Boyles: "99 percent of Denver's 'Spanish-speaking population' ... coming to a health clinic are here illegally"

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

On August 9, Peter Boyles of 630 KHOW-AM distorted a Rocky Mountain News article published that day, claiming that it used the "PC [politically correct]" terms "Denver's Spanish-speaking residents" and "Denver's Hispanic speaking-population" in reporting on a clinic that serves "Denver's uninsured Hispanic population." The article, in fact, used neither term. Furthermore, Boyles asserted that "99 percent of Denver's 'Spanish-speaking population' -- meaning Spanish-only -- coming to a health clinic are here illegally."

On his August 9 show, 630 KHOW-AM host Peter Boyles criticized a Rocky Mountain News article about a clinic "dedicated to helping Denver's uninsured Hispanic population" for using what he called "the PC [politically correct]" phrase "Denver's Hispanic speaking-population." Boyles added, "Well, I got seven bucks in my pocket right now that says 99 percent of Denver's 'Spanish-speaking population' -- meaning Spanish-only -- coming to a health clinic are here illegally."

As the August 9 News article about Cl'nica Tepeyac reported, "[T]he nonprofit dedicated to helping Denver's uninsured Hispanic population has grown more than just a little. Hispanics now comprise nearly 35 percent of Denver's population, up from less than 32 percent in 2000." While the article did report that "[l]ike many of the Denver services that cater to Hispanics, particularly Spanish-speakers, Cl'nica Tepeyac has seen a boom," it did not use the terms "Spanish-speaking residents" or "Denver's Hispanic speaking-population."

Boyles later in the same broadcast discussed the article with his guest, state Sen. Dave Schultheis (R-Colorado Springs), who -- as Colorado Media Matters has noted -- has in the past dispensed false or misleading information regarding immigration-related topics through the media.

From the August 9 broadcast of 630 KHOW-AM's The Peter Boyles Show:

BOYLES: Well again, I -- there's a story in the morning Rocky Mountain News here about a clinic that -- Spanish-language clinic, and they use the PC term "Denver's Spanish-speaking residents." Well, that's -- you know, if you grew up in Denver -- and I got tons of friends that grew up here who have Hispanic surnames who are, you know, U.S. citizens -- they don't, they don't speak Spanish. They speak English. You know?

CALLER: It's the same out here. We have the people that's worked for the railroads --

BOYLES: But, you know --

CALLER: -- and on the farms and stuff, and it's an entirely different breed of person.

BOYLES: Sure, and you know, there's going to be a caller, "My grandmother was in the -- down in the San Luis Valley; she didn't speak English" -- I'm sure that's true.

CALLER: But that -- Grandma probably come over quite late in life.

BOYLES: Oh, Grandma might have grown up there, the way, you know, the, the -- if what I read is true. But that isn't the point of this. It's, again -- it's the Rocky Mountain News this morning, the PC "Denver's Hispanic speaking-population." Well, I got seven bucks in my pocket right now that says 99 percent of Denver's "Spanish-speaking population" -- meaning Spanish-only -- coming to a health clinic are here illegally.

[...]

BOYLES: Do you personally believe that Denver, Colorado, is a sanctuary city?

SCHULTHEIS: Well, you know, from what I'm reading in the newspaper now that the changing complexity of Denver -- you know, we're now over the 50 percent mark now in terms of minority population.

BOYLES: But I see -- the, the, the notion of -- and they play a dangerous game; they play a politically correct game. They don't say who anybody is. In other words, it's this piece in the Rocky this morning about a clinic that's, has a Spanish name for the clinic, Clinica something. I don't have my -- I don't have my screen up.

SCHULTHEIS: I didn't see that one.

BOYLES: But anyhow, it's about how they used to service 500 people and now they have all these other people, and they call them "Spanish-speaking." Now, I'm not an idiot, and I suspect, to drop the political correct veil, if you live and grew up in Colorado -- I don't care if your last name is Smith, Jones, I don't care what it is -- if you went to school in Denver, grew up in Denver, grew up in Colorado, you speak English. You could speak English.

SCHULTHEIS: Exactly.

BOYLES: And you know, we can, we can --

SCHULTHEIS: That's a requirement for becoming a citizen of the United States.

BOYLES: That's right. We can mask this, we can do whatever you want to do to it so everybody feels good about it, and anybody that says it can get called a bad name. OK, fine. But guess what? I betcha those guys walking in there to Clinica whatever it is -- they're illegal.

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