Writing FCC Complaints About Arnie States' Shoe Throwing Comment On KRXQ & KDOT
Posted in: Uncategorized
Update: It’s now up to eight, the number of businesses that have dropped advertizing on KRXQ. Details from GLAAD and The Advocate below the fold.
Update 2: Add AT&T and McDonnalds To The List — details below the fold.
Full list of advertisers no longer advertising on KRXW:
• Bank of America
• Carl’s Jr (CKE Restaurants)
• Wells Fargo
• Nissan North America
Update 3: Huffington Post writer Michael Rowe has new piece up entitled KRXQ Radio Hosts Have History of Obscenity Involving Children, Says FCC Report. (Note from Autumn: Just fixed the link to the Huff Post story — the link now directs you to the correct story. Sorry for the incorrect link that was up before!) It’s a “must read” piece for those following this story.
Btw, do you blenders know that we broke the original story here at The Blend with our piece On Transitioning Transgender Youth II – The Other Side Of The Coin? We were the first media outlet of any sort with a story up about the Rob, Arnie, and Dawn In The Morning‘s May 28th segment on TransYouth. I’m pretty proud of that.
Mila Pavlin has been FCC licensing courses under her belt, and she helped me understand a bit of the rules. So a wonderfully warm “h/t” and “thank you” to Mila for her help, but I get the blame for putting this piece together and recommending this course of action. :P
When discussing civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, I’m more than occasionally found referencing Bayard Rustin’s take on what “our job” is as LGBT people and civil rights activists — what that job entails:
“[T]he job of the gay community is not to deal with extremists who would castigate us or put us on an island and drop an H-bomb on us. The fact of the matter is that there is a small percentage of people in America who understand the true nature of the homosexual community. There is another small percentage who will never understand us. Our job is not to get those people who dislike us to love us. Nor was our aim in the civil rights movement to get prejudiced white people to love us. Our aim was to try to create the kind of America, legislatively, morally, and psychologically, such that even though some whites continued to hate us, they could not openly manifest that hate. That’s our job today: to control the extent to which people can publicly manifest antigay sentiment.”
–Bayard Rustin, From Montgomery to Stonewall (1986)
I’ve modified Rustin’s highlighted words in my own mind. What I believe Bayard Rustin would say now is something more to the effect of:
That’s our job today: to control the extent to which people can publicly manifest anti-gay and anti-transgender sentiment.
So, when Rob Williams and Arnie States, in the May 28th broadcast on transyouth, stated over the public airwaves of both Sacramento’s KRXQ and Reno’s KDOT (four excerpts from the broadcast in the clip)…
• “And, it’s more of the political correct bull crap — that you don’t want to tell a kid he’s a freak ’cause it might hurt his feelings. If my son — God forbid — if my son put on a pair of high heels, I would probably hit him with one of my shoes. I would throw a shoe at him because y’know what? Boys don’t wear high heels.”
• “…And, that’s what happened in your example is that [the parents] didn’t throw the shoe at [the children] when they had the opportunity.”
• “The point is you don’t allow the behavior — you cure the cause.”
• (citing supposed history of transgender people): “They told them snap out of it or you’ll put a spear through your head — and guess what did? They snapped out of it. Or, they joined the army. “
…the two shock jocks expressed anti-transgender sentiment that we need to control, much in the same way society controls racist, sexist, and anti-gay sentiments.
And, we need to do this not by stopping people from engaging in free speech, but in showing that free speech doesn’t mean that one gets a free pass on everything one says — one can, and one sometimes should, experience consequences from free speech.
Free speech means the government doesn’t engage in censorship — especially prior censorship — but it means too that one may experience the economic or legal consequences for one’s free speech. As the pulling out of advertisers from KRXQ because of the broadcast, speech can, and should, have consequences in broader society.
And by the way, Arnie and Rob (if you’re reading this), I spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy, and it didn’t cure me of being transgender. Joining the U.S. Army wouldn’t have been effective either, I can tell you without self doubt at all.
I personally believe Rob Williams and Arnie States may have violated FCC regulations regarding speech on the May 28th broadcast of the Rob, Arnie, and Dawn In The Morning™ show — the first segment on transgender youth. Per the FCC:
Programming Inciting “Imminent Lawless Action.” The Supreme Court has held that the government may curtail speech if it is both: (1) intended to incite or produce “imminent lawless action;” and (2) likely to “incite or produce such action.”
