Squawk Radio

From The Boston Globe:

Talk show host Jay Severin offered a “sincere apology” today for “hurtful, unkind, and wrong” remarks he made about Mexicans in the midst of the swine flu panic, vowing to do better as he returned to the air on Boston’s WTKK-FM following a month-long suspension.


WTKK suspended the right-wing talk show host on April 30 after he described Mexicans as “primitives” and “leeches” and called Mexico an exporter of “women with mustaches and VD,” among other comments.

Original DVD cover.

(Clockwise from bottom left:  Laura Ingraham, Rob Williams, Arnie States, King Rush Limbaugh, Hal Turner, Jay Severin)

From the Kansas City Star:

Internet radio host Hal Turner — accused of inciting Catholics to “take up arms” and singling out two Connecticut lawmakers and a state ethics official on a Web site — was taken into custody in New Jersey late Wednesday after state Capitol police in Connecticut obtained a warrant for his arrest.

Turner, who has been identified as a white supremacist and anti-Semite by several anti-racism groups, hosts an Internet radio program with an associated blog. On Tuesday, the blog included a post that promised to release the home addresses of state Rep. Michael Lawlor, state Sen. Andrew McDonald and Thomas Jones of the State Ethics Office.


[Capitol Police Chief Michael J. Fallon said, “Turner]  is inciting others through his Web site to commit acts of violence and has created fear and alarm. He should be held accountable for his conduct.”

The remarks on the blog were a reaction to the recent controversy over a Connecticut bill that would have changed the way the Roman Catholic Church is governed, taking power away from church officials and turning it over to lay members.


Last week, the controversy flared again when the Diocese of Bridgeport filed a federal lawsuit against state ethics officials, who are investigating whether church officials violated lobbying laws by organizing a rally at the state Capitol to protest the measure earlier this spring and not registering as lobbyists.

Here are some remarks from Turner’s website:

    It is our intent to foment direct action against these individuals personally. These beastly government officials should be made an example of as a warning to others in government: Obey the Constitution or die.If any state attorney, police department or court thinks they’re going to get uppity with us about this, I suspect we have enough bullets to put them down, too.

Turner has been branded a racist by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. Elsewhere on the blog, the recent fatal shooting of a Kansas abortion provider [George Tiller] is called “a righteous act.”

The Diocese of Bridgeport condemned any calls for violence and the use of hateful language.

From KCRA:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Some Sacramento DJs are drawing fire after controversial comments.

Hosts Rob Williams and Arnie States made some noise on the “Rob, Arnie and Dawn in the Morning” show on 98.5 KRXQ with comments about the transgender community and children.

Last Thursday during the show, Williams said, “A boy that wears a dress is a freak. He’s a nut.”

They also described the transgender movement in America as phony.

States said, “God forbid if my son put on a pair of high heels, I would probably hit him with one of my shoes.”


Dr. Carol Milazzo of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, also known as PFLAG, said she works with transgender children and that the comments could lead to a violent reaction.


KRXQ’s station manager defended the DJs.

“The show is filled with hyperbole and they use exaggerations to make a point,” Jim Fox said.

Fox said the station will clarify comments on Wednesday’s radio broadcast, but did not say if the station or the DJs will issue an apology.

From Joan Walsh at Salon:

The puffy blowhards of right-wing radio had a love fest Wednesday night, just before President Obama’s historic speech to the Muslim world from Cairo University. Rush Limbaugh and his fanboy Sean Hannity fumed that Obama is turning the U.S. socialist, and fascist, and that’s not all:

“If al Qaeda wants to demolish the America we know and love, they better hurry, because Obama’s beating them to it,” Limbaugh told fanboy Hannity. And when Hannity tried to suggest naughty liberals had twisted Limbaugh’s comments about hoping Obama fails, “which wasn’t what you said,” Limbaugh disagreed. “I don’t hide from it. I do want and I still want Obama to fail… I define America succeeding by virtue of Obama failing. I love America!”

