Friday, August 21, 2009

David Westin: ABC Radio host calls for massacre of all Iraqis. Is this News?

David Westin, President
ABC News

Dear David:

Lee Rodgers, local host at ABC Radio station KSFO in San Francisco, called for the genocide of the Iraq people following a report from ABC News reporter David Kerley that "US forces are moving back to bases."

I thought the comment was so significant I contacted the Iraq Ambassador and the US State Department to let them know. I want as many people as possible in the US and Iraq to know what the top host for an ABC News affiliate is saying to the fourth largest market in America about how Iraqis need to act.

"You people do whatever you want to each other and to [Iraq], just don't give us a reason to come back or we'll massacre every last damn one of you.

- Lee Rodgers, ABC Radio station host KSFO, 6-30-2009 (short audio clip) (long audio clip) (transcript)

I believe it's newsworthy when the host of the top talk radio station in San Francisco is suggesting, in 2009, that Americans should be massacring the Iraq people.

Rodgers is not a "shock jock". His views are considered serious enough that former Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, and multiple Washington foreign policy experts regularly appear on his show. What do you need to make this important enough to cover?
  • Do you need someone official from Iraq to complain? I'm still waiting for a response from the Iraq Ambassador, but the diplomatic clock runs at a different rate. I'll contact Iraq's foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari if it will help. According to Andrew S. Ross of the Chronicle, Zebari was trying to drum up business in Northern California last month and might wonder why the top SF talk radio host wants everyone in his country dead.

  • Do you need him to say it on TV? Rodgers believes he is smarter than the President and more articulate than ABC TV "wienies". Give him a chance to prove it on TV. Based on his record he never apologizes and is likely to repeat his genocide comments on broadcast TV like he repeated his call to torture and execute Kevin Holder in 2007. (audio link)

  • Do you need the news hook of a minimum number of advertisers to leave because of these comments? I can probably arrange that, I've got a pretty good track record in that area. (NY Times Link) 28 advertisers left KSFO in 2007, four in 2009 because of the violent rhetoric and anti-gay rights bigotry from KSFO hosts. (SF Weekly Link). Do I need to have my blog shut down by your network again?
  • Do you need a Republican politician to express outrage? I'd like to think I could find one who disagreed with genocide, but they are hesitant to criticize talk radio hosts on anything because they have to take it back the next day. A Republican upset by calls of genocide might be hard to find, would an outraged Democrat do? I can probably get one.
  • Are you hesitant to cover someone in your "media family?" I know you are head of the TV news division but since ABC Radio has been spun out and renamed Citadel Media, ABC TV should be free to cover the story.

  • Are you afraid for his personal safety? I've noted that when the media covers extreme comments of talk radio hosts they paraphrase and soften them. Is this necessary? The words are already out there. I think recent events show that it is people on the left who have the most to fear from violence incited from the right; hence my own pseudonyms.

  • Are you afraid a group of the Muslims or Iraqis will attack him? If that is the case, you should at least acknowledge your real reasons. Are you being paternalistic by assuming you are protecting him from non-existent threats? Or is there "chatter" about groups of Iraqis and Muslims looking to attack right-wing talk radio hosts? That might be a real news story.

  • Are you afraid that repeating their exact words will show you have a liberal bias? They already believe that (see below). By NOT covering these comments you are giving your tacit approval. Refusing to call out racism and genocidal comments doesn't make them stop.
  • Are the host's insults to your current and former staff's newscasts and journalist credentials keeping you from even mentioning this? KSFO hosts accuse ABC journalists of being liars and propagandists regularly. They insult them by name and accuse them of deliberately committing journalistic fraud. Isn't it time someone stood up for them? Are you waiting for your competitors to defend them? Please listen to or read a few recent insults.

Lee Rodgers has:

Accused John Dempsey, and the entire staff of ABC radio journalists, of lying on a news story about Governor Blagojevich.
(Audio link)

Called journalism hall of fame winner Ann Compton a Presidential butt kisser.

