The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

31 January 2006

Exclusive Interview With KFI / Los Angeles Host Bill Handel


Will CAIR Take Down Another Radio Host?

Could activists from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) succeed in taking down another talk radio host?

After last year's victory in Washington, DC, where WMAL's Michael Graham was fired from ABC Radio for making comments the pressure group deemed offensive, their new focus is KFI/ Los Angeles morning host Bill Handel.

This time, after bubbling under for a few days, the story has spread worldwide. And, in some publications, it's now tied to the plight of a politically-incorrect Danish cartoonist who has also dared to irk Islamic extremists.

Almost appearing to relish the idea of a full-blown battle with CAIR, Handel kicked off the latest controversy with cracks about the stampede-related deaths of hundreds during the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Today, he gave an exclusive interview to the Radio Equalizer, with comments almost certain to fan the group's flames.

First, from the AP:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations asked for an apology from KFI-AM 640 host Bill Handel, who allegedly made fun of the deaths during a Jan. 12 segment he called the "Annual Stampede Report."

A spokeswoman for KFI, which is owned by Clear Channel Communications, did not immediately return a message left Thursday. Handel's producer, Michelle Kube, also did not return calls for comment. Handel had left work for the day and attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.

At least 363 pilgrims were killed and hundreds injured in a stampede that day in Mecca, where thousands of people were rushing to carry out a symbolic ritual of stoning the devil in Mina.

According to CAIR, Handel imitated the people screaming and then joked that the Muslims at the pilgrimage should use a helicopter to monitor pilgrimage traffic, as is done in Los Angeles with the freeways.

CAIR quoted Handel as saying, "This is Mahmoud Nolan. Hajj in the Sky. There is an accident ... Ali lost his sandal on the on-ramp to the Martin Luther King Jr. freeway ..."

In March 2004, KFI issued an on-air apology after CAIR filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission following a skit that claimed Muslims have sex with animals, don't bathe and hate Jews.

Handel's response:

On his program yesterday, Handel said he would apologize, but only if CAIR agreed to denounce "all bombing or attacks where intended victims are innocent citizens," to acknowledge Israeli sovereignty and to verify that the group has never had connections with any terrorist group or sponsor.

If those conditions are met, "I'll be more than happy to apologize for offending people, I'll apologize all day long," Handel said in a live 12-minute response to CAIR's complaint.

So far, the station is standing behind Handel while distancing itself from his comments, issuing this statement:

KFI-AM does not condone making light of the deaths of people engaged in religious observances. We regret that listeners found the comments of one of our on-air hosts to be insensitive. KFI does not censor its hosts, nor does it tell them what to say or not to say. KFI is a strong and passionate believer in 1st amendment rights and that is at the very core of this radio station.

Given other recent controversies of this nature, however, some are wondering if station management would maintain this position under sustained criticism.

Handel, however, not only isn't backing down, he actually seems eager to kick it up a notch. In an exclusive Radio Equalizer interview, he wasn't afraid to answer our questions head-on:

Radio Equalizer: so far, the station is standing behind you, as KFI says they don't censor their hosts. Do you see any circumstances where this could change?

Bill Handel: No, I see no circumstance that would change this unless I had sex on the air. But then again, that would upset everyone, not just my bosses.

RE: Are you confident they'll remain firm on this?

Handel: Yes, but my boss did come to work today with a prayer rug, so I'm hoping she's still standing by me.

RE: What do you see as the difference between your situation and previous CAIR protests, where hosts such as Michael Graham at WMAL have been fired?

Handel: This company has balls to stand behind its hosts. Disney, parent company of Graham's station, has NO business being in talk radio because they don't like controversy at all. Talk radio is all about controversy.

RE: Do you think CAIR has actually undermined itself by giving you so much free publicity?

Handel: I think this has given us an opportunity to really look at CAIR and see what they really stand for. And I also think this has given us an opportunity to look at ourselves and see what we really stand for.

The First Amendment is extremely important, and that's what we stand for. One other thing: try going to Google, type in "CAIR terror" and see what pops up!

