Posted April 14, 2008 – Activist broadcaster Tavis Smiley, in a statement, disputed radio show host Tom Joyner’s version of why he suddenly quit the popular “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”
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He said, “Due to the overwhelming amount of phone calls and emails I have received from listeners and other media, I wanted to briefly clarify a few issues that I will address more fully in my regular TJMS commentary on Tuesday morning, April 15, at 8:20 a.m. ET. I did not ‘quit’ the Tom Joyner Morning Show effective immediately.
In July, I will celebrate my 12th anniversary with the show and, as I discussed with Tom, it is my intention to take on the issues of the day in my commentary twice every week with the same energy, passion and commitment until the end of June. Contrary to what has been suggested, I have decided to clear some things off my plate so that I can devote my time and attention to some exciting and empowering projects that The Smiley Group, Inc. and other divisions of my company have underway this summer, this fall and beyond.”
Last week, Joyner told listeners that Smiley had been overwhelmed by the “hate” he was getting from Black America for his less than favorable commentary about Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, who declined to attend his annual “State of the Black Union” forum in February.
"He called me yesterday and said, 'I quit,'" Joyner said on the air. "He can't take the hate he's taking over this whole Barack Obama thing. People are really upset with him. He's always busting Barack Obama's chops. They call. They e-mail. They joke. They threaten. You know Tavis like I do. He needs to feel loved. We're so emotional about this Barack Obama candidacy. If you don't say anything for Barack Obama, you're considered to be a hater. . . . It's just that it hurts so deep when the people you love don't agree with you. He loves Black America and Black America has been very critical of him. It hurts. It hurt me to hear Black Americans criticize him."
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