Call on Clear Channel to Take Responsibility for Jim Quinn’s Pattern of Ugly, Defamatory Attacks Against the LGBT Community

Syndicated radio host perpetuates myth that "Pedophilia is far more rampant among the gay community than it is among the straight community."

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UPDATE: Farmers Insurance Group Pulls Advertising from Clear Channel’s Nationally Syndicated Radio Program: "The War Room with Quinn & Rose"

On July 29 GLAAD issued a Call to Action after nationally syndicated Clear Channel radio host, Jim Quinn made defamatory comments against the LGBT community for the third time in three years. On the July 28 edition of “The War Room with Quinn & Rose,” Quinn said, “Pedophilia is far more rampant among the gay community than it is among the straight community." After urging our members to take action, nearly two thousand people wrote to Clear Channel and questioned why the media company continues to give Jim Quinn a platform to disparage LGBT people.

Read more about our Call to Action below.

We also asked companies that advertise on the program to seriously consider future placement, given Quinn’s troubling record of defamation. Today Farmers Insurance Group told GLAAD that after listening to our concerns, it is pulling all advertising support from Clear Channel’s “The War Room with Quinn & Rose.” Farmers’ Assistant Vice President for Media and Public Relations, North America, Jerry Davies, confirmed the ad pull and thanked GLAAD for making the company aware of Quinn’s defamatory attacks against the LGBT community.

GLAAD thanks Farmers for sending a message that it will not support programs that denigrate our community. We will keep you posted on any future developments in this campaign.

We also urge you to continue calling on Clear Channel to stop allowing Jim Quinn’s disturbing pattern of on-air abuse.

Sign the petition

July 29, 2010 - 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.

Media Matters for America captured the audio.

Read the transcript.

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.

Read the entire statement.

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.

 

TAKE ACTION NOW!

GLAAD urges you to contact Clear Channel Communications and demand that the company stop supporting these rampant, defamatory attacks on gay people’s lives.

Clear Channel is failing to live up to its diversity standards that clearly state: "Our ZERO TOLERANCE policy that prohibits discrimination extends beyond our employees, into each and every market in which we conduct business." It is time for Clear Channel to stop enabling Jim Quinn’s troubling pattern of on-air abuse that creates a hostile climate and puts our community in harm’s way.

Contacts:

Lisa Dollinger
Chief Communications Officer
Clear Channel Communications
(210) 822-2828
lisacdollinger@clearchannel.com

Rod Phillips
Senior Vice President for Programming, Mid-Major Eastern Region
Clear Channel Communications
(818) 377-5300
rodphillips@clearchannel.com

Robert H. Walls, Jr.
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Clear Channel Communications
(210) 822-2828
robertwalls@clearchannel.com

Jon Zellner, Senior Vice President for Programming
Clear Channel Communications
(818) 377-5300
jonzellner@clearchannel.com

Jim Quinn
Host, The War Room with Quinn & Rose
(412) 937-1441
quinn@warroom.com
 
 Rose Tennent
Host, The War Room with Quinn & Rose
(412) 937-1441
rose@warroom.com

GLAAD Contacts:

Cindi Creager
Director of National News
(646) 871-8019
creager@glaad.org

Rich Ferraro
Director of Communications
(646) 871-8011
ferraro@glaad.org

 

Transcript of Conversation Between Syndicated Radio Hosts Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent, The War Room with Quinn & Rose (Clear Channel), July 28, 2010


QUINN: By the way, speaking of the boy scouts and the gay community, there was recently a decision, much unheralded in the media, on behalf of the boy scouts. The court, I believe, in Philadelphia, ruled in favor of the boy scouts. They wanted to stay in this building in Philadelphia that they were renting. See the back story.. the back channel story to that is, and most people have forgotten, that the boy scouts built this building for the people of Philadelphia.

ROSE: Unbelievable.

QUINN: And then out of sheer altruism gave it to them, and then rented it, and now because of their position on gay scout masters, who by the way they’re defending themselves about a couple of gay scout masters who have engaged in pedophilia. They’re defending themselves in a couple of court cases right now. It’s perfectly logical. You don’t send gay men and young boys out together, okay?

ROSE: Not all gay.. I mean most gay men have nothing to do with the young boys..

QUINN: Of course, but..

ROSE: Make sure that you understand that.

QUINN: But I would give you that pedophilia is far more rampant among the gay community than it is among the straight community. Now you can argue that if you want to, but the bottom line here is, this is not about discrimination, it’s about chemistry. It’s about sexual chemistry. You just don’t put… You don’t send a 21-year-old male out with a bunch of girl scouts who are 13 and 14 years old.

ROSE: I don’t care what it is, to be honest with you. They have a right to decide who they want to lead their troops and who they do not. They probably… If they want to say they want no women leading Boy Scout troops, so be it. 
They have that right. I wouldn’t want to say that all gays, you risk any gay leader, you risk a pedophile moment, because that’s not true. I have many gay friends who would never even consider that. So the bottom line is that they can decide whatever they want. Whatever they wanna do, they have the right to decide, I feel. You don’t want a female leader, you don’t want a gay leader, whatever It’s your organization. Speaking of the gay community, did you hear what happened to Barney Frank?

QUINN: Well –

ROSE: I’m sorry, go on.

QUINN: Just before you go on, so the bottom line is that the city of Philadelphia wanted to deprive the boy scouts of the use of this building because of their position on gay scout masters, and it was just done out of sheer nastiness.

ROSE: Yes.

QUINN: And the court said to Philadelphia *makes noise* Anyway, what about Barney Frank?

ROSE: Right then.

QUINN: All right, I’m sorry.

ROSE: No I am. I forgot that we had to finish that story. We were talking about the gay community it made me think of Barney Frank.

QUINN: Of course.

 

Clear Channel Statement Responding to GLAAD’s Criticism About Defamatory Content on Radio Program, The War Room with Quinn & Rose



We’ve discussed often in the past Clear Channel’s Corporate Diversity Policy, its support – as an employer – of the rights of the LGBT community members on our staff, and the many and continuing efforts we make as a responsible broadcaster, in our news programming, and other venues, to present information and awareness programs that are supportive of the LGBT community.  
 
However, I cannot stress more emphatically that at the same time, 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, although the clip you forwarded appears to have been edited to cut their dialog short.
 
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.
 
We believe that is fully consistent with our company’s equally firm commitment to respecting the rights of our LGBT employees, and of the LGBT community at large.

-  
Lisa Dollinger
Chief Communications Officer Clear Channel Communications