Upstate New York radio host Bob Lonsberry has deleted a tweet after it went viral and drew widespread criticism online.
“'Boomer' is the n-word of ageism. Being hip and flip does not make bigotry ok, nor is a derisive epithet acceptable because it is new,” Lonsberry wrote on Twitter Monday morning.
The conservative talk radio personality was overwhelmed by thousands of responses mocking him as “Boomer Bob,” while others simply tweeted “OK boomer,” which became a trending topic with more than 200,000 tweets. He also made the front page of Reddit, got zinged by 74-time “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings, and became an entry on Dictionary.com.
“Saying your generation’s official name is the equivalent of the most heinous racial slur in America is some real Boomer s--t,” one Twitter user wrote.
“The fact that you can type out ‘boomer’ and not the n-word shows me you know you’re wrong, bob,” another tweeted.
“Don’t worry, I’m Mormon like this guy so it’s okay: I can call him a boomer with the hard ‘r,’” Jennings joked.
“Boomer is an informal noun referring to a person born during a baby boom, especially one born in the U.S. between 1946 and 1965. The n-word is one of the most offensive words in the English language,” the official account for Dictionary.com wrote.
The Democrat & Chronicle points out Lonsberry’s tweet “ratioed" negatively, with nearly 10 times as many responses as “likes.” @dictionarycom, on the other hand, had a positive ratio with 90,000 likes and 25,000 responses.
Lonsberry has since removed his original tweet without explanation or apology.
It’s unclear what prompted Lonsberry’s tweet, but The New York Times recently detailed how millenials and Generation Z have started using the phrase “OK boomer” as a flippant response to older generations whose actions, politically, socially and environmentally, have impacted today’s teens and young adults.
Lonsberry, 60, is part of the generation known as “Baby Boomers," born between 1946 and 1964.
Lonsberry currently hosts a morning show on WHAM-AM (1180) in Rochester and an afternoon show on NewsRadio 570 WSYR in Syracuse. He’s worked for iHeartRadio, formerly known as Clear Channel, for more than 15 years, and has a long history of controversies.
He was once fired from WHAM in 2003 after criticizing black teens as “raised like animals, groomed as predators” and referring to Rochester Mayor William Johnson Jr., an African-American who was running for Monroe County executive at the time, as a “monkey" and “orangutan.”
Lonsberry, who lives in the rural Livingston County village of Mount Morris, also sold FUBO merchandise in 2009 to criticize President Barack Obama -- the acronym stood for “F--- U Barack Obama” -- and drew criticism in 2014 when he railed against “he-she transformations" when the city of Rochester decided to add transgender health care benefits for city employees and their families.
He previously hosted shows on KNRS and KLO in Salt Lake City, and was later rehired at WHAM after completing sensitivity training. He’s hosted an afternoon show on WSYR since 2012 when he replaced previous Syracuse radio host Jim Reith. All the stations are owned by iHeartMedia, the parent company of iHeartRadio.
Bob Lonsberry compares 'boomer' to N-word; Dictionary.com tells him to watch his language
In an attempt to squash the "OK boomer" catchphrase, conservative Rochester radio host Bob Lonsberry inadvertently became the poster adult for it.
"'Boomer' is the n-word of ageism. Being hip and flip does not make bigotry ok, nor is a derisive epithet acceptable because it is new," Lonsberry, 60, tweeted on Sunday.
The tweet didn't terminate the "OK boomer" trend. It made Lonsberry a trending topic.
Oh snap! Stephen Colbert dunks Lonsberry for 'grade-A casual racism'
The hashtag #okboomer catapulted to the top 10 trends in the United States with more than 200,000 tweets. Lonsberry's tweet ratioed — it received more replies than retweets and likes, an ominous sign — with nearly 20,000 responses, including a rebuke from Dictionary.com.
Lonsberry deleted the tweet but those pesky millennials and Gen Zers don't just take pictures of their food, dogs and duck-face selfies. They take pictures of everything. Even tweets before they vanish.
"Boomer is an informal noun referring to a person born during a baby boom, especially one born in the U.S. between 1946 and 1965," Dictionary.com said in a quote tweet that went viral. "The n-word is one of the most offensive words in the English language."
