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Thread: A Great American

  1. #1
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    A Great American

    [url="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/22/AR2005082201255.html"]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/22/AR2005082201255.html[/url]

    [img]http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/photo/2005/08/22/PH2005082201402.jpg[/img]

    [b][size=5]Talk Show Host Graham Fired By WMAL Over Islam Remarks
    [/size][/b]


    [size=-1]By Paul Farhi
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, August 23, 2005; C01
    [/size]

    Washington radio station WMAL-AM fired talk show host Michael Graham yesterday after he refused to soften his description of Islam as "a terrorist organization" on the air last month.

    Graham had been suspended without pay from his daily three-hour show since making his comments July 25. The station had conditioned his return to the midmorning shift on reading a station-approved statement in which Graham would have said that his anti-Muslim statements were "too broad" and that he sometimes uses "hyperbole" in the course of his program. WMAL also asked Graham to speak to the station's advertisers and its employees about the controversy.

    But Graham refused both conditions, prompting the station to drop him.

    According to WMAL, Graham said "Islam is a terrorist organization" 23 times on his July 25 program. On the same show, he also said repeatedly that "moderate Muslims are those who only want to kill Jews" and that "the problem is not extremism. The problem is Islam."

    The comments drew complaints and prompted an organized letter-writing campaign against WMAL and its advertisers by a Muslim group, the Council on American-Islam Relations (CAIR) of Washington. The protests led several advertisers to ask WMAL to stop airing their ads during Graham's weekday show, although the station says it didn't lose any advertisers amid the controversy.

    In a statement yesterday, Graham blamed CAIR for his firing and defended his comments: "As a fan of talk radio, I find it absolutely outrageous that pressure from a special interest group like CAIR can result in the abandonment of free speech and open discourse on a talk radio show."

    Graham, in an interview last night, said he and the station had reached an agreement on terms of his return last week, but the station called back to withdraw. "It was a done deal," he said. "They revoked it because, after further consideration, it didn't contain an apology. And I will not apologize for something that is true."

    Chris Berry, WMAL's president and general manager, disputed Graham's characterization, saying in an interview that "no one involved in this decision ever had any contact with anyone from CAIR." Instead, he said, Graham was terminated because he violated station policy and disregarded "management direction" to redress it.

    Officials at WMAL, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co., had initially declined to take disciplinary action against Graham, defending his comments as part of the overheated rhetoric of talk radio. But that stance began to change as complaints about Graham's remarks mounted.

    Graham, 43, is one of several conservative talk hosts featured on the station. WMAL (630 AM) also carries Rush Limbaugh's and Sean Hannity's nationally syndicated radio shows. Graham's WMAL show is not syndicated.

    The station had hoped to work out an agreement that would return Graham to the air, Berry said, but it was evident by early yesterday that Graham would not agree to the station's terms. He added in a statement: "Some of Michael's statements about Islam went over the line -- and this isn't the first time that he has been reprimanded for insensitive language and comments. In this case, as previously, Michael's on-air statements do not reflect the attitudes or opinions of station management. I asked Michael for an on-air acknowledgment that some of his remarks were overly broad, and inexplicably he refused." In 1999, Graham was fired from a Charlotte station for saying that the killing of athletes was a "minor benefit" of the Columbine shootings. He apologized the next day.

    CAIR applauded WMAL's decision. The organization had asked the station for a retraction or an apology, but "we didn't get specific on what [Graham] should say," said Rabiah Ahmed, a spokeswoman. "We were looking for an acknowledgment that his statements were anti-Muslim and hateful, and harmful to our community and our country's image."

    Berry said no permanent replacement for Graham has been chosen because the station until yesterday thought Graham would be returning to work. He said WMAL will try several hosts in Graham's slot over the next few weeks.

    Graham has clashed with CAIR in the past. Last year, the group said comments he made on WMAL implicitly advocated violence against Muslims, and it cited him in a campaign called "Hate Hurts America."

  2. #2
    JetsInsider.com Legend
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    His firing was wrong IMO.

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    [QUOTE=Warfish]His firing was wrong IMO.[/QUOTE]

    Totally wrong, radio hosts should be allowed to make racist remarks all they want.

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    [QUOTE=Warfish]His firing was wrong IMO.[/QUOTE]


    Fish

    Why do you say that? This guy represents a company, its not his station. The owner has every right to terminate his employment

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    [QUOTE=Section109Row15]Totally wrong, radio hosts should be allowed to make racist remarks all they want.[/QUOTE]

    Hide behind Political Correctness all you like my friend. This is a clear case of fact being trumped by special interest, and worse, a terrorist-tied terrorist-defending special interest.

    You tell me who the bigger danger to America is: Mr. Graham or CAIR? You answer will tell me alot.

