The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday urged broadcasters to knock it off with the sexist and racist epithets. Urging is all they can do, because governments can’t mess with free speech, but they did urge. I anticipate panic about a slippery slope, or perhaps Rush Limbaugh shouting a volley of sexist racist epithets at the Los Angeles City Council.
Or perhaps, worse, there will be dozens or thousands of solid citizens who will phone and text and email the Council to point out that mere werds are harmless and that they’re a bunch of pussy-whipped idiots who should be kicked in the cunt for thinking otherwise.
Nevertheless, they do think otherwise. They think words do matter.
The City Council called on TV and radio broadcasters Wednesday to keep their hosts from spouting crude slurs, citing Rush Limbaugh’s reference to a woman as a “slut” and KFI’s John and Ken calling Whitney Houston a “crack ho.”
The council voted 13-2 for a resolution urging Los Angeles stations 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.”
Government has no right to suppress “hateful, vile, despicable speech” but society should not tolerate it, Councilman Paul Krekorian said. “We can drown out that hatred with a loud chorus.”
The measure was sponsored by three black council members and supported by civil rights and minority media groups. It was broadened after originally naming only KFI-AM and its owner, Clear Channel, which carries Limbaugh and owns hundreds of stations nationwide.
Burbank-based KFI has 1.5 million listeners on any given weekday, the resolution said.
At the council meeting, speakers said the focus was on conservative radio shows such as Limbaugh’s, accusing them of trading in crude stereotypes of blacks, women and Latinos.
“It’s ugly. It’s violent. They’re inciting others to violence,” said Alex Nogales, head of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
Noooo, they’re just exercising their gift for poetry.