Let's give some love to the Capitol Auto Group for standing up to right-wing extremism and lies on a local radio show. If you want to thank the folks at Capitol Auto Group, a message can be sent via their web site's "Contact Us" page.
A post on the Salem Resists Facebook page reports that after the Capitol Auto Group was contacted about advertising on KYKN, where the Gator & Denise show had mocked survivors of the Florida high school shooting and wrongly called one of them a "crisis actor," Capitol Auto Group said they had pulled their sponsorship of that show and will review their association with KYKN when the current contract is concluded.
Don’t remember if it was this page or another one, but Brian Hines reported about the Gator & Denise show on kykn & the terrible things they said about the parkland survivors. The station’s webpage lists the station sponsors. I contacted Capitol Auto group because I bought my last car from them & had planned on buying my next one there. I let them know I would go elsewhere because of their support to kykn & the program.
Here’s their response. “We at Capitol were made aware of the situation and have taken steps to address it. First we met with the radio station in question after hearing of the broadcast. Our sponsorship of the show in which the broadcast occurred has been cancelled. In addition, when our current contract is concluded we will closely review our association with KYKN.”
Yes, I did indeed report on the terrible things Gator Gaynor and Denise Nanke said about the Parkland survivors in "Gator & Denise hate radio show mocks Florida shooting survivors."
Gaynor and Nanke would be odious enough if they simply promulgated extreme right-wing views. What makes them truly obnoxious is their habitual spreading of lies that anyone with an Internet connection and a minute or two to spare could easily detect.
But they don't take the time to do that, because truth doesn't matter to Gator & Denise.
In the clip from Tuesday's show they parroted a conspiracy theory that one of the Parkland students is a "crisis actor" who goes around the country getting on TV to spout his liberal views in a ghoulish fashion, to quote Denise Nanke.
This, of course, is completely false. David Hogg is a genuine Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student. A CBS-Los Angeles story explains how unethical right-wingers conjured up the false "crisis actor" propaganda.
The fact that a major KYKN advertiser would revoke its sponsorship of the Gator & Denise show indicates how student activism following the seventeen shooting deaths at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school by someone wielding an AR-15 assault rifle has changed the tone of the gun control debate in this country.
(Here's a list of all of the KYKN advertisers/sponsors.)
Pleasingly, there's now much less tolerance for extremism that doesn't recognize the urgent need for action on mass shootings that keep on happening in these gun-crazy United States. Numerous corporations have cut their ties with the NRA, which so far is stonewalling efforts to prevent the next mass shooting.
Ordinarily I'm not wild about boycotts and demands that businesses stop advertising on certain media outlets. But exceptions like this one are important when there's a consistent pattern of someone going way over the top on negative hate speech. Gator Gaynor and Denise Nanke don't merely engage in conservative talk. Their tone is often mocking, insulting, and degrading.
For example, they ranted about the Salem City Council passing an inclusive city resolution in much the same way they mocked student activists who survived the Parkland mass shooting.
Gator Gaynor and Denise Nanke (wife of Councilor Nanke), who are right-wing talk show hosts on KYKN, engaged in a rant about the City Council's approval of the Inclusive City resolution. They actually called the 43 concerned citizens testifying about the fear and anxiety caused by Trump's effort to deport undocumented immigrants a "mob mentality."
So it's good that KYKN advertisers are feeling some heat for sponsoring the Gator & Denise show. Everybody makes factual mistakes from time to time. That really isn't the issue here, though Gaynor and Nanke shouldn't have uncritically accepted the "crisis actor" conspiracy theory.
More importantly, they've demonstrated a pattern of engaging in what I like to call "hate radio" talk. Sure, this is common among extreme conservatives. Rush Limbaugh, who also is carried by KYKN, has made a career out of crude insults. But we shouldn't let Salem become another bastion of hate radio speech.
Capitol Auto Group has done the right thing. Over many years my wife and I have bought or leased six cars from them (a couple of Toyota Priuses and Highlanders, plus a couple of Chevy Volts). Now we'll feel even better about being Capitol Auto Group customers.
Mayor Chuck Bennett wasn't on the Gator & Denise show this past Wednesday, which is the usual day he's on the show.
I don't know whether this is a sign that Bennett is rethinking the wisdom of being a regular on the show, or if there was some other reason for his absence. But hopefully he and other members of the City Council will seriously consider saying NO to being on the Gator & Denise show.