KFI radio personalities John & Ken, who spoon-feed SoCal's uber-conservatives (and, unfortunately, 1 million more Americans) exactly what they want to hear for a living, are usually pretty harmless. Perpetuating a culture of hate and fear for Latinos, yes -- but it's easy enough to tune out their minuteman-lite drivel. Twist of the dial, and we can forget they just blamed Dodger Stadium violence on L.A. Mexicans, endorsed Mickey Kaus, etc.
Last Thursday, though, they crossed the line. It's hard for a professional immigrants-rights advocate ignore the Latino-bashing when it's all up in his voice mailbox:
Jorge-Mario Cabrera, communications director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrants Rights of Los Angeles, e-mailed his press contacts with a more personal story of injustice yesterday.
"John and Ken decided that during the show's popular 5 pm hour, my name, my office's direct line, and my personal cell phone number were fair game as they taunted their audience to rise up against California's attempt to pass AB131, part two of the California DREAM Act. Call Jorge, the DJs pressed, to "congratulate him for stealing your taxpayer money". They went ahead and read both of my phone numbers as listed in a press advisory I had sent KFI's news director. Although my phone contacts were clearly labeled, radio listeners were not informed that one of the numbers was a mobile number and likely a private number meant to be used by media outlets only."
Not surprisingly, given the show has an audience the size of Phoenix, Cabrera says he received 291 calls on his cell from irate anti-DREAMers. The CHIRLA phone system was subject to an even harsher hailstorm, crashing after it was "unable to deal with the onslaught of calls."
In our own experience with Cabrera, he's been a bit over-sensitive about the terminology we've used to describe illegal aliens, and our sometimes flippant attitude toward the immigration controversy. But that's his duty, as a professional advocate -- and lord knows somebody's got to stick up for this country's huddled masses.
Unlike, say, a left-wing politician, Mario-Cabrera wasn't elected, isn't accountable to voters and isn't forcing any legislation on anybody. He's just doing his job.
Here are some of the nastiest voicemails he received, clear proof (if you still needed it) that California can be worse than Arizona, feeling safe to be even nastier in the shelter of its blue-state cover:
Cypress caller: "You goddamn traitor to our nation. What the fuck are you doing? Go back to Mexico and fix your shit over there. If I ever see your ass I'm gonna kick it. How dare you come to this country? This is a fucking hostile takeover. I hope somebody shoots your ass."
Los Angeles caller: "Jorge, you are stealing from American citizen kids. Fuck you."
Pomona caller: "I am so upset at you guys. You have destroyed this country and continue to destroy it. You are rewarding criminals. You guys are the worst scum of the earth I have ever seen."
Montebello caller: "Is this Jorge's number? You are a fucking loser. That's all I can say right now. Speak in the fuck English, asshole."
L.A. County caller: "Jorge, you need to stop encouraging people to steal our money for illegal aliens. Shame on you. Go back to Mexico, you make us sick."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
And here's the segment, via KFI's archives.
What do you think: Did John & Ken take the privacy intrusion too far with this (very personal) call to arms? Or are angry voicemails just the consequences of holding such a controversial job?