Mark Liberman's recent invocation of Tank McNamara reminded SC of his very favorite strip from the history of that cartoon. Although he can't find it in the archives -- and has been kicking himself for years for not saving it -- it ran something like this:
A newspaper editor is gleefully reading letters from readers to one of his columnists. One letter goes: "After reading X's idiotic column on Monday, I swore I'd never read his trash ever again!" In the next panel: "...And his column on Wednesday proved I made the right decision!"
Sometimes we really can't take our eyes off the people we love to hate. A case in point is KFI's radio team of John and Ken, who your host dislikes for their grandstanding and self-promotion. This doesn't stop him from tuning in every now and then just to get annoyed at them ([because you envy their skills -- ed.]). A case in point is their work in conjunction with the recent Los Angeles, Mexico flap. In no small part due to their efforts to publicize the billboards, Liberman Broadcasting has agreed to take them down. But it wasn't enough for John and Ken to protest the offending billboards. They had to arrange for a nyah-nyah moment first. Thus, the new KFI billboard (which your host has copied directly from the KFI website):
SC doesn't even disagree with the sentiment in principle. But the inclusion of "Gracias" adds a tone of prickliness and hostility to the Spanish-speaking community in Los Angeles that didn't have to be there. It ought to be enough to make the point that secessionist ideologies aren't welcome, without insinuating that to speak Spanish is to buy into them. As the original billboard story illustrated, concerns about the growth of Spanish in California are tied as much to fears about cultural and territorial integrity as anything having to do with education. This sort of juvenile response can only serve to fuel perceptions among immigrants that hostility to illegal immigration is due as much to xenophobia as to a sincere desire to uphold the law.