An immigrant rights activist received hundreds of threatening calls after a controversial Los Angeles-area radio show known for inflammatory anti-immigrant rhetoric aired his personal cell phone number.
On September 1, John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, hosts of the John & Ken Show -- Southern California's top-rated talk radio program -- aired the personal cell phone number of Jorge-Mario Cabrera of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA). The hosts urged listeners to leave messages about Cabrera's advocacy of the California DREAM Act, telling them to “congratulate” Cabrera on “his victory,” which they described as “the theft of tax money for illegal aliens.”
From the September 1 John & Ken Show (segment starts around 14:50):
KOBYLT: We have a copy of an email just handed to us, and this is from Jorge-Mario Cabrera, director of communications and public relations, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles -- CHIRLA. C-H-I-R-L-A. And he writes: “Dear all, we've just been informed that AB131 will be introduced tomorrow morning -- Friday, September 2 -- by Assemblyman Cedillo during the brief morning session. It's expected to pass easily. The bill will head to the governor's desk by Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning.” That'd be next week."
CHIAMPOU: Right, but Brown has a month to act on it.
KOBYLT: Thirty days to sign the bill. “We strongly believe he will sign the bill but are yet unaware of when or where he will sign it. We will have students at CHIRLA wearing white colors, and if time permits, we will have doves or flowers to celebrate this 10-year victory between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Be well, Jorge-Mario Cabrera.”
I have his office number. You may want to call him. Because they're planning a celebration on the theft of tax money for illegal aliens.
CHIAMPOU: They're years ahead of our audience. These guys have been organized, pushing for this for five years, and he said 10 years, because that's when they got in-state tuition.
KOBYLT: So, here's his -- I've got two numbers for him. You ready to call this? 213-353-1789. 213-353-1789. You might want to congratulate him on his victory. 213-353-1789. And I've got another number for him. XXX-XXX-XXXX. XXX-XXX-XXXX. That's XXX-XXX-XXXX. Jorge-Mario Cabrera. They're going to be releasing doves and throwing flowers, and he's with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights. They want to celebrate the theft of tax money for illegal alien college students.
CHIAMPOU: We said from the beginning, Jerry Brown's probably the only hope we have, to get him to veto this. I mean, this passed 50 to 27 a couple of months ago, and they didn't change it much. It will pass easily tomorrow.
KOBYLT: They are relentless. Even in spite of all the aggression they've heard and all the anger and the opposition, they're relentless in taking American tax money away from American families. And they're going to be screwing American college kids out of grants that these kids deserve. That's what they're going to be doing tomorrow in the Assembly.
The hosts again repeated Cabrera's information after a commercial break:
KOBYLT: We have the phone number for one of the spokesholes for this illegal alien activist group called the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, Jorge-Mario Cabrera. You want to call him up? I'll give you the numbers again. 213-353-1789. 213-353-1789. Or this number: XXX-XXX-XXXX. XXX-XXX-XXXX. He's going to celebrate tomorrow by releasing doves into the air.
KOBYLT: Doves. This is so disgusting. This is just so despicable.
CHIAMPOU: What could we release? Show our displeasure.
In a September 8 Huffington Post column, Cabrera described some of the “very angry, and at times threatening calls” he received:
“You goddamn traitor to our nation. What the f*** are you doing? Go back to Mexico and fix your s*** over there. If I ever see your ass I'm gonna kick it. How dare you come to this country? This is a f****hostile takeover. I hope somebody shoots your ass.” Cypress caller.
“Jorge, you are stealing from American citizen kids. F*** you.” Los Angeles caller.
“Congratulations on the vote tomorrow that's going to steal money from college students that were born in this country. In celebration of this victory, after having lived a lifetime in California, having three separate sets of Hispanic workers that work for me at home and various jobs, I'm gonna fire all of them tomorrow and never hire another. Thanks. Enjoy.” Orange County Area caller.
“How dare you, how dare you take American taxpayer's money for illegal aliens. This is gonna come to blows, I can guarantee it. Why don't you go back to wherever you came from and take those people with you and do something great in your country. And stop messing with mine.”
“Am I calling the traitorous illegal alien advocate? You gotta be ashamed of yourself. Someday I think you will be.” Buena Park caller
“The Illegals are never gonna be welcomed in this country. You guys are breaking the law and you're stealing the taxpayer's money. I can't believe what you guys are doing to us.” Pomona caller
“I am so upset at you guys. You have destroyed this country and continue to destroy it. You are rewarding criminals. You guys are the worst scum of the earth I have ever seen. I can't stand you guys.” Pomona caller
“I want to thank you for stealing my hard-earned tax money to support all your Third-World illegal immigrants from Mexico. You guys might wanna save your celebration because it's gonna be short-lived. It's gonna get shut down one way or another. You guys better pack your bags. You don't belong here. Do the right thing for once, please. Go home.” Beverly Hills caller.
