Hello, 911? We need a wahmbulance right away! An old white man is feeling sad and victimized!
Larry Conners, a former news anchor out of St. Louis has recently filed a complaint against local station KMOV Channel 4 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that he was discriminated against for being elderly, male and white. The two-page complaint asserts that fellow anchor Vickie Newton (who is no longer at the station) was favored and better paid by the station because she was an African American female and that Conners was continuously passed over for big stories, which were then given to younger reporters. KMOV Channel 4 has released a statement saying that they "strongly disagree" with the allegations.
This is not the first time that Conners has brought up discrimination charges in regards to Vickie Newton. He made the same complaint back in 2010.
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
[KMOV’s president and general manager Mark] Pimentel said Conners’ past claims of discrimination were settled by an independent arbitrator, who sided with KMOV on all counts. Those grievances would have remained confidential had Conners not gone public about them in the EEOC complaint, the station executive said.
Conners, who has been working in St. Louis television for 37 years, was fired on May 22 because of a Facebook post in which he claimed that he was unfairly targeted by the IRS after he asked challenging questions during a 2012 interview with Barack Obama. Conners accusations were proven false. As it turns out, his issues with the IRS go much further back — he and his wife owe more than $85,000 in taxes from 2008-2010.
Of the firing, station bosses said, "Larry is certainly entitled to his opinion, but taking a personal political position on one of the Station’s Facebook pages creates an appearance of bias that is inconsistent with important journalistic standards."
Conners continues to claim that he was fired as retaliation for his earlier discrimination accusations and not for violating journalistic standards.
His complaint counters:
Similarly situated news staff and news anchors were not prohibited from discussing news stories or personal experiences on their KMOV Facebook pages, and they were not disciplined or terminated from employment with KMOV as a result of their Facebook postings or other communications of their personal experiences or discussion of news stories.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has yet to decide whether or not to pursue the claim. If it is dismissed, Conners may end up filing a civil lawsuit.
In case you were wondering if there might be any validity to Conners complaint, he recently said this as a guest on conservative radio host Dana Loesch's KFTK-FM afternoon show:
“I want to remind all of you, my point in my life is not to be making statements against Channel 4 or KMOV. It’s a history lesson for all of us. I’m looking forward, and it’s a comment on the future.”
A comment on the future, huh? Oh, brother.
Ex-anchor Larry Conners files discrimination complaint against KMOV [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]