Monday, August 24, 2009

Talk Radio Hosts are Not Journalists

Dear SF Peninsula Press Club:

Below is the letter I sent to the head of ABC News. I also sent something like this earlier to the Iraq Ambassador and the Iraq Foreign Minister who was trying to drum up business in Northern California.

When it was announced that Lee Rodgers was going to be in the Bay Area Broadcasting Hall of Fame I thought that either people don't listen to his show on KSFO or they agree with him. I'm hoping the former.

When I point out these horrific comments below to people I often find the response is to justify and rationalize them. The response from people in the media is especially strong. I believe this is because they instantly put themselves in the position of the person being criticized and think about how to defend them as if they were journalists and the government was attacking their First amendment rights.

1) Rodgers is not a journalist. He doesn't provide factual corrections, he doesn't even bother to do the "he said, she said" "balanced" views of the weakest of modern journalists, yet he is given all the protections of journalists such as legal protections from slander and defamation as if he was a reporter from the New York Times. All of the protections, none of the responsibilities.

2) When advertisers pull their ads they are not the government limiting the host's "free speech" they are exercising their rights to place their ad dollars where they feel appropriate. They can follow their own internal policies that say, "We don't advertise on stations where the hosts are racists or call for the massacre of entire groups of people."

3) Calling for the violent death of others because of their nationality or race is qualitatively different than stating your dislike of the policies of the President or your Conservative political opinion. I also don't use the phrase 'hate speech' because as you know the right likes to conflate the generic definition of hate with the legal definition of hate speech. This is a conscious decision to confuse the issue and dilute the legal term.

I understand the media's desire to protect journalists who have strong opinions from economic pressure from special interest groups, after all, the right has been doing this to journalists for decades. The pressure has been going on for so long that I think there is an internal moderation that has happened which has lead to some journalists becoming pseudo-stenographers where every story has two sides even when one side is a lie. But as I said earlier, radio hosts are NOT JOURNALISTS. They may be part of "the media" and they often do some of the tasks of journalists, like interviewing public officials, but their goal is not to get to the truth or even to present both sides.

The letter below outlines some of the reasons why the media have a hard time covering the violent rhetoric, racism and bigotry of talk radio, including the issue of media consolidation.

The people at ABC News (TV) and ABC Radio (Citadel Media) have read this letter and listened to the audio clips. However because of their continued interlocking relationships they will not act. Partly this is because Rodgers is still seen as an asset and not a liability. The ABC Network continues to have its own brand tainted by a man who calls them liars and accuses them of journalistic malpractice. I suppose they can handle the slander and name calling, but to stand by while he calls for the genocide of the people of Iraq is really unconscionable.

In 2007 I gave local, national and international journalists an excuse to cover the violent rhetoric coming out of KSFO. It was wrapped around two news hooks (fair use/copyright and advertisers leaving). I have attempted to give journalists and media another excuse to cover this story, but it lacks news hooks. I understand this, but is frustrating to have the modern day equivalent of Hutu Power radio broadcasting out of San Francisco. In 2007 I said that this kind of talk reinforces the views of people who will act violently against others. In 2009 we have seen violence from right wing extremists against the left. And while the hosts didn't pull the trigger, to deny their moral culpability in this violence is to deny the power of radio to call people to action.

Just how many people need to die until this becomes clear again?

I know that when the blood is on the podium or on the church floor the right wing radio hosts and cable tv hosts will deny responsibility. The management will deny any role. Of course they won't accept their role, that would involve them potentially losing revenue via a civil lawsuit. It is up to others in the public or responsible media to call them out. I want to remind people that even though the talk radio host will claim you are trying to silence them, dissent does not equal censorship. There are differences between first amendment rights and speech that incites violence on publicly licensed, commercially-supported broadcast radio. Just how many people need to die until this becomes clear again?

Will ABC Radio do anything?
Will ABC Network do anything?
Will Citadel Broadcasting do anything?


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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Will Citadel Broadcasting Hire That Guy Who Killed Two UUC Church Members?

Photo by Lisa Hudson, AP

Later this week I'm going to print Jim Adkisson's manifesto in which he talks about how much he hates liberals. This was the note he wrote before he when out and shot eight members of the liberal UUC Church. He killed Linda Kraeger, 61 and 60-year-old Greg McKendry, the liberal hero who died shielding others from gunfire.
(For a post on What This Means, read my friend Sara Robinson at Orcinus. )

Did you ever wonder what kind of person talks about killing people because of their political beliefs? What kind of people use threats of violence to others in their everyday work life? Mobsters. Gang members. Street criminals. Talk Radio hosts.

Which publicly traded companies have a philosophy that accepts and embraces these people? Citadel Broadcasting (CDL) for one. Can you imagine paying someone big bucks who says that his co-workers should trace, hunt down and kill someone, "like a mad dog" just for sending an email with political views they don't agree with? (see video below) Citadel Broadcasting hires and pays these people.

Maybe Jim Adkisson should have searched for work at Citadel before he went on his shooting spree. Based on his note, he would have fit right in. Maybe he can broadcast on KSFO from prison, after all, Lee Rodgers isn't in the studio, he broadcasts from Arizona. What's great about working for Citadel is that you can even break the company's own rules about threatening talk and still get your contract renewed. Sweet!

(Jim, if you want to apply for a job at KSFO do it though their close friends at I'll bet that if you can't find one there, BAjobs can find you another company that doesn't require employees to following any rules, better yet, apply to Citadel directly Citadel Broadcasting Human Resources Susan Arville can tell you how they allow people to ignore the violence rules AND ignore the female harassment rules. )

How do Talk Radio hosts get away with it? Well partly it is because they have convinced the very people they are threatening to defend them. Nice trick. Kind of like the way they get the automakers they insult to pay them.

