By: John Molori
May 02, 2006

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THIS WEEK:

- Callous Callahan
- Blitz Bits: Boxing bonanza, Show your Spirit, Pigskin quotes, Revving up

Callahan spews racist stereotypes against Latinos

A few months ago, two area sports webmasters called for the Boston Globe to fire columnist Ron Borges because of his perceived negative agenda against the New England Patriots. Even if the claims were true, spewing negative views about a sports team is hardly reason for someone to lose his job.

The same cannot be said for spewing negative views about a race of people. Gerry Callahan's utter racism goes beyond the realm of opinion and should result in censure and suspension, if not immediate dismissal.

For years, Callahan has used his highly rated "Dennis and Callahan" morning show to impose his biased, uneducated views on the masses. Yes, we have the option of changing the channel, but where does responsibility come into play?

In 2003, Callahan and co-host John Dennis were suspended for two weeks after making racially insensitive comments toward African-Americans. Those comments, while vile and disgusting, somewhat pale in comparison to the diatribe of hate that Callahan has unleashed on Latinos in the past few days.

In the wake of the argument on tougher immigration laws regarding illegal aliens, Callahan has taken a viable debate and turned it into a personal opportunity to express all of his racist and stereotypical views regarding Latinos.

May 1st was designated as the day that many Latinos would stay home from work and boycott stores as a demonstration of solidarity. In response last Friday, Callahan said that it would be a day when "people who don't work can stay home from work."

Callahan has every right to believe what he wants about the immigration issue, but to make a blanket statement like that is totally insulting to the many Latino immigrants, legal and otherwise, who work hard every day for their families.

If Callahan dared to leave his home in upscale Andover or his summer refuge in chic Biddeford Pool and drive through nearby Lawrence, MA, he would see hundreds of Latino-owned businesses.

Clearly, many Latino immigrants are going to work every day and, unlike Callahan, they are actually working, not getting a six-figure income to sit behind a microphone for four hours and show everyone the worst possible side of humanity.

On Friday, Callahan said that Latino immigrants "come to our country," "break our laws" and collect "food stamps." How can these insulting racial stereotypes go without some form of punishment?

Again, Callahan can come down on any side of the debate that he chooses, but there has to be guidelines on how an on-air person voices his views. I, and many others agree with Callahan's contention that immigrants who come to America should do so with the proper protocol, but his dangerous prejudiced epithets must be stopped.

On Friday, one caller suggested that the United States stop all forms of immigration. John Dennis said that he is "on the fence" regarding halting immigration. Callahan responded, "I'm all for the fence." Of course he is. Gerry Callahan is a frightened angry man. He has devolved from a provocative radio personality to a perversely bigoted hate monger.

During that same show, Callahan referred to the May 1st Latino protest as a "godless Commie day" and said that Communists are "in bed with illegal aliens." When the topic moved to Rosie O'Donnell joining ABC's "The View," Callahan said that she would appeal to the "big fat lesbian crowd."

Callahan's words sound less like the intelligent thoughts of a social commentator and more like the insane ramblings of a bigoted zealot, out to stomp on anything that isn't white, Republican and heterosexual.

On Monday, Callahan's venom continued. When the conversation turned to Latino health care, Callahan stated, "If you've been to an emergency room lately, you know where they go."

In the midst of this rant, a caller said that he runs a factory where all of his illegal alien employees showed up for work. So much for Callahan's claim that Latinos do not have jobs.

After that, a female Latino U.S. citizen took issue with Callahan saying that he was making it seem as if all Latinos were in the U.S. illegally. The fact is that many illegal aliens have applied for U.S. citizenship and have yet to hear back.

She stated that the previous caller was, in fact, breaking the law by allowing illegal aliens to work in his factory. The reason, she stated, is because the illegal immigrants will work for minimum wage. Trying to stir up more hate, Dennis said that the female caller should resent fellow Latinos who have not gained citizenship.

The woman disagreed saying that Latino immigrants are no different from the Italian and Irish immigrants of the past. "The reason we protest is to have immigration laws reformed," she explained.

Callahan said that Latino immigrants don't want to work and are looking for a free pass. Again, Callahan has a right to any side of the debate, but he does not have a right to toss a negative blanket over every Latino.

How can Callahan's co-workers, especially Michael Holley and Larry Johnson, two African-American hosts, turn a blind eye to the racial persecution that fills their station's airwaves? How can programming chief Jason Wolfe and GM Julie Kahn allow such hate to continue?

I know the answers: ratings and money. In the latest Boston ratings book, WEEI remained on top among men 25-54 and "Dennis & Callahan" is the top rated morning show in Boston. In the ratings press release, Wolfe stated, "I'm extremely proud of the numbers and the staff."

Really? Wolfe is proud of a staff member casting blind aspersions on an entire ethnic group? He is proud of a host who tosses out blatantly insulting stereotypes with no regard for the truth? If so, shame on him.

I urge WEEI to take some form of punitive action against Callahan's ignorance and insensitivity. Moreover, I urge any socially conscious group or person, Latino or otherwise, to call Jason Wolfe and Julie Kahn at 617-779-5800 to voice their displeasure. Better yet, call David J. Field, CEO of Entercom Communications, WEEI's parent company, at 610-660-5610.

Callahan has gone beyond merely stating his views. With no basis in fact and no specific target, he has trashed an entire race of people as lazy lawbreakers. He is responsible for what he says and should be held accountable for his racist hatred.

Blitz Bits

WBC USNBC super middleweight champion Joey Spina will take on Jessie Brinkley in "Put Up or Shut Up," promoted by Jimmy Burchfield's Classic Entertainment & Sports, May 10 at Foxwoods on ESPN2 at 8:00 p.m. The co-main event pits cruiserweights Matt Godfrey, WBC USNBC champ, against NABA champion Shaun George in a unification bout.

Beginning May 25, AM 1510 will carry all 92 regular season games for the CanAm League North Shore Spirit including playoff contests. John Leahy is play-by-play announcer.

Media Blitz hopes you'll contribute to the American Cancer Society's Relay

For Life on May 20 and 21. The cause seeks raffle items including sports memorabilia, tickets, gift certificates, etc. For info, check out www.acsevents.org/relay/Maneedham or email jonathanw@levitts.net.

NFL Network analyst Butch Davis on the Patriots draft: "They got Laurence Maroney, a guy a lot of people thought was the second best back in the draft. Then they come back and get an electrifying player in Chad Jackson. He will give Brady a great deep threat. Then they get David Thomas, a tight end from Texas, who reminds me of Jay Novacek. A great draft for the Patriots."

Tom Brady on SIRIUS radio discussing Rodney Harrison: "He's the best defensive player I've ever played with. When we beat the Eagles, Rodney Harrison was the MVP of that Super Bowl. I know Deion (Branch) won it, but if you were a Patriots fan, you knew who the best player on the team was. It was Rodney Harrison, without a doubt."

WB56 and FSN will split New England Revolution TV coverage this season with ESPN2 carrying four matches. WEEI and revolutionsoccer.net will also carry every Revs match. The superb duo of Brad Feldman and Greg Lalas have the call on TV, Internet and radio.

John Molori's columns are published in The Boston Metro, Patriots Football Weekly, ColdHardFootballFacts.com, Boston Sports Review, New England Ringside Magazine, Boston Baseball Magazine, Methuen Life, TheRemyReport.com, PatsFans.com, BostonSportsReview.com, BostonPressBox.com, BostonSportsMedia.com and BostonSportz.com. Email John at MoloriMedia@aol.com.


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