ARCHIVES: How do these Neanderthals still have jobs?

Rob and Arnie (with Dawn) somehow managed to keep their jobs after their 33-minute on-air rant against transgendered kids.

This pre-Franorama World post, about two Sacramento FM morning shock jocks going off for 33 full minutes on transgendered kids, was from my MySpace blog June 3, 2009, 5:17 p.m. PDT. After a nationwide firestorm of publicity — and after losing a slew of advertisers — and with their careers in the balance, the two jocks in question ate much humble pie and did a show devoted to trans issues a short time later.

Does anyone still care about civil rights?

My dear friend Lexy, back in Connecticut, told me about a rant on a radio show in Sacramento last week. (It’s the “Rob, Arnie & Dawn Morning Show” on KRXQ, 98.5 FM.) So I found a link to the story, clicked on the hyperlink to the actual aircheck and listened. The link can be found in this story:

And here’s another take, from The Huffington Post:

I have quite a few people near and dear to me who are gay and/or transgendered, and I was just astounded, dumbfounded, that such hateful, ignorant, Neanderthal bullshit — targeted at kids! — could be spewed over the airwaves without some public response.

Anyway, this is the email I sent the show’s main host (and owner), Rob Williams; the body includes the email I sent this afternoon to FCC Commissioner Michael Copps. How do cavemen like this keep their jobs? Imus was fired for a one-second comment about black women; what does a 33-minute rant about trans kids warrant?

Rob,

Hello. A friend alerted me to your “informed” rant on the May 28 show. I listened to the whole thing, and, well, here’s the letter I wrote to FCC Commissioner Michael Copps this afternoon:

Hello. I’ve never written a letter to the FCC before, but I was alerted to something so vile that I couldn’t just sit by and say nothing. And I hope the commission takes this into consideration when it comes time for the station’s license renewal.

I was alerted to a May 28 segment of the “Rob, Arnie & Dawn in the Morning” show on KRXQ (98.5 FM) in Sacramento, in which host (and show owner) Rob Williams, with interjections from his sidekick, Arnie States, went off for over a half-hour on transgendered people as a whole – and trans children in particular.

I listened to the entire 33-minute rant – starting with Williams calling the whole trans movement “phony” and saying trans people are “liars who need attention” – and just couldn’t believe that this is what a radio station is allowed to do with a public license to broadcast.

To her great credit, Dawn Rossi, the other member of the crew, argued fiercely in favor of trans people, but Williams and States stood on their ignorance and went off on the civil rights of people who, as in matters of race, ethnicity and sexual preference, did not choose to be who they are. The following rants are Williams’:

“What really sicken … Look, if you want to be a 25-year-old and you want to come out and say, ‘Well, I’m a man trapped in a woman’s body’ and have surgery, you’re a freak. I think you’re a freak and I have every right to call you that and judge you on that. I think you’re a weirdo. At least you’re an adult and you’re making that decision for yourself, phony. What makes me sick about this are these parents in America that are continuing to create and allow their children, very young children, to say ‘Mommy, I’m a girl twapped in a boy’s body. I want to weah a dwess’ (voice affected).”

“If my son put on a pair of high heels, I would probably hit him with one of my shoes.”

“First of all, if the kid ever gets to 18 and says ‘I still feel like a woman,’ you say ‘Fine, you’re a failure, get out, go be a freak. And understand, SON – society will never accept you because we still have some moral judgment.’”

[Rebutting a point made by Dawn]: “Dawn, they ARE freaks. They are abnormal. Not because they’re girls trapped in boys’ bodies, but because they have a mental disorder that needs to be somehow gotten out of them. That’s where therapy could help them if our therapists weren’t complicit in this nation with the idea that they’re gonna go along with the belief that a girl could be trapped in a boy’s body. What they need is some tough-love therapy who will tell them to wake up, get over it, whatever it is that caused this stupid problem because they weren’t getting attention from the parents at home … or because they were molested – you know, a lot of times these transgenders were molested and you need to work with them on that. The point is you don’t allow the behavior, you cure the cause.”

