L.A. City Hall Singles Out Anti-L.A. City Hall Radio Program for Racism, Sexism, and Insufficient Workplace Diversity

On Feb. 14 or 15 (accounts differ), less than 100 hours after Whitney Houston died, Los Angeles AM radio talkers John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, known ubiquitously in Southern California as "John & Ken" (and also as "the most listened to local talk radio program in the United States"), reacted to the news by pointing out that the death was no surprise given Houston's two decades of erratic, drug-addled behavior. Oh, and they also called her "crack ho'." Listen here:

The reaction was swift: Before the end of the week, KFI, a Clear Channel flagship station, suspended its popular drive-time duo for six working days "for making insensitive and inappropriate comments" about the singer. "KFI AM 640 Management does not condone, support or tolerate statements of this kind," management said. John Kobylt swallowed his medicine: "We made a mistake, and we accept the station's decision. We used language that was inappropriate, and we sincerely apologize to our listeners and to the family of Ms. Houston." The hosts were slated for "sensitivity training."

That did not prove to be enough for the L.A. City Council (whose members, incidentally, earn [as of one year ago] an average salary of $178,789, widely considered to be the highest in the country). The Council last week voted by a 13-2 margin in favor of a resolution stating that "the derogatory language used by some radio personnel has no place on public airwaves in the Great City of Los Angeles or anywhere in America," and urging "the management of radio and television stations in Los Angeles to do everything in their power to ensure that their on-air hosts do not use and promote racist and sexist slurs over public airwaves in the City of Los Angeles."

What does "everything in their power" include? The Council includes this guideline:

a truly diverse work environment must include the hiring of women, Blacks, Latinos and Asians not only as on-air talent, but as fill-in talent, paid contributors, producers, engineers, news reporters and online Web site owners.

It is to my free-speechin' heart never a good thing when an organ of government singles out a company, a station, a show, and its hosts for a tongue-lashing that includes the word "must." Though the legion of John & Ken haters in the media will complain about the resolution being toothless, it is next to impossible to do any kind of business in the City of Angels without going through a series of potentially politicized approvals at City Hall. And as Jesse Walker discussed in his 2008 feature "Beyond the Fairness Doctrine," the issue of ethnic diversity is precisely where the federal government has been concentrating its leverage over the radio business. I have no doubt that the most popular public-affairs radio station in Southern California is feeling intense pressure to placate the politicians it otherwise criticizes, which veers damn near close to the dictionary definition of "chilling" (a fact I was happy to see at least Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams admit).

I cannot imagine saying the phrase "crack ho'" even in private jest (though maybe that's because I find the fully pronounced "whore" much more hilarious), and if I had a dime for every time I winced at John and Ken talking about illegal immigration I could probably buy the Tribune Company*. But the fact that the City Council passed this resolution after KFI suspended the two suggests to me that the only real distance between L.A.'s politicians and The National Hispanic Media Coalition's "Take John and Ken Off the Air" campaign is that meddling Congress-shall-make-no-law stuff.

Though I take non-politicians who accuse John and Ken of "hate radio" at their word, I am much more suspicious about the motives of those in power. That's because having both listened to John and Ken on occasion and appeared on their show (including twice during their suspension!), I can testify that those two shouties, whatever you may think of them, cover the living hell out of local news. Here they are last week, for example, going after the L.A. city attorney, whose name is probably known by less than one in five journalists in town. It is one thing to throw long-distance rhetorical bombs at Rush Limbaugh (who is name-checked in the City Council's resolution, natch), but another altogether to target a powerful duo who come to prominence by knowledgeably ridiculing the local (and eminently ridiculable) political class. There was, needless to say, nothing like this level of enthusiasm for a City Council resolution back when Augustin Cebada was spouting anti-Semitic nonsense on the local Pacifica outlet.

* Joke totally stolen from Matt Novak.

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  • ||

    Is it possible to just kick LA and San Fran out of the country? Not all of California. There are some nice hard working people in San Diego and the central and northern coasts. Just those two metro areas. Let them drown in a giant pool of red ink and stupidity.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Santa Barbara and Carmel-by-the-Sea seem like typical Golden State non-reality zones to me. Nice places to visit, but God help you if you want to actually run a business there.

