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Did Muslim Lobby Force Firing of Popular Radio Host?
By Cliff Kincaid
Washington, D.C. radio station WMAL is once again being accused of firing a popular talk show host because of his criticism of radical Muslims. The station, a major source of news and information for the nation’s capital, claims that popular morning host Fred Grandy resigned on his own, but Grandy tells AIM that he was essentially forced to leave after his wife, who is also outspoken about radical Islam, was cut from the program.
The growing controversy over Grandy’s departure incident has resulted in some Grandy supporters charging the station with being “Sharia-compliant,” a reference to Islamic law, and with bending under pressure from the Council on American Islamic-Relations (CAIR), a Muslim lobbying organization that combats what it calls “Islamophobia” in the media.
Grandy, a former Republican member of Congress and actor, told AIM, “My wife and I have used our program over the last several months to warn about the spread of radical Islam at home and abroad. Last week, Catherine (known on the show as Mrs. Fred) delivered a very tough indictment against stealth jihad and for her efforts she was told she was off the show. I then told management without Mrs. Fred at the microphone, I could not remain either and have resigned effective this morning.”
A WMAL statement, which makes no mention of terminating “Mrs. Fred,” was released on Thursday and claimed that, “Fred Grandy has informed WMAL of his intention to resign from the station and its morning program, The Grandy Group. Veteran broadcast talent Bryan Nehman will continue to anchor the morning program and in the interim will be joined by several notable guest hosts and regular contributors. The station’s morning show will also continue to provide the latest news, traffic and weather reports to its audience. WMAL remains committed to its goal of providing a forum for discussing a broad spectrum of issues while delivering compelling programming including Chris Plante, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin.”
The statement on the Grandy matter was read on the air by another WMAL host, Chris Plante, who said that his broadcast opposition to radical Islam has not been curtailed in any way.
Grandy told AIM, “We cannot affirmatively conclude CAIR or any of the prominent Islamic organizations had anything to do with this. We do know, however, in 2005 representatives of CAIR in DC were successful in getting midmorning host Michael Graham fired for anti-Islamic statements he had made on the radio and TV.”
Graham was fired from WMAL after describing Islam as a “terrorist organization” on his program and refusing to apologize or modify the description.
James Lafferty of the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force, who insists that Grandy was “forced to walk away” from his program after the banning of his wife from the show, blames the controversy on CAIR. “CAIR frequently criticized Grandy for reading FBI reports and court documents on his radio show which labeled CAIR as ‘an unindicted co-conspirator’ in the federal Holy Land Foundation terror finance trial,” Lafferty said.
But CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper acted surprised by the news of Grandy’s resignation and responded, “What is their evidence for that claim?,” when informed that his group was being blamed for his departure.
Lafferty told AIM, “I heard from two very good sources that CAIR was involved in this and not only targeting Grandy but Sean Hannity.” He said CAIR’s strategy was to knock Grandy off the air and then go after Hannity, a nationally syndicated radio host carried by WMAL in the afternoon. Hannity also hosts a Fox News Channel show.
Lafferty has urged supporters of the Grandys to protest on Monday, March 7, and Tuesday, March 8, during “Call Out WMAL Days.” He wants the public to call WMAL at (202) 895-2350 and (202) 686-3100 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each of those days and tell the station “you will not listen to their station until Fred and Mrs. Fred Grandy return.”
“America expects radio stations to be committed to free speech and the Truth,” he says. “We expect WMAL to grow a backbone and stand up to CAIR and the other radicals. Call early and often.”
At 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 9, Lafferty wants supporters of the Grandys to meet at WMAL’s studios (4400 Jenifer St. NW, Washington, DC 20015) with signs “to demonstrate our support for Fred Grandy and his wife and their courageous stand against radical Islam.”