Greeley, Colo. businessman Brett Reese, a real estate investor and owner of radio station KELS and the Greeley Gazette newspaper, has been weathering the storm since last Friday, when he began twice-daily broadcasts of a listener’s commentary questioning whether America should celebrate Martin Luther King Day.
“To me it’s a First Amendment right, but apparently in our society you can’t pee on the altar of political correctness. That is enough to get you death threats,” Reese told WND.
KELS, better known as 104.7 Pirate Radio, devotes most of its programming to music, but the station also routinely runs commentaries related to upcoming events like the Jan. 17 MLK holiday. Reese airs such commentaries for up to two weeks at a time.
The controversial five-minute commentary raises a set of historically accurate but rarely acknowledged facts about King, including his repeated sexual infidelities and plagiarism. The commentary refers to King as an “America-hating communist,” a charge that is disputed. It also describes King as a “sexual degenerate.”
The commentary initially referred to a website that Reese subsequently discovered was linked to a racist organization. After Reese found out about the racism, he removed any mention of the website.
The Greeley District 6 School Board reacted harshly to the commentary, issuing a statement castigating Reese and affirming celebration of MLK Day.
“They’re all a bunch of flaming radical lefties,” said Reese, who said he is the only conservative on the board. “I’ve had my character assassinated.”
As a consequence of airing the commentary, Reese told WND he has received death threats, in person, to himself and his family. He added that numerous death threats have been posted on discussion boards of Denver-area news websites.
Critics have also launched a campaign to drive Pirate Radio’s sponsors away from the radio station.
Advertiser Matt Arguello, owner of Gwen’s Salon, confirmed that he has received threatening phone calls, but he refuses to knuckle under.
“We’re going to continue to advertise on Pirate Radio,” Arguello told WND. ” I compare it to being strong-armed by the mob. I’m not going to be strong-armed because somebody wants to silence somebody. I think that’s wrong.”