What will be CAIR's next move: to press further against KFI, or move on to the next media target? We'll be watching.

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  • Interesting rehash of your bio Baloney. But shouldn't it read, "Longtime unemployed radio host..."? Despite all that kissing of Falafel Bill's ass, nobody in radio wants to give you a job. Why is that?

    By Blogger HeadHunter, at 31 January, 2006 22:16  

  • Way to go Bill Handel and hats off to KFI for backing him! CAIR won't denouce anything because, as an organization, they are a joke. I'll tell you another radio guy who relentlessly taunts CAIR on a regular basis...Bruce Jacobs, who has the early morning show (5 to 8 AM Mon-Fri) on KFYI, also a Clear Channel station, in Phoenix, AZ.

    He really gets in their face and names names within the CAIR organization. He is brutal! I'm sure he would love a personal confrontation with the CAIR people. He, too, would be a good interview, Brian.

    By Blogger rich glasgow, at 31 January, 2006 22:30  

  • "Interesting rehash of your bio Baloney. But shouldn't it read, "Longtime unemployed radio host..."? Despite all that kissing of Falafel Bill's ass, nobody in radio wants to give you a job. Why is that?"

    Maybe because he's not a liberal bootlicker LIKE YOU! My initials are BP as I will not give away my name and for 6 years I have been out of radio news. On my blog, I let the media have it for being so damn liberal and not hiring people like me who believe in truth, justice and the American Way and who WILL ask questions that will make the politicos shake in their boots.

    I was once a liberal even working in news. But about 2000, ironically, when I was fired from my so-called hometown radio station--who got rid of their long-time news anchor for being too demanding, I began to have a cleansing so to speak.

    And if I may be so graphic, the events of 9/11/2001 served as my colonic!

    I have no respect for liberals whatsoever--all they want to do is rewrite history, change our policies and leave us open to terror!

    And for a bunch of Islamo-fascsists like CAIR to shut a man like Bill Handel up, what does it mean for you liberals who want free speech--yeah right when it suits YOUR NEEDS! You liberals are PATHETIC!

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 31 January, 2006 22:40  

  • It's funny to note that one blogger talked about how evil Bill Handel was when joking about death, when said blogger had previously posted a bestiality/death joke. Bill Handel is doing a great job at capitalizing on this, almost as good as Bob Parsons at

    By Blogger Ontario Emperor, at 01 February, 2006 01:35  

  • And this is the reason why PhilM is so irrelevant. He keeps attacking Maloney personally, instead of actually addressing the topic at hand.

    Now, for me to address the topic at hand: Go Bill Handel! Kick their CAIR-ful asses all the way to Amman.

    By Blogger Sailor Republica, at 01 February, 2006 04:03  

  • its so annoying that this group gets up in arms about comments like these. how often to conservative hosts and liberal hosts constantly attack each other viciously? all the time, from both sides. that's how the game is played. people around the world need to lighten up.

    oh, and to you, Patriot World, i served in the USMC for 6 years and i am a liberal. you still want to say that you have no respect for liberals? how much time did you spend in the military?

    By Blogger liberal outlaw, at 01 February, 2006 09:44  

  • Pathetic Wuss babbled: Maybe because he's not a liberal bootlicker... blah blah... moronic incoherent drivel...

    HA HA HA HA!

    What do we have here? Another bitter wingnut crazy who has been fired from radio? 6 years, huh? Well, you keep blaming everyone else but yourself. That should get you back on the air.

    Sailor girl squeaked: And this is the reason why PhilM is so irrelevant...yadda yadda...more hypocritical dogcrap...

    Then why did you respond, stupid?

    It's hilarious watching you morons jump on cue. Thanks for the lunchtime laugh.

    By Blogger HeadHunter, at 01 February, 2006 12:41  

  • Someone wanted to know how long I've been in the armed services. To tell you the truth, I haven't. But there is a reason. I have a disability--Autism.

