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Oakley show complaint! [Sep. 6th, 2006|07:35 pm]


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[mood |accomplished]

The John Oakley show is left-wing propagandist BULL Shit! Here's the letter I sent to the programming director, Gord Harris, in regards to a recent show topic about Afghanistan:

Letter to AM 640

To: Editor/Broadcaster
From: Jessica Gillis & concerned citizens (Ok, there ARE no concerned citizens, but who cares about me?)
Re.: Morning broadcast on The Oakley Show, September 4, 2006, approx. 9:10-9:30AM.

This is a letter in protest of a typical-style broadcast that aired this morning on AM 640 during the Oakley Show. John Oakley is typically uninformed and offensive, but after the broadcast this morning, I can no longer resist lodging a complaint, futile as it may be.

I tuned in around 9:15 this morning and Oakley was speaking with a guest I believe was named Gary Burns, perhaps Gerry. Aside from his blatant support of the invasion in Afghanistan, which is what it is, despite how Oakley refers to it, he referred to “insurgents” as “them” and suggested there were not enough of them unless “China gets involves”. He went on to ask whether Afghanis would prefer “war in their backyard” or “life under an oppressive Taliban regime” as if 1. they actually HAVE a choice, and as if 2. These are their ONLY choices. This is offensive on so many levels. Firstly to suggest that Afghanis are incapable of deciding things in their own country, and to further suggest that the Afghani people support this invasion. Obviously, none of us can speak for the Afghani people, but who in their right mind would welcome soldiers with advanced weapons in their backyard? If one looks at the actual facts, NOT the facts Oakley purports to “know”, in this case, they would see that the “insurgency” is only getting worse as Canada increases it’s military presence. I’ve heard reference to the five soldiers killed this weekend at least 6 times since I tuned in, and not once, in listening for the past 2 hours, has any death toll been given for Afghani civilians. Do they not matter, especially since there are several thousands of them? This is a gross misrepresentation of the facts.

He then went to mock a study done by the TDSB asking students about their sexual orientation. He actually laughed as he read off the categories, and he seemed to have more of a problem with “straight” being the last option. “When did that become marginalized”? he laughed, making a huge assumption that that’s what was being inferred by the study. Any logical, rational person knows that being “straight” is not marginalized and it seems obvious that he was just taking a cheap shot at other sexual orientations. He also alluded to sexuality equality in schools not being important, which it obviously is. This IS a free country, isn’t it?

Later, a guest asked “Are you sure the Afghanis hate us” which shouldn’t even be asked, and besides that, how the hell would Oakley know? Someone so out of touch with the real world obviously wouldn’t, and I’m pretty sure he’s not Afghani, right? So, again, he has no right to speak for the Afghanis, and this kind of talk only fosters more hate among the crazy right-wing listeners his show undoubtedly attracts. This is very dangerous in such a climate of Islamophobia. A guest then hung up saying he was going to lower his Canadian flag (supposedly in shame in this war), and Oakley cut him off and assumed, by way of a statement, that it was “in memory” when the caller never stated that. Besides, “in memory” would mean at half-mast. This a blatant lie, how can he still get away with this? And why is it that almost every time a caller disagrees with an 640 host, with the exception of Coast to Coast AM, they are cut off and not allowed to speak?

He then went on to say that we are fighting “a religious war” which is absolutely false, and then said it was a “bastardized” version of religion. What does Oakley know about Islam? I would like to know why he can legally represent his own opinion as fact, especially during a morning show which so many people listen to? Is it because your station is pushing the Conservative Party’s propaganda? For any broadcaster to look at Afghanistan as anything other than an invasion is irresponsible and innacurate.

I then called in, disgusted as I was and wanting to balance out the talk with some reality, and after giving my view, I was hung up on IN MID-SENTENCE and called a “whack job” on the air. He said I was disgraceful for opposing the war and suggesting that American and Canadian soldiers may have perpetrated crimes against women in this region. I asked him if he’s EVER met anyone from Afghanistan, Palestine or Iraq. I have, and I think they have a better idea of what’s happening there than Oakley does. So, instead of focusing on my comment, he ignored it, trivialized it, and cut me off to make it sound as though I was saying “thousands of troops are raping women” when what I was actually saying was that I thought it was “possible” based on stories of Afghani women who were raped by soldiers.

So, to sum this up, your station, in particular the Oakley Show, has a problem with context and not stating facts. First of all, the context of invasion is important. We have no idea what it’s like for the Afghani people unless we’ve been there with them, and a big reason for that is the mainstream media’s absolute refusal to report news fairly and objectively. In the context of invasion everything changes, and that’s something we’ve never encountered in Canada. People have a right to defend their lives from invaders. It’s really become a big propaganda machine. On a positive note, kudos to Oakley for knowing the word “hegemony”. I was truly shocked.

Most people just turn to alternative media sources. I feel that I shouldn’t have to do that in a “free country”. But as it stands, I have no choice. At the very least, could you do this: When you reiterate every 15 minutes about the 5 fallen soldiers, can you ALSO list the number of dead Afghanis who were killed in the same time period? Or do they not count?

Thank you for your time
Jessica Gillis