Lonsberry made the front page of Reddit. Dictionary.com made a new entry on its site to clarify "OK boomer." A Twitter account that identifies the platform's "main character of the day" awarded Lonsberry the title on Monday.
"Don't worry, I'm Mormon like this guy so it's okay: I can call him a boomer with the hard 'r,'" 74-time Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, replied.
A tweet responding with a quote from stand-up comedian John Mulaney received more than 20,000 retweets and 70,000 likes: "If you're comparing the badness of two words and you won't even say one of them, that's the worse word."
"OK boomer" is a punchline popularized by teens and young adults to dismiss what they consider outmoded views and behaviors of older generations. It's a digital eye roll and akin to saying someone is out of touch.
New York Times:'OK Boomer' marks the end of friendly generational relations
Lonsberry, who hosts an eponymous talk show on NewsRadio WHAM-AM (1180), did not immediately respond to a voicemail or text message seeking comment.
He may dedicate a segment of his radio show to the topic Tuesday. His newfound Generation Z, though, would probably prefer to listen as a podcast.
Others came to Lonsberry's defense
Radio host schooled after comparing 'boomer' to N-word; Dictionary.com, more on Twitter react
Radio host Bob Lonsberry is being criticized after comparing the word "boomer" to the N-word.
The phrase "OK, boomer" has been used on the video sharing app TikTok by Generation Z and millennials to show their resentment toward baby boomers.
In a since-deleted tweet, Lonsberry, 60, said "'Boomer' is the n-word of ageism," according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, which is part of the USA TODAY Network.
"Being hip and flip does not make bigotry ok, nor is a derisive epithet acceptable because it is new,” he continued.
The Monday tweet garnered attention in the form of thousands of replies.
"Just because something is insulting, it doesn't make it the N-word sporto. Nobody died connected to it. Nobody was enslaved or segregated in conjunction with it. Just stop," "The Mo'Kelly Show" host replied. "You want the pain of the word, just none of the lynchings, disenfranchisement and hatred. Hush."
"Jeopardy!" winner Ken Jennings also responded to the tweet: "Don't worry, I'm Mormon like this guy so it's okay: I can call him a boomer with the hard 'r'."
Another response tweet that shared a quote from stand-up comedian John Mulaney received more than 20,000 retweets and 80,000 likes: "If you're comparing the badness of two words and you won't even say one of them, that's the worse word."
Even Dictionary.com slammed Lonsberry's comparison.
"Boomer is an informal noun referring to a person born during a baby boom, especially one born in the U.S. between 1946 and 1965," the digital dictionary tweeted. "The n-word is one of the most offensive words in the English language."
Lonsberry is a New York native who hosts a conservative radio show, NewsRadio WHAM-AM, in Rochester.
This isn't the first time he's been under fire for controversial comments.
In 2003, he was suspended for comments that were interpreted as a racial slur against Democratic Mayor William Johnson Jr., an African American who was running for local office.
Contributing: Joshua Bote
More:Why are Gen Z and millennials calling out boomers on TikTok? 'OK, boomer,' explained
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View CommentsSours: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/2019/11/05/radio-host-bob-lonsberry-criticized-after-comparing-boomer-n-word/4163037002/
Bob Lonsberry (born July 18, 1959) is an American radio talk show host, columnist, author and conservative.
He has been a newspaper reporter, columnist, photojournalist and editor, as well as a magazine writer and commentator on radio and television and a television reporter and manager. He is the author of "The Early Years," a collection of newspaper columns, as well as a collection of essays, and four short novels.
Lonsberry is a native of Canisteo, New York.
Once using the promotional tagline "The most fired man in Rochester media," Lonsberry hosts two radio talk shows featuring a mix of news, political commentary, callers, and day-to-day anecdotes. One show airs on WHAM (AM) in Rochester, New York from 8 AM to 12 PM ET. The other airs on WSYR (AM) in Syracuse, New York from 3 PM to 6 PM. website.
