Mississippi radio CEO issues statement on hiring of controversia - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Mississippi radio CEO issues statement on hiring of controversial DJ

Source: Delta Radio Source: Delta Radio
Source: Facebook Source: Facebook

David Mueller, the radio DJ found guilty of groping Taylor Swift, has landed a new job co-hosting a morning show in Greenwood, Mississippi, the Daily News reports.

Mueller, who previously went by "Jackson," but will now appear on-air as "Stonewall Jackson" and co-host "Jackson and Jonbob" on 92.7 KIX, according to Rolling Stone

Delta Radio's website no longer has any mention of the title "Stonewall", but it is still in the site URL

"I sat down with him face-to-face in Minneapolis before I offered him the job and talked to him about it. He's either the world's best liar, or he's telling the truth. I tend to believe his version of the story and most people who have talked to him face-to-face do believe his version of the story," said Delta Radio CEO Larry Fuss in an interview with the Daily News.

In a Facebook post, Fuss issued another statement on the controversial hiring. 

Over the past several days, I have received many e-mails and phone calls regarding my decision to hire David Mueller at KIX-92.7. Although I welcome rational, adult conversations, 99% of the calls and e-mails were vile, vulgar, profanity-laden and juvenile. It’s hard to take people seriously when their complaints are nothing but F-word laden tirades. We have also had death threats and bomb threats since this controversy began. This affects all our staff members, all of whom are just trying to do their jobs. I don’t know Taylor Swift myself, but I imagine she would be appalled if she knew her fans were behaving like this. In fact, I remember reading she had put it all behind her and moved on.

I don’t expect this message will sway the opinion of many, but we all make mistakes. We pick ourselves up and we move on. Mr. Mueller still maintains his innocence and since none of us were standing behind him and Ms. Swift when the incident occurred, none of us can speak conclusively as to what happened. Mr. Mueller has been out-of-work for almost 5-years and wants to move on with his life. Although I understand and respect the opinion of people who don’t agree with my hiring decision, I believed I was doing the right thing by giving Mr. Mueller the opportunity to restart his career. There was nothing more to it than that. I expected a little bit of publicity in the trade press, which is normal when a radio station hires a new high-profile announcer, but I never expected the vicious attacks I have been receiving. Many have chosen to make this about themselves because they were beaten by an ex-boyfriend or molested by a family member. To those people, I am terribly sorry for their ordeals, but I fail to see how that has anything to do with Mr. Mueller or with me.

Many of the tirades I received are factually inaccurate. People are calling Mr. Mueller “a convicted rapist”, “a pedophile”, “ a convicted felon” and making other such false accusations. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but I know people who have had their lives ruined by false accusations. To that point, whether Mr. Muller did or did not grope Taylor Swift is not the issue. The issue now is the continuing libelous and slanderous attacks on him by people who are making up their own versions of what happened. To those who continue making accusations, perhaps you should be aware of certain facts:

• David Mueller was not “convicted” of sexual assault. In fact, he was not “convicted” of anything. A judgment was issued against Mr. Mueller in a civil trial. A judgment is NOT a conviction, as many have alleged. Civil trials carry a far lower burden of proof than criminal trials, and since there was no evidence actually showing Mr. Mueller’s hand on Ms. Swift’s buttocks, it came down to one inconclusive photo and a “he said, she said” situation. A seemingly star-struck jury chose to believe Ms. Swift’s version of the story. I did not call her a liar, as some have alleged. However, as many others have observed, her account of the story simply did not add up.

• As a result of the civil trial, Mr. Mueller was ordered to pay Ms. Swift $1.00. He did. The allegations that he hasn’t done so are blatantly false.

• Mr. Mueller is not a registered sexual offender, as some have alleged. He was not convicted of any criminal charge. In fact, there were no criminal charges filed against him.

• Mr. Mueller is not a child-molester or rapist, as some have alleged. He was not charged, tried, or convicted of any sex crime.

• Mr. Mueller is not a convicted felon, as some have alleged. There was no felony charge, no criminal trial, and therefore no conviction.

• Mr. Mueller passed two polygraph tests prior to the trial. Although inadmissible in court, both tests indicated his version of the story was truthful.