  • ||

    They are pretty bad.

  • Barry D||

    At least Carmel lets you play with your dog on the beach.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Psych seems to be doing OK.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Do cops shoot dogs on the beach in Carmel?

  • Spartacus, AKA Mary Stack||

    Is it possible to just kick LA and San Fran out of the country?

    No, but your concept of federalism is intriguing, and by intriguing I mean idiotic, in a purely blogocentric sort of way, meaning narcissistically. Anyway. Please keep posting here. Not that you won't anyway.

  • ||

    Oh poor Mary. I almost feel sorry for you. Would you like one of us to give you call?

  • Spartacus, AKA Mary Stack||

    John|3.26.12 @ 9:46AM
    But somehow knowing who she is makes it imminently easier to just ignore her.

  • Spartacus, AKA Mary Stack||

    They bite, and I reel 'em in!

  • ||

    It is just fun to know who you are. I may actually get a calling card, so you can't have my number on caller ID, and call you tonight. I think we all should.

  • Spartacus, AKA Mary Stack||

    John|3.26.12 @ 9:46AM
    But somehow knowing who she is makes it imminently easier to just ignore her.

  • ||

    Do you need a hug Mary?

  • Spartacus, AKA Mary Stack||

    Oh John, why can't you quit me?

  • RECTAL STACK||

    I WILL NEVER APOLOGIZE TO JASON! HE SPURNED ME! HE MUST DIE!

  • Spartacus, AKA Mary Stack||

    John|3.26.12 @ 9:46AM
    But somehow knowing who she is makes it imminently easier to just ignore her.

  • Spartacus, AKA Mary Stack||

    John|3.26.12 @ 4:43PM
    I may actually get a calling card, so you can't have my number on caller ID, and call you tonight.

    Intent to harass established. You're a lawyer, John? Bad move. Very bad move.

  • ||

    I don't want to harass you. I just want to call and see how you are. You seem really upset about something.

  • Spartacus, AKA Mary Stack||

    Keep digging, John.

  • fish||

    I'd listen to her John! She's got a gun.....err.. keyboard!

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Mary Stack's modus operandi is to impersonate others and then post inciteful things using their name.

  • Spartacus, AKA Mary Stack||

    John|3.26.12 @ 9:46AM
    But somehow knowing who she is makes it imminently easier to just ignore her.

  • rather troll alert||

    Sorry for being so late on the draw on this one.

    The above post appears to have been made by an individual who assumes multiple identities, including, but not limited to, "Mary Stack", "rather", "White Indian", "rctlfy", and "mstack60". Potential aliases could also include the impersonation of "shrike", "o3", and "Tony", but are not confirmed.

    Please do not reply to posts made by this person or attempt to engage in debate.

    Characteristics of postings by this person include use of bold and italics, cutting and pasting of writings by Jason Godesky (who appears to not be involved), debating in bad faith, impersonating others, using inciteful language, and making large quantities of posts 24/7.

    Thank you for your cooperation.

  • ||

    ^ What he said!*

     

    *John exempted

  • rather troll alert||

    It has come to the attention of the rather troll ignorance commission that the person known by the alias "rather" frequently impersonates "John".

    Activities include, but are not limited to, framing "John" as a pedophile, a stalker, a harasser, and someone who actively engages trolls on Hit & Run threads.

    Thread participants are advised to treat anything stupid "John" says as actually being the work of "rather".

  • Rectal Avoidance Commission||

    John|3.26.12 @ 9:46AM
    But somehow knowing who she is makes it imminently easier to just ignore her.

  • John||

    OK, OK, by "ignore" her I didn't really mean that I, or any of you, could actually ignore rectal and all her spoofs. I merely intended to say, in a nonbinding sort of way, that, if we could ignore her and her many spoofs, we should.

    Not that we can.

    We're hooked and, frankly, that's just sad. I admit it.

  • rather troll alert||

    The above post appears to have been made by an individual well-known as "rather" who assumes multiple identities, including, but not limited to, "Mary Stack", "White Indian", "rctlfy", and "mstack60". Aliases include include both the impersonation of fellow trolls "shrike", "o3", and "Tony" and good-faith participants such as "John" and "sloopyinca".

