May 06, 2005

Paterson parishioners protesting radio show


Friday, May 6, 2005


PATERSON - Fans of the Spanish-language program "El Vacilón de la Mañana" (The Morning Party) have helped make it the highest-rated radio show in any language in the tri-state area - even trouncing Howard Stern at the height of his popularity.

But its fan base does not include parishioners of the Paterson Diocese, who are organizing a campaign against the program, arguing that it is obscene and has to be stopped.

"The community is outraged and disgusted, especially at the cheap shots against our church," said Tina Perez, a parishioner at St. Agnes, who has collected nearly 2,000 signatures on a petition against the station. "They're playing to the lowest common denominator."

The "cheap shots" Perez referred to involved a show in March during which the host, Luis Jimenez, reportedly made the diocese the butt of jokes in bad taste. According to Perez, Jimenez also insinuated that Monsignor Mark Giordani, pastor of St. John the Baptist Cathedral, was a child molester.

"To say something like this, in this atmosphere - when the church has been examining itself and its practices for the last 50 years and is acting on those accusations and inferences - is the grossest kind of caricature," said Marianna Thompson, spokeswoman for the Diocese of Paterson.

Jimenez, who has been with the program since it started 12 years ago, denied attacking Giordani, but said he was angry that members of the church were attacking him in the wake of the priest abuse scandal.

"I didn't say he was a child molester," Jimenez said. "I don't know him by name, I just think the organization he represents has hurt many children throughout many years, and that's why the most ridiculous thing they can do is protest against us. ... I said, 'What's more indecent - to rape a child or do a spicy radio show?'Ÿ"

Posted by kshaw at May 6, 2005 03:35 PM