Got that? The most influential man in the Republican Party – Dick Cheney prefers him to retired Gen. Colin Powell – says the president is more destructive than the folks who killed almost 3,000 Americans on 9/11, and more before and after that date. And almost 24 hours later, not one Republican has called Limbaugh out for his remark.

From Think Progress:

Yesterday, “[a] 23-year-old man upset about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan opened fire from his truck at two soldiers standing outside a military recruiting station here on Monday morning, killing one private and wounding another.” In response, conservative talker Laura Ingraham suggested that websites and news outlets that have been critical of the war in Iraq were responsible for the obviously horrible attack. Her guest Bill O’Reilly seemed to agree with her tongue-in-cheek reasoning:

    INGRAHAM: Are we now going to look at the websites that he frequented to see if he was on some of the crazy left-wing anti-war websites, Win Without War, George Soros-funded websites, DailyKos, all the crazies. … The way they are reporting on the George Tiller murder, all of talk radio was responsible for that. … Did he frequent MSNBC, did he like to watch it? […]O’REILLY: Since they have been unrelenting in describing their country as a torture nation, I’m sure that set this muslim guy off to kill one and wound another of our military and I’m sure that’s NBC’s fault. Look, the absurdity of this is beyond the pale.

[Those critical of O’Reilly] weren’t criticizing O’Reilly and groups like Operation Rescue simply because they are opposed to abortion. Many right-wing activists used words like “murderer” and “killer” when they criticized Tiller’s abortion practices. O’Reilly, in particular, sent his producers to ambush Tiller and said that anyone who didn’t “stop” Tiller would have “blood on their hands.”

You can listen to the show at the Think Progress link above. After her intro about the murders at the recruitment office, she giggles and then goes into her rant about what websites the murderer might have visited. She compares that incident to Dr. George Tiller’s assassination, and implies that the recruitment office murders won’t be investigated as much as the doctor’s murder. There were guffaws from her when BillO called in, because these are such hilarious subjects. You see, the tragedies are not really about Dr. Tiller or Private William Long, 23, who was killed, or Private Quinton Ezeagwula, 18, who was wounded. It was really all about Laura Ingraham, Bill O’Reilly, and their conservative talking-head friends.


Filed under 9/11, abortion, al-Qaeda, Barack Obama, Bill O'Reilly, Catholicism, Colin Powell, Democrats, Dick Cheney, Fox News, Homophobia, Homosexuality, humor, Iraq War, Laura Ingraham, Media, movies, MSNBC, Muslims, parody, politics, Racism, radio, Republicans, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, September 11, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

26 responses to “Squawk Radio

  1. It sickens me to hear things like this. Like it’s not bad enough foreign extremists hate our country, but to hear the hate spewed over the airwaves within our own borders from US citizens, it’s just unbelievable. The terrorists must be lovin’ it.

    • there have been plenty of times in modern history when there was a lot of political unrest. however, i don’t ever remember so much hate and vitriol being bandied about publicly.

      • I have to go back to the 1930s for the like of this crew.

        “Radio Priest” Father Charles Coughlin became increasingly controversial and anti-Semitic in the 1930s before the Church silenced his broadcasts. He initially supported Roosevelt’s New Deal but quickly turned against it. Coughlin had various monetary theories that were common in that era and opposed the Federal Reserve. An alliance began to form between Coughlin’s Social Justice movement, the California-based pensionite movement of Dr. Francis Townsend, and Louisiana Senator Huey Long’s Share-the-Wealth movement. It appeared that the combined groups would run Long on a third-party campaign that Roosevelt feared would undermine his re-election. As it turned out, after the assassination of Long, the combined movement had no one to run. It ultimately ran an obscure congressman for president in 1936 who received a negligible vote. At the time this newsreel was made, however, all of that was yet to come. Because of the economic distress during the Great Depression, such movements attracted large followings.

