*LOS ANGELES – In response to Clear Channel Media Holdings nationally syndicated talk show host Rush Limbaugh’s apology for calling a Georgetown University law student a “slut” for testifying on Capitol Hill about women’s access to contraception, a Coalition of Black media and broadcasting professionals is demanding that Clear Channel suspend Limbaugh’s program over the comments.
First Clear Channel’s John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of the “John and Ken Show” refer to pop music icon Whitney Houston as a “crack ho” three days after her death, and now another one of their hosts, Rush Limbaugh, calls a woman a “slut” and a “prostitute” on the eve of Women’s History Month. It’s obvious to us that Clear Channel’s talk show hosts have serious issues with not just African-Americans but women aswell.
Limbaugh said he “did not mean a personal attack” on Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown student. “My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”
The Coalition points out that when asked why Clear Channel’s KFI hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of the “John and Ken Show,” were taken off the air and suspended without pay for ten days for calling pop music icon Whitney Houston a “crack ho” three days after the legendary singer’s death, programming director Robin Bertolucci replied, “because they crossed the line.” When asked what that line was, Ms. Bertolucci’s response was, “it’s very difficult to define but you know it when you hear it.”
We, along with millions of other listeners in Los Angeles, heard that line crossed again on KFI’s airwaves when Limbaugh unapologetically referred to a woman, on the eve of Women’s History Month, as a “slut” and a “prostitute.”
Once again, this happened without any statement from KFI management or repercussions like those sustained by John and Ken. Obviously Clear Channel just doesn’t get it.
We are calling on Clear Channel to suspend Rush Limbaugh over his comments and to develop, define, and put into place clear policy and procedures that draws the line for their talk show hosts and programming directors, sothat when they “hear it,” they know it and the proper action is taken.
KFI’s license expires December 1, 2013. We are calling on Clear Channel CEO John Hogan to assume a leadership role in addressing these pervasive issues within his corporation.
Unless quick and decisive action is made, we will file a formal FCC complaint against KFI and Clear Channel.
The Coalition’s response to Clear Channel comes amid a public relations crisis with it’s Los Angeles radio station KFI, the most listened to radio station in Los Angeles, as well as the most listened to AM radio station and most listened to news/talk radio station in the country.
On Thursday, KFI issued a flaccid response to a meeting at their Burbank offices on Mon. Feb. 27 with the Coalition where key areas of concern over its hiring practices and diversity were presented to station management along with recommended solutions—including the hiring of African-Americans and more women, this after two of its hosts referred to Whitney Houston as a “crack ho” three days after her death.
After reviewing KFI’s response and determining it to be 100% unsatisfactory, the Coalition has decided that a more aggressive approach must now be deployed.
Asians, Latinos, Native Americans, Muslims, and women’s groups will now be actively encouraged to join our efforts to put pressure on Clear Channel’s local and national advertisers. Traditional and new media will also be given regular updates on the status of our efforts. Our goal is to put an end, once and for all, to the racist and sexist diatribes poisoning the public airwaves on Clear Channel stations across the country.
We are calling on local, state and federal officials to ask for public comment and hearings to bring these discriminatory practices to light.
All those wishing to get involved and join this effort should “Like” our page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/diversifykfi and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/diversifykfi (hashtags #DiversifyKFI and #DiversifyClearChannel).
Black Media Coalition