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WHLM DJ Suspended Without Pay Amid Controversy Surrounding Charlottesville Rally

BLOOMSBURG -- A radio station personality in Bloomsburg at the center of a controversy over his participation in the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia is currently off the air.

Late Tuesday night, the general manager of WHLM announced that David Reilly has been suspended without pay while the station investigates the allegations against him.

Reilly, who does an evening show on WHLM, posted video of himself attending this past weekend's rally on YouTube, sparking outrage and protests outside the station, as well as prompting several advertisers to pull their ads from the station.

Joe Reilly, general manager of WHLM, released the following statement Tuesday night:

"WHLM and the Columbia Broadcasting Company denounces, detests, disavows, condemns and has never condoned any form of racism, white supremacism, bigotry or political violence towards anyone or any group.

"WHLM is currently conducting a full internal investigation regarding allegations brought against David Reilly, an employee at the Columbia Broadcasting Company.

"We are taking this matter seriously, and since it will take time to investigate this situation, we, the Columbia Broadcasting Company, have suspended David Reilly without pay until further notice."

Joe Reilly
General Manager
WHLM

Prior to the announcement, protesters were outside the station for about two hours.

Demonstrators say the problem goes far beyond one radio host and say they still have fears about race relations in their community and country.

The demonstrators who packed the sidewalk in front of WHLM made some music of their own, singing the civil rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" on East Main Street in Bloomsburg.

"This is something that is not going to be swept under the rug anymore. This is going to be out there where everyone can see it," said Deedra Raper of Bloomsburg.

The protest, part of the furor over the station's evening host David Reilly and his role in promoting right wing demonstrations that turned deadly in Virgina over the weekend.

During the rally in Bloomsburg, the street-front studio sat empty as the station played on.

The crowd included some of the station's fans.

"They had been in many ways model, I mean terrific, like when the flood hit," said Jerry Stropnicky of Danville.

Stropnicky knows Reilly and held a sign saying, "David step back from the dark side."

But others in the crowd maintained Reilly is beyond redemption.

"I learned a long time ago if someone is really against something you are not going to change their mind," said Rosemary Brash of Espy.

Over the past two days, a number of advertisers--including Bloomsburg University--canceled their spots on the station. There is no word whether some or all of them may return now that Reilly has been suspended.

90 comments

  • Tom

    It is amazing how people will scream first amendment, freedom of speech, without actually, seemingly at least, knowing how it works. The 1st amendment guarantees us a few things beyond just freedom of speech:
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    So, while this person obviously has the right to his free speech(from the government), the people who protested also have that right via the same amendment. A private institution has the right to then suspend someone without violating their first amendment rights, because it isn’t the government. You cafones seemingly want to scream “Freedom of speech” without actually understanding how it works.

    • magicmikexxsm

      Nobody is screaming anything TOM…….this whole statue, monument racist is BS…so after the tools of the left are done with those what do they go after next??? books, College Professors the left doesn’t agree with….why not go right to the top of the class TOM and have the left go to DC smash open the case holding our constitution, shed it, then burn it, after all TOM it was written by a bunch of people who owned slaves…..
      Then we can write a new one, but guaranteed you won’t like it…

  • Lance

    I remember hearing somewhere something about free speech…. freedom of expression…. maybe that was removed because some people were offended too

    • kk2509

      It’s freedom from government prosecution. It’s not freedom from consequences from your employer. If you act like a tool and poorly reflect your employer, then guess what?!?! They can fire you!!!!!

      • Bob Smith

        Long ago, I worked for federal government in Texas….. We were told to shut up and never discuss on any particular subjects again….. No matter if it’s insensitivity or taboo. And smile.

  • Eric

    So he was at the ‘Unite the Right’ rally….and…….. The article doesn’t say what he did wrong. Great work. Lol

    • typical liberal dope

      He did nothing wrong. This is how liberals think. They are destroying america at every turn

  • LONGGREYSOCKS

    In Frackville we treat others with respect. As far as i know in my daily travels no confederate flag movement in the mountain city or the crossroads of my beautiful Schuylkill county. Nearby Girardville and Shenandoah is where the hate mongers are.

  • Don't feed the trolls

    Archie Beal says: “People feel they have a sense of entitlement and it needs to stop immediately.” 16 minutes later Archie Beal also says: “I haven’t worked in years, government has provided for me for years and I have nothing to want for.” We know you’re a troll – what we can’t tell is if you’re completely insane or just a little touched in the head. So what is it? Not quite a shilling? A french fry short of a happy meal? Two cans short of a six pack?

