New York Post columnist and Talk 1300 radio host Fredric Dicker has been criticized after saying that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a “convenient little massacre.” Dicker made the comments on his program yesterday while discussing New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s gun control legislation, the SAFE Act:
“That was his anti-gun legislation, which he had promised not to do, but then he had a little convenient massacre that went on in Newtown, Connecticut, and all of a sudden there was an opportunity for him.”
Listen to the comments.
New Yorkers Against Gun Violence executive director Leah Gunn Barrett called for an advertising boycott and an “immediate on-air apology.” According to a Jan. 14 report on the New Yorkers against Gun Violence website, the Newtown Action Alliance, “a grassroots organization founded by Newtown residents after the shootings,” also wants the apology. One of the group’s members, Monte Frank, said
“I cannot understand how anyone can call “convenient” the murder of 20 children and six educators at the school down the road here in Sandy Hook. I pray that no community has to experience the horrific tragedy we did. Mr. Dicker owes the families of those who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook tragedy an apology.”
The New York Daily News slammed Dicker for his comments, publishing a front page story calling it “N.Y. Post big’s shameful Newtown diss.” The Daily News quoted family members of Sandy Hook victims responding and noted that “the families joined gun-control advocates in demanding an apology” from Dicker. James Wittsie, cousin to teacher Victoria Soto, who was killed in the massacre, said in part: “For a professional journalist, I think it was irresponsible and unprofessional for him to say that.”
Dicker has defended his comments, calling them “sarcastic.” He said to Capital New York:
“This group clearly doesn’t understand, or doesn’t want to understand, my point, which is a sarcastic reference to the governor latching on to an out-of-state mass killing to advance a political agenda that had nothing to do with the problem of gun-related crimes in New York. This is a charge that has been made for over a year now by many critics of the governor’s ‘Safe Act.’ I used the word ‘massacre’ intentionally because it refers, by definition, to a horrendous large scale killing, which of course the Newtown horror was.”
He added to the Daily News: “I wasn’t minimizing the horror at all, just the opposite.”
See below a scan of the print version of the Daily News’s story.
iMediaEthics has written to Dicker for comment. We’ve also asked Talk 1300 if it has any response to the boycott call and the request for an on-air apology.