    But let me say this if I wasn't born with Autism and if I were in better shape, I would've loved to have joined the Army. I have relatives who served--an uncle and a cousin, who just got back from Kuwait, as well as a family friend.

    And six years, eh? Liberal Outlaw, how did you get out--dishonorable discharge?

    I have respect for our soldiers overseas. But if you ask me, they were given the most raw of deals under Clinton--especially the malaise in Kosovo--now that's somewhere we SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN! And what about the way he treated the Marines, making them servants at a formal dinner--that is LOW!

    Iraq and Afghanistan, that's another matter.

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 01 February, 2006 16:47  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger liberal outlaw, at 01 February, 2006 17:23  

  • autism? that's great. i think that more republicans need to come down with incurable diseases!!! well, other than dementia. its painfully obvious that they all suffer from that already.

    but on a serious note, i highly doubt that you have autism. i don't think you'd be able to articulate your thoughts as you do if you did.

    By Blogger hardcore conservative genious, at 01 February, 2006 17:56  

  • Hardcore,
    Aspergers is a mild form of autism.
    Unlike full blown Autism, there are no clinically significant delays in language or cognition or in adaptive behavior, other than social interaction.
    Most people with AS have average to above average intelligence. Most also have an extensive vocabulary, and began reading at an early age.
    It is often mistaken for ADD or Tourettes syndrome.

    Way to show off the education and sensitivity that the modern left has come to be associated with.

    By Blogger SCSIwuzzy, at 01 February, 2006 21:27  

  • So in other words, Mr. Handel is no different than Howard Stern...? When Howard did the jokes about the flight that crashed in DC (can't remember the flight#)way back when in 1979- 1980 and everybody flipped out and thought it was wrong - we should have all embraced it and should embrace Mr. Handel's Stern-like insanity?

    By Blogger Maria E., at 01 February, 2006 22:08  

  • By Blogger The Liberal Avenger, at 01 February, 2006 22:14  

  • let's see? disparaging comments about the author and the subject, a plug for another radio show, a litmus test on military service, more disparaging comments, a brief history of autism, and a comparison to Howard Stern. What was this discussion about? OH, yes. I'll be brief. Handel has a right to say it. CAIR has a right to not like it. And we can post comments, no matter how frivilous about it! Free Speech DOES work even if those exercising the right do not always make a great deal of sense.

    By Blogger Kent Alan, at 01 February, 2006 22:25  

  • Thats awesome (sarcasism), Sailor Republic and now Patriot World questioning liberals who have actually served this country. How do you people sleep at night? You people make up stories about injuries and diseases that you may or may not have just so you don't have to say that your just a coward, that you don't really love america, that you wouldn't put your body on the line for it. Just say it, admit your cowardness! We'll still let you stay here. Your brothers, sisters, cousins, grandparents, sons and daughters that have served, those people I respect. But you, no way! You chickened out. I have no respect for you. You want others to fight, but you have no balls to help out. It amazes me how many people say they love america, they say they support the troops. But do you really. Would you be one of their battle buddies. Not a chance. Its pathetic!

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 02 February, 2006 00:00  

  • I grew up in a Muslim country(Libya) And was career Air Force (12 years in) and I got out in 1981 because I had watched Cater dismantle the Military and at that time I had no reason to believe Reagan would be any different.I was a liberal too but I grew out of it by the time slick Willy decided to turn the Oval Office into a sex parlor.

    By Blogger radio free clute, at 02 February, 2006 05:38  

  • I grew up in a Muslim country(Libya) And was career Air Force (12 years in) and I got out in 1981 because I had watched Carter dismantle the Military and at that time I had no reason to believe Reagan would be any different.I was a liberal too but I grew out of it by the time slick Willy decided to turn the Oval Office into a sex parlor. I have known the dangers that the Islamo facsists present since the Six Day War in 1967, but no one wanted to listen. I agree with Bill Handel's conditions for him to apologize. He is safe from ever having to say "I am sorry" because Cair would never abandom its agenda.