    Please do not reply to posts made by "rather" or attempt to engage in debate.

    Characteristics of postings by this person include use of debating in bad faith, impersonating innocent victims and using their identities to incite illegal acts of harassment, using inciteful language, and making large quantities of posts 24/7.

    Thank you for your cooperation.

  • ||

    I think Mary needs a hug.

  • Spartacus, AKA Mary Stack||

    John|3.26.12 @ 5:12PM
    I think Mary needs a hug.

    John|3.26.12 @ 9:46AM
    But somehow knowing who she is makes it imminently easier to just ignore her.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • i||

    hug=lithium prescription, right?

  • ||

    ^ What he said!

  • ||

    John, SugarFree -- what the fuck? Didn't you get the memo?

    Gambol lockdown is in FULL effect, mother-fuckers.

  • Spartacus, AKA Mary Stack||

    John, SugarFree -- what the fuck? Didn't you get the memo?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, the irony. It huuuurts!

  • Spartacus, AKA Mary Stack||

    Characteristics of postings by this person include use of debating in bad faith, impersonating innocent victims and using their identities to incite illegal acts of harassment, using inciteful language, and making large quantities of posts

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Oh SugarFree, why can't you quit me?

  • RECTAL STACK||

    I'm too sexy for my shirt too sexy for my shirt
    So sexy it hurts
    And I'm too sexy for Milan too sexy for Milan
    New York and Japan and DC, and Dallas!

    I'm a model you know what I mean
    And I do my little turn on the keyboard
    Yeah on the keyboard on the keyboard yeah
    I do my little turn on the keyboard

    I'm too sexy for my car too sexy for my car
    Too sexy by far
    And I'm too sexy for my hat
    Too sexy for my hat what do you think about that

    I'm a model you know what I mean
    And I do my little turn on the keyboard
    Yeah on the keyboard on the keyboard yeah
    I shake my "touche" at the keyboard

    'Cos I'm a model you know what I mean
    And I do my little turn on the keyboard
    Yeah on the keyboard on the keyboard yeah
    I shake my "touche" at the keyboard

    I'm too sexy for my cat too sexy for my cat
    Poor pussy poor pussy cat
    I'm too sexy for my love too sexy for my love
    John's going to leave me

  • Spartacus, AKA Mary Stack||

    John|3.26.12 @ 9:46AM
    But somehow knowing who she is makes it imminently easier to just ignore her.

  • Spartacus, AKA Mary Stack||

    Damn, this is too easy. It's like stealing deep-dish pizza from a libertarian.

  • RECTAL STACK||

    OH DON'T DO THAT! YOU KNOW THAT PIZZA GOES RIGHT TO YOUR THIGHS.

  • fish||

    C'mon the Giants finally win the series and now you want to banish the city?

  • ||

    They can still play in MLB. Toronto plays don't they?

  • Extra Sausage||

    This is like the worst chat room ever.

  • Killazontherun||

    BTW, she looked like this

    http://cdn.wwtdd.com/wp-conten.....761022.jpg

    in her final years, not the scrubbed up pics Reason has used in post about her over the previous few weeks. I've been approached by crack whores much less scary than that. That's Crack Living Dead.

  • Jan Perry||

    You banned, raciss mothafucka!

  • Killazontherun||

    Oh, Jan, that's what you say to all the whitish boys before you slap your tongue in their mouths. Don't even pretend that's not foreplay.

  • Jan Perry||

    Mmm hmmm. Boy, I'mma fuckin' diversifah the shet outcho white azz.

  • Killazontherun||

    Besides, you're much better looking than that Whitney Houston ever was alive.

    180,000 a year, you say?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...but another altogether to target a powerful duo who come to prominence by knowledgeably ridiculing the local (and eminently ridiculable) political class.

    But there's no real negative consequence to trying to regulate or legislate beyond constitutionality, is there? Go all the way to the edge of tyranny, see if you can get away with it, because even if you don't, you do.

  • ||

    Flagrantly unconstitutional actions should mean immediate removal from obvious.

