Post's Kreck continued trend of misleadingly labeling KOA statement on "Gunny" Bob's anti-Muslim remarks an "apology"
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Following a trend among Colorado media outlets, The Denver Post's Dick Kreck reported in his May 21 column that Newsradio 850 KOA "posted an apology" on its website regarding the recent anti-Muslim comments of host "Gunny" Bob Newman. In fact, as Colorado Media Matters has pointed out, KOA's statement simply acknowledged that the remarks may have offended some listeners; it did not express regret.
In his March 21 column, Denver Post media columnist Dick Kreck misleadingly labeled as an "apology" an online statement posted by Newsradio 850 KOA acknowledging that some listeners "may have been offended" by bigoted, anti-Muslim remarks made by talk show host "Gunny" Bob Newman. In doing so, Kreck echoed Colorado media reports that also dubiously referred to KOA's statement as an "apology," as Colorado Media Matters noted.
Kreck wrote as part of a collection of briefs at the end of his column, "KOA 850-AM has posted an apology on its website for remarks about Muslims made by talk-show host 'Gunny Bob' Newman. 'KOA believes in being fair and respectful,' it reads in part."
As Colorado Media Matters noted, Newman was discussing the breakup of an alleged terrorist plot to attack U.S. soldiers at New Jersey's Fort Dix on his May 8 show when he stated that "every Muslim immigrant to America who holds a green card, a visa, or who is a naturalized citizen [should] be required by law to wear a GPS tracking bracelet at all times," and that the government should "bug their places of work and their residences" and monitor "[a]ll mosques and community centers."
Several organizations -- including the American Friends Service Committee, the Mountain States chapter of the Anti-Defamation League, and the Colorado chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union -- issued statements condemning Newman's remarks, after Colorado Media Matters reported them on May 9. The progressive organization ProgressNow launched a public action campaign to raise awareness among advertisers, and by May 18 three companies had asked to have their ads removed from Newman's show.
Late on May 16, KOA posted a notice on Newman's Web page stating that the station "understands that some of you may have been offended" by his remarks calling for a law that would eliminate some basic civil rights for Muslim immigrants. KOA, which is owned by Clear Channel Communications Inc., continued: "That was not the intention. 850 KOA believes in being fair and respectful while encouraging discussion and debate of complex issues." The statement did not express regret for Newman's comments, and it did not offer an apology either to listeners who might have been offended or to anyone else.
In contrast to Kreck's misleading characterization, 5280.com's Elevated Voices political weblog on May 17 referred to KOA's statement as "the classic non-apology apology." The blog further noted that "KOA realizes you might have been offended, but since that wasn't their intention, they don't care":
In response to the growing controversy, KOA channeled another Newman: "Alfred E." Their reaction to the outcry against "Gunny" has been little more than "What, Me Worry?"
The station posted a note on the home page of the Web site for the "Gunny" show, which was the classic non-apology apology[.]
In other words, KOA realizes you might have been offended, but since that wasn't their intention, they don't care. That's sort of like punching your spouse in the face and then saying, "I didn't mean to make you bleed."