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Thursday, February 09, 2006

KFI - More Hypocritical Talk Radio 


If you were listening to KFI yesterday afternoon, you heard their promos. In essence, there promos can be paraphrased as follows:


KFI defends the First Amendment.

The First Amendment includes listening to unpopular views.



Obviously the implication is that KFI will not refrain from broadcasting something just because it's controversial. This doesn't mean that they're going to broadcast expletive-laden tirades, or that they're going to engage in libel over the air. However, it certainly implies that they will not back down from talking about something just because someone would be offended over it.

Meanwhile, KFI on-air talent loves to point out how many other journalistic outlets DO back down. John Kobylt and John Ziegler in particular engage in this game. Here are some of the points that they've made recently regarding the Danish cartoon issue:
  • Forget about looking to the Los Angeles Times for true coverage about the Danish cartoon affair.

  • In fact, forget about looking to most U.S. newspapers for true coverage about the Danish cartoon affair. Even though the Danish cartoons are a legitimate news item, most papers here refuse to print them.

  • Other than the blogosphere, talk radio in general and KFI in particular are the only source of legitimate information about the Danish cartoon issue.

  • Why is this so? Because the MSM is afraid of offending anyone. KFI isn't.

Oh really?

Perhaps the afternoon and evening staff of KFI should cover this story (emphasis mine):
  • Which mainstream media outlet reprimanded one of its on-air personalities for engaging in First Amendment expression?

  • Which mainstream media organization issued the following statement from its regional vice president? "We would like to offer a sincere apology...for recent comments airing on our station....[The station] does not condone making light of the deaths of people engaged in religious observances....On this particular program, we crossed the line in reporting the...incident in an insensitive manner. We have discussed the content and timing of this 'bit' extensively with [the on-air personality] and his crew and are confident that everyone now understands the gravity of the situation."


Well, if you've been paying attention to this blog [1] [2] and other sources, you know that it's Clear Channel's KFI itself - the self-proclaimed champion of the First Amendment - that is reprimanding its staff for being "insensitive."

Now I have no problem with KFI implementing a standards policy for its broadcasters. Frankly, each of us implement our own standards policy - most if not all people who live within a society practice TOTALLY free speech, and most if not all people who live within Western society do not engage in all LEGAL free speech. (Even Harry Belafonte hasn't called Colin Powell the spawn of Satan - yet.) For example, I have reproduced portions of John Cleese's eulogy of Graham Chapman twice in this blog, and each time I have refrained from printing one particular word (rhymes with "duck") that Cleese spoke in his eulogy. And it's perfectly legal for me to type that word in a blog, and I don't think that Google would close my blog over it. (Plus, I've already used the word at least twice in this blog, and it hasn't been closed yet.)

However, I do have a problem with KFI implementing such standards and pretending like they haven't. In fact, attempts to bolster their listenership by claiming to be something that they're not borders on fraud:


something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage

In the broadest sense, a fraud is a deception made for personal gain...

The intentional and successful employment of cunning, deception, collusion; or artifice used to cheat or deceive another person whereby that person acts upon it...

The act of leading a person to believe something which you know to be false in a situation where you know the person will rely on that thing to their detriment.



Even if it doesn't quite meet the legal definition of fraud, it does meet the definition of hypocrisy. (KFI - more hypocritical talk radio?)

But let's see what others are saying. From Little Green Footballs:


In January, radio host Bill Handel was attacked by the Council on American-Islamic Relations for a comedy bit about this year’s Mecca stampede. At first, Handel and his station KFI seemed to be standing up to the radical Islamic front group....

Today they caved in....



Iowa Voice doesn't believe the CAIR press release:


Iowa Voice has received a press release from Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR. Mr. Hooper claims that Handel has apologized for mocking the Hajj and received a written reprimand from the station.

I've seen Mr. Hooper spin on O'Reilly's show many times. Personally, I don't believe a word the man says or prints. I have not been able to independently verify any of Mr. Hooper's Press Release.



