The “Take John and Ken Off the Air” campaign announced Angels Baseball and University of Redlands have withdrawn their ads from the KFI-AM LA show. The campaign, led by the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) and comprised of over 40 national and local organizations, has been educating advertisers on the “numerous offenses” John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou have committed against the Los Angeles communities.
Earlier last month, the NHMC released the results of a national poll showing that media portrayals of Latinos and immigrants are fueling rampant negative stereotypes among non-Latinos. Beginning in November 2011, NHMC and the UCLA Chicano Research Studies Center released three academic studies detailing the role of the media in breeding hate.
“We applaud Angels Baseball and the University of Redlands for joining the list of responsible companies who understand that hate radio is not good business,” said Alex Nogales, NHMC President & CEO. “Time and time again ‘John and Ken’ have used hate to boost their ratings, and they do so at the expense of vulnerable communities. Advertisers must understand that supporting shock jocks that promote hate sends the wrong message to all communities and jeopardizes the Latino consumer who now represents one trillion dollars in purchasing power.”
Over the past year, the campaign says it has mobilized over 16,000 people to sign petitions asking Clear Channel to drop the show. The list of signatures was attached to a letter, expressing the outrage of these 16,000 individuals and over three dozen national and regional organizations, over Clear Channel Radio’s pattern of “hateful rhetoric against various segments of society, and particularly that which airs over The John and Ken Show.”
The slow avalanche began last fall when John and Ken gave out the cellphone number on-air of Jorge-Mario Cabrera, a longtime immigrant rights activist, in a campaign against the California Dream Act (state tuition assistance for illegal immigrants). What followed was a barrage of hate-filled phone calls that followed on that cell phone and office numbers, because the hosts and urged listeners that opposed to The Dream Act to call him. Cabrera, a spokesman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, told The LA Times he got more than 400 calls, many of them filled with hateful language and calls for violence.
A boycott was called after Greg Ashlock, market manager for CC Radio/LA, initially agreed to meet with NHMC but canceled the meeting because their request had become an ultimatum demanding that John and Ken be removed from the air.
The NHMC and its allies held a peaceful demonstration in front of CC Radio’s KFI-AM 10/13/11 to protest the stations’ patronage of what it calls “hate speech targeting Latinos” on the “John and Ken Show.”
Then they called Whitney Houston a “Crack Ho” after she died in LA. That set off a firestorm as well.
RBR-TVBR observation: We did a little investigation of NHMC claims and found that U Redlands actually never has bought time on the show, ever. NHMC then sent us a list, compiled in-house, of when the ads did run in the show. We attempting to get the list verified. Our sources still say the spots were not scheduled to run in John and Ken, yet U Redlands does advertise with the station and has for years. We have heard of no dictate that they must not run in the show, just that they did not specifically buy the show. They are not boycotting KFI. Their spots run primarily in morning man Bill Handel. Sometimes the spots run on the station’s stream or via ROS–that could be where this list came from.