Larry Conners vs. Julius Hunter: Former KMOV-TV Anchor Slams Fired Newsman

julius-hunter.jpg
via
Julius Hunter.
Last week, Larry Conners once again got national attention when he officially filed a complaint against his former KMOV-TV (Channel 4) bosses, alleging that he faced discrimination and retaliation in his firing. Some have since mocked him for his claims that he was treated unfairly because he is a white male.

And now, we can add one more to the list of critics who have little sympathy for the unemployed newsman: Julius Hunter.

Hunter, a former anchor for Channel 4, yesterday penned a lengthy, rambly op-ed for the Post-Dispatch arguing that Conners' whining is unfounded and silly.

Hunter, however, failed to mention that he himself once had his own problem with inappropriate editorializing.

See also:
- Larry Conners Says KMOV Paid Him Less Than Vickie Newton Due to Race, Gender
- Larry Conners Talks KMOV-TV Firing, Defends IRS Facebook Post
- KMOV-TV's Larry Conners Says IRS May Have Been Targeting Him For Years

As we've chronicled here, Conners' bosses fired him over a Facebook post that they say violated the station's journalistic standards of unbiased reporting. In it, Conners questioned whether the IRS had targeted him in response to a tough interview with President Barack Obama in 2012.

Thumbnail image for larry-conners-irs-statement.jpg
via kmov.com
Larry Conners makes his on-air statement about his IRS Facebook post.

Hunter, in his column, mocks Conners for believing that the IRS might possibly take an interest him over one interview with the president, and he also slams the fired anchor for mentioning possible race discrimination:

I've tried hard, and failed, to see if I could remember any relativity between tough interviews with presidents and income taxes. I've had exclusive interviews with six incumbent presidents. Even had brief chats with Bush II and presidential candidate Barack Obama. Asked tough questions of all. Check the transcripts. I led off my 1982 exclusive with Republican President Reagan with: "Mr. President, if the polls are to be believed you're not a popular president among such groups as environmentalists, the poor, blacks, educators and organized labor." No IRS harassment followed.

About racial discrimination allegations, Hunter writes, "First of all, what's all this stuff about racial discrimination directed at an anchor? Seems like I survived some heavy-duty, Grade-A Large racism being the first African-American reporter/anchor in a regular St. Louis prime time TV slot. Survived it unscathed for 33 years."

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via
Julius Hunter, left.

You can read his full rant here. (We've left a message with Conners to see if he might want to offer a rebuttal; we'll update if we hear back.)

But Hunter himself, it's worth noting, had his own editorializing controversy back in 2002, albeit of a very different nature. Hunter's comments were on-air.

At the end of a report on a particularly horrific murder case, Hunter said -- acknowledging that he was "editorializing" about the suspect -- "May he rot in Hell!"

Here's an excerpt from RFT's 2002 write-up of the segment, which incidentally involved Conners and co-anchor Vickie Newton (who, according to Conners, eventually got paid more than him, because she is a black female):

Hunter intoned: "Twenty-four-year-old Johnny Johnson is charged tonight with first-degree murder, kidnapping, armed criminal action and attempted forcible rape. He made his first court appearance yesterday. Police say Johnson has admitted guilt in this despicable, heinous crime. He's being held tonight without bond.

"And of course we cannot convict Johnson without a trial -- he's innocent until proven guilty -- but can I just say," as he put his right hand over his heart and then extended his arm outward, "editorializing, which I can't do -- whoever committed the crime, this horrible, terrible crime, may he rot in Hell."

Newton and Connors appeared more than a little stunned.

"Julius, thank you for the update," Newton almost whispered.

Connors followed with a quiet, "All right, Julius."

Obviously quite different than political commentary, but Hunter, like Conners, fell short of apologizing.

He told us at the time, "I mean, my goodness, a six-year-old girl is taken off into the woods by somebody -- and I say somebody, because I'm not convicting this guy -- but a trusting, young, sweet girl is taken off into the woods; there's an attempt to rape her, and then, when that fails, she's beaten in the head with a big rock. I get emotional talking about it now because my two-year-old granddaughter sang 'Farmer in the Dell' for me, on her second birthday, the day before I said that on the air."

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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37 comments
newage44
newage44

Now that we see the IRS has indeed targeted right wing groups, I am sure Mr. Hunter will have to agree that Mr. Connors has a point.  Let's face it, most (93%) blacks love anything the President does since they perceive it as benefitting them vs. the rich and prosperous white man.  Mr. Hunter should apologize to Connors for his belittling remarks but is too full of himself to do so.


Good luck , Larry , in fighting your battle in St. Louis City court houses.   The city that refuses "right to work" in favor of union jackboots and lays claim with the ghetto city of Detroit of having the ignomonius distinction of losing 60% of it's population since the 60's.  

natelee976
natelee976

I sure don't understand why julius had a dog in this fight, as far as i'm concerned he should of kept his thoughts to himself and sat back and enjoyed his 30 year retirement check and pension from KMOV. You know as for the race card i have always been one that doesn't believe in special treatment because of race or gender you can either do the job or you cant, but until our society stops crying about race and gender pay or jobs some will never be happy.  When a government or a company is required to hire a certain number of people based on race or gender then you will always have this issue being brought up.  Connors has many more years of experience my only question is why is the other anchor getting paid more than him. If it was being based on experience, years of service to the same employer, and the position held, i honestly would have to say there is something wrong with this situation because the other anchor has none compared to connors. So that brings you to question in the back of your mind why is the other anchor getting paid more, and of course you can say well they are just better, but that is a bunch of bull and you know that as well as i do, if it was you or your family member sitting in either one of these chairs you would be raising hell about it as well. If Kmov is a fair place to work i would expect them to pay their employees fairly as well and not based on race or gender either.  Most if not all places of employment pay on a schedule of years of service and what position they are in and if they are working the same positions I don't see how you could not argue foul over it if the other anchor is getting paid more, Kmov should of payed them the same  if they wanted to compensate the other anchor to come to the station and if they needed to pay more they should of raised connors contract to at least equal that, Remember Equal pay for Equal Work there cant be no argument with that.

egolterman
egolterman topcommenter

What they have in common is reporting for decades on the continued decline of the City of St. Louis, not really understanding it, nor trying to stop it.

gmatusk
gmatusk

I am surprised Conners lasted as long as he did at KMOV-TV.   I found him to be annoying for years.  On TV he sometimes ad-libbed strangely after a colleague had just spoken.  He thought he was being charmingly casual, but he just threw others off their pace, inspiring odd sideways looks.  Good riddance to a corny character.

Bill Hughes
Bill Hughes

Julius is nuts, not Larry. Remember his meltdown?

Max Schulze
Max Schulze

You could not have possibly misrepresented what Mr. Hunter had to say any worse

Abbey Allred Wharton
Abbey Allred Wharton

Wait he told an audience that he hopes a child murderer rots in hell? Yeah, that's definitely not the same kind of controversy.

Bill Bernickus
Bill Bernickus

Both guys were/are egotistical windbags. Neither is half as important as they think they are.

John Gassel
John Gassel

If Larry Conners keeps it up he's gonna get tazed again but the cameras won't be rolling this time. ;)

Kenzington
Kenzington

Larry Conners lost all credibility in this debacle, and Julius Hunter has every right to call him out on it. Preach on, brother.

James Madison
James Madison

That other presidents did not use the IRS in retaliation does not mean Obama did not. I have no clue what sort of logic Hunter is using. He is making zero sense.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

Hunter thinks because Reagan, Bushes, and others did not retaliate using the IRS, that Obama did not? How exactly does one prove the other? Hunter reads a teleprompter well, and even is human to say a hideous murderer should rot in hell, but as a logical, clear thinker? Hunter comes up short. Unless Mr. Hunter made a hard hitting accusation against Mr. Obama, he fails to make any point of his journalistic experiences with Mr. Conners. 

MikeR
MikeR

I think Hunter should have kept his mouth shut. He has no dog in this hunt. I used to admire him as a person, as an anchor, and as a journalist. Now that admiration has evaporated. As a current employee of SLU, he should remain totally neutral on this type of controversy. His high profile doesn't allow him to speak as an individual. He speaks for the university. Poorly chosen words, Julius.

Alex Peck
Alex Peck

Is it a requirement to only like black people if you live in st.louis?

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

I don't know how any of the news people can keep from editorializing. I can tell by the look on their face and the tone of their voice how they feel about something that they are reporting...it is nice to just hear them say what needs to be said. I think we should take Larry Conner and Julius Hunter off the local nightly news and put them on an editorial show. Look at the knowledge and experience these men both have about the city of St. Louis! What a waste to just throw them into the antique store waiting for someone to buy them. Let's use them the way they should be used! You couldn't have two more informed men doing the news. We need to get a couple female anchors that are ready to retire from the daily grind of the local news and have them join these two men. The RFT should take the lead on this and help make it happen. We in St. Louis are a passionate opinionated well informed city full of people who have loyalty to those who serve us. Both of these men are human beings with their own opinion. It is time we let them use it.

John Shetterly
John Shetterly

We're talking apples & oranges, Larry is an egotistical nut, Julius is a class act!!!!!!!!!

Tim Craven
Tim Craven

Cage match at the Chase Park Plaza! Get it on old school STL style!

John Schindler
John Schindler

There are way more important things to focus on.

Dave Muser
Dave Muser

Conners is an old bigot. Truth is the old walrus just needed to quit a LONG LONG time ago.

Rick Kohn
Rick Kohn

Put em' in a cage and let em' slug it out!

Robert McMahon
Robert McMahon

I agree with Julius on this......Larry what are you thinking.....lol :)

Maggie Madonia
Maggie Madonia

Just shows you how phony the news is... they sure looked like best of friends when they did the news together. While I liked them both, both have lost credibility in my eyes this past month.

Sarah Welsch
Sarah Welsch

I always liked Julius better than Larry if that says anything.

Patty Lager
Patty Lager

oh nooooo. I wish there was compassion. has any reporter ever asked Larry Conners what is his need for complaining about his coworkers. we area ALL responsible for creating peace on this planet. let's learn to speak with compassion.

Daniel Knoll
Daniel Knoll

spot-on..and it was beyond acceptable to desperately play the race card as a last resort, especially when he used a another, uninvolved competent person, a woman of color- to garner sympathy for his screw-ups. any consideratin i had for him, any possible compassion for his previous mistake, went out the window now.. See ya Larry

Ipecac
Ipecac

@Kenzington Dude, yes.  This is moronic.  Conners is just making a scene at this point.  Like a child during the terrible twos.  

megarock
megarock

@James Madison Pretty easy - the IRS did not 'target' him. He had failed to pay his taxes for years and owed nearly 100,000 dollars. That generally will get the IRS up your rear end no matter who you are. He knew about the debt for years and still failed to pay it. And then he does stories on the IRS 'targeting' Tea Party groups who were applying for tax exempt status masquerading as 'charities' so they could hide who was contributing to them. None of these organizations had ANY previous charity work so of course they're going to warrant a closer look. You'd be an idiot not to. Makes perfect sense to me. If I don't pay my taxes I expect the IRS will come after me too. When that happens can I too blame it on Vickie Newton, KMOV and Obama?


VeronicaLodge
VeronicaLodge

Absolutely! A positive comment with a very viable idea! :)

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