Photo: KFI 640 AM, Clear Channel
The National Hispanic Coalition to the Media ( NHMC) has just published “Hate American Radio: How a powerful vehicle for democratic discourse has deteriorated in hatred, racism and extremism. ” The report identifies the prevalence and dangers of hate speech on American radio. Revealing consumer complaints to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), NHMC has discovered through the Freedom of Information Act , the report documents years of public complaints against KFI 640 AM hatred, a radio station Clear Channel.
“I hate American Radio” explores how the numbers of hate groups and crimes motivated by racism have risen as the popularity and reach of radio programs that use racist rhetoric has increased. The report notes that radio is the primary means of communication reaching 93% percent of Americans every week. In the 1990s, the format of news heard on the radio was developed, and is now the dominant format with nearly 1,800 dedicated radio stations nationwide.
However, as revealed by the report, the quality of radio news programs varies widely. At the same time, the number of hate groups in the U.S. have doubled since 2000. The five states with more hate groups are California (68), Texas (59), Florida (49), New Jersey (47) and Mississippi (40).
To illustrate the type of hate-filled rhetoric that infects American radio, the report summarizes hundreds of consumer complaints to the FCC against KFI 640 AM, a radio station in Southern California. The full report is available by clicking here .
FCC records show that between 2008 and 2011, more than 240 consumers filed complaints about KFI AM 640 programs. 82% claim specifically alleged speech promoting hatred or violence. All but a handful of these complaints were against broadcasters who regularly follow pontificating on the airwaves of KFI.