KFI’s formerly courageous stand has for some reason collapsed into dhimmitude. I would like to know how CAIR pulled this one off; was it the mere threat of a lawsuit, or something else?
A CAIR press release (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
ANAHEIM, Calif., Feb. 8 /U.S. Newswire/ — The Southern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) announced today that KFI-AM 640 radio and talk show host Bill Handel have apologized for mocking the deaths of Muslims on Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. Handel has also been reprimanded in writing by the station for his “insensitive remarks.”
CAIR-LA recently called for the apology and reprimand after being contacted by concerned Muslims who heard Handel’s January 12 broadcast, in which he made light of the more than 300 pilgrims who died in a stampede during this year’s Hajj….
In a letter to the Muslim community sent to CAIR-LA, Clear Channel Communications Regional Vice President Greg Ashlock wrote in part: (Clear Channel is KFI’s parent company.)
“We would like to offer a sincere apology to members of the Muslim Community for recent comments airing on our station related to the unfortunate deaths for those taking part in the Hajj. KFI AM 640 does not condone making light of the deaths of people engaged in religious observances…
Good. Neither do I. But they said that in their original statement. The difference was that in that one they added: “KFI does not censor its hosts, nor does it tell them what to say or not to say. KFI is a strong and passionate believer in 1st amendment rights and that is at the very core of this radio station.” I guess that isn’t true anymore.
Clear Channel also seems to have caved on this: “Handel will apologize IF the Council on American-Islamic Relations: 1) Decries all acts of terror (described specifically, not generally) 2) Agrees that Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to defensible borders 3) CAIR has no ties of any sort, financially or otherwise, to any terror orgs or individiuals.”
“On this particular program, we crossed the line in reporting the Hajj incident in an insensitive manner. We have discussed the content and timing of this ‘bit’ extensively with Mr. Bill Handel and his crew and are confident that everyone now understands the gravity of the situation. Mr. Handel expresses his sincere apology for the insensitive remarks.”
The letter also stated that a staff member’s e-mail reply to a racist message was due to an “error in auto-response.” “Our show hosts and the station denounce racism, period. We communicated our stance to CAIR as soon as we discovered the error,” wrote Ashlock.
Ashlock, don’t be a dope. This has nothing to do with race. This is all about intimidation and the destruction of free speech.