Daily Archives: June 30, 2009

Boston Radio’s Jay Severin(o) – “Snide and Prejudice”

Radio host Jay Severin(o) standing in his yard.

Radio host Jay Severin(o) standing in his yard.

After having been banned from the airwaves for a month following his racist on-air remarks, Boston radio host James Severino (a/k/a Jay Severin) is back to his old tricks. This dishonest and cowardly reich-wing pundit plies his trade on the Boston, MA based conservative radio station affectionately referred to by many listeners as, WKKK.

Yesterday, Severin, (who changed his name from James Severino a number of years back, presumably to avoid any ethnic stereotyping) devoted his afternoon show to discussion of this week’s U.S. Supreme Court Decision in the case of  Ricci v. DeStefano which involved a reverse discrimination claim. In that case, a number of white (and one Hispanic) Connecticut firefighters challenged a city decision to ignore promotional testing results because minority firefighters failed to score high enough to gain promotion. The city contended that Title VII’s prohibition against hiring practices which have a disproportionately negative impact on members of a certain racial group might trigger a lawsuit by minorities against the city if promotions were granted only to members not from that racial group.

At trial, the U.S. District Court found in favor of the city. On appeal to the U.S. Appeals Court (on which Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor sat), the lower court decision was upheld. On final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court however, the lower court decisions were reversed by a narrow 5 -4 decision.

Severino chose to characterize the decision as an outright denunciation of Sotomayor. Of course, his arguments as usual , were replete with inaccuracies, lies and subjectivity. For example, nearly every sentence that he uttered contained the untruth that over 80% of Sotomayor’s Appeals Court decisions were overturned on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. He seems to have come up with that figure by simply parroting a disproved statement made by comedian Rush Limbaugh. The actual percentage of overturned decisions is 66.66%.  Six decisions in which she joined the majority of the Appeals Court were heard by the U.S. Supreme Court and of those, four were overturned.

Severino failed to explain however that the Supreme Court chooses to hear argument on only approximately 1% of the cases appealed to it. There is no absolute right to have appeals heard by that court. Additionally, the court itself chooses to hear appeals of those cases wherein there is a disagreement amongst Supreme Court justices. Once a case is selected to be heard, approximately 75% of those cases are overturned.

Severino’s on-air argument was that Sotomayor is unqualified to serve as a Supreme Court justice because 80% of her Appeals Court decisions which were selected to be heard by the Supreme Court, were overturned. His succinct argument was that anyone that performs his/her job incorrectly 80% of the time does not deserve to hold that job, let alone be promoted.

Problem is, as noted above, the Supreme Court overturns 75% of the decisions before it and Sotomayor had only 60% overturned. Consequently, her decisions are overturned on average less than all cases heard by said court. Additionally, and far more astonishingly however, Severino did not call into question Justice Samuel Alito’s qualifications to serve on the court. You see, a full 100% of Alito’s Appeals Court decisions were overturned by the Supreme Court. Alito, however is a sacred cow to those like Severino because of his conservative leaning decisions.

When confronted on-air with those facts by a caller to the show, Severino took his customary cowardly approach. Rather than try to defend his position with actual facts, he hung up on the caller and carried on with his factually incorrect diatribe to his biased audience’s delight. Severino refers to his audience as, “The Best and the Brightest.” In reality, they are more like, “The Deaf and the Sightless.”

Please click on the song link below to have more fun singing along.

Nowhere Man song link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvLj72apGLI

RADIO MAN

(sung to the The Beatles song “Nowhere Man”)

Jay’s a real radio man
Member of the Ku Klux Klan
Preaching to his nowhere fans
For nobody

Has a racist point of view
Changed his name to Severin too
Hasn’t got a friggin’ clue, does he?

Radio man please listen
We laugh so hard we’re pissin’
Radio man, open your mouth and get canned

(lead guitar)

He’s blind like the G.O.P.
Just sees what a racist sees
Radio man you can’t see me at all?

Radio man we’re sorry
We don’t buy your story
We can’t wait till somebody else
Relieves your command

Has a racist point of view
Changed his name to Severin too
Hasn’t got a friggin’ clue, does he?

Radio man just face it
You’ve little time, don’t waste it
Radio man, we cannot wait till your banned

Jay’s a real radio man
Member of the Ku Klux Klan
Preaching to his nowhere fans
For nobody
Preaching to his nowhere fans
For nobody
Preaching to his nowhere fans
For nobody

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