A conservative TV host who threatened to sexually assault a teenage survivor of the Florida high school shooting has been forced to resign.
Jamie Allman posted a tweet saying he would use “a hot poker” to sexually assault David Hogg, 17, who has strongly advocated for stricter gun control since 17 people were killed in the February mass shooting at his school in Parkland, Florida.
Allman resigned from a St Louis TV station and has been taken off the radio after several advertisers withdrew from his shows.
KDNL-TV accepted his resignation and canceled The Allman Report, according to a brief statement from the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which operates the TV station.
Before the show’s launch in January 2015, KDNL-TV touted it as a nontraditional newscast with a conservative spin.
Allman’s radio show on KFTK-FM has been taken off the air while the company “looks into the matter”, said Esther-Mireya Tejeda, a spokeswoman for Entercom, which began operating the station last month.
Allman has refused to comment.
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Several businesses pulled advertising from Allman’s shows after he sent the tweet on March 26.
In the tweet, Allman wrote: “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s a** tomorrow.”
Allman’s Twitter account was “locked” shortly after he sent the tweet, restricting access to his account, but a screenshot of it has been widely circulated on social media.
Mr Hogg’s willingness to take on the gun-control 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 saying that Hogg had “whined” about not getting into some colleges.
Sinclair is a conservative-leaning company that owns nearly 200 local TV stations, making it one of the largest such companies in the US.
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 TV news reports and circulated online.
Mr Trump said rival TV stations were merely “worried about the competition and quality of Sinclair Broadcast”.
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.