Mike Rosen: Did KOA host call for hijackers to crash plane into mosque near Ground Zero?

AM 760 host David Sirota and KOA longtimer Mike Rosen are both part of the Clear Channel empire, but there doesn't appear to be any love lost between them. Two days after a public debate in Centennial that also involved KHOW's Peter Boyles, Sirota is publicizing an exchange in which Rosen either calls for or predicts that a hijacked plane will crash into a proposed Islamic Center being built in Lower Manhattan near Ground Zero.

The clip --

listen to it here

listen to it here

-- begins with Sirota declaring that using the actions of eighteen people on 9/11 to promote Islamophobia and cast aspersions on 1.5 billion Muslims is "grotesque."

To that, Rosen says, "I think they should be allowed to build it, following the hijacking of an Iranian plane right into that building and blow it to smithereens."

The sound sample has clearly been edited, but only to insert a snippet of Boyles agreeing with Sirota, not to alter Rosen's meaning from a contextual standpoint. That's made clear from the recording of the entire debate. After Rosen unleashes the "smithereens" phrase in the complete sample, at about the session's midpoint, Sirota can be heard muttering, "That's sick. That's some sick shit" -- although the profanity has been excised.

In an e-mail about the segment, Sirota adds a little background: "850 KOA is the largest talk radio station in the state of Colorado, and Rosen was the leading voice calling for University of Colorado to fire professor Ward Churchill for Churchill's comments seeming to sympathize with terrorist attacks on New York City."

That's the kind of zinger that'll make the next elevator ride Sirota and Rosen share at Clear Channel HQ very interesting.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts