Hate Speech Hate speech, particularly talk radio show hosts continue to cross the line. They do so with regularity, receive a slap on the wrist and then return making excuses for their exploits, and damning the one or more of their followers for acting out violence after hearing the radio host comments. In fact, in an article in the New York Times on 1-1-95 Don Baker of KVOR radio in Colorado Springs, Colo. removed himself from the air. Mr.Baker encouraged listeners to take guns to Washington to protest a ban on assault weapons. Callers to his show accused him of inspiring Francis M.
Duran, a Colorado Springs man, to fire shots at the White House. Mr. Baker removed himself from his show in November, but before doing so referred to Mr. Duran as the jerk, the wacko, the creep. Mr.
Baker returned to his show in December with the general manager of the station stating that they were putting into effect a new policy against promoting violence (22). Many of these talk show hosts actually base their theme on Christianity. Christianity the last time I checked is supposed to promote love, and acceptance that all men and women are created equal, no matter their background, by God. This is in total contrast to what these so-called Christians are promoting. Free speech should be a corner stone of our American society; a way we Americans can express our views, feelings, and opinions in a rational manner open for debate and discussion without invoking hate, violence, and racism.
It seems that many talk show host have a hard time expressing a simple disagreement with the views of another human being. The talk show host lack of being able to express themselves seems to turn to hate. In the same New York Times article as cited earlier gives us yet another example. Bob Mohan a radio talk show host in Phoenix states that Jim Brady, former press secretary to Ronald Reagan, wife ought to be put down. It goes on to explain that he makes these comments because he does not like her complaining (22).
Perhaps there are ways of expressing hatred in a rational manner; such as expressed by Neil Boortz, a conservative radio host in Atlanta, who litened to a caller say that the government is now the enemy replies: if you want a revolution go to the ballot box (News Week May 8, 1995 44,46). Both of these men are conservative talk show hosts, but clearly contrasting ways of expressing their opinions. Racism is yet another extension of the hatred. Many of these talk show hosts have a hard time coming to grips with their prejudices. Their reaction is to lash out at any minorities that they do not like.
Rush Limbaugh a conservative talk show host makes fun of the way black people talk (New York Times 1-1-95 22). In a May 8, 1995 article in News Week Bob Grant, New York talk show host, is quoted in a disagreement with a caller over O.J. Simpson and the Oklahoma bombings, what Id like to do with you is put you against the wall with the rest of them, and mow you down with them. This is when the racism and hatred come together and may be turned to violence if heard by the wrong ear. In fact, according to the Rev. Francis X Mazur, catholic priest who is interim of the Buffalo area Metropolitan Ministries: The part that scares everyone is the amount of hate prejudice and racism that still exists in our public (New York Times 22).
There are times when these talk show hosts seem to be invoking the violence. A blatant example of this is in the May 8, 1995 News Week article. G. Gordon Liddy, who is the second most popular talk show host, implies that listeners should murder the agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and firearms. There seems to be a fine line between the person suggesting the violence and the person carrying it out in these instances.
It is time to say enough is enough and draw a clear line. If the line is crossed then those radio talk show host must be silenced. Most of us can listen and take it with a grain of salt, but there are those out there just waiting for a push. Speech and Communications.