Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Arizona Talk Show Host "Jokes" About Killing Illegal Immigrants



PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona radio talk show host who suggested killing illegal border-crossers may have intensified racial tension in the state, two officials wrote in a letter to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

But a manager at the radio station insisted the comments were satirical, rather than threatening. Brian James, a fill-in talk show host with Phoenix radio station KFYI, suggested on the air last month one solution to the immigration problem in Arizona would be to kill illegal immigrants as they cross the border.

"What we'll do is randomly pick one night every week where we will kill whoever crosses the border," James said on the March 8 broadcast.

"Step over there and you die. You get to decide whether it's your lucky night or not."

"I think that would be more fun."

GOI: MORE FUN?!!! That's the kind of thing that a sociopath would say! Apparently this guy views illegal immigrants as no better then vermin to be exterminated.

He said he would be "happy to sit there with my high-powered rifle and my night scope" and kill people as they cross the border.

He also suggested the National Guard shoot illegal immigrants and receive "$100 a head."

GOI: I also heard that he mentioned how expensive building a wall on the border would be and then to think how many bullets one could buy with that money!!!

In a letter sent Friday to FCC chairman Kevin Martin, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard and U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton called the remarks irresponsible and dangerous.

"At no time during this hour did Mr. James disavow violence or indicate he was joking," the letter said.


"This type of threatening and inciting speech is dangerous and totally irresponsible for anyone, particularly a licensed body using public airways.

We are deeply concerned that, given the intensifying conflict over immigration in Arizona, this speech may lead to violence."

"Tempers are short on both sides and the situation is highly volatile."

Goddard and Charlton urged Martin to consider sanctions against KFYI for what they said was an abuse of public airwaves.

A spokesman with the FCC said he was not yet aware of the letter.

James did not return calls for comment by late Friday.

James has been a talk show host in Tampa, Fla., and Salt Lake City, Utah. He is a fill-in host at KFYI and has been on air there twice, said Laurie Cantillo, program manager at the radio station.

Cantillo did not say whether she was worried about the FCC possibly launching an investigation.
"It's never happened to me," she said Friday.


"But in this case, we're on solid ground. I would look forward to being able to tell KFYI's side of the story."

Cantillo denied James' comments were dangerous or irresponsible.

"The comments were made in a satirical manner and the listeners who heard the full broadcast understand that," she said.

GOI: Yeah, see if this is satire then I guess terrorist claims and threats to kill people should only be taken as satire as well. And how can it be satire if according to the Arizona D.A. and the U.S. attorney "At no time during this hour did Mr. James disavow violence or indicate he was joking," (BIG SIGH). GOOD LORD!! WHERE do these people COME FROM???

"We were having a serious discussion about the immigration issue and it was solution-driven."

GOI: Oh yeah!! Now here I agree with them. Saying such things ARE serious and what kind of "solution" is shooting and killing people?!! It's a cop out to now say that you were "only joking."

Guess what kind of message this sends to kids. It's ok to say that you want to kill people and explain in graffic detail how that would happen and then when someone says it's out of line and dangerous you can get away with it by just sayin, "Well, geez!! I was only joking! Lighten up!!!"

Yeah, hey buddy!! Ever hear of choosing tact and responsibility over a terrible, terrible joke?!! Such things shouldn't be said in ANY light let alone on the public air waves!!

---End of Transmission---

10 comments:

Human said...

Peace to you and yours James.

If it was a joke, the guy should be barred for life from telling anymore.

In referance to your last post(which ties in with this one)I too do not have a firm position. It resembles yours.

I think "our" policies towards Latin America cause a lot of the illegal immigration. Here on the East coast most Latinos are from Central America.

Thanks for coming by my place.

Tom said...

I would have to hear the program to judge.

It is the nature of jokes to be outlandish and sometimes outrageous. And, it seems to me, that it is possible that Brian James was satirizing the redneck immigrant haters.

South Park, the Simpsons and Jon Stewart [and other PC-defying comedians and shows] are often extreme, killing characters in an effort to be funny.

But I have to admit that it is *easier* for a liberal humorist to get away with outlandishness than a conservative humorist simply because you suppose that a liberal has a heart. Generally when a conservative humorist tells a joke that crosses the line, it just seems revealing of what he truly wants.

But even if B. James was a conservative [and I'd wager he is], it was obviously an attempt at humor (of some sort) and not a call to action.

Tommy Gnosis said...

The word always precedes the deed. They didn't start sending the Jews to the camps in 1932, when Hitler acceded to power. It took many years to get to the point where people were so sufficiently desensitized to hate speech and imagined violence to where the Nazis had fully embarked on a genocide campaign within 6 years.

That is of course an extreme example, but while we always need to balance the right of free speech, with the danger that abuse of the right can have, this sort of thing is unacceptable.

Besides, if it's a joke, it should be funny, right? And who would find such a thing funny? I'll wager someone already predisposed to acting violently against the target of his "quip".

james said...

Human:

Thanks for coming by my place too!! I hope to see you again. :)

I agree that our policies toward Latin America cause a lot of illegal immigration. Such things like NAFTA and CAFTA.

Tom:

I understand your position but I think this goes waaaaay beyond the pale. Something should be down such as fines (at the very least).

I just do not believe that a person should be allowed to make such threats even in gest when they are on the public airwaves.

Who knows what wacko was listening and that show and might follow through on such terrible, terrible "humor."

Paolo:

I agree. Who would find such a thing funny?? And if they would, then I have to wonder about their danger to society. :/

dbackdad said...

Living in Phoenix, I witnessed a lot of the shitstorm first hand. With the largely conservative audience that KFYI has and the typically serious tone of their programs, something said like this (even if a joke) would not be taken that way by most of the listeners.

james said...

dbackdad:

It doesn't matter to me how the audience would have taken it (no offense) It's beyond the pale, dangerous and needs to be dealt with.

dbackdad said...

James,
I don't think I worded myself correctly. I was actually agreeing with you. What I didn't do a good job of saying was that the conservative audience out here has no sense of humor and would take the statement as real whether it was intended to be or not. And the conservative talkers know that. That's why it's lame when people like Rush say they are just kidding or using hyperbole when they get in trouble. Because they know that their listeners are not bright enough to sense nuance or subtlety.

james said...

dbackdad:

Thanks for the clairification.

I can't stand when people (like Rush) say stuff like, "I was just joking" when they know that they've gone to far. It's sooo immature. It further belittles the targets of their attacks.

James said...

Using my administrator power I have deleted two anonymous comments on this post advocating racism and killing.

Please do not abuse the anonymous privilege or I will be forced to do away with it which I do not wish to do.

Anonymous said...

crybabies crybabies...mommy he called me a name...grow up America.