Super Fun Power Hour blames Handel (though I suspect that Clear Channel and/or KFI forced his hand):


After a tough stand for his First Amendment rights, LA radio host Bill Handel gave in to the extortionate demands of CAIR....

Handel had refused to apologize until CAIR did the following:

1. Decries all acts of terror (described specifically, not generally)
2. Agrees that Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to defensible borders
3. CAIR has no ties of any sort, financially or otherwise, to any terror orgs or individiuals.

I don't think they did any of those things so I wonder what might have changed his mind....

[at this point the blog includes a picture of protestors with signs saying "Exterminate Those Who Slander Islam" and the like]

Hmmmmmmmmmm....



JammedGun cites this as yet another example of Western appeasement:


Westerners Is Our Name Appeasement Is Our Game!

Does anyone remember where Augustine of Hippo (Saint Augustine) hailed from? Well, Hippo, of course, but where WAS Hippo? Hippo was located in North Africa. North Africa was once considered solidly Christian. However, the Christians of North Africa decayed from within. When the desert raiders of Islam rode into town in the seventh or eight century, they put up little to no resistance. The denizens of North Africa chose to switch rather than fight – and die. The once Christian region of North Africa became solidly Muslim and has remained so ever since.

Why the history lesson? Because we (in the West) are in danger of falling into the same appeasement trap into which our brethren in North Africa fell.

Why do I say this? Because the headlines today are RIFE with examples of Western appeasement of the demands of an ever-inflexible and unreasonable Islam....

Example #3:
Bill Handel, KFI, and the despicable Clear Channel cave to the demands of the ever-inflexible asshats of CAIR. (Hat tip: lgf.)



Dhimmi Watch wonders what happened:


KFI's formerly courageous stand has for some reason collapsed into dhimmitude. I would like to know how CAIR pulled this one off; was it the mere threat of a lawsuit, or something else?


Dhimmi Watch then compares KFI's initial comments on CAIR's protest with its more recent ones:


The difference was that in [the first statement] they added: "KFI does not censor its hosts, nor does it tell them what to say or not to say. KFI is a strong and passionate believer in 1st amendment rights and that is at the very core of this radio station." I guess that isn't true anymore.


Dhimmi Watch ends:


[Clear Channel Regional Vice President Greg] Ashlock, don't be a dope. This has nothing to do with race. This is all about intimidation and the destruction of free speech.


Waiting for those "KFI - More Hypocritical Talk Radio" promos...

[OE 3/19/2006: See the Graham Chapman eulogy here.]

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

Comments:
This is good:

"0 Results containing: first amendment"
 
This is interesting:

Like a lot of people, I think our country is in trouble. Fundamental issues about war and social equity are largely ignored by the main stream media.

I decided I had to do something about it, for myself and my family's sake, and set out to create a series of thirty second audio recordings, Issue Ads to frame basic questions about our country. With the help of my wife and several like minded friends I produced seven "Paid Radio Moments," and contacted WGY, the big AM radio station in Albany, New York. It should be no surprise that WGY is a Clear Channel station.

Through an advertising representative I set up a schedule and gave them my credit card authorizing a $710.00 charge. Believe me, that's a lot of money for me and my wife. The plan was to put six of the ads on the morning drive program over two days and end with the "Christianity Spot" on Rush Limbaugh's program.

Within minutes of sending the audio files to the Clear Channel I was informed by e-mail that my issue ads were rejected by the programming staff. I wrote back to Clear Channel twice. I asking for an explanation as to why the ads were rejected. Was it a specific ad? Was it specific language? So far, I have received no answer. A newspaper reporter from the Schenectady Daily Gazette called WGY and requested a reason for the rejection of my ads. He also asked if they had a company policy on advertising. He also received no answers.
 
This is funny:

Caton, as I'm sure you know, is the head of the Florida Family Association. For years, he campaigned against Howard Stern's X-rated rantings on an Orlando radio station owned by the ever-responsible media behemoth Clear Channel - the same company that let the dearly departed Bubba thrive in Tampa for so long.