Defending People Who Incite Violence
Two weeks ago I spoke to a guy who told me my example of violent rhetoric from a talk radio host directed toward specific individuals was not inciting violence.

He said, "Only if the person was physically standing there and said, "Go get 'em." and the people heard him and then went right over and did something violent to another person would it be inciting violence. And even then, the person who did the violence had a choice, he didn't have to act."

As I listened to him I realized that he, like a defense lawyer, was figuring out how he would protect the client (the radio host) as an intellectual exercise. I know this was the case because he said, "At least that is how their lawyer will defend them. They will say that the radio host is not responsible for the actions of the person who committed the violence." He was thinking about how to defend the "free speech" even when it involved the one area most people agree is NOT covered --the "don't yell fire in a crowded theater someone might get hurt" part.

But responsibility for the act is different from the act of incitement. And legal responsibility is different from a moral responsibility.

Talk Radio is Regulated for Words Deemed Harmful
How did this regulation happen? Enough people decided that obscenity and indecency are harmful to the public so they convinced the FCC to make corporations take steps to prevent these words and phrases from reaching the public.

Whether or not you agree with these views, the fact is an obscenity said over broadcast radio can cost the corporation money if they allowed it to be broadcast. The fines can be up to $350,000. So, the corporations, to protect their bottom line, reissued guidelines. They made sure the seven second delay buttons, which they have been using for decades, were still working. Producers were told to keep their finger on the button to protect the public. Some slipped. Fines were levied. Radio host were fired. The corporations fought the fines under the mantle of "our right to free speech" but it wasn't as if they didn't know the score regarding obscenity and indecency when they got into the game.

But when it comes to suggesting, on the public airwaves, that a group of people be killed there is no FCC regulation or fines. And, as we have seen, the self-regulation of the corporation's own policies are ignored.

There are no FCC regulations that would result in a fine if, for example, a radio host said, "We'll trace you back, run you down and kill you like a mad dog." or "Liberals need to be hanged." or millions of Muslims need to be killed (and they don't mean terrorist Muslims, just plain ol' Muslims.).

In 2007 I asked current acting FCC commissioner Michael Copp,
"Is the public good being served by conservative radio hosts that suggest that their political opponents be killed?

His answer was "go to the advertisers" since there are no regulations at the FCC level. That is what I did, but even after 28 advertisers left the KSFO hosts are still at it. They are even allowed to ignore the company's own self regulation policies and keep on broadcasting. What will it take for something to change? Does someone need to act on their words? Wait, someone did! But since it wasn't their specific words and they weren't there to tell Jim to pull the trigger it still wasn't enough.

At Citadel Broadcasting station KSFO it appears you can call for the death of your political opponents on the air, violating the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics of your parent company and profit!

I wonder if the rest of the employees at Citadel Broadcasting are paying attention to how clearly the KSFO hosts ignore the rules? Will they will follow suit since there are no consequences? Follow the money! Who's making money? The people who break the rules! Unless it costs money when you break the rules (via FCC or internal guidelines) people in media corporations won't follow any rules.

Brian Sussman can finally start Bring Your Gun to Work Day and there is nothing Citadel can do to stop it. If they want to challenge Sussman's second amendment rights, I say go right ahead and when you do be sure to tell his fans you have required him to follow your rules Citadel. I'll bet they will be very upset. (And when you get the upsetting letters be sure to remember this is the audience you are courting and encouraging, see how comfortable they make you feel when you tell them you are requiring Sussman follow your rules and regulations.)

If you ask him to not bring his gun to work he will probably talk about how you have made KSFO a "Victim disarmament zone." and suggest more guns. In case you haven't noticed, that is the new tactic. Their solution to gun violence is more guns (frankly I thought it was tax cuts, because usually that is the conservative's answer to everything).

Sussman certainly won't following any code of behavior rules if the Great Lee Rodgers doesn't have to. As Brian reminded us just after Obama got elected.

"I don't use my gun for hunting, if you know what I mean." (audio link)

(Sussman is SO subtle, he wants his listeners to understand the connection between Obama being elected and how he uses his gun. Wink. Wink.)

Yes, KSFO advertisers from BMW, Mercedes and Toyota the Citadel Broadcasting Corporation encourages these men. Read what Jim Adkisson said in his manifesto then compare that to what Lee Rodgers or Brian Sussman have said on the air for years.

Talk radio hosts are supposed to get people to act, to buy advertiser's product. What if the product is violence toward a group of people? Well then we have our own version of Hutu Power Radio. The results are not an abstract intellectual exercise. It's bodies on the floor of a church.

