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Talk Show Host Calls for Murder

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Action Alert from FAIR.org — Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

Talk Show Host Calls for Murder
Michael Reagan says activist should be killed for treason

6/24/08

Nationally syndicated conservative radio host Michael Reagan called for the
murder of a political activist on

 
. Reagan, a frequent guest on cable
news shows and the son of President Ronald Reagan, singled out 9/11 activist
Mark Dice by name and called several times for his assassination.

(

 
.)

Reagan had learned that political activists had reportedly been sending letters
and DVDs to troops in Iraq, advancing the theory that the U.S. government had
carried out the September 11, 2001 attacks. For promoting this unpopular view,
the talkshow host advocated that these activists should be killed as “traitors”:

We ought to find the people who are doing this, take them out and shoot them.
Really. You take them out, they are traitors to this country, and shoot them.
You have a problem with that? Deal with it. You shoot them. You call them
traitors, that’s what they are, and you shoot them dead. I’ll pay for the
bullets.

Even more troubling was the call for violence against a specific individual:
“How about you take Mark Dice out and put him in the middle of a firing
range. Tie him to a post, don’t blindfold him, let it rip and have some fun
with Mark Dice.”

Reagan subsequently had Dice on his show (6/16/08) as a guest and stated, “I’m
sorry for what I said.” As an explanation, Reagan offered, “Sometimes
radio hosts we get fired up and angry and we say things that are actually stupid,
and we make mistakes.”

Reagan’s “mistakes,” unfortunately, have repeatedly involved advocating
murder to his audience. On August 15, 2006, Reagan called for violently killing
babies who were reportedly being named for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah
and Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah:

Naming their children ‘Hezbollah.’You know what I’d get ‘em for a first
birthday? I’d put a grenade up their butts and light it. Happy birthday,
baby. Bye bye.

In response to a caller who pointed out that children are not responsible for
the names they are given, Reagan repeatedly asserted, “So what’s
wrong with killing the mothers and the babies?”

On December 5, 2005, Reagan said Democratic National Committee chairman Howard
Dean “should be arrested and hung for treason or put in a hole until the
end of the Iraq War.” (

 
on the Media Matters website) This was in response
to Dean’s statement (WOAI-AM, 12/5/05) that “the idea
that we’re going to win this war is just plain wrong.”

Reagan’s distributor, Radio America, also distributes the
G. Gordon Liddy Show. Liddy, a former Nixon aide sent to prison for the Watergate
break-in, also has a history of calling for violence over the airwaves, repeatedly
advocating that listeners shoot federal law enforcement officials in the head.
For example, on August 26, 1994, Liddy told his listeners:

Now if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and
they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they’re
going to be wearing bulletproof vests…. They’ve got a big target on there,
ATF. Don’t shoot at that, because they’ve got a vest on underneath that. Head
shots, head shots…. Kill the sons of bitches.

Needless to say, calls for violence against those one disagrees with are dangerous
and corrosive to the public discussion. A responsible distributor has rules
against such on-air death threats–and consequences when such rules are violated.

ACTION:
Ask Radio America to explain its policies regarding calls for
violence on its nationally syndicated programming. Does the company really permit
its hosts to call for murder on the air?

Reagan’s show is broadcast on “more than 150 stations,” according
to Radio America
. If the show broadcasts near where you live, contact the local
station management and ask them to stop broadcasting death threats on your local
public airwaves.

CONTACT:

Radio America President Jim Roberts
703-302-1000 ext 215.
Email: jroberts@radioamerica.org