UCLA Study Finds KFI Hosts Guilty of ‘Hate Speech’

Several years ago, UCLA professor of cinema and media studies Chon Noriega teamed up with colleague Francisco Javier Iribarren to analyze a slice of AM radio’s dominant format, conservative talk.

The pair focused on two weekday programs, one of which, “John and Ken,” has recently come under heavy fire for its on-air disclosure of a Hispanic public relations professional’s cell phone number. Final findings published this month  show that both the KFI-AM 640 program and “The Savage Nation” were guilty of four different kinds of hate speech, based on the analysis of separate 40-minute-block transcripts from late July 2008:

The study found that dehumanizing metaphors were used in 185 statements. Such metaphors evoked warfare, heroism, enemies, biblical characters, criminality, persecution and other representations. There were 77 instances of flawed argumentation… Divisive language was used in 79 instances… Thirty-three false statements were used to validate the hosts’ points and to promote public opinion.

As an example of that last category on “John and Ken,” the UCLA data cites the statement, “And this all under the Gavin Newsom policy in San Francisco of letting underage illegal alien criminals loose.” Along with the fall 2011 brouhaha, John and Ken must now deal with a study that confirms their tactics are both deliberate and entrenched.

[To view-print-save the November 2011 UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center paper, click here]