Jim Adkisson is talk radio's biggest success story
I'm sure right wing talk radio hosts are proud of themselves. Adkisson didn't just buy the product, he bought the ideas and he ACTED! That is what a real right wing conservative would do, right? Act! Are the hosts telling us that they DON'T mean what they say? Lee Rodgers has said in the past that he means EXACTLY what he says. (audio link) As Rodgers has also said, "Nobody is gonna tell me, what to talk about or not talk about or in what fashion on this radio program. It ain't gonna happen!" (audio link)

Bottomline, the stations profited, and that is all that matters. That is the only "public good" that matters to the owners of the broadcast licensees. Unless there are financial consequences nothing changes.
UUbuntu caught my typo on the church being the Unitarian Universalist Church not UCC.
Thank you for the correction. It was the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.
He wrote an excellent post on the subject.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Who REALLY disrespects Vets and POWs: Conservative edition

From conservative talk radio station KSFO, 6-11-07. Lee Rodgers and Melanie Morgan.
(Audio link WMA) (Audio link MP3)

Rodgers: Here is what John McCain, that two faced phony, from Arizona said on the TV show yesterday, and I know this only from reading the transcript of it, regarding the first round loss and lets hope it was also the last round. The loss in the Senate of the immigration bill that he co-wrote with Teddy Kennedy. I mean if that isn't enough to poison the well for every Republican voter in the country I don't know what else it would take, maybe it would take this. He said er the reason why it lost in the Senate last week, 'I think the more conservative, anti-immigrant anti-legislation group were very well backed up by a very vocal group of people eh who were supporting them.'

That would be people like us, I guess

Morgan: Uh huh

Rodgers: We're fairly vocal about it, but listen, 'conservative, anti-immigrant' here's another dumb SOB who is apparently unable to distinguish between the word legal and the word illegal. If you don't believe in open boarders and giving amnesty to people whose first act on entering this country was a crime, you're anti-immigrant. He is just beneath contempt.

Morgan: You know it would be really really cool to see a pay-per view dust up between you and John McCain. That would be amazing.

Rodgers: Yes it would. It would.

Morgan: I would love to see that.

Rodgers: It would, it would.

Morgan: It wouldn't make any difference, because the guy, as you said, he's finished politically in this country. Absolutely done, cooked, over, toast. And the only one who doesn't know it is John McCain. Apparently he says over the weekend that he is going to be raising or has commitments for another 12 million dollars, but basically his campaign is out of dough.

Rodgers: Yes.

Morgan: He's busted he's broke,

Rodgers: They are scraping the bottom of the barrel. While he has been able to skate through in the Senate, for I don't know how many terms he's been in there, but he has been able to coast, strictly on having been a POW during the Vietnam war.

Morgan: Well..

Rodgers: He himself said it in his own book. I'm not a hero, I got my plane shot out from under me. Alright, take him at his word. Just because you were a prisoner of war, doesn't mean you are qualified to be a US Senator or a dog catcher for that matter.

Morgan: He has..

Rodgers: There are a lot of people in this country who have served time in war time as prisoners of war who don't make any pretense at being qualified to be a Senator much less President of the United States, and it's about time he learned it. He's had a free political ride for a long long time because of the "Oh, poor John he was a POW in Vietnam" syndrome. But I think the country is getting pretty well fed up with that.

Morgan: Well the thing that his major legacy as far as legislation is concerned has been his McCain Feingold act which has been an unconstitutional bane.

Rodgers: A disaster.

Morgan: It's been a complete utter failure and I don't know how he could look anybody in the American public with a straight face and claim what a wonderful piece of legislation that was.

Rodgers: The guy is stupid. I mean there is no other explanation. He's just plain bleeping stupid.

Morgan: Politically tone deaf, that's for sure.

I expect McCain supporters to ignore this because it is clearly just a ratings ploy and an attempt to get McCain to buy ad space or go on the show. That is the great trick of conservative radio. They can insult their listeners, supporters, advertisers and potential advertisers and the conservative candidates will still suck it up and go on the show.

Sorry for the long transcript, don't want them to throw the dreaded "out of context" at me (even thought they use shorter snippets all the time).

Lee Rodgers is NOT Fred Rogers

And just so you can hear what else goes on at KSFO following this discussion, next they segue to celebrity talk where Lee Rodgers jokes about savagely beating a child.

Lee Rodgers: I thought we were going to enter the arena this morning with out any new sleaze to titillate you, Mel.
Morgan: Oh no it's been a
Rodgers: You know we got the Paris Hilton stuff but uh, but that's getting to be a very very tired story. By the way I would say this to any parent in America. If you have a child who admits to admiring Paris Hilton

Morgan: (Laughs)
Rodgers: You have my permission to beat that child savagely
Morgan: (Laughs)

Yes, that last bit was clearly an attempt at a joke. Even a logical person could see that.

I will note that the California Teachers Association is an advertiser on KSFO but since this is a conservative radio station, known for both their lack of support of teachers unions and violent rhetoric, I don't expect them to care. I guess they believe in the the old, "Fund you attackers!" game, with the hope that the attackers will be less vicious if you pay them off. Psst, Barbara E. Kerr President of CTA, it's not working!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Attn: Ron Paul Supporters. Lee Rodgers Wants you Dead!

Allow me to reach across the ideology aisle for a moment. For a long time I've been monitoring the violent rhetoric that comes out of KSFO Radio, 560 AM.

So it's really no surprise that on September 6th at 5:27 am ABC Radio employee Lee Rodgers yet again talked about killing people on the advertiser- supported broadcast airwaves. I guess the only twist this time was in addition to his desire to see liberals, journalists and Muslims dead, he now wants to see conservative listeners dead. Welcome to the club Ron Paul's people.

Background And Transcript
Melanie Morgan, Lee Rodgers and "Officer Vic" (who is neither an officer nor named Vic) were talking about a recent Republican debate and how they thought that none of the candidates have a chance of getting the nomination. Rodgers mentions Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee and John McCain as people he didn't think had a chance at winning.

Rodgers: You are using up all this time on people who ain't goin' nowhere.

Morgan: Yeah. They need to thin the herd

Rodgers: Yep. Time to cull the herd

Morgan: Especially get rid of that Ron Paul. Gosh he irritates me.

Rodgers: Oh, he's a moron.

