Monthly Archives: May 2006

If Phil had his way…

Local Radio Host advocates shooting immigrants crossing the border in search of work. Normally, I dismiss the rantings of talk-radio “personalities” as empty, ignorant rhetoric. These modern day snake oil salesmen only worship ratings, and most of the time the pathetic game of one-upmanship leaves me cold and disinterested. The entire format is structured to appeal to the listener’s fears and prejudices, get them nodding in agreement, then bombard these vulnerable souls with a massive advertising onslaught. Mattresses, mortgages, diamonds and diets are all hawked by these heartless blowhards, and they exist in every major city. However, last Thursday night, Phil Valentine was the host of a public town hall style meeting in Franklin, Tn. In the presence of at least two elected officials, he shouted out “SHOOT HIM” in response to a question about what to do with undocumented workers caught multiple times crossing our borders. Click here for audio.
Not only was Mr. Valentine”s poisonous remark alarming, but the laughter and cheers immediately following are positively chilling. Such is the effect of unregulated talk-radio, espescially coupled with the demise of the Fairness Doctrine. It was just last year that Daniel Schertz pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a plot to pipe bomb a bus carrying undocumented workers.
Recent brutal attacks in Utah and Texas may be part of a new wave of violent anti-immigrant activity, fueled at least in part by an unholy alliance of radio-jocks and white supremist groups. Honest, ethical debate is long gone in this country, the tactics employed by Talk Radio hosts are designed to camoflauge the fact that their positions are seldom supported by anything as trivial as, well, facts. Phil Valentine in particular likes to wrap his venom in Patriotism or Christianity, he is never shy about invoking either to cover his filthy monolouges. For example, a quote taken from his website says ” a recent poll shows that most Mexicans hate America and Americans.” I searched everywhere for a link to that supposed poll, or a footnote, anything, as I was curious who funded and conducted it. Also, his positions flip flop to suit the issue at hand. Again, an article on his website makes a passionate argument against any increase in minimum wage, stating, “there are too many jobs and too few people to fill them.” Proponents of comprehensive immigration reform have repeatedly argued that it’s not a question of American’s unwillingness to do certain jobs, but that a better educated, aging population has left us with too few low skilled workers.
Since his remark was made last Thursday, I have been contacted by community leaders who are rightfully outraged by it, and moreso by the presence of certain elected officials whose silence amounts to tacit approval. Here’s to hoping they make a collective effort to make these people account for irresponsible and dangerous statements…

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