The woodpecker must die!

That was the caption that got morning radio hosts Corey Deitz and Jay Hamilton suspended from the "Corey and Jay Show" in Little Rock, Arkansas. The pair had posted a cartoon on the show's website. This AP story strongly hints that Clear Channel Communications, owner of the hosts' station, did not take kindly to the gesture. They were kicked off the air for one day, which led National Review's Stanley Kurtz to ask, "Is nature our new religion, then? Or, to put the question in a slightly different way, can a woodpecker be the victim of hate speech?" Yeah, yeah, I know, what some GetReligion readers must be thinking right now: There go those wacky conservatives -- turning over rocks in search of Gaia worship. OK but consider two things:

1) The hosts have a record of actually being kind to some animals (go to the website to read of their participation in the recent "Eat a Dog -- Save a Dog" fundraiser for the local Humane Society).

2) The local news has gone absolutely nutso over the April sighting of the ivory-billed woodpecker, which had been thought extinct. Take a look at this story archive for KATV Channel 7. It's become an animal obsession of Ron Burgundyesqe proportions.

Please respect our Commenting Policy