"ABC White House Correspondent and Presidential butt kisser Ann Compton reports."
-- Lee Rodgers, KSFO/ABC Radio host on Thursday, March 26, 2009 6:43 am (Audio link)

Disavowed any connection to ABC's "horse c r a p" newscast he says is a "propaganda mill for the Democratic party."

Lee Rodgers: I would like to take just a moment to completely disavow any connection with that horse c r a p newscast that you just heard from the ABC Network. People, I hear from people regularly asking 'why do you carry those things?' Well we HAVE to. This station is owned by ABC Radio so we HAVE to carry their crappy newscast. And you heard another example of they're nothing more than a propaganda mill for the Democratic party and they got that wienie on there suggesting that 'well anyone who disagrees with President Obama may be a threat'. That was the implication, it was clear.

Officer Vic. Oh there was the implication of assassination there!

LR: Yeah.

OV: Come on, that's a little bit over the top

LR: So please, don't blame us for this pile of horse pucky that was just foisted upon the radio audience by the ABC NETWORK News department. Believe me, if we had our way we wouldn't carry a damn thing by that bunch of leftist propagandists. And I didn't need this frigging job anyway, so there.
-Lee Rodgers, Officer Vic KSFO, ABC Radio August 14, 2009 5:04 am (audio link)

KSFO morning host Lee Rodgers and his sidekick "Officer Vic" have been making denigrating comments about the intelligence and integrity of the ABC reporters for years.
"God almighty what an awful newscast. What a piece of c r a p that was!"
"Officer Vic" on a newscast of ABC News Correspondent Daria Albinger ).

I understand the desire to just ignore talk radio as if they didn't exist under the theory that they aren't serious and giving them attention just encourages them. But failing to condemn his comments sends the message it's okay.

Although ABC Radio News is no longer under your control, the radio network people still draw from the ABC News TV network resources. Are you getting compensated for this? Their reports certainly aren't appreciated at KSFO. I contacted Steve Jones, VP and Jim Kane, Deputy D.C. Bureau Chief of ABC News Radio about these attacks in April, but nothing changed.

Maybe you can do a story about the most powerful man in radio. Lee Rodgers answers to no one and can call for the death of everyone in Iraqi on the publicly-licensed broadcast network. If he called for the genocide of the Jews would it be ignored? Why is this ignored? Is this blatant genocidal racism not addressed because it is sanctioned or because it is still profitable?




ABC News
Kerry Smith,
Senior Vice President, Editorial Quality
Paul Mason, Senior Vice President, Politics

ABC News Radio
Steve Jones, VP ABC News Radio
Jim Kane, Deputy D.C. Bureau Chief

David Kerley, ABC News, Baghdad
Laura Marquez, ABC Correspondent, San Francisco

Brooke Gladstone, Co-Host and Managing Editor, On the Media
Eric Boehlert, Senior Fellow, Media Matters
Jay Rosen, Press Think

Tim Karr, Campaign Director Free Press

Juan Cole, President of the Global Americana Institute
Richard Gizbert, host of The Listening Post, Al-Jazeera English

Bill Moyers, Moyer's Journal

Glenn Greenwald, Salon
Joe Conason, Salon

Digby, Hullabaloo
Mike Stark
, FireDogLake

Greg Sargent, Washington Post

Andrew S. Ross, San Francisco Chronicle
Jonathan Curiel, San Francisco Chronicle
Carla Marinucci, San Francisco Chronicle

David Neiwert, author, The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right, editor Crooks and Liars
Sara Robinson,
Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Chip Berlet, Senior Analyst, Political Research Associates, author, Toxic to Democracy
Tarso Luis Ramos, Executive Director, Political Research Associates

Eric Klinenberg, Fighting for Air The Battle to Control America's Media


Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Rodgers is mainly a punk thug, inne? Got that pugnacious mien, blunt, ugly features.

6:52 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home