The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

15 May 2007

Denver Talk Radio, KOA, Gunny Bob Muslims Comment


Even One Controversial Statement Now Motivates Censors

*** Breaking: Opie & Anthony yanked for 30 days over Rice rape stunt ***

Hope you're wearing lots of extra padding today, because we're now officially sliding down a slippery slope.

Yes, in this nervous, post- Imus era of broadcasting, merely stating an opinion that seems a bit too strong for someone else's tastes can lead to forceful dismissal calls from angry activists.

For an example, look no further than Denver, where KOA talker "Gunny Bob" Newman is facing extreme heat after advocating GPS tracking bracelets for Muslims living in America.

That has the Colorado chapter of Media Matters For America in a tizzy. From Dick Kreck in the Denver Post:

Don Imus paid the price for his crude remark about Rutgers female basketball players, but "Gunny Bob" Newman has defamed an entire religion and, so far, gotten away with it.

Newman, whose conservative talk show airs on KOA 850-AM, is a man to whom rash, rude and inflammatory statements are common. But he unleashed a scabrous beauty last week.

Here's what he said on the air after the alleged terrorist plot to attack Fort Dix in New Jersey was uncovered: "I want every Muslim immigrant to America who holds a green card, a visa, or who is a naturalized citizen to be required by law to wear a GPS tracking bracelet at all times."

He also proposed that the government "bug their places of work and their residences" and "monitor all mosques and community centers. If they don't like the idea ... throw their (expletive) out."

He would have given the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II a standing ovation.

He won't get a spanking, says his Clear Channel boss, Kris Olinger. "I think 'Gunny' was expressing an opinion, an extreme one, but his opinion. (Hosts) are paid to express opinions. That's the nature of what we do."

Colorado Media Matters, a liberal watchdog group that keeps a critical eye on Newman and his fellow conservatives, has been peppering local media with complaints about his misstatements of fact and his virulent attacks on those who disagree with him, to no avail.

But what has Newman "gotten away with" beyond stating an opinion that others don't want to hear? In his example, there were no slurs, calls for violent actions or advocacy of illegal behavior. So where is his crime?

In a follow- up published today, Kreck includes a reader letter but ducks the question of what Newman has actually done wrong:

Reader Arthur Jacobs, a one-time internee himself, adds to Monday's column about KHOW radio host "Gunny Bob" Newman's demand that all Muslims immigrants in the U.S. be required to wear tracking bracelets.

Jacobs writes, "During World War II, almost 1 million permanent U.S. resident aliens were required to register as 'alien enemies,' which carried with it the stipulation that they had to carry an identification with their fingerprints and photo; they were forbidden to fly; they were forbidden to leave their neighborhoods, and if they changed employment or residence they were required to report same to the Department of Justice.

"And if GPS would have been available, they would have been required to wear wristbands."

Frankly, whether Gunny Bob is right on the money or living in Kookville doesn't matter. Talk radio is now facing a "progressive" movement that will stop at nothing to shut it down, merely because of differences in ideology. Will they succeed?

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  • Personally, I would advocate tracking bracelets for Christians.

    From the suppression of late antique and early medieval heresies to the Crusades to the Inquisition with short stops at the witch hunts and longer stays oppressing the people of the Americas, Africa, and Australia, with unsuccessful attempts on Asia, they have proven their criminal nature.

    I say put the tracking bracelets on 'em!

    By Blogger metrodorus, at 15 May, 2007 23:59  

  • Oh,and let's not forget the pogroms and the genocide of European Jews in the last century!

    Those Christians, they're a bad lot.

    By Blogger metrodorus, at 16 May, 2007 00:02  

  • Finally, might I point out that Islam has traditionally been somewhat tolerant of non-Muslims. Christians and Jews and others traditionally were permitted to live in Islamic lands.

    No such tolerance has been traditionally shown by Christians towards Jews or Muslims.

    It is true that in the last fifty years or so, Muslims have become less tolerant. But that is largely a reaction to Western colonial schemes to dominate the Middle East. Over the last millennium, Islamic civilization has been far more tolerant of religious diversity. Perhaps ten percent of the people living in Islamic lands up to recently were Christians. There were also Jews and others.

    When Spain kicked out the Jew in 1492, they fled to the Ottoman Empire, where they established vital, flourishing communities until the Nazis, who represent a Christian Europe, showed up and helped organize their obliteration.

    By Blogger metrodorus, at 16 May, 2007 00:10  

  • Oh, and finally, for those Christians out there who strongly support measures hostile to the Palestinians:
    Did you know that about a quarter of Palestinians are Christians?
    Did you know that Yassar Arafat had a Christian wife?

    However, the Christian Palestinians have really found themselves between a rock and a hard place for the last several decades--the rock would be Christian-supported Israel and the hard place would be Islamic Palestinians.

    The result is that they have been leaving the Holy Land. In general, the goofy currents of modern history have forced a general exodus of Christians from the Middle-East.

    Right now, communities of Assyrian Christians, among the oldest Christian communities in the world, are being forced into exile by the wacky situation created by the Bush intervention.

    By Blogger metrodorus, at 16 May, 2007 00:21  

  • Oops, forgot to mention that the may Assyrian Christians (often called Neo-Aramaic by Western scholars) are located in Iraq.

    It's not a fun time now for these people. They're getting out...leaving places where they have dwelled for two-thousand years.

    By Blogger metrodorus, at 16 May, 2007 00:23  

  • Not sure what country YOU live in, Brian, but calling for the suspension of civil rights for a group of people based solely on their religion is "advocacy of illegal behavior." We have laws to enforce the civil rights set forth in our Constitution and he's saying we should violate them. Any "law" that Newman advocates to strip a group of its civil rights based solely on religion would be unconstitutional.

    By Blogger bmenezes, at 23 May, 2007 16:13  

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