Go On, Just Shoot 'Em

The Bird cruised over the pro-migrant march along Grand Avenue, half expecting to see KFYI-AM 550 squawk-jock Brian James' head on the prong of a long, sharp rake at the front of the crowd. The demonstration, which drew at least 100,000 people, was coordinated as part of a nationwide "day of action" aimed at pressuring Congress to pass immigration laws that would allow some 12 million undocumented immigrants already in the United States to get legal. And this proactive pigeon knows it isn't alone in wishing that our Mr. James had been the trussed-up grand marshal, after it read a transcript of James' recent let's-just-shoot-illegal-aliens manifesto.

It seems that on a March 8 installment of 550's 8 p.m. bile-fest, James, an occasional fill-in host at the station, hocked up the snot-ball that illegals trying to make it over the border should be shot on sight. This, James shared with listeners (most of whom must have agreed with him; more on that later), would be so much cheaper than building a wall along the border, and a lot more fun, too.

"Has anybody done any figures on what a wall like that will cost?" James queried his audience that night. "For that same amount of money, how many bullets can you buy? . . . I mean, I'm sorry, if you're coming illegally and there are individuals from terrorist states making their way into my stinking backyard, I don't want 'em put on a bus and taken out of here. I would like to see a nice, you know, 223-rounds shot from a high post somewhere and leave 'em out there. Pull out their ID if they've got any, call their next of kin and say, 'Oops, sorry. They tried to cross illegally.'"

What a brilliant idea! Somebody should nominate this smack-talkin' Heinstein for the Nobel Prize.

And his bosses over at KFYI may nominate him for just such an award. They believe that Latinos who were offended by his remarks are just a gaggle of silly geese.

"When you have a station that addresses controversial issues, you're bound to have some disagreement," quacked KFYI program director Laurie Cantillo (The Bird hopes she's of Italian extraction and not a self-loathing Latina). "We didn't receive any complaints from anyone who had the privilege of hearing the entire broadcast -- only from those who heard about the 30 seconds that Arizona Interfaith Network has been spreading around. They're using what I call selective editing."

Come on, Laurie, who among the camouflage crowd listening to a hick Mexican-basher like James would complain? Your station's listeners are hardly on the membership roster of the Anti-Defamation League.

And regarding it being a privilege to listen to his show, or AIN's engaging in selective editing . . . are you imbibing the same substances that Amaré Stoudemire's mama did?

Cantillo's referring to a press conference by the Network, a lobbying group best known for its unsuccessful opposition of Proposition 200. AIN (natch) denounced the radio station and its apparent just-shoot-'em position on illegal aliens.

Network president Dick White told The Bird, "James actually called for having border roulette. He actually went on the air and suggested choosing a night of the week where we kill anyone who crosses the border. It's indefensible. The license to broadcast on the airwaves is not a license to call for the murder of an entire group of people."

James was "using satire," Cantillo whined. "And Arizona Interfaith Network really threw us a sucker punch. Instead of contacting me to air their grievance, they took it to the people. And then they refused our news department's invitations to come on the show and discuss this on the air. They refused!"

Gosh, Laurie, how awful for you. One of your jocks announces that Mexicans should be shot, and then nobody of that persuasion wants to come be on your radio station? Let's all take up a collection and buy something nice for Laurie. Like a fucking clue!

Cantillo's also pissed that Arizona Interfaith Network waited a full month to hold its news conference. White says it's because he and his cronies were waiting until they had a transcript of James' remarks before proceeding, but Cantillo isn't buying it.

"They just held that press conference because they wanted to drum up support and participants for the latest pro-migrant march," she simpered. "That's cowardly."

More like, smart. As for the gigantic protest, it was peaceful. For The Bird's money, the real huzzah wasn't the number of cheerful Chicanos present but how many of them were waving American flags. Hoisting Old Glory was the none-too-subtle message: "Hey, whitey, it's our country now, too."

Believe it, there's truth in numbers!

On the issue of chicken-heartedness, nobody could be more cowardly than the pussy KFYI's still got on the payroll. You know, the guy who painted a target on every undocumented worker in this state.

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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela