On her last day as an employee of Cumulus Media's WMAL in the DC Metro area, Amber Athey joked with American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp about getting dinged on Twitter. Just after the show, Athey got a call from management and was immediately fired for a tweet she published on March 1 about the brown pantsuit Kamala Harris had worn to the State of the Union address earlier that evening – a tweet that was weaponized as "racist":
"Kamala looks like a UPS employee – what can brown do for you? Nothing good, apparently."
The New York Post quotes Athey's summary of that call from her employer: "They told me that the tweet I sent about Kamala was 'racist' and that subsequent follow-ups defending myself and making fun of the efforts to cancel me were unacceptable. I had violated the company's social media policy, they said, and I was terminated effective immediately."
AFN talked with former Cumulus talk-host Jeff Crank, who says that never would have happened in the company's heyday when it was home to Rush Limbaugh. But Town Hall reported this week the company has since picked up a very liberal board member, Tom Castro – who is also on the board of Media Matters for America.
"Media Matters whole job is to shut down conservative talk radio," Crank states. "So, if somebody's on the board of Cumulus … I think that person probably got on the board so that they could, in fact, shut down talk radio at Cumulus."
Crank is worried it won't stop with Cumulus.
"If it's allowed to happen at Cumulus, they'll just try to take over the boardrooms," he warns, "which they've done at Twitter, at Facebook, at Salem, at every free-market type entity – and before you know it, there won't be any conservative talk radio."
According to the Media Matters website, the group is "dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media."