      • Your side still lost

        And I’m glad they did, Mr. McCracken. Slavery was wrong, racism is wrong. God created all men equal, but it’s up to the individual to maintain honor, dignity, and integrity. The presence or absence of a historical marker should not define a man (or woman).

  • donna

    These people are idiots,they don’t even know about George Soros and the groups that he funds.This guy Reilly is a radio host and he was most likely getting information on the event. George Soros funds Black Lives Matter and other leftist groups. He wants to divide all people. He is a hatefull man ,Soros tried to bring the bank of England down and has caused and supported rioters in Hungrey.

    • Look in the mirror

      Start reading primary information sources — he is a holocaust survivor and one of the biggest philanthropist in the world — unlike Trump who hasn’t given a dime to anyone. Trump hated you– you are a poor toothless nuisance to him.

      • True lies

        FORBES dot com: From 2001 to 2014 the Trump Foundation donated $10.9 billion to charity. That’s a lot of dimes. Remember that a lot of holocost ‘survivors’ survived because they sold their brothers and sisters out to the SS for profit. Hmm, wonder how he got so wealthy? Don’t you have a Dodge Challanger bumper to stand in front of?

      • Your side still lost

        ‘Primary information sources’ – you mean like CNN, MSNBC, NY Times, those unbiased sources. You are correct though – Georgie boy has donated a lot: to Democratic Presidential campaigns (how did THAT work out?), LBGTQIA groups, Planned (abortion parts for sale) Parenthood, the DC Women’s March, and – this is great – BLM. Sounds like a great guy. Has the best interests of the USA in mind.

      • John Terhar

        “True Lies” states that, according to a Forbes article the Trump foundation donated 10.4 billion to charity. In the interest of accuracy, Forbes actually wrote: “From 2001 – 2014, the foundation donated 10.4 million (with an M). Most of the money in the Trump Foundation from 2001-2014 did not originally come from Donald Trump. Between 2001 and 2008, the president donated a total of $2.8 million, or 0.08% of his $3.7 billion fortune, to his own foundation. From 2009-2014, Trump gave $0 to the group. He remained its president but financed its activities with money from outsiders, including Comedy Central and NBCUniversal.”

  • magicmikexxsm

    I’m sorry this is wrong, so the guy goes to a rally doesn’t cause any trouble, but yet is suspended from his job, for what??? did he spew hate over the air weaves from that radio station???? roll the tapes….
    Where does this stop people????? the statues have become a political tool for power with the alt left, it’s not about racism, and so on and so forth…what next after the statues are all gone certain books? certain college professors? what? Trump was correct at his presser yesterday. enough blame to go around from both sides….
    Personally I’m sick of the media, and how they cover trump, I’m sick of the alt left always defining the message….
    Wise up people and see what’s going on with liberals and the alt left in this country….

  • Dave

    Hahaha…Should have worn the hood… Hope more are outed… It’s like the day you get to out the trolls that constantly Post right wing nonsense on WNEP’s site and only on political or violence subjects…You never see one of their posts on a feel good story… Must be hell to go through life being so negative …

    • Look in the mirror

      Well said. They are consumed with hatred (mostly for themselves) because they couldn’t put down the beer and get an education. So they hate and blame everyone else for their misery.

      • Your side still lost

        My misery of having a decent job, comfortable home, successful productive children, and soon to be early retirement funded by my hard work and planning? Yeah, it’s awful. Oh, I still like beer, and don’t like liberals or people that try to change history, gender, or abuse public assistance. How’s that for misery? I enjoy calling people out – like yourself – for your ignorance and hypocrisy.

    • rightwing troll

      I post all the time on feel good stories. I’m the troll who turns the story on it’s head and makes the reader feel as if they just read the most depressing thing they’ve ever seen.

  • Whah, we lost the election

    The fact that David Reilly was at the rally isn’t the problem with the fascist left. The problem was that he wasn’t there dressed like a teenage ninja with the ANTIFA terrorist group with the intent on disrupting a legal assembly that had a permit. All he needs to do to get back in the good graces of the fascist left is publicly destroy a civil war monument while the police watch and do nothing about it, and he will be a hero! Then the advertisers will be lining up at the door to show their support.

  • Stop Glorifying Killers

    First off I condemn all racist behavior. But I have to ask why is it ok for two certain groups to incite violence without any backlash? All this vile behavior must stop. ALL OF IT.

