Don Imus may be off the air, but his spirit lives on. Every day, the Jersey Guys on NJ 101.5 spread racist, sexist, bigoted, xenophobic and otherwise insensitive garbage through our public airwaves. Whether they actually believe their trash or are doing it just for ratings is irrelevant.
Their latest racist stunt called “La Cucha Gotcha” encourages listeners to turn in “friends, neighbors and ‘anyone suspicious’ to immigration authorities.” There are people here illegally from all over the world, but they chose to name it after a Mexican song whose title means “cockroach.” Assemblyman Caraballo said last month: “Scapegoating and stereotyping Latinos does nothing but give bigoted individuals a platform to make ethnic slurs and racist comments. It could even incite violence against Latinos. The campaign is clearly aimed at Hispanics. It describes us as bugs that must be squashed.”
Thanks to pressure from Caraballo and several Hispanic organizations, advertisers are, uhhh… scurrying like cockroaches. So far, AT&T, Verizon, PSE&G, Dunkin’ Donuts and the state of New Jersey have canceled their advertising from the Jersey Guys show, and the Star Ledger reports that “La Cucha Gotcha” campaign has been canceled more than a week before the planned Cinco de Mayo end date.
But none of this should come as a surprise, and as long as these clowns stay on the air it will continue to happen. Nobody appearing or advertising on their show can claim ignorance. They have a long record of hate.
2004: “The Jersey Guys advocate the bombing of Freehold “muster zones’ where undocumented day laborers congregate in hopes of finding work.”
September, 2004: Listeners are urged to call Six Flags Great Adventure and demand extra security at Muslim Day at Six Flags, implying that all people of this religious faith are terrorists.
January, 2005: The Jersey Guys ridicule Dick Codey’s wife’s post-partum depression: “What Governor Codey ought to do is approve the use of medical marijuana so women can have a joint and relax instead of putting their babies in a microwave. Then all they want to do is cook Doritos. Women who claim they suffer from this postpartum depression … they must be crazy in the first place.”
Advertisers pulling ads: Horizon Blue Cross, PSE&G and Flemington Car and Truck Country.
April, 2005: “[Craig] Carton attempted to incite violence towards people recovering from addictive illnesses by stating that he would burn down the homes of recovery patients, preferable with them in it, and shoot recovering patients in the head.”
April, 2005: “Would you really vote for someone named Jun Choi?” Carton asked – pronouncing the candidate’s name with a sped-up, high-pitched squeaky voice.
Egged on by Rossi, Carton proclaimed, “Here’s the bottom line. No specific minority group or foreign group should ever, ever dictate the outcome of an American election. I don’t care if the Chinese population in Edison has quadrupled in the last year, Chinese should never dictate the outcome of an election, Americans should.”
When a caller complained about the number of “Orientals” and “Indians” who have “taken over Edison,” Carton sympathized by responding: “Damn Orientals and Indians! ? It’s like you’re a foreigner in your own country isn’t it?”
“I don’t like the fact that they crowd the goddamn black jack tables in Atlantic City with their little chain smoking and little pocket protectors. ‘Ching chong, ching chong, ching, chong.'”
Advertisers pulling ads: Hyundai, Cingular, Applebees, Bank of America, Bombardier Recreational Products
June, 2006: The Jersey Guys “out” over a dozen supposedly “closeted” New Jersey politicians.
February, 2007: What started out as “harmless” banter morphed into the “Jersey Guys,” the afternoon jock shocks, calling me [Senator Raymond Lesniak] a “gay Polack” politician and quickly turned into vicious religious hatred. The on-air incident demonstrated that starting down the road of bigotry only leads to the depths of hell. […]
The Polack bashing then took a particularly ugly turn when one of the 101.5 jocks said half the Polacks became Nazis to kill Jews, a sentiment that kindles hatred and opens old wounds that the Jewish and Catholic communities have worked so hard to heal, Poland being a predominantly Catholic nation.
March, 2007: La Cucha Gotcha.
The Jersey Guys can claim they are equal opportunity because they wont discriminate against discriminating. Their targets include Muslims, Latinos, Asians, Indians, women, gays, those with mental illness or substance addictions, etc.
In 2005, Congressman Steve Rothman wrote the FCC to denounce the racist hosts and New Jersey’s Senate voted to censure them. When they ridiculed Acting Governor Codey’s wife, he confronted Carton saying “I wish I weren’t governor. I’d take you out.”
Two years later, Dick Codey and other elected officials continue to call into and support their show. This is at least the third time in three years that companies are pulling ads due to the show’s content. Sometimes, the Jersey Guys even apologized for their racism and promised to change. PSE&G apparently believed them because this is the second time they’re pulling ads – the first was in 2005.
Benjamin Franklin famously said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The history of hate is unmistakably clear. New Jersey’s leaders must decide whether they will continue to support and enable this behavior or whether they will take a stand against unmitigated hate before they are “surprised” once again.