Although the resolution passed is non-binding, the council wants Clear Channel and other talk radio stations to prohibit hosts from making racist and sexist slurs.
The resolution was passed yesterday by a vote of 13-2. While initially aimed at John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, the hosts of KFI 640's "John and Ken Show," the resolution was broadened to apply to all talk radio. Kobylt and Chiampou were suspended by the station for seven days after referring to Whitney Houston as a "crack ho," three days after the singer died.
The resolution [PDF] was sponsored by three African American council members; Council President Herb Wesson, Councilman Bernard C. Parks, and Councilwoman Jan Perry. Part 1 of the resolution urges management at KFI 640 and Clear Channel Media Holdings to do everything they can to prevent racist and sexist language used by talk show hosts from being broadcast over the airwaves in Los Angeles.
The second part of the resolution broadened the first part and states "derogatory language used by some radio personnel has no place on public airwaves in the Great City of Los Angeles or anywhere else in America." What started as an attempt to control the speech of talk radio personalities on KFI 640 was broadened to include all talk radio in the United States.
The resolution was broadened in light of recent comments made by syndicated talk show host, Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh referred to Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, who testified before a congressional committee, as a "slut" and a "prostitute," saying she wants the government to pay her for having sex by covering the costs of contraception.
Part 3 of the resolution goes back to Clear Channel. It states that the company's employees should be more diverse and urges Clear Channel to hire more women, African Americans, Latinos and Asians.
As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, civil rights organizations and minority media groups were in attendance to speak in favour of the motion and their focus was on conservative talk radio programs such as Limbaugh's.
Councilman Paul Kerkorian said the aim of the resolution was not to stifle free speech. He was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying, It's exactly appropriate for the council to speak up against the vile things we have on the airwaves.
The wording of the resolution makes it clear that it applies only to radio, not television. As pointed out by the Daily Beast, there have been many mysogynistic statements made by liberal television personalities. Kirsten Powers gives examples such as MSNBC's Ed Schultz calling Laura Ingraham "a right wing slut," and Bill Maher referring to Sarah Palin as a "dumb twat" and a "c**t."
Apparently, the 13 members of the Los Angeles City Council who voted in favour of the resolution, don't want to apply the same standards of restricted speech to liberals on television as they want applied to conservatives on the radio.