Pittsburgh’s 105.9 The X morning drive host Tim Benz walked out of the studio during his imaginatively named X Morning Show Friday. What could have caused the radio jock to abandon his mic mid-broadcast? Did the station’s program director dictate a Barry Manilow marathon? No, nothing quite that unsettling. Instead, Benz bailed because of the, um, negative feedback he was getting from his listeners as a result of the anti-gun views he’d been spewing over the western Pennsylvania airwaves . . .
We get the play-by-play from triblive.com:
Tim Benz, co-host of the Morning Show on alternative rock radio station 105.9 The X, left the air Friday after arguing with listeners about his support of stricter gun laws.
“There was a flare-up about gun control on the show, which included a good deal of flashback against the station,” Benz said. “I wasn’t able to walk away from the fight … (so) I decided to step away from the Morning Show.”
The argument stemmed from a Pittsburgh gun shop’s recent giveaway of hundreds of rounds of ammunition, high-capacity magazines and an AR-15 military-style rifle on its Facebook page.
Benz’s audience apparently wasn’t tuning in to get harangued about the evils of guns while fighting morning traffic on their way to work. Which probably accounts for the deluge of complaints called into the station and posted on the station’s MyFace page. But according to the now-former host, it was all just a failure to communicate.
Benz concedes he is passionate about the issue of gun control. He said his polarizing opinions seem to be misunderstood.
“It’s a personal battle that I may have waged on the airwaves too often for the format. It’s a topic I feel passionately about,” he said. “And that passion has gotten in the way of doing the show in the manner in which it should be done.”
The kerfuffle’s no mystery to Erik Lowry, though. He’s the owner of the gun store, Pittsburgh Tactical Firearms, that was giving away the ballistic gift bag that sparked Benz’s on-air tirade.
“When you’re a morning show host in a town of blue-collar workers who love their guns and the Second Amendment, you’re going to (anger) a lot of people,” he said.
We’re sure Benz will have no trouble finding gainful employment in another field that’s much more accommodating of his civilian disarmament advocacy and takes advantage of his gift of gab. Perhaps there’s a run for Congress is in his future.