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Yee on retort bandwagon against racist remarks

By rgordon
Wednesday, April 25th, 2007 at 5:43 pm in Uncategorized.

Jeff Vandergrift and Don LayEver vigilant about racism in the public sphere, it seems, State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, has added his two cents about a phone prank played by two New York shock-jocks, Jeff Vandergrift and Dan Lay. Many advocacy groups are criticizing the call as racist and sexist.

The two (shown here), who are the hosts of WFNY’s (92.3 FM) The Dog House with JV and Elvis in New York City, were suspended without pay indefinitely from CBS Radio Monday. The station is running “best of” segments during their 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. time slot.

Last week, the duo broadcast a six-minute prank call to a Chinese restaurant, ordering “shrimp flied lice,” and asking a woman taking their order, “Should I come to your restaurant so that I can see you naked? Or maybe I can pick it up? That way, I can see your hot Asian spicy a**?” (Listen to the entire segment via QuickTime.)

“You are a very nice Chinese man,” one of the jocks said to a man who also attempted to take their order. “Probably can’t drive for s**t, but who cares?” The jock then bragged about his skills in kung fu, inviting the man to spar with him.

According to the New York Times, this was the second time that the station had broadcast the segment. It was first aired on April 5, the day after Don Imus made his notorious comment about the Rutgers women’s basketball team on another CBS station. The prank was re-broadcast on the show Thursday.

Yee believes that suspension is not enough, and has called for the two to be fired.Leland Yee

“It is completely appalling that just one week after Don Imus was fired from CBS, that yet another radio host found these types of comments funny and acceptable,” Yee said in a statement. “If CBS truly has a zero tolerance policy for these types of sexist and racists remarks, then Vandergrift and Lay should also be immediately dismissed.”

Yee made a short audio broadcast of his own (which also requires QuickTime to hear) calling for their firing.

“We want to send a very clear message to everyone that you cannot use individuals’ race, culture, language, gender as a basis of making fun of any individual at all,” Yee said in the clip.

This, apparently, is not the first time Vandergrift and Lay have been in hot water for their shock-jock antics. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, in 2005, the two were fired from Wild 94.9 FM, owned by Clear Channel Communications, “after they made offensive remarks after an appearance by a local drum and bugle corps.”

This is also not the first time Yee has decried apparent racist antics. Last month, Yee chided Ted Turner, the media mogul, for using the word “Chinaman” in a speech to the Bay Area Council about the “rise of clean energy and technology.”

Yee also publicly condemned Kevin Eng’s “Why I Hate Blacks” column in AsianWeek earlier this year (Eng was subsequently dismissed), and recently called for a company to discontinue selling furniture labeled with a racist epithet. The Toronto Star reported earlier this month that a China-based company is selling leather furniture with a color description of “nigger-brown.”

UPDATE: CBS announced May 12 that it was cancelling Vandergrift and Lay’s show, according to the Associated Press. The cancellation comes after more than 50 Asian American leaders and politicians – including Yee – signed an April 27 letter sent to CBS Radio President and CEO Dan Mason urging that the pair be fired.

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