  • trucker

    When WILK had a hater with a ponytail that belonged to every left-wing hate group that was ok. Like when leftists shoot up a congressional baseball team MSM falls all over themselves to excuse and even cheer-lead the hate. Hate on the left is normal, on the right it is an anomaly.

  • Rurbanite

    People of America, can you not see that this President lacks decency and any moral compass? Regardless of the legislation we may disagree on, it is time to take a stand. We are better, far better, than this.

      • True lies

        Collectively, we’re not. But there’s still a moral minority that is trying to stay the course. Our country is destined for the scrap heap of history if the liberals get their way.

    • True lies

      Lacks decency. Who was serviced under the table in the Oval Office? Moral compass. Who lit the White House up with rainbow colors? Funny thing is – Trump is still trying to make America better (the way it used to be) despite all the spoiled children that keep trying to disrupt him. Last I checked, Trump didn’t issue the permit for Charlottesville or drive a Dodge Challenger. It’s going to be a long eight years for, isn’t it? HA HA HA!!!!

  • Are you kidding!?!

    Does he have a contract that prohibits activity that may reflect his employer in a poor light? If so, he violated his contract. If not, he has a solid legal complaint.

    • David Nauroth

      This is the entertainment industry. As someone who has extensive knowledge of the industry, I can attest that it is almost certain that the DJs contract with the station has a clause that forbids behavior that would reflect poorly on the station. The interpretation of that clause is an issue that will probably be resolved by a court, unless he simply slinks away to ninth circle of Hell.

      • El Ma

        David Nauroth, I understand what you’re typing and I do not disagree. But, these clauses must be detailed and completely defined in legal terms. NO activity that brings a company (or, football team) into a “bad light” should be tolerated. That would also include appearing at ANTIFA or BLM rallies, or punching out one’s domestic partner in a public elevator.

  • Writer Girl

    Advertisers and employers like this, are part of the reason extremist groups exist. Sick of these Constitutional tramplers and grandstanding to show how tolerant they are.

      • McCracken

        Were they prohibited from protesting, on public property? No. Were they prevented from speaking by government officials? No.

      • El Ma

        McCracken, I don’t understand your questions about this matter. I cannot remember which thread it was that listed, in detail, what actually happened, but the American Civil Liberties Union brought a civil suit to uphold the First Amendment – the right to free speech and the right to peaceful assembly.

        The group that obtained the permit to assemble had that permit revoked by the Mayor of Charlottesville as people were gathering at the venue. Before that time, busloads of BLM and ANTIFA members arrived in anticipation of disrupting the rally, which they did.

        It would probably be helpful if someone who is NOT biased could list the series of events (again) as they occurred so that people can get a clear picture of what actually happened. This whole event was orchestrated, from the gate, and anyone who can’t see that might be suffering from delusional thinking.

    • United We Stand

      If you think this violates the Constitution I suggest you read the Constitution with particular attention to the First Amendment. An employer is not the government.

    • JessicaInWilliamsport

      This is how the free marketplace of ideas works. He is free to express himself, he did and there was a backlash. We are also allowed to protest, boycott, call out anyone whose ideas we think are harmful. Just because you agree with him doesn’t make his speech exempt from criticism and consequences.

  • Writer Girl

    Sick of employers firing people over things they have every right to do. I hope stations better than these idiots, pick this guy as an employee and he goes on to bigger, better things. Back off, employers!

    • Writer Girl

      Yes, people taking away our rights, trying to censor us, and calling good people, racists, is evil. Pure and simple.

      • El Ma

        Rurbanite, have you never had a “racist” thought during your lifetime? Say……on a subway that is full of Latino males and you’re thinking, “Holy sh*t, it’s going to be West Side Story in a minute?” Everyone, at some time in their life, has had a “racist” thought or said something untoward. Does it make you, me, or anyone else “bad?” Of course, not. It makes me sit back and think about what I need to do to be a better person.

        SO……..this whole extremist nonsense isn’t my circus and I’m not involved in any of it because I choose to remain my own person.

      • El Ma

        ………..to clarify before anyone has kittens or spergs out: I am not, in any way, supporting the views of either end of the socio-political spectrum. It’s repellent, to be sure, but people are quite literally allowed to believe what they will, even if it’s wrong.

        The man named in this article is being punished for doing something on his off-of-work-time. Did he enter into the rally carrying a placard with his company’s call letters on it? Did he have a t-shirt on declaring where he worked? Did he, at any time, claim to represent WHLM and/or the views of that company? This has really gone way too far.

