Talk radio award revoked
“Why don’t we let everybody say everything, and let the audience … decide who they want to listen to?” Mr. Hannity said.
Radio & Records reportedly decided to drop the award after receiving e-mails chronicling on-air remarks Mr. Grant made in the 1990s. The list of remarks, compiled by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, was sent to members of the publication’s staff by a person not affiliated with FAIR, according to Steve Rendall, a senior analyst with the liberal media-watchdog group.
A 1995 FAIR article by Jim Naureckas, titled “50,000 Watts of Hate,” quoted Mr. Grant as referring to Haitian refugees as “maggots” and calling for policemen with machine guns to show up at a gay pride parade. Mr. Rendall said staff members transcribed the comments from tapes of Mr. Grant’s show.
“It seems to me that Radio & Records is doing the right thing,” Mr. Rendall said. “Without the bigotry, there isn’t that much left of Grant.”
Asked about his comments, Mr. Grant did not deny that he made them, but noted they were more than 10 years old.
“You mean there’s no statute of limitations?” Mr Grant said, calling FAIR a “vicious” group that has targeted him for years “and has not let up.”
Phil Boyce, the WABC program director who fired and later rehired Mr. Grant, said he was “shocked and hugely disappointed” by the decision to rescind the award.
“R&R; has egg on their face. At the same convention where they are banning Bob Grant, Al Sharpton gets to come and lecture program directors like me about what is good and just and fair on the radio,” he said. “Yeah, there are some things that Bob said years ago he shouldn’t have said. He paid the price, and that’s 10 years ago.”
A spokeswoman for the Nielsen Co., which owns Radio & Records, said the parent company is “standing behind Radio & Records.”
“The decision is totally endorsed by the senior-most executives at Nielsen,” she said.