Steven Cohen ends World Soccer Daily after death threats

Posted by - August 22, 2009 - Football videos, Liverpool, Oddballs

Controversial DJ bows out after Hillsborough comments

Radio host Steven Cohen has announced that his show World Soccer Daily will come off the air after internet hate mail directed at his stepchildren. As you read on OTP, Cohen courted controversy in recent months with comments he made about the Hillsborough disaster.

Firstly, OTP cannot and will not condone death threats made to people on the basis of comments made on a football show by their family members regardless of how ignorant his comments were. He was disrespectful and stupid, and arguably deserved to be taken off the air through legitimate channels. But not via a campaign of violent intimidation.

But equally we cannot help but wonder how Cohen feels he can play the family card as he plays the innocent martyr. Yes, what has happened to his family is 100 per cent wrong, but did he give a second of consideration to the families of those who lost their lives at Hillsborough when he made his baseless accusations?

OTP welcomes sensible, non-threatening debate on this.

  • Matteo

    Honestly. I don’t condone for the death threats placed upon the WSD crew and their families. But Steven Cohen should have been pulled off the air after making the comments. In America we have freedom of speech but there is always a line.

    Steven Cohen had no proof to back up his statements and brewed himself a shit storm. The worst part to me is how Cohen has pushed all blame off himself and onto others. It’s the ultimate in irony really. Cohen claims the Liverpool fans won’t take responsibility in any wrong doing at Hillsborough but yet won’t take any responsibility in his own show’s demise. His strong opinion about Liverpool in general beyond Hillsborough was inappropriate for someone running a prominent sports talk show. If Cohen were say Colin Cowherd, Jim Rome, or any other popular sports radio host and said the same thing they would be suspended or fired.

    I will miss the show as through all its flaws it still provided a good listen. They always had great guests who provided a wealth of information on a consistent basis. I would even hope for Kenny and Howard to bring back the show.

  • Joe

    Ian: I appreciate the comments, in all the emotion that’s flying around among some posters it’s difficult for some of us to understand the Hillsborough events and Cohen’s remarks.

    Personally I watched FFF and enjoyed it primarily because it’s one of very few soccer shows on US television that does much in-depth analysis of Premiership and other leagues in Europe. I think this sort of show is valuable for the sport’s growth in this country. However, even as a Chelsea fan, Cohen could annoy me at times and I think Eric Wynalda will be a very good replacement. I also think Wynalda and Nick Webster will be a better fit than Cohen and Webster were.

    But, I do not condone death threats at either Cohen or his family, if you look hard enough you can always find someone, especially on television who’ll make your blood boil. But life will be very bitter indeed if this sort of thing is commonplace.

  • Nikolai

    Was a good show. I do not understand what he said that was so bad. Surely people are not that sensitive but i suppose when you live in the past it can happen. Any way liverpool fc can go have cry and if they need an example rafa will show them how.

  • Paul Beattie

    The show had to go Cohen took it to far. Very unprofessional!

  • Ian G

    I listened to WSD and its podcast daily. I enjoyed the show and the interviews and overlooked the fact that Cohen was a staunch Chelsea fan and a Liverpool hater. It was irritating enough to hear replays of Chelsea games throughout the week on the same Sirius Channel. I wonder who was behind that.

    Cohen was, however, the master of his own demise. Yes, there’s the freedom of speech in America, but that doesn’t mean you can run your mouth and expect no one to challenge you, especially as a boraodcaster. If you call African Americans N—-rs, do expect Al Sharpton to lauch a massive campaign to ban your ass off the air (i.e. Don Imus). If you call every Arab a terrorist, do expect the Arab community to come after you with all they got and remove you from the air, and so on.

    Cohen repeatedly apologized for his comments only to come back and make the same remakrs again, which made his apologies disingenious.

    If one is going to make a claim then one should have facts to back it up. Unfortunately in the US, the theme is that the more you repeat some thing, the more it becomes the truth (i.e. the BS about WMD in Iraq, etc.). Cohen appeared to use the same tactic, to garble out the lies about Liverpool being partially responsible for the Hillsborough enough times so people eventually took it as fact. His ultimate mission was to spread hatred about Liverpool and increase fan support for Chelsea. As a broadcaster, one should be impartial ON THE AIR, and provide a neutral ground for people to make judgements on their own. Look at Bobby McMahon on Fox Soccer News. He, too, is quite insightful and knowledgable, but never has he been partial to any particular team that he may support in private.

