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Randy Fine accuses radio host of white nationalism, calls for removal

‘Even retyping this makes my skin crawl,’ Fine wrote.

Republican state Rep. Randy Fine is accusing a Brevard County radio station talk show host of anti-Semitism, racism, and white nationalism, as the Brevard lawmaker called for his removal in a letter he sent to the chairman and chief executive officer of the station’s corporate owner.

Fine sent his letter Monday to Bob Pittman, leader of iHeartMedia Inc. of New York, which owns WMMB, a news-talk radio station broadcasting from Brevard County. In it, Fine spelled out his accusations against local talk show host Bill Mick.

In an email response to Florida Politics, Mick declined comment at this time, both on his own behalf and as program director for WMMB. Florida Politics also sought comment from the corporate spokeswoman for iHeartMedia, who has not yet responded.

Fine’s concerns focus on comments he said Mick made on the air in late March about Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings and last week about Fine; his HB 741, a which seeks to include anti-Semitism in Florida’s hate crime statute and require public schools, colleges and universities to recognize that; and Jewish college students. Fine said Mick’s comments variously were racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic, and consistent with previous things Mick had said both on the air and to him personally.

“You have an obligation to not allow that platform to be used to promote white nationalism,” Fine wrote to Pittman. “I am writing you on behalf of my Jewish and African-American constituentsand all those who oppose racism and anti-Semitism in our communityto ask that you remove Bill Mick, your only local radio talk host, from your WMMB station.”

Fine said in an interview Monday that he does not listen to Mick’s show but received complaints from constituents who were deeply offended. Mick’s shows are recorded and available for later listening on the station’s website.

In the interview and in his letter to Pittman, Fine faulted himself for not speaking out sooner.

His letter said he once was friends with Mick but that he “decided to quietly vote with my feet” after several comments, including one in which, Fine recalled, Mick had defended a county commissioner by noting that he “unlike me … was a ‘good Christian’  an odd thing to say to someone who was Jewish.”

Fine wrote that on March 25 a constituent told him that Mick said on the air that Demings, who is African-American and a former Orlando Police Chief, “was made the Orlando Police Chief … ‘because she is a black female, period.’ To ensure that his viewers understood that she had no redeeming qualities whatsoever beyond her gender and her race, he stated that she was ‘stupid’ and ‘dumb as a box of rocks.’ But still I kept my tongue.”

Then in a broadcast last Thursday, Fine wrote, Mick spent much of his show dismissing HB 741, Fine, and Jewish students, mocking the students, according to Fine’s letter, with, “We don’t want the Jews to feel bad that somebody might say something about them.”

In the interview, Fine insisted his response is not because Mick attacked him or his bill. Fine said Mick has regularly “badmouthed” him and his legislation  on the air, and that does not bother him.

“But when it reaches the point that he’s belittling the 100,000 Jews in Florida colleges and universities, 75 percent of whom have had anti-Semitism against them on college campuses, that’s when it crosses the line,” Fine said. “It bothers me when my constituents are calling me upset.”

He said much the same thing in his letter to Pittman.

“Even retyping this makes my skin crawl,” Fine wrote after detailing what he said Mick said on the air. “But what bothers me even more is that I did not hear this hatefulness live. One of my Jewish constituents reached out to me upset about it. Because of my unwillingness to hold Mr. Mick accountable, she had to listen to this. … It is my fault that I have not spoken up.

“Worse, I realized that, last week, when the Democratic Leader of the State Senate [Audrey Gibson] made similar comments, referring to fighting anti-Semitism as ‘divisive’ and stating that it was the ‘wrong battle’ against the ‘wrong enemy’ I immediately called her out. It is hypocritical for me to refuse to hold those who claim to be of my own party to a lesser standard, and I apologize to my constituents for that. Neither party has a monopoly on hatred.”

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Andrew Nappi

    April 15, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    The Red and Blue Crime Families offer only competing systems of authoritarianism. If the audience finds this host offensive they will tune him and his advertisers out, causing his dismissal for ratiings failure. Even the most offensive speech is free speech. Mr.Fine is out of line.

  2. Henry Schook

    April 16, 2019 at 4:33 am

    play this race game and it will be one term randy.this is how a good rep turns into a two bit vote hustling demogogue

  3. Siobhan Mcguire

    April 16, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    We have the freedom of speech. I think the radio issue is a sideshow. The state of FL. doesn’t need to take any action to support the State of Israel. The need to clearly differentiate between the dislike of Israel’s policies and hatred towards ppl of the Jewish Faith is overwhelming. Stop using Anti-Semitic to label ppl before u understand the difference. No to any bill that demands ppl sign a contract forcing support the State of Israel for employment.

  4. Loki Luck III

    April 16, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Dear Representative Fine:

    Free Speech is more important than your feelings, and we have freedom of choice. So let the ratings decide, rather than your political platform.

  5. Kristina Jackson

    April 17, 2019 at 3:22 am

    Fine has called people who disagree with him racists terms so he is a hypocrite if he doesn’t resign. He is a bully to those who disagree with him. I’m so tired off constantly hearing him say he is a Jew just like I get tired of someone else constantly saying I’m a Catholic, that’s why you disagree with me isn’t it, because you hate Catholics. At some point respect for everyone needs to be done by Fine no matter their religion which doesn’t need to be yelled every 5 a, I don’t care what religion you say you are I care about how you treat others I could say I’m a Jew whether it’s true who cares, honestly, we are all humans our hearts beat blood, when it stops we all die, it’s not different for Jews or Muslims or atheists it’s how we treat each other that shows others what religion or values we exemplify. W can claim and shout out all kinds of claims it’s our actions that matter, maybe that’s why some shout out a claim to detract from their actions.

  6. Alan

    April 18, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    As a regular listener and Jewish, there was nothing said that I would infer as offensive, racist or anti-Semitic. The problem with Randy Fine is he has been called out. Because he “can’t handle the truth” he chooses to attack the messenger. Randy Fine is a lout and will be voted out of office. Thank you Bill Mick.

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