This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," April 23, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello. Hello, Chinese man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, what can I do for you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are a very nice Chinese man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I swear to (BLEEP) God, probably can't drive for (BLEEP) , but who cares?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Anything else?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need shrimp "flied lice."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, a large order or small?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very large, shrimp "flied lice."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Do you want four pieces, one sweet and sour pork, and one shrimp fried rice?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And some old dung.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dung?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: That was CBS Radio's JV and Elvis. The Organization of Chinese Americans are demanding an on-air policy and asking CBS Radio to terminate both jocks and the show's producer. The segment, which originally aired just one day after Imus' now infamous remarks was re-aired on Thursday of last week, further enraging the Asian community. Both jocks have been suspended indefinitely without pay.
Joining us now, the editor of "Talkers" magazine, Michael Harrison, and the president of the Organization of Chinese Americans, here in New York, Vicki Shu Smolin.
Welcome to you both.
Vicki, you want them fired over this?
VICKI SHU SMOLIN, ORGANIZATION OF CHINESE AMERICANS: Yes, we want them fired.
SMOLIN: They went over the line. What they did was derogatory, was extremely sexist and it was racist. It went over the line.
COLMES: Is it possible someone can make a mistake, go over the line? When you do edgy humor, you go over the line, a suspension of which is what they have. They can think about it, and then perhaps come back, and say, "Look, I've looked at it with a new perspective." Do we have to fire everybody who makes any kind of racial comment?
SMOLIN: No. These DJs have been suspended before. There are other complaints about them with other community, other groups. So this really — it was insensitive. It was based on stereotypes. It was hateful.
COLMES: What if they come back and said, "Look, we realize this is wrong. We've made a mistake. We ask the forgiveness of the Asian community"? Would you forgive them?
COLMES: You would not forgive them?
SMOLIN: Because they did this in the midst of Don Imus. I mean, they should have understood that to treat a whole community like this...
COLMES: So nothing they could do would get your forgiveness at this point?
SMOLIN: Nothing they could do. Right now, no.
COLMES: Now, Mike Harrison, this concerns me, given, on the heels of the Don Imus situation, I feel we started a slippery slope where now we have to be on guard that anything anybody says is subject to some particular group being so offended that they're going to demand the head of whoever in broadcasting says the offensive comment.
MICHAEL HARRISON, "TALKERS" MAGAZINE: There is, in fact, that possibility, Alan, but it was kind of stupid for them to put that on the air at this point. What bothers me about this whole discussion is that the angry groups and the angry parties, all the way back to Opie and Anthony having the Catholic Church upset with them for the St. Patrick's Cathedral incident, is that it's always the talent that are blamed, as if they operate in a vacuum and that they own their own shows and they can just go and do whatever they want.
The corporations fire them, and then everything is OK, when, in fact, the Chinese community should be angry at CBS. They shouldn't be angry at these talented people who are just doing their jobs. They were hired to do that.
COLMES: Are you saying heads should roll beyond the talent level, Mike, and that executives should be fired over this?
HARRISON: If heads are going to roll at all, which I don't think they should, but if they are going to roll, the executives' heads should roll, as well, because they're the ones who really are creating the production. The talent have been hired to push the envelope to be outrageous and to do what they do. And by blaming the talent, it begs the issue of what we're really discussing.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Michael, I'm getting concerned here. Are we going to get to the point — like, for example, both of my grandparents came from Ireland. If somebody tells an Irish joke, am I supposed to get offended? I mean, are we at the point where we can't — and this isn't my type of humor, but I'm getting very nervous about the environment that's being created here.
HARRISON: That's a whole other point, and that's a good point. And I agree that, if we're going to have freedom of expression and we're going to have freedom of speech and we're going to be a culture that is loose and funny and not afraid of our shadow, we have to put up with that because it's part of the American culture.
HANNITY: Anyone can make fun of me. I don't care. And, by the way, Michael, as you know, we've been friends a long time, they do.
Vicki, let me ask, do you know anything about these two guys on the radio? Do you know anything about them?
SMOLIN: I do know that, in the past, there have been complaints about them.
HANNITY: So there have been complaints. Do you know that, for example — one of the guys, JV is married to a woman of Korean ancestry? You know that?
SMOLIN: I do know that.
HANNITY: You do know that they've dominated morning drive on an urban-formatted station for nearly a decade in San Francisco.
HANNITY: And so if this wasn't about them just trying to be funny, this was a computer voice in this case. Wouldn't real racism be known by now, considering they've been on the air? Isn't this is a bunch of guys on the radio that just have pushed the envelope and are trying to be funny? Isn't that what this is?
SMOLIN: There's funny, and there's funny that hurts. And this is where funny hurts. And, you know, it's not even just about, you know, freedom of speech here.
HANNITY: But you don't have to listen to it, do you? You don't have to tune into this radio station.
SMOLIN: We don't have to listen to it, but, you know, thousands of people, hundreds of thousands of people listen to them. And, like you said, it's highly rated. And this kind of media influences how people act. I mean, it's...
HANNITY: If we're overweight, we can't make fun of overweight people, we can't make fun of people that are losing their hair. We can't make fun — no more blonde jokes, no more Irish jokes, no more jokes about anybody. You know, do you not see the slippery slope?
And, look, I'm not saying you have to listen to these guys. I don't even like some of this humor. It's not what I do on the radio. But I'm very — you have to see that we've got to be concerned about free speech here.
SMOLIN: This isn't about free speech here.
HANNITY: Sure, it is, because you want them fired...
SMOLIN: Would you want your wife, you know, somebody to call you...
HANNITY: You don't have to listen to it.
SMOLIN: Do you want someone to talk to you the way the DJ talked to them?
HANNITY: Read the first thing you — if you Google, Sean Hannity, you know what's going to come up first? HannityisaMoron.com.
COLMES: I'm sorry I started that site, by the way.
HANNITY: I don't want to live in a society where we can't at least attempt jokes.
COLMES: By the way, Vicki, these are all e-mails from Asian-Americans supporting JV and Elvis.
SMOLIN: It's scary.
COLMES: They would like the right to listen to them.
SMOLIN: There will be people, just like those African-Americans who might not have been offended by Imus. There are Asian-Americans who are not offended by them. But for the majority, they do.
COLMES: All right, Vicki, thank you. Michael, we thank you very much for being with us tonight.
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