"Words and Ideas Have Real-World Consequences"

01/30/2009 07:31 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

For more than a year now, we at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) have been chronicling hate on the nation's airwaves, mostly surrounding the immigration debate. It's bad enough that cable television news and radio allow known hate groups and vigilantes on the air, but often the hosts themselves parrot the same vitriolic rhetoric spoken by their more unsavory guests.

Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR, has openly and personally chastised a number of talk show hosts, cautioning them that "words have consequences, and hateful words have hateful consequences."

Earlier this week, Robert Reich, the 22nd Secretary of Labor, issued an open letter to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Michelle Malkin. "The mischievous consequences of your demagoguery are potentially dangerous," he wrote, "in addition to being destructive of rational and constructive political discourse. I urge you to take responsibility for your words. Words and ideas have real-world consequences, and you have demonstrated a cavalier disregard for both."

Reich goes on to say that "in a time like this, when tempers are riding high and many Americans are close to panic about their jobs and finances, you have a special responsibility to consider the accuracy of what you say and the consequences of inflammatory and erroneous statements."

We at NCLR couldn't agree more. It is time for all of us to stand up to these bullies. Read Robert Reich's open letter to Limbaugh, Hannity, and Malkin at

Here are some other stories we've featured on about these inflammatory hosts: