August 22, 2005

WMAL's Dhimmitude

[Cross-posted from My VRWC]

So much for freedom of speech.

You may remember the story of radio talk show host Michael Graham, who was suspended from WMAL / ABC for what CAIR deemed "hate radio." This would be the same CAIR that even Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer--no right-wingers by any stretch of the imagination--have said that they have ties to terrorism, folks. CAIR isn't "moderate" or "peaceful" at all.

Michael Graham said nothing different from what countless Islamic clerics and scholars have said in DEFENSE of their own religion, in saying that Islam compels its believers to violence. Period. CAIR doesn't want you to know this though; it's OK for Muslims to say such things, but when "infidels" are the intended audience it's suddenly a problem. (They don't want to look like the head-choppers who will TELL you infidels the same thing, after all.)

Here's what he said, which is merely acknowledgement of what radical Islamists already know:

“Because of the mix of Islamic theology that—rightly or wrongly—is interpreted to promote violence, added to an organizational structure that allows violent radicals to operate openly in Islam’s name with impunity, Islam has, sadly, become a terrorist organization. It pains me to say it. But the good news is it doesn’t have to stay this way, if the vast majority of Muslims who don’t support terror will step forward and re-claim their religion.”

Well, now WMAL has ended Graham's suspension--because they've FIRED him.

This must be a very proud moment for CAIR and terror sympathizers everywhere; they got one guy who's telling the truth, now they must surely feel empowered in silencing others.

What's the matter, Randall Bloomquist, Ernie Fears, and Chris Berry? WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

YOU, Chris Berry--you said in email that "the buck stops" with you.

You, WMAL, you succumbed to the pressure of those with known ties to terror. You have that right, but we also have the right to not support you, and we have the right to appeal to your advertisers just as CAIR threatened.

Reader Paul has been emailing Berry, Bloomquist, and Fears, and has forwarded me their lame responses:

From: Bloomquist, Randall []
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005 9:54
To: [xxxxxx] Paul
Subject: RE: Change of heart?

Well, as of right now he is still part of the station. So, we continue to promote him as a team member. Still hoping to hear good news in the near future.
Note in this one from Berry, he says going to their advertisers would be a bad idea, while at the same time mentioning how successful CAIR's campaign has been doing just that:
From: Berry, Chris J []
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005 9:58
To: [xxxxxx] Paul R
Subject: RE: Lack of honesty at WMAL?

Dear Mr. [xxxxxx],

Thank you for your email, comments and heartfelt support for Michael Graham.

As a United States Marine you have no doubt been faced with many difficult challenges - and perhaps difficult decisions. I suspect that you may have even been questioned about your decisions by those who might not have all of the facts.

I know that Michael appreciates your support, however I must tell you that boycotting his advertisers may have exactly the opposite effect that you have intended.

Many of the advertisers with whom I have spoken have criticized the actions of those who have tried to pressure them into changing their long standing relationship with WMAL. Most realize that their association with the station is bigger than any one broadcaster or program. By threatening boycotts, etc some advertisers have actually responded that while they will continue to advertise on WMAL they no longer want to advertise on "The Michael Graham Show". Clearly I am concerned about the economic impact that will have on Michael's assigned timeslot.

Rest assured that your message has been heard loud and clear, however in my opinion the contacting his advertisers will do more to harm Michael's reputation than you might realize.

I am truly sorry that you don't believe that I have the testicular fortitude to deal with organizations like CAIR. Although they may have claimed some sort of victory associated with Michael's suspension, that is not the case. I can assure you that I am taking this internal personal matter very seriously.


Chris Berry

President, General Manager

News Talk 630 WMAL


Here's a LAME email response (with emphasis mine) from radio show host Chris Core:

From: []

Sent: Monday, August 22, 2005 12:20

To: [xxxxxx] Paul R

Subject: Re: Cowards and Appeasers at WMAL/ABC

paul...i would be happy to discuss this on air...but its the bosses call, not mine. i do not own the radio station. chris



soldier on.....carrying on the status quo you mean.
Perhaps you should MARINE on! Fight the good fight, engage in a little personal risk and discomfort.

Are you willing to talk about this?

Or are you wanting me to bend to "other topics" that are safer?

Paul [xxxxxx]

-----Original Message-----
From: []

Sent: Monday, August 22, 2005 11:41

To: [xxxxxx] Paul R

Subject: Re: Cowards and Appeasers at WMAL/ABC

i have written this message to all the e-mails about michael. i honestly do not know much more about the situation than you. i have not been in to work yet to find out details. michael and i share an office and have been friends. i have worked at wmal for nearly 31 years. its a huge part of my life. i don't enjoy anything that causes hard feelings against my radio station. all i can do is soldier on on air as i have for three decades. hope to talk to you at six. chris core

OK, so the bosses make the call about what's discussed? Am I to then infer that "the bosses" made the call for Michael Graham to discuss the problems with Islam? I seriously doubt it, if they're firing him for it.

Here are some advertisers you can contact, just culled from the WMAL website:

Cabinet Discounters

Moore Hummer: Contact form, phone 1-800-552-0915

Safford Lincoln Mercury:

And a contact courtesy of CAIR:

Mr. Dan Testa

President TCI - Telcept Holdings, LCC

5554 Port Royal Road Springfield, VA 22151

TEL (703) 321-3030, 1-800-824-1001

Fax: (703) 321-5046


And finally, thanks to Free Republic, a big list:


Michael Graham's statement on the firing appears below.



The First Amendment and I have been evicted from ABC Radio in Washington, DC.

On July 25th, the Council on American-Islamic Relations demanded that I be “punished” for my on-air statements regarding Islam and its tragic connections to terrorism. Three days later, 630 WMAL and ABC Radio suspended me without pay for comments deemed “hate radio” by CAIR.

CAIR immediately announced that my punishment was insufficient and demanded I be fired. ABC Radio and 630 WMAL have now complied. I have been fired for making the specific comments CAIR deemed “offensive,” and for refusing to retract those statements in a management-mandated, on-air apology. ABC Radio further demanded that I agree to perform what they described as “additional outreach efforts” to those people or groups who felt offended.

I refused. And for that refusal, I have been fired.

It appears that ABC Radio has caved to an organization that condemns talk radio hosts like me, but has never condemned Hamas, Hezbollah, and one that wouldn’t specifically condemn Al Qaeda for three months after 9/11.

As a fan of talk radio, I find it absolutely outrageous that pressure from a special interest group like CAIR can result in the abandonment of free speech and open discourse on a talk radio show. As a conservative talk host whose job is to have an open, honest conversation each day with my listeners, I believe caving to this pressure is a disaster.

I for one cannnot apologize for the truth and I cannot agree to some community-service style “outreach effort” to appease the opponents of free speech.

If I had made a racist or bigoted comment -- which my regular listeners know goes against everything I believe in -- I would apologize immediately, and without coercion. When I have made inadvertent fact errors in the past, I apologized promptly and without hesitation.

But we have now gone far beyond that, with demands that I apologize for the ideas my listeners and I believe in. It is not a coincidence that, after my suspension on July 28th, WMAL received more than 15,000 phone calls and emails protesting my removal from the airwaves.

Why such a huge response? It wasn't about me; The listeners I spoke to said they felt betrayed by my suspension because the vast majority of them agree with me on the subject of Islam. By labeling my statements as unacceptable, these listeners felt that WMAL management was insulting them, too.

I cannot speak for anyone else, but I care about the listeners of 630 WMAL. I respect them and I appreciate the amazing support they have given me.

I could not dishonor their principled support for free speech by giving into these demands. I cannot join ABC Radio in bowing to CAIR’s wishes. And I will not apologize for my opinions or retract the truth.

The whole point of the Michael Graham Show is what my listeners and I call the “natural truth,” those obvious facts about modern life that the p.c. police and mainstream media believe should never be discussed. That includes the tragic, but undeniable relationship between terrorism and Islam as it is constituted today.

The conversations my listeners and I had on this subject were not offensive or bigoted in the least. In fact, Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR (who has appeared on my show several times) credited “criticism from talk radio” in part for the recent fatwa against terrorism issued by a group of US Muslim scholars. Ironically, it was issued the day before I was suspended.

That’s the real tragedy here. The people who most need free speech and open dialogue on the issues facing Islam today are America's moderate Muslims. These are people of good will who have the difficult job ahead of reforming and rescuing their religion. They need all the help they can get.

The decision to give CAIR what it wants—a group with well-publicized ties to terrorists and terror-related organizations--will make it harder for the reformers to successfully face Islam's challenges. Still worse, silencing people like me will make it easier for Islamist extremists to dismiss all sincere calls for reform as mere "bigotry."

When CAIR is able to quell dissent and label every critic a "bigot," the chilling effect is felt far beyond ABC Radio and 630 WMAL. If anyone is owed an apology, it is the moderate, Muslim community who have been failed once again by the mainstream media.

A VERY SPECIAL NOTE TO EVERYONE WHO EMAILED AND CALLED ON MY BEHALF: Again and again through this ordeal, as people pressured me to just give in, say what CAIR wanted to hear and get my job back, I thought of you. I cannot express how much your support meant to me. I don't know that I'm doing the right thing by fighting this fight. I only know that I believe it's the right thing, and I believe it with all my heart.

Your support, your words of encouragement, your anger that the forces of p.c. fear have this much power--these all helped me do what I needed to do. Thank you.

In the coming days, I hope I'll have some good news for you about how we can continue our conversation. So please stay tuned, please stop by here each day and check it.

Trust me, this isn't the last you've heard from me.

MICHAEL, ARE YOU *SURE* YOU'VE BEEN FIRED? I've had several people tell me that ABC Radio says I'm not really fired, that I have "chosen" not to go back to work. I don't know what to say to that except that I received a hand-delivered letter very late Friday announcing that I was "terminated immediately." If there is some other definition of that other than "you're fired," I am not familiar with it.

Posted by Beth at August 22, 2005 07:10 PM