Latinos Launch “Take John and Ken off the Air” Campaign
Greg Ashlock, the President and Market Manager of KFI and Clear Channel’s other seven Los Angeles radio stations, has called off a meeting he had scheduled for today with local and national Latino leaders to discuss the hate speech targeting Latinos on the “John and Ken Show.” Latino leaders were surprised and disappointed with the Clear Channel representative’s unwillingness to address the concerns of the Latino community. Clear Channel’s refusal to face Latino leaders for a civil conversation about the ramifications of John and Ken’s actions has left NHMC and its allies with no choice but to ask the show’s advertisers to cease their support.
Yesterday afternoon, the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s President and CEO, Alex Nogales, received a surprise phone call from Mr. Ashlock, cancelling the meeting he himself had scheduled and widely publicized on KFI’s website.
“This cancellation is only one incident in Clear Channel and KFI’s disappointing pattern of disregard for the Latino community. Clear Channel and KFI have proven that they are hate profiteers. Their refusal to face the music regarding John and Ken’s egregious behavior shows us that they are not concerned with the people they harm but only their bottom line. This is not the kind of response we would expect from responsible broadcasters. By their actions, Clear Channel and KFI have sent a strong message – they have blessed John and Ken’s hate-filled rants while at the same time demonstrated their complete disregard to serving the Los Angeles community,” states Alex Nogales, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
The National Hispanic Media Coalition is leading the outreach to advertisers of the “John and Ken Show,” many of which are not even aware that their advertising dollars are supporting hate speech against Latinos on the radio. The advertisers that NHMC and its allies will be connecting with on behalf of the Latino community nationwide are as follows:
Call to Action
The National Hispanic Media Coalition is asking the Latino community to join in the “Take John and Ken off the Air” Campaign. Supporters are asked to call and write letters to Clear Channel, parenting company of KFI, as well as to join an online petition. Find all the information on NHMC.org
Origins of this Campaign
For years John and Ken have created an atmosphere of hate and intolerance in Los Angeles, with their incendiary rhetoric legitimizing violence and discrimination against people of color and others. John and Ken habitually use unsubstantiated claims, divisive language, flawed argumentation and dehumanizing metaphors to shock and anger their audience. All too often this sparks violent behavior from John and Ken’s listeners.
The most recent example of John and Ken at their worst is their attacks on CHIRLA and its representative, Jorge-Mario Cabrera. On September 1st John and Ken began ranting about CHIRLA’s support for the California DREAM Act. The duo provided Mr. Cabrera’s office and personal cell phone numbers and encouraged their listeners to call and harass him. Mr. Cabrera proceeded to receive over 450 abusive and threatening calls. Many of the callers repeated John and Ken’s exact words, and then wished death upon Mr. Cabrera and/or threatened his physical safety. And indeed, many callers directly referenced John and Ken in their nasty messages.
Hate crimes against people of color are on the rise, as are the number of hate groups. Last year hate crimes against Latinos in California increased by nearly 50%. According to statistics from the Southern Poverty Law Center, hate groups are increasing at alarming rates in the country. A shocking sixty eight hate groups reside in California alone, many of which are in KFI AM’s listening area.
For samples of John and Ken’s incendiary rhetoric and of the calls Jorge-Mario Cabrera received, please click here.
The National Hispanic Media Coalition is a non-partisan, non-profit, media advocacy and civil rights organization established in 1986 in Los Angeles, California. Its mission is to improve the image of American Latinos as portrayed by the media, increase the number of American Latinos employed in all facets of the media and telecommunications industries, and advocate for media and telecommunications policies that benefit Latinos and other people of color. Learn more at www.nhmc.org.