On the July 28 edition of Clear Channel’s nationally syndicated radio program The War Room with Quinn & Rose, host Jim Quinn made defamatory anti-gay comments while discussing a federal case in which a jury ruled that the city of Philadelphia could not bar a Boy Scouts chapter from city-owned property despite the organization’s anti-gay policy.
During the conversation Quinn said: "You don’t send gay men and young boys out together, okay?" Quinn’s co-host Rose Tennent responded: "Most gay men have nothing to do with the young boys. Make sure that you understand that." But Quinn went on to insist: "But I would give you that pedophilia is far more rampant among the gay community than it is among the straight community."
The hosts continued to "debate" the topic for nearly three minutes.
Quinn’s latest anti-gay attack is yet another example of his appalling track record of denigrating LGBT people. This is the third time the Clear Channel host has defamed LGBT people in the last three years.
In November 2008, GLAAD issued a call to action after Quinn said, "Gay marriage doesn't produce anything that the state has an interest in. Gay sex produces AIDS, which the state doesn't have – or should have an interest in. They should charge homosexuals more for their – for their health insurance than they charge the rest of us.'"
And in January of this year Quinn erroneously compared contagious tuberculosis patients to people living with HIV/AIDS and went on to say, "When you get AIDS, pal, the door opens up to you. You have got all kinds of government goodies, including a maid to clean your house, transportation - I mean it's - there's just a wealth of wonders that come."
Read about our past Calls to Action against Jim Quinn’s defamatory attacks.
The War Room with Quinn & Rose is based in Pittsburgh and syndicated by Clear Channel Communications. The program can be heard in Colorado, Alabama, Maine, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and nationally on XM Satellite Radio.
After this latest incident GLAAD reached out to Clear Channel executives and urged an on-air apology from Quinn. Clear channel responded in part by saying:
Clear Channel presents opinion programming that covers a wide range of perspectives, and which we believe ultimately achieves balance through the clash and tumult in the public forum of at-times conflicting ideas – and not by our exercise of editorial control over those opinions. Indeed, on the broadcast in question of The War Room with Quinn and Rose, Jim Quinn’s on-air partner Rose Tennent challenged his opinions regarding homosexuality. Recognizing that some members of our audience will inevitably disagree with him and at times may find his opinions flatly offensive, we believe that Jim Quinn’s commentaries and debates take place within the wide boundaries of that public forum. Differing views were presented in the broadcast itself and no apology for this discussion is warranted.
Clear Channel’s response sends a message that it is comfortable providing a platform for Quinn’s misinformation and benefitting financially from it. Clear Channel also claims it does not exercise editorial control over its programs, but has in fact taken direct actions against problematic content on a number of occasions. These include canceling the Atlanta-based radio show "The Regular Guys" for airing a graphic conversation during a break and recording colleagues using the restroom, firing a San Francisco DJ for racially charged language against Asian Americans and denigrating people with disabilities, and terminating Florida radio host "Bubba The Love Sponge" for graphic on-air discussions about sex and drugs.
Yet Clear Channel continues to give Jim Quinn a free pass to launch gratuitously offensive attacks against LGBT people and the company not only stands behind the problematic content, it continues to promote it.