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Gun violence in the US

Conservative TV host Jamie Allman resigns after threatening to sexually assault Parkland survivor with a ‘hot poker’

The conservative commentator sent a violent and vulgar tweet saying he would use ‘a hot poker’ to sexually assault the 17-year-old survivor

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 April, 2018, 12:50am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 April, 2018, 2:23am

A conservative commentator who sent a violent and vulgar tweet saying he would use “a hot poker” to sexually assault a 17-year-old survivor of a Florida high school shooting has resigned from a St. Louis television station after several advertisers withdrew from his show.

Allman tweeted on March 26: “When we kick their ass they all like to claim we’re drunk.

“I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow. Busy working. Preparing.”

Allman’s Twitter account was “locked” soon after he sent the tweet, restricting access to his account, but a screenshot of it has been widely circulated on social media.

Hogg has strongly advocated for stricter gun control since 17 people were killed in the February 14 mass shooting at his school in Parkland, Florida.

KDNL-TV has cancelled The Allman Report and accepted Jamie Allman’s resignation, according to a brief statement from Ronn Torossian, a spokesman for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which operates the television station. 

Before the show’s launch in January 2015, KDNL-TV touted it as a nontraditional newscast with a conservative spin.

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Allman has not responded to messages seeking comment. 

Allman’s show on KFTK-FM has been taken off the air while the company “looks into the matter”, said Entercom spokeswoman Esther-Mireya Tejeda.  Entercom purchased KFTK-FM from Emmis Communications last month.

Several businesses pulled advertising from Allman’s shows after he sent the March 26 tweet targeting David Hogg. 

The teenager’s willingness to take on the cause has made him a target for some conservatives.

Fox News Channel’s Laura Ingraham took a week’s leave after apologising via social media for her tweet that Hogg had “whined” about not getting in to some colleges he had applied for. 

Ingraham has not discussed that episode specifically, but promised upcoming stories about conservatives who she says are fighting attempts to silence them.

Hogg, meanwhile, said it is “time to love thy neighbor, not mudsling at children.”

Their social media spat came to symbolise the debate over how youthful advocates for gun safety should be treated by political opponents. Another student, Emma Gonzalez, has been falsely depicted in a doctored photo tearing up the Constitution.

A fake video of anti-gun teen Emma González went viral on the far right, where Parkland teens are villains

State Representative Stacey Newman (Democrat, Richmond Heights), led calls for a boycott by Allman’s sponsors after the tweet.

“We’ve had people all over Missouri [and] all over the country weighing in on this … it’s heartwarming to know that tons of people throughout the state understand this is not acceptable,” Newman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Monday. 

“Even though we hadn’t asked for his removal or resignation, [Sinclair] took it upon themselves. People know where the line is.”

“Smart man to resign,” Hogg’s mother, Rebecca Boldrick, wrote on a Facebook forum in response to The Washington Post report that Allman resigned from his TV show. “So proud (of my son), but it’s getting exhausting dealing with all these haters.”

Sinclair is a conservative-leaning company that owns nearly 200 local television stations, making it one of the largest such companies in the US.

President Donald Trump last week defended the company after a video showing dozens of Sinclair news anchors reading a script expressing concern about “fake stories” and “one-sided news stories plaguing the country” appeared on television news reports and circulated online. 

Trump said rival television stations were merely “worried about the competition and quality of Sinclair Broadcast.”

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Sinclair also has pushed for regulation of the broadcast industry to be eased and is trying to buy Tribune Media in a move that would dramatically increase the company’s reach.

Allman also served a six-month stint in 2004 and 2005 as chief spokesman for then-St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke and executive director of communications for the archdiocese. 

Archdiocese spokesman Gabe Jones did not immediately respond to a phone call and email message seeking comment.