And under licensing rules, the broadcast wasn’t in the “public interest”:
§ 73.24 Broadcast facilities; showing required. (j) That the public interest, convenience, and necessity will be served through the operation under the proposed assignment.
This said, SEC. 326. [47 U.S.C. 326] Censorship; Indecent Language states
Nothing in [47 U.S.C. 326] shall be understood or construed to give the Commission the power of censorship over the radio communications or signals transmitted by any radio station, and no regulation or condition shall be promulgated or fixed by the Commission which shall interfere with the right of free speech by means of radio communication.
But again, the right to free speech isn’t absolute:
“Programming Inciting “Imminent Lawless Action.” The Supreme Court has held that the government may curtail speech if it is both: (1) intended to incite or produce “imminent lawless action;” and (2) likely to “incite or produce such action.”
And, one of the ways the FCC defines what’s profane:
…”including language so grossly offensive to members of the public who actually hear it as to amount to a nuisance.”
So, I believe we’re in a gray area. Although the speech wasn’t laced with profanity, I honestly believe it was deeply profane; although I believe Rob and Arnie were advocating violence against transyouth, I’m not sure whether or not it would meet the FCC’s requirement that this constitutes an imminent threat. However, forwarding complaints to the FCC would give the FCC the opportunity to decide if the speech was an incitement to violence.
The hosts of the radio show — Rob Williams and Arnie States — aren’t apologizing; however, for their statements against transyouth. This leads me to believe they were inciting violence against transyouth, and are not apologetic about their violent language. These two keep throwing fuel on the fire, so I believe we must use all the tools we have to send Bayard Rustin’s message about anti-gay (and anti-transgender) sentiment to these and all other broadcasters.
So since I believe that their broadcast on Friday, May 28th was least as potentially damaging to real transgender children — children who in California are members of the protected class (under the legal definition of gender used in the California Civil Codes) — as the religious right community believes obscene, indecent, or profane programming is potentially damaging to all children, I know I personally needed to file two complaints with the FCC.
So just as many of us first began writing advertisers to stop advertising on KRXQ because of the May 28th broadcast — now a second response by our community to the May 28 broadcast by many of us will no doubt be complaints to the FCC. The complaints would be regarding how the May 28th broadcast incited violence against children because of gender — specifically against gender variant children who’s gender expression doesn’t match their birth genitalia.
Below the fold, I walk you through the process of filing complaints with the FCC online.To access the FCC complaint system, start here.
Screen Shots – Select Image For Larger Screen Shot
Link To FCC Webpage
Select for Next FCC
Select: ONLINE FORM – Recommended Method
Select: ONLINE FORM – Recommended Method
Fill in the following mandatory information in the appropriate boxes:
First Name: Your First Name
Last Name: Your Last Name
Post Office Box / Street Address: Fill in only one of the two boxes. Fill with either the PO Box or the Street number and street name where you receive your mail.
City: Your City
State: Your State from a drop down list.
Zip Code: 5-digit Zip Code
This is where we get into the specifics of this incident. Fill in the exact information provided:
(1) Date of Program (use MM/DD/YYYY format): 05/28/2009
(2) Time of Program (use HH:MM AM/PM format): 07:00 AM
(3) Network: Entercom Communications Corporation
(4) Call Sign, Channel OR Frequency of the station on which you viewed/heard the material: KRXQ
(5) City and State Where Program Was Viewed/Heard: Sacramento, California
(6) Name of Program or DJ/Personality/Song/Film: Rob, Arnie, And Dawn In The Mo
And then, this is how I filled out in the box where you are to outline one’s complaint. If you too are going to file a complaint, I would just cut and paste what I wrote below into the complaint box, as it covers the key points that Mila said I would need to include in a complaint:
On the Rob, Arnie, and Dawn In The Morning radio broadcast of May 28, 2009, the male hosts of the program (Rob Williams and Arnie States) stated the following regarding transgender children under the age of 18 years old:
“And, it’s more of the political correct bull crap — that you don’t want to tell a kid he’s a freak ’cause it might hurt his feelings. If my son — God forbid — if my son put on a pair of high heels, I would probably hit him with one of my shoes. I would throw a shoe at him because y’know what? Boys don’t wear high heels.”
“…And, that’s what happened in your example is that [the parents] didn’t throw the shoe at [the children] when they had the opportunity.”
“The point is you don’t allow the behavior — you cure the cause.”
