On the April 9 broadcast of his 630 KHOW-AM show, host Peter Boyles repeated numerous misleading assertions about a September 2006 fundraiser at which U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) reportedly sang the Confederate anthem "Dixie." Discussing a column by The Denver Post's Cindy Rodriguez criticizing Tancredo's focus on immigration issues, Boyles also promoted his oft-repeated falsehood that Denver is a "sanctuary city" for illegal immigrants.
Asking his listeners to "[t]ell me the lies that are told on this show" during his April 9 broadcast, 630 KHOW-AM host Peter Boyles revived several falsehoods regarding U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo's (R-CO) appearance at a controversial fundraiser in Columbia, South Carolina, on September 9, 2006. Furthermore, referring to critics "with their websites and other stuff" whose "primary bitch ... is that I say that Denver's sanctuary," Boyles repeated his debunked claim that Denver is a so-called "sanctuary city" for illegal immigrants.
Colorado Media Matters has documented dozens of instances in which Boyles and his guests have presented factually inaccurate or distorted information during his show, with many of the falsehoods repeated on numerous broadcasts.
During the April 9 broadcast, Boyles read at length from an April 8 Denver Post column by Cindy Rodriguez. Rodriguez attacked Tancredo, whose presidential campaign will focus primarily on immigration issues, as "border[ing] on the obsessive," which, she wrote, "[i]s evident in his actions":
He's hung out along the Mexican border with gun-toting "Minutemen" vigilantes who dress in camouflage and wear night-vision goggles.
At a California rally he held up a T-shirt emblazoned with the words "America is full."
He said Miami, a city that is majority Latino, resembles a "third-world country."
And in South Carolina he didn't mind speaking in a room draped with Confederate battle flags, where men dressed in Confederate regalia sang "Dixie," an offensive song that came out of blackface minstrel shows of the 1850s, mocking freed slaves.
After quoting the passage about Tancredo's speech in South Carolina, Boyles commented, "Ms. Rodriguez fails to tell you it was a museum. The men who were dressed in Confederate regalia were re-enactors. And, yes, someone sang 'Dixie.' " However, as Colorado Media Matters noted, Tancredo himself reportedly joined in the singing of the Confederate anthem "Dixie" with members of the South Carolina League of the South immediately after his speech at the fundraiser for Americans Have Had Enough Coalition. Both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League describe the League of the South as a white-supremacist hate group. Tancredo's spokesman, Carlos Espinosa, acknowledged that Tancredo joined in the singing of "Dixie" as he was exiting the South Carolina state museum where the speech took place, according to a September 21, 2006, column by Westword editor and Colorado Inside Out panelist Patricia Calhoun.
Furthermore, Boyles apparently echoed Tancredo's camp in claiming that the Confederate flags at Tancredo's speech were part of the museum's display. But as Post columnist Jim Spencer noted, "First, Tancredo's spokesman said the flags were part of a museum display. After a museum spokesman said the room was empty before the speech, Tancredo's people conceded that the flags had been moved in from an adjacent room by people attending the event."
Boyles' statement that "someone" sang "Dixie" echoed his comments from the September 29, 2006, broadcast of KBDI Channel 12's Colorado Inside Out when he denied that Tancredo sang the Confederate anthem at the fundraiser.
In her column, Rodriguez also criticized Boyles:
While political analysts call him [Tancredo] a fringe candidate, that fringe is vocal. I should know: I hear from them regularly.
But it would be unfair to call them all unreasonable, especially if their reasoning is based on lies fed to them by the likes of hate-radio host Peter Boyles and politicians such as Tancredo.
After reading Rodriguez's criticism, Boyles asked, "I wonder where Cindy gets this notion of lying? Cindy gets it from her friends who say that, you know, lies are told on the show." He then demanded, "Tell me the lies that are told on this show."
As Colorado Media Matters has documented, Boyles and his guests on numerous occasions have presented inaccurate or misleading information, especially regarding immigration and illegal immigrants. Colorado Media Matters initiated a petition urging Boyles to apologize for the repeated false and misleading statements he and his guests have made about illegal immigration.
Later during the April 9 show, Boyles told his business partner, parody songwriter Don Wrege, that Rodriguez "gets fed, I'm sure, much of her info from ... websites and other stuff." Boyles then stated, "[T]he primary bitch that they pitch is that I -- is that I say that Denver's sanctuary," adding, "[A]nd of course it's sanctuary. It's a rose by any other name, right?" As Colorado Media Matters has noted repeatedly, Denver is not a so-called sanctuary city, according to former Denver City Attorney Cole Finegan, Colorado statute, and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.
From the April 9 broadcast of 630 KHOW-AM's The Peter Boyles Show:
BOYLES: It is, and we are, and good morning. It's seven minutes after the hour of five. 5:07. 630 KHOW, Denver's talk station, Radio Free Denver. A Monday. The show that The Denver Post columnist Cindy Rodriguez called in her column yesterday "hate radio." Good morning. Did you read the column? I'll read it to you, if you care to: "Tancredo campaign" is just "more scare tactics."