• Mr. Muller did not change his name to conceal his identify, as some have alleged. For well over a decade, he has been known on-air as “Jackson,” including while working at KYGO in Denver. It is not uncommon for radio people to use pseudonyms. We jokingly referred to him as “Stonewall”, but he has not and will not use that name on-air. He’s simply “Jackson”.”

• Several people have commented that Mr. Mueller has failed to express remorse for what he did. Since he steadfastly maintains his innocence, why would he be expected to express remorse?

• It is extremely difficult to find talented, experienced radio people who are willing to work in our area of Mississippi for what we can afford to pay them. Perhaps it is I who am taking advantage of Mr. Mueller’s situation by giving him a job at a station in a small-town in Mississippi and paying him far less than he was making in Denver. Time will tell.

Although I certainly don’t condone sexual predators, there is no hard evidence that Mr. Mueller is a “sexual predator.” He had never been accused of or charged with any such behavior prior to the Taylor Swift incident, nor has he been accused of anything in the nearly 5-years since. I sat down and talked with him face-to-face on several occasions before I hired him, something none of the people who called or e-mailed have done. He’s a genuinely nice guy who wants nothing more than to entertain people on the radio. Yes I do have a wife, two daughters, 4 granddaughters, as well as several nieces, so I know where many of you are coming from, but attempting to crucify the man and deny him the right to ever work again is out of line. However, I get the impression many of those who contacted me wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less than the death penalty.

Several have commented that, in his new position, Mueller will again be in a position to prey upon women. However, if he really were a sexual predator, he could do that no matter where he was working or in what field he was working. His position at a small-town radio station in Mississippi is nothing like being on a radio station in a major city. To those who have expressed concern about the female members on our staff, none of them seem worried about it. In fact, one lady told me today that although her daughter is a Taylor Swift fan, neither she nor her daughter cared one way or another. You can rest assured that Mr. Mueller will be watched closely by everyone involved and will be fired immediately if any such incident occurs in the future. In the meantime, I will not be intimidated by threats.

Those in the broadcast industry have been much more supportive, including this unsolicited comment from a prominent industry leader: “Good for you for giving a radio guy a second chance to rebuild his career. If any of us were fired for something questionable we may or may not have done and then never been given another chance, we all be selling shoes, cars or working in a factory or a grocery store. Forgiveness is giving him a second chance.” There’s also this message from a former listener in Denver: “Thank you for hiring him! I don’t know him but I live in Denver and I never believed for a minute he was lying. There are articles all over today about what you did and I, for one, think it is awesome. We cannot allow this to take this man’s livelihood away and I have felt for him since the day this came out. Thank you for being a critical thinker, thank you for not going with the status quo, thank you for making what I am sure is an unpopular decision.” There was many others as well, and no, I didn’t make these quotes up, but I can’t disclose who they are because they don’t want to be bombarded with nasty comments.

To the person who started the harassment campaign on Facebook (you know who you are), I have reported you to Facebook and have also asked my attorney to pursue charges against you for inciting harassment as well as malicious interference in my company’s relationship with our advertisers. Yes, it’s a real thing. You could also be guilty of inciting violence if any of those who made threats against me and my family actually follow through on those threats. The death threats have been reported to the police and the bomb threats have been reported to the FBI.

Because I don’t have the time or the patience to engage in continuing debate on this matter, this is the only statement I will make. Any replies will not be answered and any negative posts will be deleted from our Facebook page. Plus, any future threats will be reported to the appropriate authorities. Mr. Mueller has paid the $1.00 he was ordered to pay by the court and has moved on with his life.

Swift accused Mueller of grabbing her butt during a backstage meet-and-greet in 2013. Mueller sued Swift in 2015 for $3 million, claiming the accusations were false and cost him his Denver radio job. Swift then countersued him for assault and battery. 

After Swift testified at the trial, Mueller was forced to pay $1, a symbolic amount chosen by Swift. 

Mueller denies groping Swift. 

"My hand came into contact with part of her body," Mueller said at the trial. "I felt what appeared to be a ribcage or rib."

Swift saying in court papers he “intentionally reached under her skirt, and groped with his hand an intimate part of her body in an inappropriate manner, against her will, and without her permission.”

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