“…Closer to home, less dramatic but as yet unresolved, is the case of popular conservative radio host Andrew Lawton of London, Ontario’s AM980 (who has very competently interviewed me a number of times). On Feb. 2 Andrew remarked on Facebook that a “push poll” was trying to paint Londoners as homophobic. He then posted the annual number of sexual-orientation crimes in Canada: 185, followed by the catalytic remark: “Number of HIV/AIDS infections from men having sex with men in Canada per year: 1450 – Who is the real enemy?” The question was interpreted as homophobic — it was at the least ill-considered — and even though Andrew published a clarifying statement of regret on Feb. 3, a Twitter campaign sprang into action, hashtagged #fireandrewlawton.
On Feb. 4 Andrew was suspended “for at least the rest of [the] week.” Not good enough! Mobbers descended on a show sponsor, which refused the bait (to their credit). Pressure continued. It was announced that Andrew was now suspended until Feb. 23. A Facebook counter-campaign by Andrew’s supporters was launched: “Bring back Andrew Lawton,” followed by a counter-counter Facebook page, “Keep Lawton off the air.” Petitions on both sides were mounted. One supporter sent repeated emails to station manager, Nathan Smith, asking for a link to the “social media policies” and “broadcast standards” that Smith had mentioned in his statement of suspension. He had no response. I asked Mr. Smith for an interview. No response.“