Morgan: And his people, don't email me. If you do I'll just delete you. I'll hit delete, delete, delete.

Rodgers: Oh come on, go with the real threat, "We'll trace you back, run you down and kill you like a mad dog. Go ahead say it Mel, that's what you really want to say."

"Officer Vic": Oh dear, oh dear

(WMA audio link) (audio link MP3)

What Can You Do?
So Ron Paul supporters, what will you do? You can't write Morgan, she will delete your emails. Rodgers wants to trace you and "kill you like a mad dog". Morgan's husband, Tom Swanson, is the operations manager, so no help there. Rodgers has stated on numerous occasions that ABC Radio/Disney and now his new employer, Citadel Broadcasting, support him. (Audio link)

Do you think you could get him to apologize? Actually, it might work for you. Why? Because you are conseratives and the supposed target audience. I'd like to think that they would listen to you.

You could really show your power if you could wrangle an apology out of Rodgers or get management to give one of those "we regret it was broadcast" bogus apologies for him like when he defamed George Soros. (link) (Wow, talk about powerful! Even Imus did his own apologies.)

Of course if he was forced to apologize for this, then by Rodgers' definition that would mean that Citadel Broadcasting management are "little frightened wussies" who apparently speak with a lisp too. (Audio link short) (Audio link longer) You see, in Rodger's world, radio management who ask hosts to stop insulting listeners or call for their death are "gutless weasels" (audio link)

Of course Rodgers didn't apologize for his other violent comments such as the suggestion that they torture a common criminal and then "blow his bleeping brains out". (audio link)

Sounds like a bit of a double standard to me. It must be because it's okay to talk about killing a black man, liberals, Muslims and journalists but not Ron Paul's people. (Oh and by the way, that man that Rodgers suggested be tortured and killed was black, Rodgers' claim that he didn't know he was black at the time of the comment might be valid, but the claim that he STILL didn't know he was black months later when he refused to apologize, strains credulity.)

Who Might Care: Advertisers and Your Boss
Now you could write a few advertisers to let them know what they are paying for while they are trying to reach YOU, KSFO's self-selected conservative audience. You could also suggest to Ron Paul that KSFO wouldn't be a good place to place ads, why should your candidate pay the salary of the hosts that hate you, think your guy is a moron and want you dead? And they aren't just down on Ron Paul, they have trashed every single Republican presidential candidate with the exception of Tom Tancrado, Duncan Hunter, or Fred Thompson.

My suggestions:
  • Ask advertisers if they are aware they are paying for this kind of talk
  • If they were an advertiser who went away then came back, like AT&T, see if they were promised this kind of violent rhetoric from KSFO hosts would stop.
    Maybe the advertisers believed the sales reps who said that the hosts wouldn't talk like that any more. (Surprise Mercedes, Lexus, Chevrolet, Kaiser and AT&T! Someone didn't keep their word that Rodgers would stop talking about killing people on the air! Maybe you should have gotten that promise in writing.)

  • Ask them if these type of comments are reflective of their own values.

If they say, "Well the hosts are just trying to piss off liberals and if you don't like it to change the station." Please let them know that you aren't liberals, this is your conservative station and that you don't think it is funny or a wise business move to advertise on a station that wants to kill their listeners.

Here are a few specific advertisers who Rodgers is the voice of on KSFO.
AT&T (audio link) from 8/30/07
Lexus (audio link) from 8/30/07
Select Comfort (audio link) from 8/30/07

Good luck!

UPDATE: 9/21/07 4:30 pm
Greetings Ron Paul supporters!
It appears that several people have picked up this post about KSFO.

I will politely suggest (as I've stated above) that you do NOT engage with the hosts at KSFO. Do not call them, do not email them. I also want to STRONGLY condemn any kind of threats of violence toward anyone connected with this station. I've said the same to my liberal friends and I'll say the same to you.

I personally am not a fan of profanity, however since you are not part of an advertiser-supported broadcast radio station which has a 7-second delay (and the threat of $350,000 fines over your head), your situation is different. Some may choose to use strong language, that is your choice.

However, no matter how well reasoned, polite, thoughtful (even logical) your comments may be, they are not really interested in hearing from you. I will say the same for management.

ABC Radio management is very much aware of everything these hosts say. In the past management has attacked people who contacted advertisers to alert them to this kind of talk. ABC/Radio Disney had my blog shut down in January of this year simply to prevent advertisers from hearing what they are paying for when advertising on this station.
If any of you college students want to read about ABC Radio/Disney's actions curtailing speech, please note, it was ABC Radio/Disney management who had my blog shut down and my speech silenced using a bogus copyright claim. (link to Electronic Frontier Foundation)

The hosts on KSFO have a history of violent rhetoric. ABC Radio management profits from it so they turn a deaf ear to the violent comments directed at multiple groups of people and individuals. Ron Paul supporters are simply the latest group to be attacked. Make no mistake, people at the highest levels at ABC Radio, Disney and now Citadel Broadcasting know of these comments. They have done nothing, they will do nothing.

That is why in the past I took this information to the advertisers and asked them, "Do these kind of comments reflect your values as an advertiser? Listen for yourself, if not, perhaps this is not the show for you." I did not suggest anyone boycott the advertisers, most advertisers had no way of knowing that they were paying to be associated with these kind of violent, cruel and crude comments. Many advertisers agreed. A large number pulled their ads. This is the marketplace at work.
Note: Some advertisers who never "officially" stopped advertising, but did curtail their purchase on other grounds, have returned. Others who replaced the advertisers who left may have been given assurances that either the hosts have apologized (which Rodgers clearly did not), that they will not talk like that in the future, or that the offending host will no longer read their commercials. As you can hear, none of those assurances appear to have been met.

