Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Socialist baby-killing maggots against Sarah Palin

Stand-in Newcastle United manager Joe Kinnear may get hauled over the broadcasting coals for saying ‘shit’ on Football Focus in this country, but it’s a different matter in the US. There the constitutional First Amendment guarantee of free speech provides a familiar cover for all manner of expletives and hate-filled commentary by the right-wing shock jocks who dominate the radio airwaves.

So when Alaska’s Anchorage AM host Eddie Burke ranted about ‘a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots’ organising an ‘Alaska Women Reject Palin’ rally last month, no one batted much of an eyelid. When he went on to read out the organisers’ home telephone numbers and urge listeners to call them up and give them hell, however, he went a bit beyond the Palin.

The women, whose protest has been claimed as the biggest political rally in Alaskan history (there were about 1,500 people present, so Alaska clearly lacks much of a tradition of popular mobilisation), received a series of threatening and abusive calls. Burke also got a call – from station manager Justin McDonald, telling him he’d broken station policy (by announcing the numbers, not his choice of epithets) and would be suspended without pay for a week.

Photo: Eddie Burke demonstrating his firm grasp of geography

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