‘Systematic and Extensive’ Hate on U.S. Radio

Wendy Norris of the Colorado Independent (2/2/09) reports that the “National Hispanic Media Coalition is urging the FCC to explore the extent, effects and potential counter-responses to ethnic bias on radio” and “probe whether there is a connection between odious radio yakking and hate crimes.” The coalition’s latest focus is a UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center report, “Hate Speech on Commercial Talk Radio,” that

dished up some very concerning news, especially in light of a 2008 FBI report that anti-Hispanic hate crimes are on the rise among all offenses motivated by ethnicity/national-origin–from 529 offenses (or 42.8 percent of that yearâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s total) in 2003 to 775 offenses (61.7 percent of that yearâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s total) in 2007.

“The preliminary analysis reveals a systematic and extensive use of false facts, flawed argumentation, divisive language, and dehumanizing metaphors that are directed toward specific vulnerable groups. Thus far, the data show a recurring rhetorical pattern in which vulnerable groups were identified as antithetical to the core values attributed by the host to himself, his audience and the nation. These groups were then linked to social institutions that were presented as complicit. In effect, target groups are characterized as a direct threat to the listeners’ way of life.”

National hate-jock Michael Savage comes in for special attention for being, in Norris’ words, “a one-man cottage industry for insulting Mexican immigrants, gays, Muslims and autistic children”; the other studied shows “found to perpetuate anti-Hispanic hate speech” are “the nationally syndicated Lou Dobbs Show and Los Angeles-based The John & Ken Show.”

See the fair publication Extra! Update: “The Lou Dobbs Primary?: Media, Not Voters, Push Immigration Issue” (2/08) by Isabel Macdonald and the dedicated Michael Savage section of our special report on Smearcasters.