    By Blogger radio free clute, at 02 February, 2006 05:43  

  • SSG Peskoff, it strikes me as funny that you attack the credentials of people through a blog, claiming that they make up illnesses. Well, I'm going to say that you're just making up your military service and that you really weren't ever in the military and you just use it like the homeless people I see outside the train station every morning.

    Anyway, go Bill. Keep expressing your 1st Amendment Rights. You have every right to say what you want about CAIR. They have every right to say what they want back, but they should not have the power to censor you because they don't agree with you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 02 February, 2006 09:17  

  • i can't believe that you called me a liberal. that's insulting. as you can clearly see from my name, i am a conservative, and i'm damn proud of it.

    and for the record, he never said asperger's. he said autism. way to pay attention.

    for more information on our republican mental illnesses, please check out this site:

    By Blogger hardcore conservative genious, at 02 February, 2006 09:48  

  • Known Handel when he was fat and making Koreans eat dog jokes which upset my Korean daughter.

    If KFI can stand behind people like Tom Leykis and Bill Press among other controversial hosts, They'll stand behind Handel.

    Is David T (Ass)Hall still at KFI?

    Yes, was a long time listener of KFI. I still follow Hugh Hewitt.

    By Blogger PCD, at 02 February, 2006 10:56  

  • Mercutio (probably another person who has never even thought to serve his country): Check your email

    You can question my military service thats your right, but I can prove I served, What you'll see in your email is a copy of Enlisted Records Brief (formally the 2-1, 2A). Oh yeah, if you would like to question my service in Iraq, look under the awards section, you'll see the GWOTEM, I've yet to get that changed over to the new Iraq Campaign Medal, but if you knew the military that will take some time. Any other doubts, would you like to see my military ID? How about my dogtags? If your jealous of my military career, its too easy, just sign up, join the military, serve your country!

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 02 February, 2006 11:25  

  • What do we have if we can't laugh? Handel does a topical show with lots of comedy and he's an equal opportunity offender. To my knowledge, the ADL has never cried racism after one of Handel's skits.

    If the camel jockeys at CAIR worked harder at repairing the image of their people the world would be a better place.

    Sorry--just kidding.

    By Blogger Kent, at 02 February, 2006 13:55  

  • Concerning military service. Rush has none. Rep Murtha is a retired Marine (although I'll bet most Marines would disown him right now). Poll some military folks and see who they would rather believe and fight for. So, why are we putting down someone who does not happen to have a military background?

    By Blogger Lib-Sux-Ion, at 02 February, 2006 14:52  

  • Jeff/Phil: Nice way to change the subject. Irrelevant, but nice. Back to focusing on Bill Handel.

    Handel's position is defendable, and is actually the correct position. If CAIR can't handle it, then they should just commit seppuku and get it over with.

    By Blogger Sailor Republica, at 02 February, 2006 16:49  

  • lib-sux-ion: wow! when is the last time you spoke to a servicemember who's been to Iraq once, twice, third rotation etc...? Most soldiers and marines that I have spoke to about Col. Murtha's proposal say he's right on. Have you read his proposal? Do you even have a clue what it says, or do you actually think it just says "cut and run"? 37 year veteran and you compare that to Rush Limbaugh, yeah you really love our military forces. If it was John McCain who questioning Bill Clinton commitment to the fight in Bosnia 9 years ago, I too would back the man that has served, not the president who didn't. You asked why am I putting down someone who doesn't have a military background, thats because I feel if you love this country you'll fight for it. Some of you would never do that. To me, that means you don't love it.

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 02 February, 2006 19:55  

  • Click his name, hardcore. AS is a form of Autism.
    Staff Sgt. Peskoff, are only those who have served allowed to have a pro-Iraq war opinion? If so, what kind of service?
    Only Army, Corps, AF and USN service, or are reservists on the list as well? Coast Guard? Must the service have been in war time? What about law enforcement?
    I want to understand the rules you are opperating under.
    AS for what soldiers think, there are plenty that think Murtha is right. Plenty more that think he's wrong. The re-enlistment rate helps give an indication of what many in service think of the war and the progress being made abroad.
    Regardless, I'll thank you for your service, but I'll also thank you not to beat me over the head with it. ;)

    By Blogger SCSIwuzzy, at 02 February, 2006 22:48  

  • "The re-enlistment rate helps give an indication of what many in service think of the war and the progress being made abroad."