    Freedom of speech is quite alive Steven. Some excercised it and got you off the air.

    In all, we all lost. Those of us in the US lost a good show and Steven lost credibility as well as his show. Based on, though, it appears he’s launching a come back.

  • Jay

    Freedom of Speech is alive and well…now at World Football Daily. The Scouser, SS Army thought they had seen the end of WSD…they haven’t. The idea that one’s opinion, right or wrong, could lead to this is unfortunate. Glenn Beck has lost nearly every sponsor he had yet he is no closer to leaving the airwaves. Why? because even with 0 sponsors, he gets 3 million followers to tune in to hear his racist rants. Yes, even a vile individual like Glenn Beck is protected by free speech. His opinions will continue on even with less dollars flowing in from sponsors. Soccer in the country has grown and thanks to ESPN, is on the verge of becoming force in America. (yes, that’s been said before) We all have Steven Cohen and WSD to thank for that. Good luck Steven and Kenny

  • Devon Wilmer

    Hey, Matteo. Get a reality check. Jim Rome, Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh all say things, on a daily basis, that are objectively a hundred times more offensive than Cohen ever said about Liverpool. No one boycotts. No one screams they have no right to be on the air. No one threatens them.

    Cohen was wildly insensitive, no doubt. But the suggestion that Hillsborough, 20 years on, is somehow so sanctified that it alone, among ALL topics, cannot be the subject of debate or discussion is malarkey. Personally, I think the facts that have come out have shown that Cohen’s opinion — that Scousers without tickets rushing onto the grounds bore a shared responsibility for the fatalities — is simply wrong. But he has no right to voice that opinion? That’s Fascistic and loony, and those who urge it ought to be ashamed.

  • Matteo

    I agree he has a right to say whatever he wants. But he can’t have expected to say what he said and not see some backlash. My major thing with this whole dilemma was he chose to quit. He never had to stop the show. He never lost his freedom of speech. Glenn Beck I’m sure receives more death threats than Cohen. Beck chooses to go on because he chooses to. Cohen choose to quit WSD.

    You can’t honestly say that Howard Stern never got boycotted. He left national radio to go to Sirius because of all the headache the FCC and boycotters were causing.
    Rush Limbaugh made racially offensive comments about Donovan McNabb and lost his job on ESPN.

    Those guys have websites dedicated to people wanting them to be taken off the air. They have millions of listeners and millions of detractors. They will go on and so will Steven Cohen now with WFD.

  • http://hotmail declan

    I am from Sheffield and am a life-long (and log-suffering) Sheffield Wednesday fan.
    I have a huge amount of sympathy for those who died at Hillsborough and their families.
    And I fully accept that the policing of the game was pathetic.
    I have personally seen Liverpool fans using various means to get into Hillsborough without tickets at games in the seasons 2 and 3 years after the tragedy.
    Whilst it doesn’t make the tragedy any less, and it doesn’t meant the tragedy was their fault, Liverpool fans clearly need to be a little less defensive – they are not all faultless.

  • Berbs9

    Cohen is a hothead and says says dumb things. If he believes that’s what happened who’s to say he can’t have an opinion. I don’t think it was right and I agree he should’ve done some research, but it was all taken a bit far. But then again, people wax their opinions of 9-11, JFK, etc etc on TV and radio everyday w/o research and people don’t boycott and ruin them. Limbaugh slanders every minority in this country and he’s still around. Way to kill one of the few and far between voices on footy that we had in the US….congrats to all of you. No more WSD and FFF has turned to complete junk with that smacker Wynalda. Nick is still Nick but he was always the Yes man.

  • charles

    after internet hate mail directed at his stepchildren.

    Ok, so aside from the fact that no criminal report has been filed and no evidence that these emails even exist. It has been reported (on many sources) that the contact was via facebook. You have to be at least 14 if not 18 to have an account, so Cohen lets his 8 & 12yr old have a facebook account. Does he not know of “To catch a Predator?” To contact them by IM on facebook you’d have to be a friend, so the contact would have to be via other facebook avenues.

    Except these are his stepchildren and have different surnames, so could someone please explain how anyone found them, let alone contacted them?

    I smell a rat.