Boyles downplayed Clear Channel colleague "Gunny" Bob Newman's attack on Muslim civil rights

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

On his June 4 630 KHOW-AM show, while discussing the foiling of an alleged terrorist plot to attack JFK airport in New York City, Peter Boyles downplayed bigoted remarks directed toward Muslims a month earlier by a colleague, Newsradio 850 KOA host "Gunny" Bob Newman. Boyles admitted that Newman's comments were "over the top" but claimed Newman just wanted to "keep an eye on" Muslim extremists; in fact, Newman called for eliminating some basic civil rights for Muslim immigrants.

Discussing the breakup of an alleged terror plot to attack New York City's John F. Kennedy Airport, Peter Boyles on the June 4 broadcast of his 630 KHOW-AM show downplayed bigoted remarks fellow Clear Channel Communications Inc. host "Gunny" Bob Newman made about Muslims a month earlier on his Newsradio 850 KOA show. Although Boyles acknowledged that Newman's comments were "over the top," he claimed that Newman merely was saying that the United States needs to "keep an eye on" Muslim extremists. In fact, as Colorado Media Matters noted, Newman demanded on his May 8 broadcast that "every Muslim immigrant to America ... be required by law to wear a GPS tracking bracelet at all times" and further suggested that the federal government "bug [Muslims'] places of work and their residences" and monitor "[a]ll mosques and community centers." Newman also called for a moratorium on Muslim immigration into the United States, adding that if Muslims "don't like the idea, or if they refuse, throw their asses out of this country."

From the June 4 broadcast of 630 KHOW-AM's The Peter Boyles Show:

BOYLES: Over the weekend, the, the feds bust a, a plot by Muslim extremists, former -- from, from Guyana -- a parliament member who wanted to plant explosives on a jet fuel artery at JFK. The three men were arrested, and a fourth sought in Trinidad for reportedly hatching the scheme that they boasted would be worse than 9-11. Again -- we're at this moment. Now I have, I have a colleague, by the name of Bob Newman, who took a tremendous amount of heat for saying some things that went over the top. But he's saying, keep an eye on this stuff. And you just wonder, you know. You just wonder. Why is it these guys? Why is it only these guys? I realize that there's been other crazies. We were talking last week about the, the death of David Lane -- the guy that murdered Alan Berg. Certainly Timothy McVeigh, and I listed these guys. But man, here's this one again, right?

As Colorado Media Matters has noted, Newman's "over the top" remarks drew considerable community reaction, including statements of condemnation from the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, the Anti-Defamation League, and the American Friends Service Committee. Further, at least four companies asked that their ads be removed from Newman's show after the advocacy group ProgressNow Action launched an online campaign enlisting members of the public to contact Newman's advertisers and urge them to withdraw their support of the broadcast.

Colorado Media Matters has documented the recent trend of conservative, Denver-based Clear Channel radio hosts engaging in anti-Muslim rhetoric. For example, on his May 30 broadcast, Boyles agreed with a caller's suggestion that the United States "need[s] to say, 'No more Islamic immigration.' " -- a statement that echoed Newman's May 8 remark that "maybe it's time for a little moratorium on Muslim visas, period."

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