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Popular St. Louis anchor who complained about IRS harassment after interview with Obama taken off the air

By  Jessica Montoya Coggins

PUBLISHED: 18:09 EST, 17 May  2013 |  UPDATED: 02:57  EST, 18 May 2013

 

A popular news anchor in Missouri has found  himself in the middle of the IRS scandal that is engulfing the Obama White  House.

Larry Conners, a longtime anchor with St.  Louis’s KMOV-TV, penned a Facebook post suggesting the IRS was targeting him and  his family following an interview with President Barack Obama in 2012.

The much-read post has elicited a bevy of  controversy and has resulted with the anchor to be effectively ‘off the  air‘ until further notice.

 

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Following Tuesday’s 5:00 PM broadcast, anchor Larry  Conners offered an explanation of sorts about his Facebook post the previous day  regarding the IRS

dThe Facebook post from Conners dated May 13 has received  over 500 comments and been ‘liked’ over 1,500 times

The Facebook post (which as of the  publication of this article is still intact) from Conners details the events  that followed an interview he conducted with Obama in April of 2012.

‘I don’t accept “conspiracy theories”, but I  do know that almost immediately after the interview, the IRS started hammering  me. At the time, I dismissed the “co-incidence”, but now, I have concerns.’

According to Conners in his Facebook post he  claims that the Obama staffers reacted negatively towards his interview, in  fact, ‘they went cold.’

 

‘I questioned President Obama on several  topics: the [Buffett] Rule, his public remarks about the Supreme Court before  the ruling on the Affordable Care Act. I also asked why he wasn’t doing more to  help Sen. Claire McCaskill who at that time was expected to lose. The Obama  interview caught fire and got wide-spread attention because I questioned his  spending.’

Indeed the interview,  which aired in St. Louis in April 2012 in two segments did show Conners grilling  the President, then up for reelection, quite hard.

When Connors asked Obama if he was ‘out of  touch’ (in relation to his family’s vacations and other pursuits) Obama appeared  quite dismissive.

‘I think most folks understand how hard I  work and the administration works on behalf of the American people.’

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In April of 2012 Conners conducted a one-one-one  interview with President Obama that asked tough questions about the  administration’s spending habits

Promoting the one-on-one interview which  occurred at the White House to KMOV, Conners acknowledged the President  side-stepped his ‘out-of-touch’ question.

Another major component of that interview was  Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat running for Senate reelection in Missouri,  who at the time in spring of 2012 appeared quite vulnerable.

Conners told the audience that McCaskill had  asked for support from the President during her reelection bid but had received  ‘no response.’

During the interview Obama did affirm his  campaign’s commitment to McCaskill but did not offer any concrete ways he was  planning to campaign in Missouri.

McCaskill would go on to reclaim her Senate  seat in large part because of her opponent Todd Akin’s controversial remarks  about pregnancy resulting from a rape.

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Conners had been with KMOV since 1986; he was recently  replaced in the 10:00 PM evening broadcast

On Tuesday Conners closed the early evening  broadcast of KMOV with a direct statement to viewers regarding his Facebook post  on Monday night about the incident with the IRS and the Facebook post discussing  it.

‘At first I need to state those were my  personal views not those of KMOV,’ he began.

Conners continued by saying, ‘My issues with  the IRS preceded that interview by several years. As a journalist I understand  the importance of keeping personal matters separate from my professional work  sometimes you have to do that to retain your independence as a news  man.’

There has not been a definitive return-date  for Conners from his employer.

News Director Sean McLaughlin on Thursday  confirmed that, ‘[Conner’s] not suspended, we just all thought it made sense  [for him] to take a few days off.’

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Tax records with St. Louis county indicate that Conners  and his wife had received a federal tax lien last year

County records from St. Louis, as detailed by  the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, do show that Conners and his wife Janet received a  federal tax lien of $85,000 in ‘small business/self employed taxes.’

The IRS filings show that Conners and his  wife have owed back the money since 2008.

The Belo Corporation, which owns KMOV,  released a statement through the Vice President of Content Michael Valentine.  ‘We don’t condone personal posts that jeopardize the journalistic nature of our  business. It’s really that simple.’

Conners has been with KMOV since 1986 and had  been a co-anchor of their 6:00 PM broadcast. In April he was replaced by Steve  Savard for the 10:00 PM broadcast.

The Facebook post that sparked all this  controversy has been ‘liked’ over 1,500 times and been shared over 1,800 times.  There are currently over 500 comments

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2326432/Popular-St-Louis-anchor-complained-IRS-harassment-interview-Obama-taken-air.html#ixzz2TdEMP4oD Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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