Lonsberry almost always expresses a conservative opinion about the issues he discusses on his talk shows. Typically, Lonsberry spends most of his shows discussing local and state issues—less frequently discussing national issues. Lonsberry also discusses life and family issues. Lonsberry is married to his third wife. He and his first wife divorced and his second marriage was annulled.
When Lonsberry is absent, progressive talk radio host George Kilpatrick has occasionally filled in for him, a situation that brought Kilpatrick a certain degree of hate mail.
In February 2009, Lonsberry coined the term FUBO and began selling T-shirts and other merchandise with the term at fubowear.com. This term, an acronym for the phrase "F-ck U Barack Obama", is often used on his radio show to express disgust with the actions and policies of the US President. He also promotes NOBO (NO Barack Obama) apparel and accessories.
Controversy, firing, rehiring, and latest firing
While Lonsberry was working as a talk show host for WHAM-Rochester in late 2003, an orangutan had temporarily escaped its cage in Rochester's Seneca Park Zoo. Lonsberry made the comment while monkey sounds played, "a monkey's loose up at the zoo again--and he's running for county executive." He was insinuating that Mayor Johnson was unfit for the position. The two candidates were Maggie A. Brooks, a white woman who was then county clerk, and William A. Johnson, Jr., a black man who was then mayor. Lonsberry never mentioned the three-term mayor by name. WHAM radio said in a statement that "although Mr. Lonsberry expressed a willingness to change, it became obvious to us that he is not embracing diversity."
Lonsberry was later fired from WHAM-AM for the remarks (but not from KNRS, both Clear Channel radio stations). When WHAM ratings in his time slot plunged, he was rehired following completion of sensitivity training. During his absence, many fans of his Rochester show boycotted the station and its sponsors until he was returned to the airwaves.
On June 16, 2010, Lonsberry was fired from KNRS in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he'd hosted show weekdays between 5 AM to 9 AM MT for a decade. In Lonsberry's daily web column, he indicated that the station attributed his firing to his lower listener ratings following the introduction of the Portable People Meter. Lonsberry also suggests that his opposition to Republican primary candidate for US Senate, Mike Lee, a Utah-based attorney whose employer, a law firm whose clients includes one of KNRS's advertisers, may have been a factor in his firing. Lonsberry writes:
- Of course, being suspicious is my stock-in-trade, and the timing of my termination and the stand I’ve been taking on the looming senatorial primary and the fact I’ve been opposing a candidate who made $600,000 from one of our largest advertisers last year, does make me wonder. Strings get pulled in the real world, and politics is hardball, and our program’s effort helped tip the nominating convention, so it’s not impossible that I lost my job in Salt Lake so that somebody else could get a job in Washington.
Lonsberry vocally supported Mike Lee's primary-election opponent, Tim Bridgewater, a businessman and former Chairman of the Utah County Republican Party. The Bridgewater Campaign subsequently pulled all its ads from radio station KNRS.
Interest in Lonsberry's firing from KNRS was high with over a thousand reader comments—several times the normal response—to Lonsberry's weekday blog. Lonsberry fans also started a grassroots listener campaign with the objective of restoring Lonsberry to his position (www.bringbobbacktoutah.com). Lonsberry returned to the Utah airwaves in February 2011 on radio station KLO 1430AM.
On December 20, 2011, Lonsberry announced that he was doing his last morning broadcast on KLO due to an upcoming schedule change at WHAM. Lonsberry no longer broadcasts in the Utah radio market.
While the content of Lonsberry's Rochester and Salt Lake City shows were politically and socially conservative, his approach in two broadcast markets differed due to local content and interests. The former Salt Lake City show was more genteel and included frequent religious references whereas the Rochester show is more raucous and occasionally risqué. (On the WHAM show, Lonsberry frequently mentions his affinity for women's breasts.) Lonsberry broadcasts his Rochester show from the WHAM studio, although he occasionally originates the program from his home.
In November of 2019, Lonsberry was ridiculed online after comparing the word “boomer” to the N-word. The phrase "OK boomer" had been used on the video sharing app TikTok by Generation Z and millennials to show their resentment toward baby boomers.Dictionary.com chimed in on the controversy, noting that "Boomer is an informal noun referring to a person born during a baby boom, especially one born in the U.S. between 1946 and 1965" and "The n-word is one of the most offensive words in the English language."