To aid those who want to politely contact advertisers:
Wendy Clark, VP-advertising, AT&T wendy . clark @ att . com
AT&T's dodge in the past to avoid association with Rodgers was to give the commercial reading duties to Melanie Morgan, maybe it was after Morgan threatened to cancel her AT&T business they came back (audio link).
You may want to contact Eric Hausken in AT&T Corporate Citizenship
ehausken @ attnews . us

Deborah Wahl Meyer, Vice President Marketing, Lexus Division
It's the local dealers who buy into the advertising on KSFO. They might be interested when they find out that it's not just liberals KSFO hosts attack, but their own conservative audience.
Select Comfort (Email form)

Sleep Train,
Dale Carlsen, (retail sales of Select Comfort beds and a KSFO advertiser (dale @ (Audio of Morgan saying they couldn't torture her into giving up her bed. Nice brand loyalty I suppose, but the mental image of the product being associated with torture isn't really appealing to me.)

Arthur Southam, Senior vice president, Product and Market Management
Debbie Cantu is responsible for this area. debbie . cantu @ kp . org
Kaiser is another advertiser who no doubt was given assurances that their "Thrive" campaign would not be run while violent controversial remarks were made. Maybe they need to review their relationship with KSFO, maybe even with the larger organization if this is how ABC Radio disrespects their wishes.)
You can listen to their podcast to see which other companies are advertisers.

I will write more later, right now it is fascinating to note the process that goes on when the radio hosts have their own words reflected back to them. Today at about 15 minutes into the program the name calling starts, the denial that Rodgers even SAID the words he said. He calls everyone liars for accurately repeating what he said.

First he believes that sincere Ron Paul supporters are misguided.
But the rest of you are:
"psychotic lunatics who are pathologic liars"
Then he says that nobody from other parts of the country would listen to this program.
Of course this contradicts his bragging on 8/31/07 at 5:25 am that people listen on the internet and he hears from people "all over the place". (audio link) I would send you to their podcast of that comment but alas, down the memory hole.

Now what is interesting is how he calls his own comments about Ron Paul supporters, "flat out lies" and says that another comment about him joking about lighting a dog on fire a rumor. Well if it is a rumor, he started it since he said it. (audio link long Officer Vic's memory needs to be jogged since he was the one who made yelping sounds of the burning dog after Lee Rodgers joked about setting its "ass on fire") And you will note that although I'm sure he loves HIS dog, it is Morgan's dog he is joking about burning.

KSFO Hosts Recommend Accused Criminals be Hog-Tied and Set on Fire

As sick and unfunny as that was, Rodgers and Morgan weren't joking back on October 27 of last year when they talked about an accused arsonist. They seriously talked about this,

Rodgers: I say they catch the person, tie 'em to a post and burn 'em. Set 'em on fire,
"Officer Vic.": Yeah.
Rodger: let 'em know what it feels like.
Morgan: Hog-tie 'em first, that would be good.
Rodgers: Yeah, yeah.
Morgan: Campaign finance reports...
Rogers: I'm a compassionate conservative.
Morgan: So am I, so I agree with you. (audio link)

If you wonder why I bring up this old clip, I include it because Rodgers and Morgan never apologized for that either, so one could conclude that management approved of that comment. There was a chance to denounce it on January 12, 2007 during their special broadcast, but they didn't, I will note that apparently the Disney lawyers were in the room and management was listening that day, so if ever there was a time to distance themselves from these comments, that was the time. But they didn't.

I also bring this up because in a sick coincidence in San Francisco on Jan. 12, 2007 "... two women allegedly kidnapped [Jill] May off the street, took her to Candlestick Point, doused her with gasoline and burned her alive -- a slaying that made national news for its utter depravity. " (SF Chronicle Link, Link)

I'm not saying that Morgan and Rodgers' suggestion that people accused of a crime be hog-tied and set on fire had anything to do with the burning of Jill May alive, but when you listen to how casually they talk about and all agree on burning someone alive, you have to wonder how many advertisers would want to have their name associated with these people and this station.
I also like to point out that there is a REASON that responsible broadcasters still say allegedly, some have learned from the Richard Jewell case.

But Mercedes Benz is a sponsor of KSFO. Could you imagine this being printed in a paper? "KSFO hosts recommend accused criminals be hog-tied and set on fire, this comment brought to you by KSFO advertiser, Mercedes Benz." This kind of association passes on the radio because people can't see the connection, even though they can hear it. Yet the hearing connection is just as powerful as the seeing connection.

Finally, for those of you writing advertisers, use your own words and remember, suggesting someone stop sponsoring this kind of talk is very different than telling someone to stop saying what they are saying.

(9-27-2007 5:52 pm Edited typo and extended quote on burning alive alledged arsonist.)

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Chris Gargano, Raiders -- Your boss needs to hear these broadcast clips

Amy Trask, CEO
Oakland Raiders

Dear Ms Trask:

Please read the attached letter and listen to some of the audio clips at the website. Please note what Brian Sussman and "Officer Vic" of KSFO were saying right before Coach Kiffin's interview on September 7th. I think you will be disgusted.

Since I sent this letter it has been written about on Crooks and Liars and Media Matters. The website Crooks and Liars alone reaches 172,000 people a day. Yesterday I spoke about this on a nationally syndicated radio program. Although the mainstream media haven't picked this up yet, reporters from CBS, Time Warner, the Chicago Tribune and the Saints flagship radio station WWL, have all read the letter and listened to the clips.