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    [QUOTE=Lawyers, Guns and Money]Fish

    Why do you say that? This guy represents a company, its not his station. The owner has every right to terminate his employment[/QUOTE]

    Correct, the owner does indeed have the abillity. Same as I have every right to fire my employee because I don't like his haircut as long as I have some excuse that fits the current law.

    The abillity to do something doesn't make it right.

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    [QUOTE=Warfish]Correct, the owner does indeed have the abillity. Same as I have every right to fire my employee because I don't like his haircut as long as I have some excuse that fits the current law.

    The abillity to do something doesn't make it right.[/QUOTE]


    I try not to make judgements as to how someone sees fit to run there business(as long as its legal.) Its theirs. If its wrong, it should hurt business. IMO, These things have a way of correcting themselves out. I may not have fired the guy, but i can understand why someone else would.

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    [QUOTE=Lawyers, Guns and Money]I try not to make judgements as to how someone sees fit to run there business(as long as its legal.) Its theirs. If its wrong, it should hurt business. IMO, These things have a way of correcting themselves out. I may not have fired the guy, but i can understand why someone else would.[/QUOTE]

    I have chosen to no longer listen to that station, and have expressed my displeasure as a customer/listener for this action. Beyond that, there is nothing I would or should do in this matter.

    As I said to start, it is MY OPINION that the firing was wrong. But I'm not going to burn down Disney World because of it. :rolleyes:

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    [QUOTE=Warfish]Hide behind Political Correctness all you like my friend. This is a clear case of fact being trumped by special interest, and worse, a terrorist-tied terrorist-defending special interest.

    You tell me who the bigger danger to America is: Mr. Graham or CAIR? You answer will tell me alot.[/QUOTE]

    I don't know anything about CAIR. According to the article though, CAIR mearly asked for an apology. I think your love of Michael Graham is blinding you. If the roles were reversed I think your opinion would be different.

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=Section109Row15]I don't know anything about CAIR. [/QUOTE]

    Then perhaps you should do some research before forming your opinion, eh? :yes:

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    [QUOTE=Warfish]Then perhaps you should do some research before forming your opinion, eh? :yes:[/QUOTE]

    CAIR has nothing to do with this. I don't care if they are a terrorist organization as you claim. The fact is that Graham made racist comments repeatedly, on the air, and refuses to apologize for them. The comments offended me and I am not a CAIR member or a Muslim. Are you saying you agree with Graham's assertion that Islam is a terrorist organization and "moderate Muslims are those who only want to kill Jews?"

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    Speech has consequences - Graham found that out. If people retaliate towards this company in support of Graham, than this company will find that out too. Ah freedom; beautiful, messy, frustrating freedom. You have to take the good with the bad....

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    [QUOTE=Section109Row15]CAIR has nothing to do with this. I don't care if they are a terrorist organization as you claim. The fact is that Graham made racist comments repeatedly, on the air, and refuses to apologize for them. The comments offended me and I am not a CAIR member or a Muslim. Are you saying you agree with Graham's assertion that Islam is a terrorist organization and "moderate Muslims are those who only want to kill Jews?"[/QUOTE]

    First of all, muslims are of many races, so it is a potentially bigoted comment, not a racist one. Secondly, yes, I do think many "moderate" Muslims are bigoted towards jews, and DO support terrorism against Israel. In fact, Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat's successor, is routinely described as a moderate by the western media, and he wrote his thesis on the subject of holocaust denial - namely, that the holocaust never happened and was merely invented as a story by the Zionists. If you listen to what many so-called "moderate" muslims say about the jews and terrorism against jews, when they are specking in arabic to other muslims, the assertion by Mr. Graham becomes virtually impossible to deny. I urge you to read and visit [url]www.memri.org...they[/url] are an invaluable resource.

    DOo you deny that the overwhelming majority of terrorists today are muslims? Do you think the religion of Islam, notably the fanatical strain of Whabbism (sp?) has a direct relationship with terrorism? Do you deny that terrorist groups carrying out attacks against Israel are supported armed and funded by many arab muslim states, many of whom are described as "moderate" by the western media?

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    [QUOTE=Section109Row15]CAIR has nothing to do with this. I don't care if they are a terrorist organization as you claim. The fact is that Graham made racist comments repeatedly, on the air, and refuses to apologize for them. The comments offended me and I am not a CAIR member or a Muslim. Are you saying you agree with Graham's assertion that Islam is a terrorist organization and "moderate Muslims are those who only want to kill Jews?"[/QUOTE]

    I'm offended when Air America calls people like me "racists," "idiots", and "mindless." Should they have to apologize also?

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    [QUOTE=TheBrodyMan]I'm offended when Air America calls people like me "racists," "idiots", and "mindless." Should they have to apologize also?[/QUOTE]

    The differnece is they are telling the truth ;) j/k. I would reccomend you launch a boycott of Air America, but whats the point when they proberly only have 2 listeners.