Lonsberry is a former columnist for the Rochester Times-Union. Lonsberry currently writes a weekday column published on his own website. Lonsberry has also been published in The Washington Times and on the National Rifle Association's website, nra.com.
Lonsberry has authored five books:
Lonsberry was a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) on the Navajo and Hopi reservations in the American Southwest. Lonsberry was excommunicated from the church for bad conduct some time before 2001. Although less frequently than on KNRS, he continues to discuss religious topics on his WHAM show and still considers himself an adherent of Mormonism. He has written in defense of the veracity of the Book of Mormon and of Mormonism's place in broader Christianity. Lonsberry avoids publicly discussing his former membership status in the LDS Church but has often discussed topics related to the church during his radio shows. These religious discussions were frequent on the former Salt Lake City show but are discussed much less often with the Rochester and Syracuse area audiences. As of 2019, Lonsberry's Twitter bio states that he has since reconciled with and rejoined the LDS Church.
- ^Lonsberry, Bob (July 21, 2019). "My run across the Grand Canyon". WHAM. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
- ^"Syracuse's WSYR radio fills Jim Reith's former slot with a two-market personality who vows to keep it local". 4 January 2012.
- ^"bob lonsberry dot com". www.lonsberry.com. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
- ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-12-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- ^Seely, Hart (23 February 2012). "Bob Lonsberry: Listen to him or not, he still makes noise". Syracuse Post Standard.
- ^"Bob lonsberry dot com".
- ^"George Kilpatrick, 'progressive voice' of Syracuse radio, leaves WSYR after 20 years". 30 March 2014.
- ^"Bob lonsberry dot com".
- ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-11-24. Retrieved 2009-01-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2010-03-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- ^ ab"Bob lonsberry dot com".
- ^"Bob lonsberry dot com".
- ^"Sexy films".
- ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-06-21. Retrieved 2010-06-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- ^Herbert, Geoff (2019-11-04). "Radio host Bob Lonsberry says 'boomer' is like N-word, gets ridiculed online". syracuse. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
- ^Moniuszko, Sara M. "Radio host schooled after comparing 'boomer' to N-word; Dictionary.com, more on Twitter react". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
- ^Miller, Ryan C. "Bob Lonsberry compares 'boomer' to N-word, Dictionary.com tells him to watch his language". Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
- ^"YOUR HOST TELLS HIS LAME STORY". Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- ^Column in the Washington TimesArchived October 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- ^Lonsberry, Bob (2011). Santa Monica Christmas [Paperback]. ISBN .
- ^"Bob lonsberry dot com".
- ^ ab"Bob lonsberry dot com".
- ^Famous Mormons in the MediaArchived 2008-04-15 at the Wayback Machine
Silicon Valley did it because it knew it could get away with it.
As Twitter and Facebook, and Google and Apple, moved hard to limit conservative messages on social media, they felt comfortable taking their oppressive and monopolistic actions because they knew no one would hold them accountable.
With the United States Senate falling under Democratic Party control, they knew there would be no congressional committee calling them to account, and they knew the incoming presidential administration would leave them alone.
Because they calculated that the Democrats would put partisan advantage above principle.
Big Tech understood that the Democrats would overlook the draconian silencing of political speech for almost half of Americans because the silencing would be targeted at those who oppose the Democrats and their progressive agenda.
Given the choice between defending the American cultural value of free speech and dissent, or denying their opponents the opportunity to voice disagreement, Big Tech knew that the Democrats would choose their own self-interest.
Further, they knew that publicly demonstrating their allegiance to the progressive cause would probably buy them protection against a Democratic Party that, at least at Bernie Sanders rallies, seems to dislike massive corporations – such as Twitter, Facebook, Google and Apple.
In order to curry favor with the new Washington bosses, Big Tech decided to be first in line to kick the opposition in the head.
