Thursday, August 06, 2009

Bay Area Radio Museum & Hall of Fame Inducts Lee Rodgers

When I read that Lee Rodgers was going to be in the Bay Area Radio Museum & Hall of Fame I was a bit puzzled, but when I looked at the list of the members I saw that it was filled by a lot of people who probably knew of him at KGO. The power of early impressions is very strong and people don't want to believe that someone could become dark and mean as they age.

We are hesitant to call out anyone as a racist and bigot if it is socially acceptable racism or bigotry. Saying overtly racist things about blacks is no longer acceptable. Saying overtly bigoted things toward Jews is not something a mainstream public person will say. However, you CAN still say overtly racist things about people from the Middle East and you can say overtly bigoted things about Muslims.

  • Would you honor someone who called for the massacre of everyone in the nation of Israel?
    Then why honor someone calling for the massacre of everyone in Iraq?
    (Lee Rodger's audio)
  • Would you give a trophy to someone who said blacks should be hanging from lamp posts?
    How big is the trophy for the person who said liberals should hang from lamp posts?
    (Lee Rodger's audio)
  • Would you toast someone suggesting millions of Christians be killed?
    What is your toast to the person suggesting millions of Muslims be killed?
    (Lee Rodger's audio)

Some people who hear vicious comments from a radio host think, "It's just an act," maybe you knew the guy personally years ago and he wasn't vicious then. Maybe you have the brain of a liberal; you believe that people are good. So you excuse them. Otherwise you would have to reevaluate your impression of this person. But even if you KNOW that it's all an act and the person is really nice to his dog, they are STILL saying these things and the rest of us can only judge them on their exact words.

Could you believe that someone is so vile that they would joke about torturing people with electrodes attached to their testicles and end the torture by blowing their "bleeping brains out?" (audio link)

Why do some of the nastiest radio hosts broadcast out of San Francisco? Three reasons.
  1. Liberals believe in people having a chance to express their views.

  2. We are hesitant to do anything that even has the impression of limiting someone's speech. This hesitation is even there when someone crosses over into speech that fits the legal definition of hate speech or the common sense limitation to not falsely cry fire in a crowed theater.

  3. Radical conservatives exploit this hesitancy of liberals, up to and beyond the bounds of decency.
But just because we are hesitant doesn't mean that we shouldn't act when someone does cross the line and descends into violent rhetoric directed towards people because of their religion, race, nationality or sexual orientation. To not act is to condone this speech. And to honor the speaker is sending a message to the people being attacked verbally. Do you concur with these comments? Do you disagree? If you disagree, how serious is your disagreement? What message do you send with your honors and your plaques? You honor the man but not the words?

Who this group decides to honor is their decision. The members can decide what they are really honoring, but it would be nice if they didn't fool themselves with the answer.

Here is a slightly edited letter I sent to Darryl Compton, the Executive Director of the Bay Area Radio Museum & Hall of Fame.


I know the Hall of Fame is a popularity contest and a lot of very vile broadcasters are popular, but before you honor Lee Rodgers you might want to actually listen to some of his current shows to see how far he has descended from the Lee Rodgers you and others might have known at one time.

You can listen on the Internet to a current show and hear some of his genocidal comments directed toward directed toward Iraqi's, Muslims and liberals.

In addition to his desire to "massacre every last damn one" of the Iraqis he is un-apologetically pro-torture. And if you think that Rodgers apologized for his torture comments, think again. He did NOT apologize for talking about torturing the blowing the brains out of a criminal (link) Here's audio of Rodgers not apologizing for those comments and embracing them. (Link)

Suggesting that someone suspected of a crime be burned alive is just another day on Rodger's talk radio (You will note his old sidekick, Melanie Morgan, added the "hogtied" to the being burned alive comment, I guess when she wants someone to die in a fire she really wants to make sure it happens.) These vicious comments aren't just one time outbursts, they are the backbone of his show, along with his name calling and his constant talk about testicles (link to multiple audio clips)

I suppose Rodgers will have to come back to the Bay Area to pick up his award, but he clearly hates San Francisco and the majority of the people in the city. I know this because he says so almost every day as he broadcasts out of his home in Arizona.

