Vigil or Protest?

FRESNO, Calif.

The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee organized a gathering in front of the KMJ radio studios last night. People lined Shaw Avenue, holding posters with names of the victims. But others also held signs with messages to KMJ and its listeners.

Organizers claim the shootings should serve as a reminder that politically heated words have consequences.

"One of the first things I thought of when I heard of the shooting in Arizona was, oh, how sad, how terrible it is that it happened, but it made me think of the current political discussions that we hear on radio and on television," said Daniel Luna of Fresno.

KMJ management pointed to the fact that so far, authorities do not believe the gunman's actions had anything to do with politics.

In a phone interview, KMJ President and General Manager Patty Hixson said, "To suggest we are the instigators of hate is to suggest our listeners are, too. Obviously, we reject this unfair, simplistic assumption as nothing more than irresponsible rhetoric.

Just down the sidewalk, KMJ supporters held a counter demonstration. They rejected any connection between the shooting and the station.

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