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The "John & Ken" Boycott is On!

National Hispanic Media Coalition is moving forward after canceled meeting with Latino leadership

By Elia Esparza
Published on LatinoLA: October 11, 2011


The "John & Ken" Boycott is On!


The National Hispanic Media Coalition is moving forward with a boycott of the John and Ken Radio Show after KFI management canceled a meeting with the immigrant rights group.

Latino leaders were surprised and disappointed with the Clear Channel representative's unwillingness to address the concerns of the Latino community. Clear Channel's refusal to face Latino leaders for a civil conversation about the ramifications of John and Ken's actions has left NHMC and its allies with no choice but to ask the show's advertisers to cease their support.

Alex Nogales, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, received a surprise phone call from Greg Ashlock, the President and Market Manager of KFI and Clear Channel's other seven Los Angeles radio stations, cancelling the meeting he himself had scheduled and widely publicized on KFI's website.

"This cancellation is only one incident in Clear Channel and KFI's disappointing pattern of disregard for the Latino community," states Nogales. "Clear Channel and KFI have proven that they are hate profiteers. Their refusal to face the music regarding John and Ken's egregious behavior shows us that they are not concerned with the people they harm but only their bottom line," he adds.

According to Nogales, "This is not the kind of response we would expect from responsible broadcasters. By their actions, Clear Channel and KFI have sent a strong message - they have blessed John and Ken's hate-filled rants while at the same time demonstrated their complete disregard to serving the Los Angeles community."

Ashlock told the Los Angeles Times, "I'm more than happy to sit down with anybody who has concern and talk it out but we're not going to be held hostage to demands that are outlandish.

This is the typical response when cornered to discuss the hate speech targeting Latinos on the John and Ken Show, state several Latinos in line at a Culver City theater to Latin Heat Online. "Everyone we spoke to," says Elia Esparza, a contributing editor for Latin Heat, "wholeheartedly support the National Hispanic Media Coalition's boycott campaign."

"It sickens me the type of hate being promoted on this show! Don't they know that all this does is motivate haters to act on their hatred against innocent people," said another movie attendee, Olivia Fonseca. "We're Latino, and I worry for my kids each time they go out.

The National Hispanic Media Coalition is leading the outreach to advertisers of the John and Ken Show, many of which are not even aware that their advertising dollars are supporting hate speech against Latinos on the radio.

The advertisers that NHMC and its allies will be connecting with on behalf of the Latino community nationwide consist of on-air advertisements and official endorsements, which include such clients and brands:

AT&T Wireless, Auto Insurance Specialist, Ayres Hotels, Cadillac, Cunning Dental Group, Jarvis & Krieger Attorneys at Law, Riverside Metro Auto Group, Saddleback Eye Center, Susam's Healthy Gourmet, The Bugman, and endorsements from Albertson's, Aquarium of the Pacific, BMW, Cars for Causes, Chevron, Citrix "Go to my PC", Home Depot, Hyndai, Quicken, Ralphs, The Bicycle Casino, Verizon FIOS, and Vons.

Call to Action:

The National Hispanic Media Coalition is asking the Latino community to join in the "Take John and Ken off the Air" Campaign. Supporters are asked to call and write letters to Clear Channel, parenting company of KFI, as well as to join an online petition.

Find all the information on NHMC.org.

Hate Sample:

The most recent example of John and Ken at their worst is their attacks on CHIRLA and its representative, Jorge-Mario Cabrera. On September 1st John and Ken began ranting about CHIRLA's support for the California DREAM Act. The duo provided Mr. Cabrera's office and personal cell phone numbers and encouraged their listeners to call and harass him.

Mr. Cabrera proceeded to receive over 450 abusive and threatening calls. Many of the callers repeated John and Ken's exact words, and then wished death upon Mr. Cabrera and/or threatened his physical safety. And indeed, many callers directly referenced John and Ken in their nasty messages. According to Ashlock, "Expressing your opinion is not a firing offense. KFI stands behind John and Ken and their right to speak their minds- opinions shared, incidentally, by over a million California listeners each week and protected by the First Amendment.

The NHMC urges the Latino community to join in the "Take John and Ken off the Air" Campaign, by boycotting the corporations, companies and brands identified.

"Hate crimes against people of color are on the rise, as are the number of hate groups," reads a NHMC statement. "Last year hate crimes against Latinos in California increased by nearly 50%. According to statistics from the Southern Poverty Law Center, hate groups are increasing at alarming rates in the country.

A shocking sixty eight hate groups reside in California alone, many of which are in KFI AM's listening area.

For samples of John and Ken's incendiary rhetoric and of the calls Jorge-Mario Cabrera received, go to: http://nhmc.org/content/take-john-and-ken-air

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