[Dawn pointed out that he spewed the same things that had been said about gays for years.] “I understand gay communities stand up and say they’re all one. They should be as insulted as blacks are when gay people try to compare themselves to the civil rights movement … Transgenders did not exist four decades ago … And here’s what’s gonna happen, what’s already happening: When you allow the transgenders to exist, pretty soon it becomes normal to fall in love with the animals. That’s the slippery-slope part of this that is occurring.”

Williams did most of the rambling. But States did interject at one point by calling a transgendered kid in Nebraska a “stupid little fruit.”

That’s no different than Don Imus’ “nappy-headed hos” comment. To put it in perspective: Imus was fired for a one-second offhand comment about a group of young black women. Williams and States went on for over a half-hour spewing vile comments about another group of people who had no choice in how they were born. In my book, civil rights is civil rights, and one was just as reprehensible as the other.

But please keep this in mind: According to the Human Rights Campaign, transgendered Americans stand a 1-in-12 chance of being murdered, compared to 1-in-18,000 for the average American. And one of those murders last year took place in Sacramento. And that the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education network reports that more than a quarter of transgendered students in the 2007-08 school year were physically assaulted because of their gender identity. And by their rhetoric, Williams and States were telling their (semingly agreeing) audience that yes, it’s cool to persecute transgendered kids.

I realize the FCC has no say over stations’ personnel decisions, but as someone who remembers when the commission stated a radio station’s purpose “was to serve the public interest as a public trustee,” I don’t see where the promotion of hatred and quarter-cocked ignorance and flat-out prejudice serves the public interest.

I’m all for freedom of speech – responsible speech. Ignorant, inflammatory hate rhetoric, however, is another matter, especially when children and civil rights are involved. Unless the station takes appropriate actions, I hope the commission will seriously consider revoking the license of KRXQ come renewal time. I’m sure there are responsible, reasonable, intelligent people just clamoring for the right to use our airwaves in a more constructive and much less damaging manner. Thanks for your time.

I’ve never heard a more ignorant, Neanderthal, hate-filled rant in my life — and one geared toward children! I sat there dumbfounded as I heard you guys. (And kudos to Dawn for standing up to you, which I get the feeling she does often.)

I have friends all across the spectrum, from (yes) rednecks to gay and transgendered friends. If you were as “informed” as you claimed to be, you’d know that transgenderism is as much a “choice” as race/ethnicity and sexual orientation. None of my gay/trans friends “chose” to live a life that would open them to bigotry, hatred, persecution, the possibility of being shunned by their families — and violence to the point of murder. (The Human Rights Campaign reported last year that trans people in America have a 1-in-12 chance of being murdered; the average for all Americans is 1 in 18,000. And one of those murders took place in Sacramento last September.)

Willful ignorance, hatred and pandering to the lowest common denominator, on the other hand, is a choice.

As I wrote to Mr. Copps, Imus was fired for an offhanded, one-second comment about a group of young black women. What does Arnie’s one-second “stupid little fruit” comment warrant, much less your entire 33-minute spew?

I wish I were living up there to start a boycott of your advertisers. But since I don’t, I did the right and legal thing and contacted the authority with the power to do something about your station’s license. I’m all for free, responsible speech — and what you sprayed the the 28th doesn’t fit even the most twisted, demented definition of “responsible.” And targeted at children? God, these kids didn’t do a damn thing to you or your listeners! They’re not harming anyone. They want to live their lives the way they best know how, same as any other American. The harm is what comes from the mouths of you, Arnie and your type — ignorant hatred and persecution for a few laughs, a few ratings points.

Maybe someone should hit you with a shoe. In any case, you and Arnie don’t deserve a job cleaning toilets at a radio station, much less behind a microphone. But I’m sure if you cleaned the toilets once in a while, you might come up with better material. Keep ’em laughing …

Fran Fried, Fresno

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2 Responses to “ARCHIVES: How do these Neanderthals still have jobs?”

  1. jmucci Says:

    Well, Fran…look at the dude in the middle…he looks like a big, dumb meathead. If he says this kind of stuff on the air, imagine what he REALLY thinks off-air about gays, blacks, women, etc.

  2. Adam Carolla’s career suicide « Franorama World Says:

    […] unlike the morning-show idiots in Sacramento two years ago — who seemed especially remorseful and chastened after losing several major […]

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