Conservative radio show canceled after host wishes for 'nice school shooting' as impeachment distraction

A Denver radio station has canceled a conservative talk show after one of its hosts on Wednesday wished for a "nice school shooting" to interrupt the media coverage surrounding the impeachment proceedings against President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrat calls on White House to withdraw ambassador to Belarus nominee TikTok collected data from mobile devices to track Android users: report Peterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district MORE

Chuck Bonniwell, a conservative radio host, made the remarks during 710 KNUS's "Chuck & Julie" afternoon program. After noting the "never-ending impeachment" of Trump, Bonniwell joked that "you wish for a nice school shooting to interrupt."

Julie Hayden, his wife and co-host, immediately interjected, telling Bonniwell, "Don’t even say that." 

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"No, don’t even say that. Don’t call us. Chuck didn’t say that," she added, prompting Bonniwell to try and walk back the statement by saying he wouldn't want anyone to "be hurt."

Just hours later, 710 KNUS Denver released a statement saying that the radio show had been canceled following Bonniwell's "inappropriate" remarks. 

"Given the history of school violence that has plagued our community, 710 KNUS confirms that an inappropriate comment was made on the Chuck & Julie show by co-host Chuck Bonniwell," the station said in a statement. "A programming decision was made to end the program immediately."

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Bonniwell argued on the "Chuck & Julie" Twitter account that his comment was intended to be a joke and that it was misinterpreted.

“I made an inappropriate comment meant as a joke,” Bonniwell said in the since-deleted tweet, The Denver Post reported. “I’m sorry it was not received that way.”

Bonniwell's remarks prompted swift criticism from those affected by mass shootings in the state.  

A number of notable mass shootings have occurred in Colorado in the last 20 years, including the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, which left 13 dead. A 2012 shooting at an Aurora movie theater led to 12 deaths. In May, multiple shooters killed a student and wounded several others at a high school in the Denver area. 

"Unbelievable that a radio host would suggest a school shooting to distract from the presidential impeachment," said John Castillo, the father of Kendrick Castillo, who died in the May shooting.

 

Sandy Phillips, whose daughter was killed int the Aurora theater shooting, called for Bonniwell's firing, saying his remarks represented "total ignorance."  

This was not the first controversy involving the radio station in recent months. The station made headlines in mid-November after the conservative talk-show host Craig Silverman said that he was fired for criticizing Trump during his program.