Talk Host Gets Boot in Colo: It May Not Be Censorship, but It’s Still a Tragedy

Talk Host Gets Boot in Colo: It May Not Be Censorship, but It’s Still a Tragedy


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Craig Silverman, a former local prosecutor who hosted a weekly show on 710 KNUS in Denver, Colo., reportedly was in the midst of his program Saturday when suddenly management at the conservative AM talk station burst in, pulled him off the air and went to straight to news programming.

“You’re done,” the program director told Silverman, who was replaying an interview with just-convicted Trump confidant Roger Stone, when he got the boot.

Although KNUS is a conservative talk station, Silverman said that he never hid that he maintained an independent streak, not willing to toe any one party line.

Now, the way that they chose to fire Silverman at all is one matter. (More on that in a moment.) But the way KNUS management chose to part company with their host was just classless and crude. No one is alleging that Silverman was going to put the station in imminent danger with the Federal Communications Commission. They should have let him finish out his day and let that be it.

That said, what occurred was not censorship.

What happened to Silverman reminds me of too much of what I see on social media these days: users who complain that they have been “censored” because some social media platform or another has removed their content because that content violates the platform’s terms-of-service in some way.

Only the government can censor.

Believe it or not, we as Americans do not have a constitutional right to post whatever we want to Facebook or Instagram or YouTube.

Anymore than any of us have a right to demand airtime from Fox News or CNN.

We can post anything we want to social media that is within the terms of service we agreed to when we first signed on. If we don’t like those terms we are free to look elsewhere, or even launch our own website with our content.

Just as Silverman doesn’t have a right to stay on the KNUS airwaves.

However, in this case, just because KNUS management had the right to dismiss Silverman, that doesn’t make it the right call.

Our media should not be such hermetically sealed, tribalistic bubbles as to not tolerate the sort of questioning of Donald Trump that Craig Silverman was engaged in.

That sort of groupthink and strict media control is better suited in a nation led by a dear friend of Trump’s, Kim Jong Un, the nation of North Korea.

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