I suppose you can honor his longevity, that is your prerogative, but you may want to listen to the words said by the man you are honoring. Rodgers may be nice to his friends off the air, I can only judge him based on the exact words he says on the show.
And I know exactly what he says because I've being monitoring his violent rhetoric for years.

Would you honor a man who said we should massacre the Jews? The Tutsis? Then why are you honoring Lee Rodgers who on
June 30, 2009 at 6:24 am said this about all the Iraq people.

"You people do what ever you want to each other and this country just don't give us a reason to come back or we'll massacre every last damn one of you."

Rodgers on Iraqis (audio link) I rarely use the phrase hate speech because it has a legal connotation that the right likes to willfully confuse, especially when it is linked to a hate crime, but hate speech is bias speech and Rodgers' bias toward a group of people because of their religion, Muslim, and their nationality is clear.

If you would like to hear some of his comments over the last couple of years go here (link). Sadly, if you listen to an entire recent program you will hear more of the same, plus the usual name calling and violent rants. (link)

You may believe that all those votes for Rodgers are based on popular support (you might want to examine your voting methods and records however) but I'm sure the radio hosts at Hutu Power radio also were very popular. When they told the Hutu's to "cut the tall trees" and "stomp on the cockroaches" lots of Hutu's listened and then acted. And they killed Tutsis. Rodger's didn't pull the trigger on the gun at the Universal Unitarian Church, but do these words sound similar?

Liberals are a pest like termites. Millions of them Each little bite contributes to the downfall of this great nation. The only way we can rid ourselves of this evil is to kill them in the streets. Kill them where they gather. I'd like to encourage other like minded people to do what I've done. If life aint worth living anymore don't just kill yourself. do something for your Country before you go. Go Kill Liberals.
Jim Adkisson's Manifesto written before he killed Greg McKendry and Linda Kraeger at the the Unitarian Universalist

Think my metaphor is too extreme? Here is Lee Rodgers saying that a protester should be stomped to death and his co-host "Officer Vic", saying liberals are like cockroaches, cut their heads off.(audio link) And

Why do I not identify myself, but go by Spocko? Because as "Officer Vic" said just the other day, "When a man says he is going to kill you, believe him."

"We'll trace you back, hunt you down and kill you like a mad dog."
Lee Rodgers, KSFO about supporters of Ron Paul (audio link)

Instead of a ceremony to honor them, the broadcasters of Rwanda's Hutu Power radio went to trial for their contribution to war crimes. Hassan Ngeze was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment, and in 2005, Leon Mugesera was deported from Canada to stand trial for his role in the killing.

You are honoring Lee Rodgers Darryl. Be sure to play some of these audio clips at the ceremony just so everyone knows what Rodgers has been broadcasting and who you are placing in the hall of fame.



Blogger Leslie said...

Great piece. If only people in broadcast would listen to your calling out of this hate speech - whether this idiot or Limbaugh or O'Reilly, or any other crackpot.

I really liked this line:

The power of early impressions is very strong and people don't want to believe that someone could become dark and mean as they age.

Nice. . .

10:15 PM  
Blogger (O)CT(O)PUS said...

A tour de force. Wondering, have you discussed in previous posts the distinction between "free speech" versus "verbal abuse?" My thought behind the question: One can hide behind the protection of free speech but it is a lot harder to hide behind "verbal abuse." Would there be some advantage in underscoring this distinction?

10:03 PM  
Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

You're good, bubba! Reasonable, rational, great examples. The right tone. Polemics at jist about the right level...

(but we all need an editor...if ya wanna, send me the next draft, and i'll copy-edit fer snark, or criticism at all! i caught a couple syntactic bobbles, is all)

Btw, I c & pd your piece from Digby yesterday on The Pond, where you may discover in my own posts many unedited examples my thesis..

12:54 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

You're an inspiration. I often feel like I'm talking only to myself but doing what you are doing is important -- keep it up.

6:50 AM  

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