ABC RADIO, CATHOLICS AND MUSLIMS
The following is the text of the letter Catholic League president Bill Donohue sent to ABC Radio President James Robinson yesterday about its Los Angeles affiliate, KABC:
I am writing to you about a serious matter that concerns a totally irresponsible and bigoted remark by KABC radio talk-show host Kim Serafin and the refusal of KABC program director Eric Braverman to address the issue.
On September 10, Serafin discussed the victims of Hurricane Katrina. She relayed a story about hearing from someone that he was going to make a donation to Catholic Charities. Serafin said, “Why? The Catholic Church is totally corrupt and molests young boys, you know.”
When we learned of her remark, we verified its accuracy and then contacted the station. We were effectively dismissed. We then issued a news release on September 14 (enclosed) that was the text of a letter I sent to Brian Burch (the letter should have been addressed to Eric Braverman; nonetheless, he learned of our complaint through someone on his staff and never returned our calls).
On September 17, Serafin answered a complaint by a Catholic League member saying that her remark was taken out of context and that he should “have an open mind in the future.” (Enclosed.)
Over the summer, ABC radio talk-show host Michael Graham was fired because of an offensive remark he made about Islam. At the time, ABC Radio did not buy the line about Graham’s comment being “out-of-context,” and neither should it allow Serafin to get away with this excuse.
Justice demands that Serafin be disciplined over this matter. Not to do so would send a message to Catholics that ABC Radio harbors a double standard: bigotry against Catholics is not the same as bigotry against Muslims.
We have a monthly journal, Catalyst, that records anti-Catholicism nationwide and what we are doing about it. Serafin’s comment will appear on the front page of the October edition* and Braverman will be deluged with mail in a few weeks time. It would be great if we could provide our members with an update in the November edition that effectively settles this matter.
*NOTE: Just before going to press, Ms. Serafin issued a formal apology. We now consider this to be a closed matter.