The consumer boycott of a Californian ‘hate radio’ show appears to be having an impact with two big advertisers saying they are pulling ads.
A coalition of twenty mainly Latino groups launched the campaign earlier this month against KFI’s “John and Ken” show after the show disclosed an activist’s phone number and he received hundreds of vulgar messages.
Hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou broadcast the phone number of a local activist for the California DREAM Act, Jorge-Mario Cabrera. The Act, which helps undocumented students get financial aid for post-secondary education, was signed into law on Saturday, October 8th.
Cabrera got more than 450 calls.
“We don’t want your people here,” one started. “You are dirty, you don’t have any social skills, you don’t have skills to support yourselves. You incite riots, you incite the American people. I hope you fall off the face of the earth.”
The National Hispanic Media Coalition has been holding demonstrations in front of KFI’s offices in Burbank chanting slogans such as “KFI drop the hate” and “John and Ken must go.”
John and Ken have apologized on air, but Cabrera says that was “a well-calculated, manipulative, and insulting public relations stunt meant to appease the opposition.”
“If John and Ken are sincerely apologetic about fostering distrust, resentment, and hate in Los Angeles, they would do the honorable thing and walk out into the sunset and never return. Anything else is putrid leftovers,” Cabrera wrote on Huffington Post.
KFI are defending the “John and Ken” show on the grounds of 1st Amendment rights.
David Rodriguez, spokesman for the League of United Latin American Citizens, disagrees, saying:
“It’s one thing to run out and express your free speech, but it’s quite another to turn around and demonize a community and victimize a community of hard-working immigrant folks, who all they want to do is make a living and be part of this society.”
The coalition opposing the show saw that after Cabrera’s phone number was aired, KFI agreed to meet with them to discuss their concerns but then cancelled.
KFI say they cancelled when it became clear the coalition wouldn’t settle for anything less than firing the radio hosts. Instead, they say they have met with other Latino groups “to have an open, fruitful discussion about any concerns they may have.”
Other activists and commentators have described the consumer boycott as ‘trying to win a hissing contest with a snake.’
Alex Nogales, the coalition’s president, predicts that more advertisers will pull advertising.
Photo credit: Jean-Pierre "PETE" LeClair
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