        Part of a speech by Father Charles Coughlin at a political rally in Illinois, 1936. (Note: contains no antisemitic statements.)

        If I’m not mistaken, Coughlin was a big influence on Pat Buchanan, who managed to miss making your list. At least Pat seems to have some standards!

        In case someone else brings up Father Coughlin, I started posting this at 3 AM EDT on Friday, but my Internet connection went down. 😦 It took until this morning for the connection to return.

        • neon vincent,
          this would make a really good diary over at the big orange. i know it’s not your regular beat, but think about it.

          the only reason pat buchanan didn’t make the cut is that he doesn’t have his own radio show. that’s one thing to be grateful for.

          by the way, i think father coughlin was reincarnated as michele bachmann. or maybe sarah palin.

          • Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll have to do more research to put that diary together, as those newsreel clips are all I’ve ever heard or seen of the man, although I’ve run into quite a bit about him over the years.

            A personal note: my fiancee and I drove past his old church in Royal Oak last week. I had no idea that impressive structure was his until I saw the newsreel!

            • i’ve heard a lot about him over the years, but i never read the full story. i know you can do it justice, neon vincent.

              isn’t it cool when you see an actual place that you had only heard about or had seen on tv or the movies before? i’m always shocked that things usually seem to be much smaller in real life. i was in dallas once for a few days, and we saw the real mansion used in dallas. much smaller than it appeared on tv (and don’t ask me why i was schlepped there when i never watched dallas). the same with the jail where lee harvey oswald was shot. to stand where he was gunned down was so weird. just being in dealy plaza and the book depository and seeing the grassy knoll was just surreal.

              it’s also fun to be familiar with a place and then seeing it on tv. it’s fun to see if you can spot the landmarks.

  2. Ram Venkatararam

    Scary. Just plain scary…

  3. I can imagine the sincerity of the apology too. As if a stream of poison like that just slips out of the tool’s mouth. You know he stayed up half the night re-writing it til he had it just right. Randi Rhodes gets pre-empted by AAA Baseball games. Who the F cares about the Buffalo Bisons ? Radio can be maddening.

    • rastamick,
      i’m sure severin’s apology was written by his pr people or the station manager or his attorney. i’m sure it didn’t come from him.

      we no longer have progressive radio down here in south floriduhhhhh. the station that used to carry it has switched over to sports.

  4. Broadcasting from WKKK?

    • really! i think i might be less offended if they used those call letters. at least they wouldn’t be pretending that they are anything other than the hate-filled bigots they are.

  5. Pingback: Posts about Mexico Violence as of June 5, 2009 | EL CHUCO TIMES

  6. I love your mix of humor and gravitas. Have been thinking about this issue a lot lately and wish that O’Reilly were held to the same sort of accountability that Hal Turner is tasting. He’s been goading his icky little followers to take out Tiller for some time.

    • lulu maude,
      humor? i’ll have you know this is a very serious website where only the most serious of subjects are dealt with in a very serious way. seriously!

      • I recall John Cleese of Monty Python fame once saying that there is a difference between serious and silly on the one hand and sober and humorous on the other. One can be quite sober about a silly subject, while being humorous about a serious subject. The latter is what you are doing, Nonnie, while at least some of the subjects of your posts are doing the former.

  7. Sponsors are pulling their ads from KRXQ because of the controversy. A post at GLAAD’s blog lists the following the following firms who not renewing their advertising contracts.

    Bank of America
    Carl’s Jr (CKE Restaurants, which means Hardees in the rest of the U.S.)
    Wells Fargo
    Nissan North America


      • this is awesome! i read over at the big orange that some sponsors were pulling their business, but i didn’t know that so many big concerns were doing so. the only way to get rid of these idiots is through the sponsors. once the money dries up, management can’t wait to throw these so-called talents under the nearest bus. in the sacramento case, i hope the manager of the station gets canned, too. he’s an imbecile.

