WTVN Promotion Draws Latino Groups' Ire
June 1, 2010 at 4:01 AM (PT)
The NATIONAL COUNCIL OF LA RAZA has issued a call to CLEAR CHANNEL Talk WTVN-A/COLUMBUS, OH, to apologize for a contest that gave a winner a free trip to PHOENIX, "where," the promotion said, "Americans are proud and illegals are scared."
LA RAZA complained about the contest offering "a weekend chasing aliens and spending cash in the desert;" the organization said it would file a complaint with the FCC, although the Commission does not generally intervene in content issues other than indecency, the TV educational/informational programming requirement, and political campaign "equal time" rules.
"The passage of SB 1070 has provoked a lot of reprehensible anti-Latino and anti-immigrant rhetoric but a radio station bankrolling someone to 'hunt' human beings for sport represents a new low," said LA RAZA President/CEO JANET MURGUIA. "The owners and directors of WTVN might think that this is all in good fun, but what is happening to Latinos -- citizen, legal, and undocumented alike -- in ARIZONA is no joke. We are asking for an immediate and unequivocal apology from the station and its parent company. It is important to keep in mind that the American people own the airwaves over which WTVN broadcasts. As such, we will ask FCC Commissioners to ensure that threats against American citizens -- such as the one encouraged and promoted by WTVN -- are not taken lightly and dealt with in an appropriate manner as soon as possible."
An online petition against the promotion has been launched by a blog called OHIO ACTION CIRCLE, and other groups called a press conference FRIDAY to denounce the contest.
PD MIKE ELLIOTT told the COLUMBUS DISPATCH that the promotion was the most popular the station has had, with about 5,000 entrants. "It comes down to the word illegal for me. It's not a race thing. It's a legal thing," ELLIOTT said. "If you're breaking the law, it doesn't matter where you're from."
[Is this racist... or simply a radio bit? What's your opinion? Please share it with the ALL ACCESS community below.]