Riptide doesn't usually care much about what goes on in Broward and Palm Beach. Hell, we've got a sister blog up there to deal with this stuff, however I guess we've decided to make an exception for Tea Party fav Representative-elect Allen West. He's just named right-wing Broward radio host Joyce Kaufman as his chief-of-staff. Some hay has been raised about a comment she may or may not have been made on air about lynching illegal immigrants.
The controversy stems from a 2007 New Times story. Here's what actually happened:
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José Uzal says that one day in April, he heard Kaufman say on the air that illegal aliens should be hanged in public squares as invaders. For Uzal, who writes for a Spanish-language newspaper in West Palm Beach, Kaufman had gone too far. So he wrote a column about it. He has also sent her several e-mails and called in to the show.
"She's got a right to say whatever the hell she wants to say, but there's a fine line when she incites hatred," Uzal says. "Everything is funny until one joker out there listens to it and shoots a Mexican guy on the corner. And what is she going to say? 'Oops, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to'?"
Kaufman, Uzal says, is basically shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater. "Her radio-station management is going to let this stuff go on until someone gets hurt."
The statement about hanging illegals prompted Aileen Josephs, a West Palm Beach-based immigration attorney, to report Kaufman to the Federal Communications Commission for "indecent" language. The Anti-Defamation League says it has also received complaints about "offensive" remarks on the program.
Kaufman says the "hanging" comment came from a listener and that it was taken out of context. The conversation that day, she says, was about a Mexican man who was smuggling drugs into the country. In August, however, it was Kaufman herself who said on her show: "If you commit a crime while you're here, we should hang you and send your body back to where you came from, and your family should pay for it."
"There's nothing illegal about saying that people should be [hanged] in public squares for crimes," Kaufman says, speaking to New Times. "Now, if I said, 'Okay, you guys need to go out and capture the first Hispanic immigrant that you think might have committed a crime and commit an act of violence on him' -- if I did that, I've violated FCC rules. But I wouldn't do that....
"I don't think violence will win this. I don't want to hurt anybody. I just want the laws to be enforced in this country. And my frustration leads me to make outrageous statements all the time."
Kaufman's big mouth is still getting her in trouble though. She's already called Nancy Pelosi "garbage."
Note to Kaufman: After watching way too much Jersey Shore we're pretty sure the only people who actually call other people garbage are in fact garbage themselves.
...and that conclude our minute of caring about Broward for the month.