    Are you serious? If I was a junior enlisted soldier (i.e. PVT, CPL, SPC), I too would re-enlist if I was given the choice of no-income or a $10,000 (some MOS's getting $20,000) tax free bonus. Its not a hard decision, sometimes people true feelings about something take a backseat to cash in hand.

    SCSIwuzzy, since you asked about service to your country to have a pro-war opinion, have you served in any of those aspects (law enforcement, coast guard, military?) If your under the age of 42 and you haven't, why not join now?

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 03 February, 2006 13:12  

  • Amazing how this thread has degenerated into a "mine's longer" schoolboy comparison of who's served in the military, for how many years, what branch, etc.

    Funny how the Left never cared about military service when Bill Clinton was office ... yet now it's supposedly a litmus test for not only every presidential candidate, but everyone who wants to post a comment on a board like this one.

    Sorry ... nice try, but it's utter sophistry.

    Would I agree that military service should be required before anyone can comment on the war in Iraq?

    Oh, yeah -- just as soon as the Left agrees that it's necessary to spend four years in the Oval Office before posting a comment about President Bush.

    Let's get back to the real issues, ok? KFI should be commended for standing up for true freedom of speech and diversity ... diversity of opinion, that is.

    By Blogger The4thEstate, at 04 February, 2006 10:48  

  • This lefty did care about military service even when Bill Clinton was in office. I truly believe its essential when becoming Commander in Chief. You must know what the difference between a M16 and M203.

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 04 February, 2006 11:20  

  • And the problem with this blog is that the people in here say they support the troops, most have probably never even went to the airport when soldier return and say "thank you" to them, none push their congressional representative to vote for increase Veterans assistance to our return injured vets. They come on a blog that continues to attack AAR and most specifically Al Franken. Well, Al Franken has been to Iraq and Afghanistan three times in support of our troops. What has Brian Maloney done with his fame? How does he show support for our men and women overseas? Ask yourself how what you do. Anything? Or is it just a bumpersticker on the back of your car?

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 04 February, 2006 11:26  

  • I'm not sure what you mean by saying the Left cared about military service when Clinton was president -- because if it had really mattered to them, they'd have voted for Bob Dole instead.

    My observation is that the entire issue of military service only began mattering to the Left just before the last presidential election ... because they thought they could use it to bludgeon Bush with.

    If liberals really supported the troops, they wouldn't spend so much of their time and energy trying to get Al Qaeda members released from Guantanamo ... or treat Abu Ghraib like it was five times worse than My Lai ... or worry so much about whether terrorists are getting wiretapped. Because ultimately, the easier we make it for terrorists -- and the more of them we release back into the world -- the greater the risk for our military men and women.

    Maloney can speak for himself regarding what he does for the troops. But since he's not an entertainer like Franken, the comparison hardly applies. Besides, conservative entertainers generally do more shows for the military than liberal ones do, so why not direct that question to the rich Hollywood types?

    By Blogger The4thEstate, at 05 February, 2006 12:26  

  • do you mean the same rich hollywood types like Bruce Willis, Tom Greene, Numerous Professional Wrestler, Leeann Tweenden, Robin Williams, and Al Franken. All who I saw when I was in theater? And know you attack Al Franken because he supports the troops. Thats great. You haven't answered the question, what have you done?

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 07 February, 2006 00:50  

  • "So in other words, Mr. Handel is no different than Howard Stern...?"

    I listen to Handel for at least a few minutes almost every day, and the main difference between him and Stern is that Handel's show is much cleaner. Both are extremely insensitive. But Handel is not indecent.