This isn't about people in the Bay Area not liking the politics of the hosts on KSFO. This is about their pattern of morally repugnant comments that your team will be associated with all season long. In light of recent events, listening to Lee Rodgers joking about lighting a dog on fire is especially troubling. (audio link)

Keep in mind what state university your hot new quarterback just played for when you listen to the cruel things Lee Rodgers and Melanie Morgan had to say on the anniversary of the people who died in Louisiana following the Katrina flooding. (audio link)

Does your team need to be associated with these vile comments and bad behavior? I’d like you to listen to what they talk about and joke about and ask yourself, “What does it say about their character? Are they worthy of being your flagship radio station?” And, most importantly, do you support their comments? I would appreciate a response to this question.


P.S. I'm quite clear what ABC Radio is capable of doing in retaliation for criticism, and I can understand if you would be afraid of criticizing them, however it is YOU who are in the best position to ask for an apology. If not on behalf of the Saints fans, then at least on behalf of Coach Kiffin.

Amy Trask, CEO Via FAX
Mike Taylor, Director of Public Relations
Chris Gargano, Raiders Director of Broadcasting
Greg Bensel, Vice President of Communications, New Orleans Saints
Gary Radnich, Kron4

Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle
Gwen Knapp, San Francisco Chronicle
Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle

Note: the linked letter was sent on 9/15/2007. (I sent the letter via email on 9/15, but I think it got caught in filters because the KSFO hosts on-air comments triggered email spam filters.)

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

NFL radio station hosts joke about rape, tell Saints fans displaced by Katrina to stop whining and shut the hell up

Roger Goodell
NFL Commissioner

Dear Commissioner Goodell:

I know you have your hands full with the bad behavior of NFL players and coaches, so you probably didn't hear what the radio hosts from KSFO, the flagship radio station for the NFL Oakland Raiders, had to say about New Orleans Saints' fans displaced by Katrina flooding.

On the anniversary of 1,577 dead in Louisiana and tens of thousands displaced, Lee Rodgers and Melanie Morgan said this about New Orleans and the Saints' fans:

Rodgers: "I don’t wanna hear anymore of this crap from people in Louisiana saying.'Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme.' Shut the hell up. Solve your own problems. It’s been two years, grow up." (audio link WMA) (audio link MP3) (Windows Media Audio files. Mac users try Flip4Mac download plug in here)

Rodgers: New Orleans is "a sewer"
Morgan: Money going into New Orleans is going down "a rathole." (20 sec audio link WMA) (Audio link MP3)

Rodgers: "Maybe those people down there ought to stop their sniveling and whining...".
(20 sec audio link) (120 sec link for context) (20 sec audio MP3) (120 sec audio MP3)
(Transcript here or KSFO’s own podcasts from Aug. 29-30, Sept. 5-7 2007)

Why should the NFL commissioner care about the on-air comments of the hosts of the official radio station of the Raiders? Because they are tainting your brand with their horrific, cruel and crude comments. They are insulting the fans of another franchise and, to quote from the Fan Code of Conduct from another NFL franchisee, "Harassment of visiting team fans will be considered unruly behavior and grounds for ejection." Why should the hosts of the Raider flagship station be held to a LOWER standard than a fan attending an NFL football game?

Raiders' head coach Lane Kiffin appears every Monday and Friday at 7:45 AM on KSFO's morning program. In the lead up to Kiffin's Friday September 7th, 2007 interview, hosts Brian Sussman, Tom Benner ("Officer Vic") and Melanie Morgan joke about rape in prison right before Coach Kiffin's interview. This is what the coach and Raiders fans were subjected to when they tuned in to hear about a football game.

(Audio wma from 5 minutes before Kiffin interview. Audio MP3)

Sussman: Officer Vic and I just about lost our lunch when I mentioned, "What do you expect, one of these prisoners to snap on a condom in the shower just before he ramrods some weakling?"
Benner: (Officer Vic): (Laughter)
Morgan: Oh for gosh sakes.
Sussman: I'm serious you know, this is a jail! It's not a frat house!

(Audio WMA from 1 minute before Kiffin interview Audio MP3)

Benner: Would those be ribbed condoms for added pleasure?
Morgan: Stop it. Stop it. No. No No.. Zip it.
Benner: the basic kind? ..
Sussman: Let's get the coach on the line,
Benner: or with reservoir tips
Sussman: it's Hot Talk 560 KSFO

As you know, Commissioner, based on your own radio interview experiences, Coach Kiffin was almost certainly on the phone listening to the show prior to his interview. Is that the kind of lead in that you would want before an interview? Would you want your daughters listening to this while waiting for daddy's interview? Did the hosts hope Kiffin would join them in joking about prison rape? Sadly, this is not the first time that KSFO radio hosts have gone beyond the bounds of simple human decency, nor is it even the most egregious.

Lee Rodgers called for the torture and execution of a common criminal on broadcast radio -- but when 28 advertisers pulled their business due to comments like this, KSFO/ ABC Radio and Disney management shut up their critics and didn't demand that Rodgers apologize. (link) In fact, Rodgers brags about never having to apologize: he boasts that management strongly stands behind his comments and considers anyone who disagrees with him terrorists. (audio link WMA)
(Audio link MP3)

Please consider what that tells you about the values held by ABC Radio management, what they consider acceptable on-air broadcast behavior -- and what it means to the NFL for the Raiders to be affiliated with this station.

