Denver radio legend Steve Kelley’s retirement last month from KNUS 710-AM made some news, but less noticed was the quiet shuffling off the air of Krista Kafer, who was Kelley’s KNUS co-host on the Kelley & Kafer show.
KNUS’s decision not to offer Kafer her own show, or pair her with someone else, was disappointing to me, because she frequently took less conservative stances than her fellow hosts. This enraged KNUS listeners, which made for fun listening.
For example, she endured months of radio attacks and anger for being a NeverTrumper, and she wasn’t shy about her stance. Sometimes she’d interject something about her garden, which spoke to me personally, and then she’d get back to a calm dissection of Trump or to something else, like a defense of the basic civil rights of Muslims.
I hope Kafer wasn’t pushed off the air because she wasn’t conservative enough for KNUS, but the fact that station manager Brian Taylor didn’t return my call doesn’t help quell my suspicions. To be clear, Kafer is super conservative, so it’s not like she was such an outcast there. But the duo who replaced here, Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden, is far more conservative, especially Bonniwell. And they don’t elicit the same right-wing anger on air.
I was reminded of Kafer this weekend because she showed her guts and independence by writing a Denver Post column linking the Taylor Swift trial to her own experience being sexually harassed by a “syndicated columnist and cable news contributor.” A while back, on the radio, Kafer referred to him as a FOX News contributor whom she met when she volunteered at a conference.
Kafer wrote this weekend:
Some years ago when I was a technical writer with aspirations, I met a well-known syndicated columnist and cable news contributor at an event. He agreed to talk with me after his speech about my writing prospects. Advice over coffee! I was grateful and excited about the possibilities.
When I saw him at the post-speech reception, he didn’t ask me to sit and talk; he asked me up to his room. Completely stunned, I mumbled something vague and walked away. At 11:30 p.m. he called. I let it go to voicemail. When was I coming up, he asked. Bewildered and ashamed, I didn’t call him back. The incident hit me harder than the time a D.C. lobbyist slapped my butt.
Two months later the man called me and suggested that I’d misconstrued his invitation. Giving him the benefit of the doubt I suggested we have that coffee when I went to D.C. the next week. He wasn’t interested. He just wanted to know if I’d told anyone about the invitation to his room.
That’s pretty close to a mea culpa, but what am I to do with it? What he did wasn’t illegal. He has money, lawyers and prestige. What little I have can be taken from me. Plus my accusation would rouse a torrent of wrath from his supporters, who would accuse me of making it up or causing it to happen. Once again I would be objectified.
Wouldn’t you like to hear more of that kind of talk on KNUS?