Now, my understanding is that Ms. Rodriguez is actually leaving town, and -- but we will make a phone call this morning to ask her to appear on the show. But she writes:
Call Tom Tancredo the no-chance candidate, a one-trick pony.
While he may not be a real contender, the Colorado congressman has a million dollars and a dream: to push the issue of undocumented immigration to the forefront of the 2008 presidential campaign.
In many ways Tancredo is like Al Sharpton, the Democratic challenger in '04 who knew he couldn't win but used his platform to talk in no-nonsense fashion about civil rights issues.
You have to admire someone who is passionate about an issue, even if you disagree with him. But Tancredo borders on the obsessive.
He's hung out ... with --
Now, tell me how much truth this is, because I went back and pulled the Diane Carman column that we've talked about. I think we should put both of them on our website for folks to read. Now, for those of us who have been to the border to watch the Minutemen, I did not see, as she [Rodriguez] describes, "Mexican-border ... gun-toting 'Minutemen' -- 'Minutemen' vigilantes who dress in camouflage and wear night-vision goggles." This is how she describes -- let's go -- we'll go very slow with this. She writes yesterday: "He's hung out with Mexica --
-- hung out along the Mexican border with gun-toting "Minutemen" vigilantes who dress in camouflage and wear night-vision goggles.
I'm sure that describes those retired school teachers that we were with sitting in lawn chairs with binoculars and a radio on top of a d -- on top of a viaduct. In California "he held up a T-shirt ... with the words 'America is full.' " I think that's good. And Miami, "a city that is majority Latino, resembles a 'third-world country.' " I think they themselves finally came around and said, "Yeah that's right." Except for Jeb Bush.
"[I]n South Carolina" -- and who remembers this? I do. -- "he didn't mind speaking in a room draped with Confederate battle flags" -- now, remember, this was a museum. He did not know. He was just taken there as a speaking engagement. We have talked about it. But he did not mind, she writes, "speaking in a room draped with Confederate battle flags, where men dressed in Confederate regalia sang 'Dixie,' an offensive song that came out of the blackface minstrel shows of the 1850s, mocking free slaves." Now, we know they were re-enactors. And there are re-enactors, we had them on the radio show. They don't carry the politics of it, but they re-enact it. There are re-enactors on both sides. So, when men dressed in Confederate regalia sang "Dixie" in South Carolina he did not "mind speaking in a room draped with Confederate battle flags." Ms. Rodriguez fails to tell you it was a museum. The men who were dressed in Confederate regalia were re-enactors. And, yes, someone sang "Dixie." She goes on to say:
While political analysts call him a fringe candidate, that fringe is vocal. I should know: I hear from them regularly.
If you continue to write this stuff, Cindy, you will hear regularly again. But then she writes:
But it would be unfair to call them all unreasonable, especially if their reasoning is [based] on lies fed to them by the likes of hate-radio host Peter Boyles and politicians such as Tancredo.
I wonder where Cindy gets this notion of lying? Cindy gets it from her friends who say that, you know, lies are told on the show. Cindy doesn't come on our show. But let me read it to you again:
But it would be unfair to call them all unreasonable, especially if their reasoning is based on lies --
Tell me the lies that are told on this show.
-- by the likes of hate-radio --
"Hate radio" was something I think that the Clintons came up with, wasn't it? When Bill Clinton's back was to the wall about his relationships outside of his marriage. And, like I said, hey, it's your world, you live in it. But remember that, when they start calling it hate radio. So here Ms. Rodriguez is back with "hate radio." But "[w]ho has the time to research the pros and cons of illegal immigration?" she writes. "The word 'illegal' alone determines the way a lot of people think." You're right, Cindy. That's the first time in the column that you were right.
Rather than trying to understand the grays, it's easier to accept the myths: [that] undocumented immigrants take jobs away from Americans --
Well, we know that's not true. ... "that illegal immigrants are dangerous people who want to live off welfare." They can. And that they do. And that these people that are coming here are driving down our wages.
Of course they are. C'mon, those aren't myths. Those are the truth. And she goes on to talk about how it reminds her of "an episode of 'The Twilight Zone.' "
BOYLES: Here's the deal. If I call you a liar -- and this is the point I was trying to make -- I'd say, "Don, you're lying because you said this and it's not true." Now, Ms. Rodriguez gets fed, I'm sure, much of her info from --
WREGE: She's got four or five index cards that she keeps reshuffling in a different order.
BOYLES: No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Hang on here. She -- there are -- there are these --
WREGE: You're gettin' me all upset here in the morning.
BOYLES: No, no. These people are -- they're out there with their websites and other stuff, and, you know, so be it. I mean, that's great stuff, but what I would like -- the primary bitch that they pitch is that I -- is that I say that Denver's sanctuary --
BOYLES: -- and they say -- Oh, and of course it's sanctuary. It's a rose by any other name, right?
BOYLES: And so -- but anyhow, so --
WREGE: Well, what about sticking up for the law makes one a hater?
BOYLES: Oh, well of course.
WREGE: That's what I want to know.