“They told them snap out of it or you’ll put a spear through your head.”
The May 28th broadcast incited violence against children because of gender — specifically against gender variant children who’s gender expression does not match their birth genitalia. Gender is a protected class under multiple California codes as the definition for gender used for these codes includes transgender status.
Throwing shoes at children in California (the broadcast originated from Sacramento, California) would constitute child abuse.
For context, the audio for the broadcast in question is here: http://tinyurl.com/qdukhz. The content of the broadcast segment is filled with name-calling and epithets directed at transgender youth well under the age of 18.
If you want to change my write up, my feelings definitely won’t be hurt at all.
Then, this form needs to be filled out a second time, exactly as it was the first time, with these two changes:
(4) Call Sign, Channel OR Frequency of the station on which you viewed/heard the material: KDOT
(5) City and State Where Program Was Viewed/Heard: Reno, Nevada
Two different complaints for two different cities – it doubles the possible fines for their program.
The political cartoon is by Evelyn P. of Transgirl Diaries, and is entitled “Hate Machine.” Used by permission.
Update: The news of the other companies dropping advertizing from KRXQ…
From The Advocate:
Eight companies have pulled advertising from a Sacramento, Calif., radio station after the hosts of a morning talk show encouraged violence against transgender kids.
So far, Bank of America, Verizon, Carl’s Jr., Snapple, Chipotle, and Sonic have all pulled their advertisements from KRXQ, according to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Wells Fargo bank said that it did not advertise with the station during the March 28 broadcast, but will not commit to any more purchases. Nissan also said that they will not renew their contract with the station, which ended June 1.
Rob Williams and Arnie States, two of the hosts of Rob, Arnie & Dawn in the Morning, were discussing the parents of a boy in Omaha who wants to transition from male to female. Rob called the boy “a weird person who is demanding attention.” He suggested that his mother tell the boy that wearing a dress is “not what we’re doing in this culture.” He also called transgender people “freaks,” asserting that therapy could steer them away from being transgender, since “they were [probably] molested” as children.
Andy Marra posted the latest on the KRXQ advertisers glaadBLOG up, entitled UPDATE: Nissan Won’t Renew KRXQ Advertising Contract:
On May 28, KRXQ radio hosts Rob Williams and Arnie States spent more than 30 minutes making dehumanizing and defamatory comments against transgender children. You can listen to the original broadcast here since it appears the audio is no longer available on radio show’s website.
Seven companies have confirmed they pulled their advertising contracts with KRXQ or will not renew in the future as a result of offensive comments made by the two shock jocks. Another company has decided to step forward and release a statement on the incident.
At 5:10pm, I received a phone call from Nissan North America. I spoke with the Director of Corporate Communications who wanted to provide GLAAD with the following statement on their advertising with KRXQ.
Nissan North America’s statement reads:
Nissan does not support the views expressed during the May 28th broadcast on the Rob, Arnie and Dawn in the Morning show on KRXQ.
Our advertising purchase with this show ended June 1 and we will not renew it.
Update 2: AT&T and McDonalds are now 9 & 10 to pull their advertising:
From the glaadBLOG
At 7:29pm EST, we received yet another statement to distribute.
This time it came from AT&T.
The matter was brought to our attention and we have pulled our advertising from the station.
And again from glaadBLOG:
GLAAD just posted a recap of its activity relating to KRXQ and its offensive comments against transgender children. The summary also included a statement from AT&T announcing their decision to pull its advertising from the radio station. You can find all of that plus recent media coverage here.
Minutes after posting our recap, I received an email from McDonald’s at 9:17pm EST. Soon after I spoke with a member of the McDonald’s Public Relations team who wanted us to post and distribute their statement.
McDonald’s has a proud legacy of diversity and inclusion. The views expressed by the hosts are not consistent with our core values.
As such, we are in the process of withdrawing advertising from KRXQ until further notice.
McDonald’s USA LLC, Pacific Sierra Region
The global fast food chain now becomes the tenth company to either retract or to not renew its advertising contract with KRXQ.
* Snapple, Sonic & Chipotle Pull Advertising From KRXQ
* Nonviolence In Response To The Rob, Arnie, & Dawn In The Morning Tirades On TransYouth
* GLAAD Action Alert On Rob, Arnie & Dawn in the Morning Radio Show TransYouth “Tirade”
* On Transitioning Transgender Youth II – The Other Side Of The Coin
* On Transitioning Transgender Youth