As first reported on Right Wing Watch, William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show and discussed the possibility of a military coup and other “extra-political activities that I can’t really talk about because they’re all illegal and violent” to overthrow “Dictator Barack Obama.” While Gheen later denied the comments, even after they were replayed to him verbatim on Alan Colmes’s show, Mefferd yesterday weighed in on Gheen’s statements.
Mefferd strongly distanced herself from Gheen and made clear that she does not endorse Gheen’s extreme rhetoric. “I don’t think President Obama is a dictator. And I also don’t advocate the illegal or violent overthrow of the government; in fact William himself has now said that is not what he was trying to say either,” Mefferd said, “I don’t advocate military coups.”
Mefferd: I just want to make a quick clarification on a guest who was on my show the other day, William Gheen is the head of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC. We had had him on the show before and he was a good guest, he had some valid thoughts on the subject of illegal immigration. So we had talked to William Gheen before, he’s on the other side of the issue and we decided to invite him back on the show and find out what his thoughts were. And if you heard that interview you heard that William had some strong words of objection to the recent decision, he had some very strong words in some instances to this decision. And after the interview there were some far-left websites and radio shows who picked up on this, we’re getting some emails complaining that we allowed him to say some of the things he said.
So briefly I want to see this: in the case of William Gheen referring to President Obama as a dictator, that is not my opinion. I don’t think President Obama is a dictator. And I also don’t advocate the illegal or violent overthrow of the government; in fact William himself has now said that is not what he was trying to say either. I don’t advocate military coups.
So I just want to make that clear. I interview a lot of people on this show, and I’ll tell you quite honestly there are an awful lot of political and theological opinions that guests say and callers say on my show that I don’t agree with. But I tend to let people talk, and that tends to be more of my style. I think my listeners are smart enough to draw their own conclusions by people’s statements. So that is generally what I tend to do. I ask the question, I get out of the way and I allow people to decide for themselves whether or not the segment that was just aired was worthwhile. In this case you though know it’s a judgment call on every front whether or not to engage someone on a strong opinion with which you disagree or just to let it go and move on.
But later on when I was able to hear some of the remarks that he had made, I realized I should’ve engaged him right then and there and I should’ve just talked to him directly about what he had just said and clarified what he was really trying to say. So honestly at the time he had an awful a lot to say and the exact statement and question slipped past me at the time. And were I to go back and be able to it again I would’ve addressed it and I would’ve said something to William, and said, ‘William, is that really what you mean? Do you really mean what some people might interpret that last statement to say? Anyway, I thought it was worthwhile to let you know that William’s statements on those particular things did not reflect my views, at all.