DJ Fired for Celebrating Reagan's Death

Action Jackson
06-12-2004, 08:17 AM
I am not sure what to think of this. No, I was not a fan of Reagan at all.,1282,-4195179,00.html

DJ Fired for Celebrating Reagan's Death

Saturday June 12, 2004 12:16 AM


Associated Press Writer

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A college disc jockey who put on a radio show celebrating Ronald Reagan's death was fired Friday from his position as the station's business manager.

Scott Hornyak, a 28-year-old undergraduate student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, had been suspended indefinitely from his disc jockey job at KSUA-FM after the Sunday show.

``They're firing me because of what I said, and the public's reaction to what I said,'' said Hornyak, who goes by the call name ``Spider Bui.''

H.B. Telling, the station's general manager, said he could not comment on whether Hornyak lost his job because of the broadcast. The university has a policy against discussing personnel issues.

No tape of the show was available. But according to Hornyak, he berated Reagan, who died June 5, for his foreign policy in Latin America, Iraq and Afghanistan, and for his response to the AIDS epidemic.

Hornyak said the show was ``a celebration that Ronald Reagan was dead, was finally dead,'' and that he told listeners he wanted to ``walk over the newly laid dirt'' on Reagan's grave.

Telling said the station received numerous complaints about the show.

Telling said Hornyak was suspended as a disc jockey solely because of his failure to obey the station's rules, not because of the inflammatory content of the show.

He said Hornyak did not fill out a log of the songs he played on air and did not play the station's standard disclaimers announcing that his views did not represent those of the station or the university.

Hornyak said he did not fill out the logs due to absent-mindedness and that he did not play the disclaimer because he was busy taking song requests.

Hornyak said he was not sure whether he will contest his firing.

06-12-2004, 10:34 AM
I'm not sure what to think either. It's hard to judge without having heard the show, but I generally think that celebrating someone's death is crossing the line, regardless of who that person was. Then again one of my favorite songs is Tramp the Dirt Down by Elvis Costello with very similar lyrics about Margaret Thatcher. But Elvis Costello's voice is always complex, so I felt that song was a perfect expression of all the emotions and bitterness stirred up by the reign of the Iron Lady. But the imporant difference is that Thatcher isn't dead, whereas in this case I can't help but feel that this is just too insensitive to the loved ones and those who really do grieve deeply.

From what I gather the show was done in bad taste and at an inopportune moment. Expressing glee over someone's death even before he was laid into the ground is a questionable deed.

On the other hand, and this is very important, you have to take the show in the context of the insane glorification of Ronald Reagan that has been going on since his death. I take it this was a balancing act, which was much needed. I just wish the criticism was done in a different manner.

The worst thing about this is that it only reinforces the fear of speaking out and publicly criticising even the (very) former government. Freedom of speech is being systematically obliterated in the States, which is a very dangerous development. There's only a tiny step from here to the iron fist system of the former Communist countries, where people were imprisoned for daring to criticize the government in any way, shape or form. I didn't realize that the USA has now chosed Communism as its ideal. :rolleyes: How ironic! I don't think the DJ should have been fired. It's sad that you have to fear for your job every time the dumb-ass public begins to complain to the network.

I also don't understand why people who died shouldn't be critisized, as if their death suddenly changes everything. The celebrations of Reagan's "achievements" are just as ridiculous. The sole fact that he died doesn't make him a saint.

06-12-2004, 11:11 AM
Well im no fan of Reagan but I still think its wrong to celebrate a persons death. I mean sure u can still criticise them but i think its important to show some respect if not to them but at least to the family/friends of the deceased.

06-12-2004, 02:04 PM
Of course if he celebrated the death of someone perceived by Americans as a villain, alledged terrorist or generally any world leader not bending over backwards for the US regime that would be OK. There's a lot of this bullshit censorship going down in America at the moment. I always break down in hysterical laughter when an American citizen tells me how great it is living in a free nation where there's freedom of speech. :haha:

06-12-2004, 03:37 PM
Layla said all I want to say!

06-12-2004, 03:53 PM
I agree with the main points of Layla. I think that sometimes people go too far both in what they say (they don't think first), and sometimes people go too far when it comes to taking action towards these things. It either goes too light or too harsh, or the situation that deserved a tough punishment ends up getting a ridiculously light result, while the light situation ends up getting slapped with an over-the-top punishment. It's very confusing altogether.

06-12-2004, 05:31 PM
Like others have said: It's tacky to celebrate someone's death this way. But in light of the fact that Reagan is being lauded by everyone this week (even those who vehemently opposed his policies have come out with nice statements about him), there's nothing wrong with a little reminder of how angry he made many people. The firing seems a bit extreme to me, but of course I don't know the whole story... :)

06-13-2004, 07:17 AM
The DJ should not have been fired, then again I thought this was the land of free speech.

06-16-2004, 01:23 AM
Mr. Q, Nice avatar. But he won't hold that trophy again. I'm not happy, but i'm not sad either ;) You know why.

06-16-2004, 06:32 PM
He must be a sick @hole to say something like that, if the quote is correct and fully deserved to be kicked out of the job.

06-16-2004, 06:37 PM
He must be a sick @hole to say something like that, if the quote is correct and fully deserved to be kicked out of the job.

Totally agree with you!