Melanie Morgan has called for journalists be hanged and electrocuted, and that people simply suspected of criminal behavior be hogtied and burned alive.(audio link wma link MP3) (With the recent passing of Richard Jewell --who was falsely accused of a bombing before all the facts were in-- I am reminded why responsible broadcasters don't incite the violent death of anyone suspected of criminal behavior.)

Recently you demonstrated that your organization will not condone abhorrent behavior in its players. There are some things fans will not tolerate. If your fans who are animal lovers need further proof of the depths that KSFO hosts will sink to, here is an audio clip of Lee Rodgers joking about lighting a dog on fire (audio link wma) (audio link MP3) I believe even Michael Vick wouldn't joke about lighting a dog on fire.

Of course KSFO wouldn't pass on any listener complaints to you. Morgan is married to the KSFO operations manager and if you disagree with Rodgers he suggests, "We'll trace you back, run you down and kill you like a mad dog." (audio link) (audio link MP3)

  • I would like you to condemn these comments and ask Rodgers and Morgan to apologize to the fans, friends and families of the New Orleans Saints.

Coach Kiffin can speak for himself, but he might also seek an apology from Sussman and Benner and request that they refrain from joking about rape and other disgusting talk before his interviews on the Raiders' flagship station

  • If all the hosts and management do not apologize on air and in writing, I would ask you to consider revoking their status as an official NFL flagship station.

Other radio stations take action when a host's comments cross into foul territory. Other stations don't tolerate this kind of talk. When a corporate partner doesn't respect you and your brand, maybe it's time for that partnership to be dissolved.

Of course ABC Radio, and their new parent Citadel Broadcasting, will say that it's just a numbers game and that all you care about is if they deliver the audience. Given your experience at NFL Ventures, you might want to verify the numbers and demographics they really deliver. KSFO's hosts constantly attack liberals, immigrants, non-Christians and the victims of natural disasters. Considering the diversity of the Bay Area, it's reasonable to believe that many Raiders fans fall into one or more of those groups being attacked. Is insulting the majority of your potential audience members a good way to attract listeners to your franchise? Rodgers even tells everyone who doesn't like his comments to not listen to the station.

I believe the head of your legal team, Anastasia Danias, spends a tremendous amount of time ensuring that companies don't state or imply an association with your brand unless you approve. Does an ongoing licensee with the NFL come with any responsibilities on the part of broadcasters? Or can they assume that once locked in, there is nothing they can ever say or do that would jeopardize their license with the NFL?

Finally, I know the temptation when reading these comments is to simply dismiss Rodgers and Morgan as ridiculous talk radio hosts whose views couldn't possibly represent the NFL let alone the Raiders. The station management may say I am complaining because I don't like the politics of the hosts and that they have no control over their "free speech". First, I will point out that these comments are NOT about politics but are repugnant comments directed toward fans, family and friends who lives were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina's flooding. Second, asking for an apology is not limiting the hosts' commercially-sponsored speech, but simply asking people working at the official station of a NFL team to maintain a level of human decency in their broadcasts in order to maintain the privilege of an NFL broadcast license.

My good friends in New Orleans and Louisiana tell me they feel the rest of the country have forgotten them, but some of us haven't. I challenge these disgusting comments and misinformation from the official radio station of the Raiders and I hope you will too.

Thank you very much for spending your valuable time investigating this issue and I look forward to hearing your response.


P.S. Considering the Raiders #1 draft pick, JaMarcus Russell, played for Louisiana State University and hosted friends and family following Katrina, he might want to educate Rodgers on post Katrina problems.

Anastasia Danias, Assistant General Counsel, National Football League Properties LLC

National Football League
Greg Aiello, Vice President of Public Relations
Peter Murray, Senior Vice President of Partnership Marketing and Sales
Jaime Weston, Director Brand Management & Integration Marketing & Sales
Beth Colleton, Director of Community Affairs

New Orleans Saints
Tom Benson, Owner Via Fax
Mickey Loomis,
Executive Vice President/General Manager
Greg Bensel, Vice President of Communications
Ben Hales, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development

Oakland Raiders
Amy Trask, CEO
Chris Gargano, Raiders Director of Broadcasting
Mike Taylor, Director of Public Relations

ABC Radio Networks
James M. Robinson, President, ABC Radio Networks -- Phone (212) 887-1670

Entercom Radio Network
Ken Beck, VP, General Manager of Entercom New Orleans
Kenny Wilkerson, WWL, flagship radio station of the Saints
Bobby Hebert, WWL

KRON, Channel 4 San Francisco
Gary Radnich

Charles Baglio, Director of External Football Relations

Oakland Assemblymember Sandré Swanson

UPDATE: If you are having problems with the WMA audio files try the Mac plugin called Flip4Mac download from Microsoft here. Mac people I trust recommend it. I also have the same clips in MP3 format.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Katrina refugees are sniveling whiners and freeloaders says SF Radio Host for ABC Radio Station KSFO

Michael Marsh
Anchor, 5, 6 & 10 p.m.

Dear Michael:

Last week while the rest of the country was wondering how the refugees from the Katrina flood were doing, Lee Rodgers of San Francisco radio station KSFO called them sniveling whiners and freeloaders and told them to shut the hell up and "Get off your butt and go to work." (audio link)

Rodgers: This two year pity party has gone on long enough and then some.