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    [QUOTE=jets5ever]First of all, muslims are of many races, so it is a potentially bigoted comment, not a racist one. Secondly, yes, I do think many "moderate" Muslims are bigoted towards jews, and DO support terrorism against Israel. In fact, Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat's successor, is routinely described as a moderate by the western media, and he wrote his thesis on the subject of holocaust denial - namely, that the holocaust never happened and was merely invented as a story by the Zionists. If you listen to what many so-called "moderate" muslims say about the jews and terrorism against jews, when they are specking in arabic to other muslims, the assertion by Mr. Graham becomes virtually impossible to deny. I urge you to read and visit [url="http://www.memri.org...they/"]www.memri.org...they[/url] are an invaluable resource.

    DOo you deny that the overwhelming majority of terrorists today are muslims? Do you think the religion of Islam, notably the fanatical strain of Whabbism (sp?) has a direct relationship with terrorism? Do you deny that terrorist groups carrying out attacks against Israel are supported armed and funded by many arab muslim states, many of whom are described as "moderate" by the western media?[/QUOTE]

    After watching a Frontline episode on the Middle-East peace process I have lost all respect for Palestinians and Israelis. These guys all act like children. It was like watching Dr. Strangelove only it was real.

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    [QUOTE=Section109Row15]CAIR has nothing to do with this. I don't care if they are a terrorist organization as you claim. The fact is that Graham made racist comments repeatedly, on the air, and refuses to apologize for them. The comments offended me and I am not a CAIR member or a Muslim. Are you saying you agree with Graham's assertion that Islam is a terrorist organization and "moderate Muslims are those who only want to kill Jews?"[/QUOTE]

    Interesting. So, in YOUR world, a Terrorist organization can get an American fired because they are offended they were called a Terrorist organization. Wow, THAT is some circular logic if I've ever seen any. :rolleyes:

    Take Global terrorism and tell me the % that ISN'T Islamic-based. It's going to be a VERY small number and you know it (especially now that the IRA is a relic of the past, violence-wise).

    In MY world, if a group has a large, vocal, violent minority that engaged in murderous actions in the name of the larger group, and that larger group not only DOESN'T stop the minority itself, but also DOESN'T speak out against it's violent minorities actions, then it is guilty by association in my book

    Guess that is the difference between you and I. Murdering terrorists offend me more than conservative talk show hosts.

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    [QUOTE=Section109Row15]The differnece is they are telling the truth ;) j/k. I would reccomend you launch a boycott of Air America, but whats the point when they proberly only have 2 listeners.[/QUOTE]

    They now have 2 listeners? That's a 100% jump in their ratings :D

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    [QUOTE=Warfish]Interesting. So, in YOUR world, a Terrorist organization can get an American fired because they are offended they were called a Terrorist organization. Wow, THAT is some circular logic if I've ever seen any. :rolleyes:

    Take Global terrorism and tell me the % that ISN'T Islamic-based. It's going to be a VERY small number and you know it (especially now that the IRA is a relic of the past, violence-wise).

    In MY world, if a group has a large, vocal, violent minority that engaged in murderous actions in the name of the larger group, and that larger group not only DOESN'T stop the minority itself, but also DOESN'T speak out against it's violent minorities actions, then it is guilty by association in my book

    Guess that is the difference between you and I. Murdering terrorists offend me more than conservative talk show hosts.[/QUOTE]

    You are following the same way of thinking as the people that hate america in other words. The ranting mobs in other countries that are buring american flags and seem to hate everything american in reality should have a beef with a select number of americans but they lump them all in the same group.

    (Btw I do agree in principle with your assertion that those that do not condemn a terrorist act are letting that act taint them if they belong to the same broad group as the terrorists do.)

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    [QUOTE=Warfish]Interesting. So, in YOUR world, a Terrorist organization can get an American fired because they are offended they were called a Terrorist organization. Wow, THAT is some circular logic if I've ever seen any. :rolleyes:

    Take Global terrorism and tell me the % that ISN'T Islamic-based. It's going to be a VERY small number and you know it (especially now that the IRA is a relic of the past, violence-wise).

    In MY world, if a group has a large, vocal, violent minority that engaged in murderous actions in the name of the larger group, and that larger group not only DOESN'T stop the minority itself, but also DOESN'T speak out against it's violent minorities actions, then it is guilty by association in my book

    Guess that is the difference between you and I. Murdering terrorists offend me more than conservative talk show hosts.[/QUOTE]

    Michael Graham wasn't calling CAIR a terrorist organization, he was calling the entire nation of Islam a terrorist organization. Besides CAIR didn't get Graham fired, Graham got himself fired by making rediculous statements and then refusing to appologize for them. WMAL realized how out-of-line the statements were and did not want to tolerate it based on public pressure (not just from CAIR btw.) Besides the article states they have had to reprimand him in the past "Graham was fired from a Charlotte station for saying that the killing of athletes was a "minor benefit" of the Columbine shootings. He apologized the next day."

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