June 13, 2009 - 16:54 AMT
Bill Handel and KFI640-AM radio apologize for Armenian Genocide comment
The Armenian National Committee-Western Region (ANC-WR), joined by community organizations and activists, met with KFI640-AM radio show host Bill Handel and station management regarding offensive comments that aired on Handel's radio show on May 13 and 14 during a discussion between Handel and Lara Hermanson.
Acknowledging that a line had been crossed, Handel, KFI and Clear Channel management apologized to the Armenian American community. With Handel himself being a descendent of Holocaust survivors, he also made it clear that recognition of the Armenian Genocide is something he has been aware of and passionate about throughout his career and promised to continue raising awareness about the issue.
"We deeply regret the inappropriate comments that were made on Bill Handel's show last month which deeply hurt the Armenian American community. The comments were wrong," said Robin Bertolucci, KFI Program Director. "We take responsibility for this offense as any genocide, including the Armenian Genocide, are serious topics that should not be used as the basis for humor." KFI issued an on-air apology on June 12. KFI also released a video apology from Hermanson and Handel.
The ANC-WR requested a meeting with KFI management to convey the community's outrage and ask that the situation be addressed. In the meantime, the ANC-WR reached out to dozens of activists and community organizations, such as the Armenian Bar Association, eager to work together on the issue, Asbarez Daily reported.