Caton used a tried-and-true method. He went after Stern's advertisers. It worked. Between 1995 and 2001, he persuaded nearly 500 sponsors to cancel, he says.

But a dozen or so others didn't comply. Caton turned up the heat.

He wrote them letters, warning that if they didn't drop advertising on Stern, he would circulate fliers to hundreds of people who owned businesses or homes nearby. The fliers declared the sponsors supported pornography. The fliers even included the home address of whoever owned the company doing the advertising. Anybody so inclined could write a letter, even come knocking, to let the sponsor know just how they felt.

One of the sponsors, a man who owned a Ford dealership, and Clear Channel sued Caton in February 2001. They won in a heartbeat. An Orange County judge issued a temporary injunction against him.

The judge declared that Caton's First Amendment rights were outweighed by those of the businessman and Clear Channel. He ruled that Caton's claims about pornography were false and defamatory; that the fliers put the lives and property of Caton's targets in danger; and that Clear Channel's business relationships were also damaged. He called Caton's actions extortion....

Then last month, Clear Channel got religion. Facing fat fines over Bubba, the company canned him. It dropped Stern's show from the half-dozen company stations that aired it.

Caton celebrated. On Feb. 26, he went live on MSNBC to talk about Bubba, Stern and Clear Channel. Bingo! The next day, Clear Channel filed new papers in the 3-year-old lawsuit. The company demanded that Caton spell out why he believed Stern was pornographic. The suit was suddenly alive again....
 
This is self-referential:

About a week back, I did a post honoring KFI AM Los Angeles radio talk-show host Bill Handle with the IBA Golden Balls Award.

What a mistake. The guy caved, as we detailed here yesterday. Still, though, friggin' KFI are billing themselves as champions of Free Speech in an ongoing series of spots.

Have they no shame?

As Howard Stern's father always said, "Shut up! Sit down!"

Here in an article from Ontario Empoblog we get the scoop on KFI's astounding hypocrisy...


Also see this. And this.
 
This is an interesting concept:

Why did Bill Handel apologize???????

TO KEEP THE STORY ALIVE!

Bill Handel and the good folks at KFI understand better than anyone that their is no such thing as bad press....

 
This is interesting, especially when you consider that Handel's so-called "right wing" credentials include support for socialized medicine, and when you consider that most of the local KFI staff oppose Bush on the illegal immigration issue:

Lest anyone think that the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten has the market cornered on tasteless anti-Muslim provocation, we have to look no farther than Clear Channel Media’s right-wing Los Angeles talk radio station KFI, whose host, Bill Handel, mocked the Muslims killed in a Mecca stampede during Hajj this year....

After the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights group demanded an apology from Handel and KFI, our right-wing friends at Little Green Footballs were up in arms. They urged both to stand fast against the “radical Islamic front group” (whose leader, Ibrahim Hooper, meets with George Bush and is consulted by the White House on matter related to the U.S. Muslim community).

I guess LGF doesn’t carry enough juice though because Clear Channel and Handel “caved to CAIR” as Charles Johnson’s headline whined. Clear Channel took a look at those burning Danish diplomatic buildings in Lebanon and Syria and decided that discretion was the better part of valor. Not to mention, they might’ve been afraid of an FCC license challenge by CAIR when KFI’s license came up for renewal.

If anyone cares to hear a juvenile right-wing bigot eat crow on air, you may listen to Handel’s apology....

Does anyone want to argue that mimicking the screams of dying Muslims on air exemplifies one of those sacred rights of freedom of speech that our country was founded to uphold?

LGF also denigrates CAIR as a “fringe Islamic group.” One has to wonder whether Johnson has any idea of American-Muslim groups and whether there are any he would find mainstream or acceptable to his way of thinking? And if CAIR is a fringe radical front group does that make the Anti-Defamation League (a comparable American-Jewish group) the same within the Jewish world?...

 
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