In falsely claiming "[o]ver two-thirds of all the births in L.A. County are to illegal alien Mexican[s]" and citing other purported statistics regarding immigration, KHOW-AM host Peter Boyles repeated information that the Los Angeles Times has called a “hoax.”
On September 19, KHOW-AM host Peter Boyles falsely claimed that "[o]ver two-thirds of all the births in L.A. County are to illegal-alien Mexican[s]" receiving state Medicaid benefits -- a statistic that Boyles sourced to the Los Angeles Times. In fact, that statistic, along with other unsubstantiated claims cited by Boyles and supposedly reported by the Times, is part of a list of 10 “facts” circulated on the Internet that the Times has called a “hoax.” The paper noted that the only material it found in its archive that “comes close” to the list was an op-ed column U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Littleton).
On his show Boyles interviewed John Kobylt, co-host of the Los Angeles KFI-AM 640 radio talk show The John and Ken Show. Kobylt told Boyles that Los Angeles is “shot” and “gone” and that “it's just like a South American city.” Boyles then cited a series of purported statistics, including his claim that "[o]ver two-thirds of all the births in L.A. County are to illegal-alien Mexican[s] -- they're called Medi-Cal, right? -- whose birth are then paid for by the taxpayer." Kobylt asked Boyles, “Where did you see that one? That line. That's a good one.” Boyles replied, “From the L.A. Times.”
Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, provides health care to low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled.
Contrary to Boyles's false claim, the California Center for Health Statistics' Office of Health Information and Research reported that in 2004, the most recent year for which data is apparently available, 151,504 live births were recorded in Los Angeles County, of which 94,894 were to Hispanic mothers. In other words, 62.6 percent (slightly less than two-thirds) of Los Angeles county's 2004 live births were to Hispanic mothers -- a category that includes not just “illegal-alien Mexican[s]” on Medi-Cal but also citizens, legal immigrants, Hispanics of non-Mexican descent, and mothers who do not receive Medi-Cal benefits.
Contrary to Boyles' claim about the source of his statistics, the Los Angeles Times has repudiated the list of facts as having been falsely attributed to it. The Times called the list a “hoax” that has circulated to “at least 130 weblogs”:
We combed our archives to see whether the paper [the Los Angeles Times] has indeed written anything like these facts, and found just one Op-ed column - by leading anti-immigration figure Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Col.) - that comes close to stating what the e-mail hoax claims. Meanwhile, we've tried to assess the veracity of the various statistics from online sources as well as representatives of federal, state, county, and city officials.
The Times specifically debunked the statistic Boyles cited, as did the urban-legends website Snopes.com, which found most of the other claims on the deceptive “fact” sheet also to be dubious.
Boyles also read on air the following claims that are included on the “fact sheet” hoax:
- “Twenty-one radio stations in L.A. are Spanish-speaking.”
- “Sixty percent of all occupants of Department of Housing and Urban Development properties in L.A. are illegals.”
- “Cost of immigration to the American taxpayer in 1997 -- so this is almost 10 years ago -- a net 70 billion dollars.”
- “Twenty-nine percent of inmates in federal penitentiaries today are illegals.”
From the September 19 broadcast of The Peter Boyles Show:
BOYLES: Is Los Angeles -- and I read these different opinion pieces -- for all intents and purposes -- lousy question, but legit question -- is it over?
JOHN KOBYLT: A lot of people feel that way. I mean, the city itself?
KOBYLT: Yeah, probably. Unless they actually pass some dramatic legislation drying up the labor market. I mean, much of L.A. is shot. It's gone. You just can't live there. You wouldn't want to live there. You know, there's the isolated strips, you know, like along the west side, where the wealthy live. You know, there's pockets here and there. I mean, it's just like a South American city. You know, the wealthy will always have their area, but, you know, the middle class regions of Los Angeles -- Oh, what did I see the other day? There's a study in the paper that in L.A. only 28 percent of residents in L.A. qualify as middle class. Most of them -- and these are our listeners -- are living, you know, 50, 60 miles outside of L.A. in Riverside and San Bernardino, which is one of the largest -- well, it's one of the most -- one of the fastest-growing areas in the country. And they're enduring hellacious commutes because there is simply -- and the common line is, “Well, you know, the real-estate prices in L.A. are so high.' Well they're really high in the areas where citizens would want to live, but the illegal aliens have eaten up so many neighborhoods, it's not that the real-estate prices are high there. It's that the neighborhoods are uninhabitable. It is so disgusting.
BOYLES: I looked at the numbers on stations, radio stations. Twenty-one radio stations in L.A. are Spanish-speaking. That's amazing.
KOBYLT: Oh, yeah. I mean, the ratings for so many English-language stations who were powerhouses when I first came to L.A. 14 years ago, the ratings are awful.
KOBYLT: There's all these English radio stations that can't even make the top 20 anymore. And they never will. There's simply not enough English-speaking people around anymore to provide audiences for these stations.
BOYLES: It's happening here slowly but surely. Seventy-five -- One of the other numbers -- and I just pulled some stuff up because I was getting ready to speak with you this morning. Over two-thirds of all the births in L.A. County are to illegal-alien Mexican -- they're called Medi-Cal, right? -- whose birth are then paid for by the taxpayer.
KOBYLT: Where did you see that one? That line. That's a good one.
BOYLES: From the L.A. Times.
KOBYLT: Yeah, I hadn't seen that exact statistic, but --
BOYLES: Two thirds of all births in L.A., in Los Angeles County, are to illegal-alien Mexican, what's Medi-Cal? That's the --
KOBYLT: Medi-Cal is the state version of Medicare.
BOYLES: Right. Exactly.
KOBYLT: It means the taxpayers are paying for the birth.
BOYLES: And they're paid by the taxpayers.
BOYLES: Sixty percent of all occupants of HUD properties in L.A. are illegals. You're not shocked.
KOBYLT: No. That's what I mean. They've overtaken so many -- it really is an invasion. It's really like, you know, they've created settlements, you know, on our land.
BOYLES: Cost of immigration to the American taxpayer in 1997 -- so this is almost 10 years ago -- a net 70 billion dollars.
KOBYLT: Yeah; it's way more than that now.
BOYLES: Sure. Twenty-nine percent of inmates in federal penitentiaries today are illegals. I don't know. And, like I said, when I listen to you speak and I read the nonsense that appears in Denver columns and papers and I think to myself, ”Why do people want to sit here, John, and let this happen?"
KOBYLT: They're just idiots. They're just absolute idiots. You know, those columnists, those politicians, who are activists, they are fools.
BOYLES: They really are.
KOBYLT: They are absolute fools.
BOYLES: They really are.
KOBYLT: Their -- The country's culture, language, traditions are going to be gone. And what's going to be left is you have poor peasants.
KOBYLT: You know, the L.A. school system is wrecked, hospitals and emergency rooms have closed in large numbers, the traffic is unbearable, the cost is overwhelming, and then what you're replacing is middle-class American diverse neighborhoods that are overrun by the most poor, the most uneducated, the unskilled who are not assimilating, who have no interest in assimilating. That's the truth. Any of these bonehead -- the columnists that you talk about -- I'd like to give them a drive through what used to be Los Angeles. And it's affecting middle-class black communities. Blacks have been driven out of their communities too. There's a lot of blacks who are upset in Los Angeles because, you know, their neighborhoods are gone.