“Is this Jorge's number? You are a f***** loser. That's all I can say right now. Speak in the f*** English, a**hole.” Montebello caller.
“Jorge, you need to stop encouraging people to steal our money for illegal aliens. Shame on you. Go back to Mexico, you make us sick.” Northern Los Angeles Area caller.
“Get your people out of the United States. You are not American, you are a disgrace.” Anaheim caller.
Cabrera wrote that the onslaught of calls crashed CHIRLA's voicemail system and that he received 291 calls just on his cell phone.
Given the hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric pushed by Kobylt and Chiampou, the vitriol spewed by John & Ken listeners toward Cabrera isn't surprising. For example, on the September 14 edition of the show, the hosts called California Gov. Jerry Brown a “stupid bastard” who “doesn't care about you if you're white and middle class. He doesn't. What he wants to do is take your money and give it to the illegal alien family.” From the show (segment starts around 1:20):
KOBYLT: On the DREAM Act bill to allow college students who are not in the country legally to collect publicly funded financial aid, Brown is expected to sign the bill and he invoked the music legend Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, who apparently is a big supporter of the cause. And he said, “You probably read the book called California Dreamin'. Think about it.”
CHIAMPOU: That bastard.
KOBYLT: The reporter read that as, he's going to sign it. You know, he's a weird guy and, you know, he talks cryptically, but that just sounds like he's trying to wink and nod and say yeah --
CHIAMPOU: That bastard. With all we've been talking about how hard it is for people to find jobs coming out of college, and now you can't even get funding because they've taken your tax money and given it to the illegal alien college kids --
[interjection]: Recall! Recall!
CHIAMPOU: This stupid bastard is going around the state pretending that he cares, he grieves, he bleeds for all the people out of work and suffering from the economy. No, he doesn't. He doesn't care about you if you're white and middle class. He doesn't. What he wants to do is take your money and give it to the illegal alien family. That's what he's going to do.
And if that's what he's going to do, there's going to be big blowback. This whole state, this whole country, it's a powder keg. It's a time bomb. People aren't going to be abused this way and shoved into poverty by all these evil forces, whether it's the Wall Street crowd, the whored-out politicians in Washington and Sacramento, the union thugs who run a dictatorship in this state. It runs the gamut from the wealthy and the well connected, right down to those riff-raff pig union leaders. And they're all in one protected bubble here.
On the September 15 edition of the show, the hosts called a CHIRLA event a “big festival of parasites and thieves.” They later said that the parents of undocumented children “took jobs from Americans, and now the kid is taking grant money from the American kid. All right?So now the theft is complete. Two generations. They stole your employment, now they're stealing your kids' education.” From the show (first segment starts around 9:45; second around 24:00):
KOBYLT: So, there was a big festival of parasites and thieves. The CHIRLA group, the ones who wanted to get the federal government on our case because we gave out the phone numbers from their publicity release last week.
CHIAMPOU: Today they hold a press event. And, of course, the idea is to get Jerry Brown to sign part two of the California DREAM Act, the really evil one that'll take your tax money for illegal alien financial aid.
CHIAMPOU: The difference is, we don't consider the illegal aliens Californians.
KOBYLT: They're not.
CHIAMPOU: It's not.
KOBYLT: And by the way --
CHIAMPOU: We never have. We don't accept that.
KOBYLT: And by the way, these kids' fathers and mothers? They already stole jobs from the mothers and fathers of American kids. And now, he's going, “Well, it really doesn't matter where they're from. They're all Californians. [unintelligible]” No. Yeah, it does. Mom and dad took jobs from Americans, and now the kid is taking grant money from the American kid. All right? So now the theft is complete. Two generations. They stole your employment, now they're stealing your kids' education.
CHIAMPOU: All right. We'll have more on this in the 5 o'clock hour.
This isn't the first time that Kobylt and Chiampou's rhetoric has inspired listeners to make threatening calls. As the Los Angeles Times reported in February 2009:
Not that John & Ken or their website strive for subtlety. A central image on the site in recent weeks: pictures of the Republican budget supporters, their heads lopped off and set atop cartoon pikes.
Duly inspired, one KFI fan called the office of Assembly Republican leader Mike Villines in the wee hours of the morning (as the budget talks went overnight) and repeated, time after time, “Head on a stick! Head on a stick!”
In April, the Times noted that the hosts “refer to various lawmakers as 'traitorous pigs,' 'con artist' and 'Republican dirt bag.' They use gruesome sound effects to suggest the mounting of one legislator's head on a stake -- his entry into the duo's hall of shame.”