The social media and Internet platform companies also knew that their actions would be neither scrutinized nor criticized by the American news media. That’s because the media depends on these companies for access to audience, and because the media, the PR arm of the progressive movement, hates conservatives as much as the Democrats, the political arm of the progressive movement.
And they knew that there would be little pushback because the first person erased from the public sphere would be Donald Trump. A pariah even among some members of his own party, Donald Trump, in the days after the assault on the U.S. Capitol, is loathed by many. Making him disappear would be – and turned out to be – publicly applauded.
But what Trump was was a precedent.
He was the establishing of the corporate power and prerogative to target a person because of politics and remove them from the public square, to delete them from the social media environment which is the Main Street of contemporary America.
Like something out of Orwell, the Soviet Union or China, Trump was disappeared.
And so were a growing number of others, all political conservatives.
And online access was denied to Parler, a company in the marketplace that offered not just another platform for speech, but also a competitive challenge to Twitter.
But it, like Trump, was shut down.
And America is silent.
The organs of the progressive establishment – religion, education, media, entertainment, the bureaucracy – haven’t said a word. The grand crusaders for “civil rights” have decided to take a pass on this one. When they’ve said anything at all, it has been in celebration. The socialists have said this is no concern of government, it is the marketplace, and corporations being good corporate comrades.
But they are wrong.
This the dumbing down of liberty by companies that routinely screw Chinese citizens in order to placate and facilitate their communist masters. This is the extinguishing of free speech in a society which has forgotten how to use the non-digital voices of earlier days. This is the empowering of corporate masters in corrupt partnership with craven politicians.
This is the philosophical genocide of opinions contrary to progressive orthodoxy. This is the digital destruction of people and ideas hated and ridiculed by every Democrat from Joe Biden to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
This is the death knell that ought to alarm every American.
Because today it’s Donald Trump, but tomorrow it’s you.
Today it is conservatives, people whose views have been declared dangerous. But tomorrow it will be others. Others who obstruct or disagree with the assertive power of the progressive-corporate confederacy.
Orwell said that totalitarians curtail speech because they want to curtail thought. If you cannot express dissent, eventually you can’t formulate dissent. Sheep don’t speak, and neither do the pawns of oppressors.
And speech isn’t free if that freedom doesn’t protect speech that offends or disagrees. Pretty words need no protection. America’s legal and cultural commitment to free speech has always been most relevant and most earnestly protected on the fringes.
You don’t have to like Trump. But you do need to love freedom.
Big Tech and its progressive partners hope America will sacrifice the latter to penalize the former.
And the sad thing is, it might be right. It’s certain the machinery of the Democratic Party and the progressive movement has its back.
This isn’t about Trump. This about you.
Our invisible masters have decided that he will be silenced.
And soon they might decide the same thing about you.
Bob the Boomer: Lonsberry’s ageism take goes viral in since-deleted tweet
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester area radio host Bob Lonsberry is known for a lot of things locally, but now when you search his name on the internet, one thing rises above the rest — ok boomer.
Outlets throughout the state, throughout the country, and even throughout the world, are reporting on Lonsberry’s early Monday tweet — that he’s since deleted. Here it is:
Lonsberry compared the word “boomer” as in “baby boomer” to the n-word. Something that the Dictionary did not take kindly to:
Lonsberry hasn’t explained the tweet, apologized for it, or commented on it at all — just deleted it and moved on. Lonsberry has not returned a request for comment from News 8.
The New York Times recently published a report about how millennials and Generation Z members have started saying “OK boomer” as a retort to older generations, but Lonsberry appears to be the first to compare the retort to the n-word.
Despite the deletion, Lonsberry’s take on ageism took on a life of its own. It skyrocketed to the front page of Reddit, and Twitter. It was picked up by every major media outlet, and was mocked incessantly online — so much so that now every time Lonsberry has tweeted since then, he’s received hundreds of replies, in some kind of variation, of “Ok boomer,” even with no context therein.
It would be impossible to isolate all of the replies and mentions, but here are a few examples:
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.
Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.Sours: https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/local-news/bob-the-boomer-lonsberrys-ageism-take-goes-viral-in-since-deleted-tweet/
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