John & Ken's 'Korean Painter Scam Guys' Rant Called Out as 'Racially Charged'

Talk show hosts John & Ken (KFI AM 640) don't seem to have met an ethnic group they like. While they've long been criticized by immigrants' rights groups for their take on the undocumented (culminating in the loss of several advertisers for their station), a new controversy has erupted.

The group Media Matters for America is calling out the duo for its take this week on "Korean painter scam guys."

That's right, this time there's not a Mexican in sight. The group summed up Thursday's Korean scandal:

During the January 5 broadcast of Clear Channel's John and Ken Show, co-host John Kobylt discussed a suit he said he brought in a small claims court, claiming that he sued his "Korean painter" for not doing an adequate job. When news contributor Shannon Farren asked why "the fact he was Korean is relevant," Kobylt explained that "there's a lot of, like, Korean painter scam guys" and that "there's certain cultures that become involved in certain lines of work."

Media Matters published a transcript of the back-and-forth on "Korean painter scam guys," and this exchange stands out:

[John] No, there's certain cultures that become involved in certain lines of work, and they bring their --

[Ken] And the word spreads that they can rip people off, like you.

Interestingly, we've known some Korean painter guys, and they were straight-up. We were unaware of their conservative talk-radio rep. Are there shades of the 1992-riot-era, Korean-liquor-store stereotype here?

UCLA data on John & Ken.
UCLA data on John & Ken.

Media Matters says even after the National Hispanic Media Coalition's attack on the show and its advertisers, which inspired the likes of AT&T, General Motors and Ralph's to drop their ads, the duo keeps on insulting those of us who aren't as white.

And it says John and Ken have promised, on-air, "more of the reckless rhetoric that has led to numerous advertiser retreats."

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]


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