    Handel insults just about everyone. He makes jokes about Jewish bankers (he's Jewish), Catholic priests, and Protestant TV evangelists (I'm Protestant). He jokes about medical studies, proponents of intelligent design, politicians, pro-life activists, pro-choice activists, "sanctity of marriage" activists, and people who went to see Brokeback Mountain. He used to make fun of overweight people even back when he was very overweight himself. In fact, he probably insults himself more than anyone else. The thing that makes his show funny is that his insults and jokes usually have a little truth and a lot of exaggeration in them. Isn't that really what most humor is all about?

    Handel's show is intended to help people wake up, laugh at themselves and the world around them on their way to work, and pass on some useful and interesting information along the way. And he does a terrific job at doing exactly that.

    By Blogger Evan, at 07 February, 2006 12:23  

  • SSG Jeffrey Peskoff wrote:
    do you mean the same rich hollywood types like Bruce Willis, Tom Greene, Numerous Professional Wrestler, Leeann Tweenden, Robin Williams, and Al Franken. All who I saw when I was in theater? And know you attack Al Franken because he supports the troops. Thats great.

    I mean the same rich Hollywood types that USA Today wrote about in this recent story, titled "USO cheers troops, but Iraq gigs tough to book":

    Here's an excerpt from that article:
    ... many prominent entertainers are resisting overseas trips for the nearly 65-year-old United Service Organizations as fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan continues, said Wayne Newton, the Las Vegas singer who succeeded Hope in 2000 as head of the USO's talent-recruiting effort.

    Newton said the dangers in Iraq, along with some stars' disagreements with the Bush administration's war policies, have limited celebrity volunteers for USO tours.

    See what I mean? Contrary to your contention, Hollywood is NOT supporting the troops to any great extent.

    And that was my point.

    Also, I've never attacked Al Franken for supporting the troops.

    You haven't answered the question, what have you done?

    I didn't answer the question because you didn't ask me that question. You asked what Brian has done -- and I answered it. I said Brian can speak for himself, but he's not an entertainer like Franken, so I wouldn't expect him to go to Iraq to entertain the troops.

    By Blogger The4thEstate, at 07 February, 2006 23:20  

  • I thought he was an entertainer, since he compares himself to Rush Limbaugh. Oh sorry, Time magazine did. LoL.

    And about the USO tour, just go to there website and see who has in the past gone and who in the future are going?

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 08 February, 2006 15:43  

  • wow, I just went throught the list again. I didn't see one republican entertainer i.e. Michael Medved, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Imgraham, Dennis Prager, Sean Hannity, Hugh Hewitt, or even Brian Maloney. Since you can't call these people journalist, since (when did blogging become a form of journalism) then they must be entertainers. Nope not one of them on the list to visit or previously visited us soldiers in theater.

    Oh yeah, just wondering what you have done? Have you gone to the airport to say welcome home, have you sent a package to anysoldier, have you said thank you to a soldier, have you called your congressman and asked them why they vote against increases to servicemen and women pay or veterans administration increases, or have you only put a bumpersticker on the back of your pickup. If thats is all you done, then I say "your welcome" with as much sarcasism as the sticker means to us servicemen and women.

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 08 February, 2006 15:53  

  • Peskoff, If you weren't so narrow focused you'd admit that Laura Ingraham IS in Iraq now and Limbaugh has gone to Afghanistan, as well as Ollie North going to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    By Blogger PCD, at 09 February, 2006 09:09  

  • Thats great that she there now, wow! I can almost bet that she hasn't left the green zone. Limbaugh was the most secured person in afganistan when he was there, and didn't want to go to Iraq.

    By Blogger Iraq War Veteran, at 09 February, 2006 10:52  

  • Peskoff,

    You are wrong again. Ingraham is out and about. You are making me wonder how much you really know, and how much is just you bullying your Bravo Sierra.

    By Blogger PCD, at 09 February, 2006 15:08  

  • "Since you can't call these people journalist, since (when did blogging become a form of journalism) then they must be entertainers."

    Hmm. I'm not a journalist either. Therefore I must be an entertainer. Oh, wait... actually I'm an engineer.

    By Blogger Evan, at 15 February, 2006 11:40  

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