        Another thing to consider: what type of programming does WHLM provide Bloomsburg? Is it the mainstream pop music or Edgy MacEdgelord music laced with profanities and calls to cap cops and rape women? Just something to consider before casting stones.

      • El Ma

        because my comment is “awaiting moderation,” I want to clarify that I do not, in any way, support the behaviors of either ends of this current socio-political spectrum. There. I took out all of the possibly triggering words……(rolling eyes)

      • TRKRGR

        sorry Rurbanite, I’m sure there are alot of good people you know who ARE racist but they keep it to themselves, so they don’t have to listen to the crybabies that demand everyone think like them

  • Din Berry

    His actions have now hurt his employer’s business. Should WHLM just ignore all of the local companies pulling their ads ? Damage control has only begun . Long road to recovery all ready , if it possible.

    • El Ma

      Din Berry, never heard of WHLM before this incident, and I sure as HECK would have been able to identify Dave Reilly by sight, either. Now that the broadcasting station’s call sign is out there and Reilly’s image is plastered all over the news, they’re both introduced to the public in a very forceful manner.

      Personally, I won’t give WHLM the time of day, simply because the employment contract hasn’t been disclosed and will, no doubt, be scrutinized in a civil court. ACLU is sure going to be busy……….

      • United We Stand

        Why would the ACLU get involved? This is not a matter of civil rights but one between an employer and employee. The First Amendment only covers government interference. Also, PA like most other states is an “at will” employment state and there are very few reasons that termination would be found unlawful.

      • El Ma

        United We Stand, this is absolutely a Civil Rights matter. You, me, and every citizen in this nation has the guaranteed Right to peaceful assembly under the First Amendment. If Reilly loses his job because he attended a rally that turned violent and did nothing illegal during that event, it is discrimination of the highest order.

        Not all of the people who were attending the “Unite The Right” rally were Nazis, Nazi sympathizers, or neo-Nazis. There are people who truly (and, justly) believe that their First Amendment Right is being whittled away by urban terrorist mercenaries, and they have a guarantee under our Constitution to peacefully assemble, whether anybody agrees with their views, or not.

        I absolutely do not agree with BLM or ANTIFA on any level, under any circumstance because they aren’t seeking equality or positive changes. These organizations (just like the extreme right) are paid anarchists that are intent upon burning, beating, and looting at any “peace” or “anti-hate” rally that they can get to.

        Wake up. It is absolutely a Civil Rights matter.

  • El Ma

    I support anyone’s Right to Assemble, even the wingnuts. I may not agree with whatever the assembly is about, but I have to acknowledge that it is a guaranteed Right under the Constitution.

    Shame on the broadcasting station for caving in to snowflake mentality. Isn’t broadcasting journalism supposed to be unbiased? Well……….pffffffft

    • Bob Smith

      Freedom of speech is very limited! If we say bad things, we get censored or punished! We are living in Havana, Pennsylvania welcome to commie paradise!

      • United We Stand

        Good Lord, why do so many people on this forum have no idea what is written in the Constitution? Please read it before you make yourselves look any more ignorant. An employer is not the government. This man’s rights were not infringed. He exercised them without government interference. Case closed. With rights come responsibilities and his employer has every right to fire him.

    • United We Stand

      You need to read the Constitution. An employer is not the government and is not bound by the First Amendment.

      • El Ma

        Are you a manager? Are you a corporate executive? Had all of that mandatory legal training on sexual harassment and the like? Nope? Then you don’t know what you’re talking about. A corporation has a GREAT deal of legal support from the gov’t, to be sure. But, it’s not as simple as you seem to believe it to be. Even with documentation, corporations coerce employees into resigning or quitting so that they won’t have to pay unemployment to the former employee. For someone who is fired, they pay nothing, by Law. Unless, of course, the former employee can hire an attorney and argue a successful suit against the company’s policies and practices.

        If you haven’t had these lessons, don’t try to dance the steps because you’re 100% incorrect in your assumptions.

  • Alfredo

    Cowards, I think destroying historical monuments is a colossal waste of time. This man merely joined a rally protesting the decision to remove such a monument.

    • Rurbanite

      Yeah right. Marching with torches and chanting “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us” is “merely” protesting the removal of a monument?

      • SvenNotSoMuch

        Is there footage of this particular person chanting those slogans? Aside from that, please explain what is so egregious about those groupings of words? Are they threats? They don’t appear to be.

      • Vin

        The violence inspired by a so called president who condones violence led to a deadly terror attack. Can’t you people see that? Of course not, as you are blinded by bigotry.

Comments are closed.