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June 2, 2009
Radio segment on transgender kids raises hackles

A segment last week on transgender children that aired on the Rob, Arnie & Dawn morning show (KRXQ 98.5) has sparked e-mails, phone calls and a demand for an apology from the group Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

In the segment, hosts Rob Williams and Arnie States dismissed transgender people as "freaks" and said if a son wore women's shoes he would throw a shoe at him.

Their co-host Dawn Rossi attempted to counter their often-hostile statements and apologized on-air.

The segment prompted an alert from GLAAD, saying, "the two hosts spent more than 30 minutes explicitly promoting child abuse of and making cruel, dehumanizing and defamatory comments toward transgender children."

"We hope that KRXQ holds hosts Rob Williams and Ernie (sic) States accountable for their defamatory remarks that encouraged violence against transgender children," said Rashad Robinson, senior director of media programs at GLAAD. "Their claims about transgender people were cruel and dehumanizing and showed a lack of standards that we hope the station will work to immediately rectify."

Station manager Jim Fox said the hosts would talk about the shoe-throwing issue on air Wednesday. "I think there definitely needs to be some clarification there," Fox said. "They never meant to advocate any form of abuse."

The comments about "freaks," however, fell within the bounds of opinion for the show, which is owned by host Williams, Fox said.

Fox has received some calls and e-mails from as far away as New Mexico, he said.

The entire segment can be heard online by clicking here.

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