threat, regardless of whether he actually meant to follow through. If I were David Hogg’s parents, I expect I’d be looking into my legal options at this point.
The consequences of Laura Ingraham’s recent nastiness was that many advertisers distanced themselves from her almost immediately. Whatever you may think of boycotts, they are an important avenue for citizens like me to express and tangibly enforce our unwillingness to support—with our attention or with our dollars—those who abuse and those who would treat abusive behavior as acceptable in a civil society. Especially abuse by an adult directed at a minor. Especially intentional abuse of a minor who has just survived a horribly traumatic event.
I hope you will consider the fact that giving this man a platform lends him not only a microphone but an extra layer of credibility and validation. If you let this pass without consequence, you will be enabling his abusive behavior and validating it in a very public way. Endorsing it, even.
I’m not a listener, but word is getting out on social media. I imagine you’ll be getting a lot of emails like mine. I appreciate your attention and energy and I hope to hear from you. I’ll leave you with this question: if this isn’t enough for you to not want this man broadcasting on your station, what exactly would it take for you to draw the line?
This is a right-wing talk station so I don’t expect a friendly response if I get one at all. I’ll update this post with anything they send. If you’d like to contact them, the emails are below. You can also sign a petition to their advertisers or tweet them.
The longer Trump is in office, the more leeway these people think they have to spew their hate—while simultaneously accusing the people they’re spewing at of spewing hate like the proverbial pigeon on the chess board, just shitting and shitting and stomping around in it and declaring victory.
We can’t let this become the norm in public discourse. Fight it. I am.
You can tweet at the businesses supporting Allman with their ad dollars and their microphones/cameras and/or use the contact info below:
Update: Jamie Allman has “resigned” from his show on ABC 30 St. Louis.
Contact 97.1 FM:
Jeff.Allen@entercom.com – program manager
James.Modglin@entercom.com – asst. program manager
Annie.Frey@entercom.com – digital brand manager
http://entercom.com/contact/ – corporate
Contact ABC Channel 30
Update: Jamie Allman has “resigned” from his ABC 30 show.
Contact Sinclair Broadcasting
http://www.bannerconstruction.com/contact-banner-construction-st-louis (They even have a Jamie Allman endorsement video!)
PSA: Abusive commenters will be deleted and banned, so kindly piss off in advance. (Comment Policy)