  • ||

    ... and severe prosecution for egregious contempt of the office and the oath, and, depending on the transgression, treason.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    I enjoy AM 640's morning show; thank goodness that if they're forced off the air, I can listen to them via podcast or a streaming iPhone app.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will be judged by the color of their skin, not by the content of their bloodstream.

  • ||

    You know how they say that the states are the experimental labs of America? How is it that California's lab produced this total piece of shit? It is such a physically beautiful state. What a fucking shame.

  • Bob||

    Because it's such a beautiful state with great weather people will move there no matter how screwed up the local government is. That's how they can get away with destroying California.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    California is losing population.

  • ||

    And here's the sad part:

    1) Fucktarded progressive fucktards fuck up California.

    2) Their fucking up of California makes California shitty, so fucktarded progressive fucktards leave California.

    3) Fucktarded progressive fucktards settle in a better state, and then proceed to fuck that state up the same way they fucked up California.

    4) A decade or two, and you've got yourself some sweet California 2.0.

    5) Rinse and repeat.

  • ||

    And of course don't forget California is a God damned paradise. They couldn't fuck up some crappy state. No, they had to go to paradise on earth and fuck it up.

  • robc||

    A decade or two, and you've got yourself some sweet California 2.0.

    Colorado or Texas? Who is going to "win"?

  • ||

    Texas has an unbelievably enormous chance not to become fucked up. I hope it doesn't veer off the good course.

    Colorado's getting worse. Even its state government's timidity is fading, and we all know how totally awesome crusader-legislatures are.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Texas is already dominated by crazed Republican police-state types.

    Think of them as streptococcus mutans providing competition against streptococcus pyogenes. Whilst the former might give you rotten teeth, it does keep much more serious illness away.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Indeed. Californians have ruined Oregon and Arizona and are working hard to destroy Idaho and Montana.

    Some well-meaning but liberal friends of mine moved to Ohio because of an excellent business opportunity. They then proceed to live in the most expensive part of town possible whilst espousing and supporting liberal views. And completely missing the fact their actions both oppress the social underclass they claim to care about, and will eventually ruin the business opportunity they sought in the first place.

    I do not doubt the best of intentions from Californians, but their actions are to destroy anything they touch.

    (Speaking as a Californian trying to start & run an out-of-state business.)

  • ||

    I'll fucking shoot myself if Texas tips the same way, or if Massholes screw up New Hampshire. Don't you fucking dare, Masshols and Califlowers.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Old union country like Ohio or Indiana is a safe place to rest. Liberals either assume it's still liberal, or are too busy mocking "flyover country" to consider moving here and spreading their ideological pollution.

  • ||

    I hear Indiana's becoming better and better. I would have thought its proximity to Illinois would have infected it with the Taint and made another realm of the Darkspawn.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I hear Greece would be a lovely place if it weren't for the people.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    I think the only place with more Greeks than Athens is Melbourne, and it was a very nice place in which to grow up.

    Sort of like Greece but without the Communists.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Once again the LA City Council legislates from an alternate reality where they have micromanagement authority over every individual and organization in LA County.

  • Paul||

    I'm told that these city councils represent the people. Therefore, what they do is democratic. Literally.

  • Trayvon||

    Politicians only get upset up over the truth.

  • ||

    fwiw, i do not think whitney houston was a crack ho, although i certainly support the right of these guys to SAY that... see: 1st amendment

    however, in response to the author here, crack ho's DO exist, everybody who works the hood or lives in the hood knows this.

    crack ho's and meth ho's are a fact of life. nothing wrong with using the term to describe a woman, addicted to crack, who will suck a dick for some crack.

    and there are plenty of them out there.

    i doubt houston was one

  • ||

    They're certainly more productive members of society than people like, say, the Commissioner of the NYPD.

  • ||

    some are more productive than others. i don't think prostitution should be illegal, but in regards to crack addicts - ime crack addicts are rarely productive. they usually engage in petty crimes consistently to support their habit and rarely hold down a job or contribute much

    at least a crack ho IS holding down a job, though

  • Appalachian Australian||

    In other words, a crack ho is a type of crack addict that does *not* live by defrauding others.

