Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bubba the Love Sponge death wish for Schnitt cited at trial

TAMPA — Bubba the Love Sponge Clem called his longtime morning radio rival a "fraud" and "nerd." He called the wife of Todd "MJ" Schnitt a "whore" on air and said he wanted Todd Schnitt dead.

"We seek and destroy," Clem said on his radio show on Oct. 15, 2008. "I will not be happy until I have an MJ funeral in the streets in Tampa, Fla."

And on Feb. 17, 2009, Clem said: "MJ, that's the only person I really want to die, seriously."

The man who was in charge of both Clem's and Schnitt's morning shows at that time testified Thursday, saying he was "stunned" by Clem's February comment.

Daniel DiLoreto, then general manager for Clear Channel, said he thought Clem's statement was an "implied call of action" to his listeners, who call themselves "Bubba's Army."

"Historically we know that Bubba's audience is very passionate and very large and very loyal," DiLoreto testified Thursday. "But you don't know the composition of the audience. We don't know who's listening. We just know that there's a lot of them. And we know they're very involved with the radio show. And that one scared me."

Bubba the Love Sponge is accused of defaming his longtime rival, Schnitt. Schnitt and his wife, Michelle, filed a lawsuit in 2008, accusing Clem of "false, highly offensive and defamatory statements" about them during a feud between the competitive morning radio DJs.

On Cox Radio's WHPT-FM (102.5), Clem targeted Schnitt, the then-top-rated morning guy on his MJ Morning Show at WFLZ-FM (93.3), in what lawyers called a "radio war" for ratings. Clem called Schnitt, among other things, "a lying piece of crap."

Cox was originally sued as well but agreed to a confidential settlement with the Schnitts on Jan. 11.

Clem's attorneys say the DJ's trash talk is free speech and part of shock jock radio.

During cross-examination of DiLoreto, Clem's attorney asked if DiLoreto recalled Clem specifically asking anyone to harm Schnitt.

No, DiLoreto replied.

Bubba the Love Sponge death wish for Schnitt cited at trial 01/17/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 17, 2013 11:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics


    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips


    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.