KPRC's Michael Berry Under Fire For Mosque Comment
May 28, 2010 at 4:10 AM (PT)
The COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS has filed a complaint with the FCC over comments made by CLEAR CHANNEL Talk KPRC-A (THE 9-5-0 RADIO MOJO)/HOUSTON host MICHAEL BERRY about the mosque proposed for a site near GROUND ZERO in NEW YORK WEDNESDAY. BERRY told a caller named TONY, "No, no, TONY, you can't build a mosque at the site of 9/11. No, you can't. No, you can't. And I'll tell you this -- if you do build a mosque, I hope somebody blows it up ... I hope the mosque isn't built, and if it is, I hope it's blown up, and I mean that."
And I'll tell you this -- if you do build a mosque, I hope somebody blows it up ... I hope the mosque isn't built, and if it is, I hope it's blown up, and I mean that.
"Calls for acts of violence against houses of worship must never be tolerated or excused," said CAIR National Executive Director NIHAD AWAD. "We ask the FCC to demonstrate that incitement to violence is never acceptable on our nation's airwaves."
BERRY posted a response on the station website saying that CAIR "hopes to intimidate anyone who disagrees with them. They have filed a complaint against the MICHAEL BERRY SHOW, because we had the audacity to suggest that a mosque should not be built on our near the site of the 9/11 terrorist attack ... I did NOT advocate bombing any mosque. First, the supposed mosque does not exist. It is just a proposal, and I oppose where they intend to put it. It is spitting in the face of those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attack to put it there. Second, the caller was belligerent, and pushed too far, suggesting that any family member of a victim who is offended is somehow a racist. I can't abide someone dishonoring these families, who've been through so much, in this way.
"This is how CAIR intimidates people into silence. They want to scare people into believing that having differing opinions will cost you your job.
"While I stand by my disagreement of the building of the mosque on the site, I SHOULD NOT have said 'I hope someone blows it up.' That was dumb, and beneath me. I was trying to show 'TONY' how much I opposed his opinion, but I went too far. For that, I apologize to my listeners."
FCC content regulation presently is limited to indecency, not political controversy.
[What's your opinion of BERRY's comment? Do you think talk hosts in general have gone too far recently, or are they just "stirring things up" for ratings? Please share your thoughts below.]