    So a crack ho is more productive and a better part of society than, say, an L.A. councilperson.

  • ||

    Just for a comparison of norms, Appalachian, note the difference between the salary of a member of the General Court of New Hampshire and that of a Los Angeles Councilman.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    I can't help but notice how those who constantly advocate on behalf of the disadvantaged social classes tend to be completely loaded, and usually by means of regulatory capture, government salary, or a sweet job at an NGO.

  • ||

    One of my almost-neighbors (few streets away) is a generically rich surgeon who lives in luxury, dresses and acts pretty much the same way a DNC ad would portray arrogant, vain rich guys to dress and act, and he donates thousands to charity every year.

    I wonder how many dollars Councilwoman Fat McFucking Parasite gives away to "right society's wrongs".

  • ||

    the left tried to explain away the study that came out a while ago that pretty clearly showed that conservatives donate a greater %age of their income to charity than libs.

  • ||

    Yeah, and it was by an enormous margin. But don't worry, Dunphy, libertard racist neo-Confederates and conservative negro-haters fabricated all those facts of the universe and the studies and analytical studies revealing them.

    Time to masturbate ferociously to a bust of Karl Marx.

    /Progressive crusader.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    the left tried to explain away the study that came out a while ago that pretty clearly showed that conservatives donate a greater %age of their income to charity than libs.

    Don't you know that money should only be distributed through proper channels, specifically, federal programs run by the right sort of people with the right sort of credentials?

    Taxation is holier than charity in the civil religion.

  • sounds real good||

    I once observed a MTF transsexual crack ho entering a Port-A-Pottie on the sidewalk with a john. I'm just sayin'.

  • ||

    If only we had a crack addict as President of the United States, eh? Petty crimes and unproductive behavior? We fucking wish. Active, rabid tyranny is what we get nowadays.

    Crack whore 2012!

  • ||

    dave chappelle already did that episode

    hey, at least we got one as the mayor of DC (more than once)

    granted, i am not sure if he was an addict, but he was a user at least

  • ||

    It's a really fucking heartbreaking realization, Dunphy, that to have a toothpick elected President of the United States in 2012 would make a colossal improvement upon Obama's presidency.

    How have we become such lowly, fucked-up little serfs?

  • ||

    day by day apparently.

    obama made a lot of promises, and imo he executed the greatest bait and switch in the history of US presidency

    NO president has more astoundingly done a complete 180 that i am aware of

    he makes bush seem also restrained in security state shenanigans

  • fish||

    Certainly a coke (demonstrated connoisseur of powdered cocaine though) ho (common greeting of the hip hop set).

    This got these two suspended?

  • Invisible Finger||

    Think I'll start listening to their show.

  • ||

    the political class is hardly beyond this kind of crap.

    like i said, the fact that politicians (mayor of oakland etc.) were bending over backwards to ignore and even FACILITATE criminal activity by OWS because they agreed with the message - set the precedent

    this is just another example

    if they agree with your message, the law doesn't apply to you.

    if they disagree, it's full court press

  • Anonymous Coward||

    if they agree with your message, the law doesn't apply to you.

    if they disagree, it's full court press

    It's almost as if government were akin to a criminal enterprise. But what am I saying? The government is always here to help, even when they are busy hurting you.

  • ||

    Meanwhile, over at LA Weekly, they bemoan the fact that LA City Council spend Friday passing this useless resolution, while failed to pass actual resolution to stop Walmart expansion to Chinatown. I didn't even know that was a bad thing.

  • Bill Maher||

    I agree... these two men should be fired, and forbidden to ever use the public airwaves. They spout hateful, anti-woman "comedy".

    BTW, did I mention that Sarah Palin is a cunt?

  • N.O.W.||

    We're still pretending you never said that, Bill.

  • Liberal Griefer||

    The people own the airwaves!!! For the children!!!!!

  • shrike||

    A.B.U.

  • ||

    Of course calling Whitney Houston names is nasty. The lady had a great talent, but was not able to handle her personal life. The proper punishment is for the listeners to turn them off.

    It is not for the LA city council to turn them off for us !

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