PROVIDENCE — Count East Bay resident Ken Block and the state Republican Party as the latest to seek the firing of embattled WPRO radio host John DePetro.
Previously Governor Lincoln Chafee, Providence Mayor Angel Tavares and State Treasurer Gina Raimondo, all Democrats, called for the controversial yakker to be terminated for recent remarks he made on his show, which is broadcast daily from WPRO studios located on Wampanoag Trail in East Providence, about women and minorities.
Friday, Mr. Block, the Barrington resident seeking the Republican nomination for governor in 2014, and the Rhode Island GOP issued separate press releases indicating their support for Mr. DePetro’s removal from the airwaves.
Wrote, Mark Smiley, the Chair of RIGOP, “The RIGOP recognizes that free speech is important for all our citizens however that is not a green light to Cumulus Media Inc under all circumstances. Although we don’t always agree politically and ideologically with Democrats in Rhode Island we fully agree on this matter. The John Depetro (sic) Show is demeaning to women and minorities and this kind of behavior can’t be tolerated. The Rhode Island Republican Party will be boycotting WPRO indefinitely until the John Depetro (sic) Show is terminated. In addition, we call upon WPRO management and their parent company Cumulus Media Inc. to take action immediately.”
In his statement, Mr. Block wrote, “As a husband and father, I deplore the insensitivity and mean spirit displayed by John DePetro, and I believe he should have no place on the airwaves in Rhode Island. Therefore, I will decline to appear WPRO as long as John DePetro remains employed by the station.”
He added, “Helen Glover, Dan Yorke, Matt Allen and many others have delivered conservative viewpoints to their listeners without using vulgar words,” Block said. “You don’t need name-calling to make a compelling argument, and there is no place on the Rhode Island airwaves for discourse that disgusts.”