*LOS ANGELES – The following is a statement from the Black Media Alliance on the recent firing of Clear Channel host Dan Sileo after he made racially insensitive remarks on his show Mon. Mar. 12, on Tampa, Florida’s, WDAE 620 AM.
While talking about the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers picking up three free agents — Cortland Finnegan, Vincent Jackson and Jonathan Vilma, all of whom are African-American, Sileo, who is white, said, “If they got those three monkeys, I’m good. I’m ready, man. I’m ready. I want those guys. Those guys are great players.”
Clear Channel’s decision to terminate Dan Sileo over his regrettable “monkey” comment only serves to validate the Black Media Alliance’s (BMA) position and earlier reaction to the chauvinist and xenophobic speech routinely used on Clear Channel stations around the country, including the recent “dumb ass women” quip by KFI 640 AM host Bill Handel.
Handel’s comments were the subject of MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” with host Ed Schultz, on Mon. Mar. 12, where Media Matters Sr. Fellow Eric Boehlert accurately stated, “It is what it is. It’s misogyny, it’s sexism and it’s rampant all over talk radio.”
The solution to this problem is clear. More diversity, both on air and behind the scenes along with meaningful changes in the corporate culture, is desperately needed.
Yet Clear Channel remains seemingly tone-deaf on diversifying its talk radio stations around the country with minorities, particularly blacks, andwomen, beyond their urban music and liberal talk formats. Until our position is embraced, however, it’s just a matter of time before another Dan Sileo, Bill Handel “dumb ass women” quip, John and Ken “crack ho” slur, or Rush Limbaugh calling another women yet again a “slut” and a “prostitute” is heard over the public airwaves. And the inevitable result will be Clear Channel station’s FCC broadcast licenses being put in jeopardy as national and local advertisers continue to run even further away.
The BMA will not be distracted by attacks on our credibility, nor be deterred from shining a spotlight on the lack of diversity that stubbornly persists. We want to engage in serious conversation and find common ground with Clear Channel. We want to believe that ultimately they will do the right thing.
Unfortunately, Clear Channel is still NOT LISTENING! As a result, there continues to be these instances “at the “scene of the crime” where the media giant is left suspending and defending the indefensible where their hosts are concerned.
The BMA will address this issue and their grievances when Blogtalkradio host Kevin Ross makes his highly anticipated return with a special live Mar. 19 program focused on Rush Limbaugh, hate radio and the mainstream media’s perceived anti-women rhetoric. During the special 2-hour program, the nationally syndicated host of “America’s Court with Judge Ross” will feature members of the BMA, who have called national attention to Clear Channel’s flagship station in Los Angeles KFI 640 AM where anti-women and anti-black slurs are frequently used by its hosts; the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), who has successfully targeted KFI’s John and Ken show for its anti-Latino rhetoric, plus other movers, shakers and opinion makers. The no-holds barred discussion on the state of terrestrial radio will kick-off at 9 p.m. EST, 7 p.m. CST and 6 p.m. PST exclusively on BlogTalkRadio.com. For more information and updates, go to http://www.facebook.com/diversifykfi.
About the Black Media Alliance
BMA is an organized collective of committed professionals in radio, television and new media platforms with a solid strategic focus on expanding career opportunities for Blacks in front of and behind the scenes. Members include (partial listing): Kevin Ross, host of the syndicated television program ‘America’s Court with Judge Ross’, and former KABC and KFI host; Lee Bailey, 30-year radio broadcasting pioneer, founder and CEO of the Electronic Urban Report; Dominique DiPrima, talk radio veteran and host of the Front Page on KJLH 102.3 FM; Isidra Person Lynn, talk radio host, producer and former public affairs director; L. C. “Chris” Strudwick-Turner, Vice President of Marketing & Communications for the Los Angeles Urban League, Kevin Ross (no relation), 20-year radio veteran, on-air personality and the editor of RadioFacts.com; and journalist and communications strategist Jasmyne Cannick.
source: Black Media Alliance / [email protected]