      • AT&T has also joined the boycott. The list of cancelling sponsors now includes all of the following.

        Bank of America
        Carl’s Jr (CKE Restaurants)
        Wells Fargo
        Nissan North America

        While I’m here, I’ll add a comment about Carl’s Jr./CKE/Hardees yanking their ads. I was very pleasantly surprised to read that. Carl Karcher, the founder of Karl’s Jr., was a major figure in conservative Orange County, even to the point of supporting the John Birch Society. He might be someone who would be hard to convince, so I checked to see if he were still alive. Sure enough, he’s dead, Jim.


        • i guess we’ll all be forgiven for not shedding a tear over old carl leaving this mortal plane. apparently, the apple can fall far from the tree. from that wiki article:

          His son Jerome Karcher, who is a priest for the Orange County Diocese, has recently received the Man of Character Award from the Boy Scouts of America for creating mercy houses in Orange County for the homeless and those with AIDS.

  8. ““The show is filled with hyperbole and they use exaggerations to make a point,” Jim Fox said.”

    Ummm … what point would that be, exactly? What point is it that is made better by saying you’d beat up your son with a shoe than in any other way?

    Limbaugh uses the same excuse whenever he gets caught, that he “illustrates absurdity by being absurd.” What these people never explain is what they were trying to say and why this was the best way to say it.

    I genuinely hate that this is what is presented as conservative orthodoxy these days. I’m flamed by the Right (and accused of not being a real Christian) for remembering that “love your enemies” thing.

    Rambling. Sorry.

    • wickle,
      you can ramble here anytime! even if what they were saying was just hyperbole or jokes, one has to take into consideration how it will be heard, not just what was said. though they may tell themselves and others that they were just joking, i think they really are a couple of insecure idiots threatened by homosexuality. they’re like 2 junior high school boys who try to act macho by denigrating others. it’s time to grow up. however, let’s give them a gigantic benefit of the doubt and say that they aren’t homophobic and they really were doing some kind of satirical commentary. well, it ain’t satire if nobody gets it! when nobody else sees the absurdity, then you’ve failed, and you owe your listeners an apology. of course, the radio station doesn’t really care what their listeners think or if they were offended. however, they got hit in the pocketbook, because a lot of big sponsors have pulled their ads, so the idiots are off the air until thursday at the earliest and finally posted an apology. here’s the latest from krca:

      […] a statement from the DJs posted on the show’s Web site over the weekend said the trio made a mistake.

      “We have failed you,” the DJs said in the statement to listeners. “As a show, as people, as broadcasters, we have simply failed on almost every level. We presented our opinions on a very sensitive subject in a hateful, childish and crude fashion; and then, given the opportunity to retract those remarks, we defended them.”

  9. Weakly Review…They pulled a fast one on you Nonnie. Southfork is only an exterior prop for the most part. All that show was done on a soundstage in LA. My buddy spent a couple of years out there hawking Kodak film to endless Japanese tourist. Back in 11/22/63 I had just moved to California and our third period gym teacher never came out for the class. When he did 40 minutes late he told us what had happened and mentioned the “three tunnels”. It’s weird when you are the only one in a large group of people who knows exactly the spot. As for DPD HQ, isn’t it strange that someone with a gun can walk up and shoot a prisoner with 121 cops standing around? 122 if you count Jack Ruby.

    • i found out jfk had been shot from a gym teacher, too. that day, we had take a bus from the elementary school to the high school in order to see the torturer (a dental hygienist who was the meanest woman ever). the coach came running into the office and he said that the president had been shot. we were whisked away to the bus to return to the elementary school and then we were all sent home.

      the weirdest part of that garage at dpd hq was the intimacy. it was so small, and that made it very surprising that the cops would not have been aware of the actions of everyone who was there. i remember thinking how easy it would have been to have moved oswald safely without the press or anyone else there.