Rodgers: But two years later for god's sake people, solve your own bleeping problems, we're sick of hearing about you. And eh, and if you are sick and tired of the whining of the people in or from New Orleans about the government not doing enough for them and doing the rebuilding job for them. Maybe those people down there ought to stop their sniveling and whining and watch an example of self reliance right there in their own community. ( audio link)

Rodgers: I don't wanna hear anymore of this crap from people in Louisiana saying "Gimmee, Gimmee, Gimmee. Shut the hell up. Solve your own problems. It's been two years, grow up. (audio link)

Melanie Morgan, the co-host, called New Orleans "a rathole " (excluding the French Quarter). Lee Rodgers call New Orleans a sewer.
Rodgers asks, "Is one hurricane supposed to be a permanent life long ticket on a bleeping gravy train? Come on!" (audio link)
Rodgers suggests that the displaced people, "Get the hell over it!"

Morgan also alleged that, " in the schools became the worst bullies and offenders and disrupted many of the fine Houston schools." I'm not really sure what evidence she has, but I doubt she has facts to back up her claims.
If you want any more information, see the complete transcripts and longer audio links below. Note: KSFO, 560 AM is an ABC Radio station and is owned by Citadel Broadcasting.

P.S. Michael, I see you spent some time at KPIX in SF, they did a story about some of the other horrible things KSFO hosts say and the lengths they went to to shut up their critics.

cc Tony Jones
Whitney Vann

Complete KSFO Audio Links and Transcripts

I've provided links to the audio clips below for your convenience. I've also transcribed their comments. To verify that what I'm including is not out of context or manipulated in any way, I suggest that you listen to the audio podcasts that KSFO puts up on their own website. I've listed when the audio clips starts in real time as well as when the audio clips start on the KSFO podcast (The KSFO podcast doesn't include the first ABC Radio news broadcast).

NOTE:Melanie Morgan's 501 c. 3 group, Move America Forward, is embarking on a nationwide tour this week "fighting back against the anti-war left" and her concern that money is going down a "rathole" of New Orleans is rather ironic considering that she supports the money going into the war in Iraq and into a country that is NOT populated by US citizens.
What do ABC Radio host Lee Rodgers and Melanie Morgan think of "those people" in New Orleans and people who had to leave during the two year anniversary of this massive tragedy? These are transcripts and audio from 8/29/2007 and 8/30/2007.

Rodgers: Save New Orleans? For what? The French Quarter..

Morgan: For another hurricane.

Rodgers: Now they got the French Quarter up and running again. Okay fine. It's a theme park, but that's what it's been for years anyway.
The rest of it's a sewer.

Morgan: Well the French Quarter wasn't even that badly hit. I mean..

Rodgers: No because it's on higher ground.

Morgan: Exactly so there wasn't much of a problem there to begin with. But they are trying to fix the unfixable in the rest of the city and in the mean time every politician in the country is pandering, spending billions of dollars and putting it in what? A rathole.

Rodgers: These transplanted New Orleans. [in whining voice] "Oh it's my home I gotta go back" No you don't. People have moved all over the world through out human history. You can do it too. Get off your butt and go to work.


From KSFO on 8/29/07, broadcast time 7:44 am: (Audio link, MP3, 49 seconds )

( Longer audio link, MP3 1:50 seconds)

Location of clip in KSFO podcast # 2117503 on August 29, 2007 is at the 2 hours 40 minutes.

Rodgers and Morgan 8/29/07 05:15 am ( Link MP3 9 minutes )

Rodgers: "Did you know that parts of New Orleans where some these silly people are trying to rebuild houses are 14 feet below sea level and sinking by another inch every year ? And nothing has been done really that would prevent another Katrina. Nothing. Now where in god's name is the logic about trying to rebuild a city in a location like that?"

{Snip. he blames the French and says keep the French Quarter as a Theme park'}

"I for one, I'm all in favor of helping needy people, but at what point do you say, 'Hey it's time that you people got off your asses went to work and earned your own way"? Two years later, Dallas Morning New, some of the refugees from New Orleans were settled in Dallas and the community had an outpouring of generosity and they were giving them all kinds of freebies housing, so on and do forth.

Morgan: Yeah

Rodger: Two years later, the people have been freeloading for two years are whining because the gravy train is slowing down. ( Link)

Morgan: Oh. No! That's terrible.

Rodger: It says, I'm looking here at the Dallas Morning News, say "Hurricane Katrina relief, once an outpouring of support for evacuees displaced in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, has slowed to a trickle on the second anniversary of the storm official figures are available, an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 evacuee households, [people from New Orleans and vicinity-this fragment was inserted by Rodgers and is not in the linked story text] still call North Texas home, [according to advocacy groups- he left out this phrase]. And countless evacuees still need help paying for basic necessities such as rent and utilities."

Ah at what point after a disaster and personal hardship are people expected to start taking care of themselves again? Is one hurricane supposed to be a permanent life long ticket on a bleeping gravy train? Come on! (link)

[Morgan then proceeds to tell about during her experience the Ruskin Heights Tornado in 1957 her family recovered and not one of us received a dime from FEMA or any other Federal agency (Note FEMA wasn't created until 1979 by Jimmy Carter) She of course doesn't count the National Guard that came in to help as a Federal Agency. Of course the Menorah Hospital , doesn't count either even though they cared for her (they reattached her toes) and her bother and mother.]

Morgan: People took care of each other and this kind of sentiment you don't hear expressed about the Katrina victims, what you do hear about are those people is those people who were transported to Dallas and brought with them all kinds of crime and just awful, awful behavior.

Rodgers: And Houston even worse

Morgan: In fact many of those kids in the schools became the worst bullies and offenders and disrupted many of the fine Houston schools.

Rodger: Well they brought the habits of the New Orleans public schools with them and those were widely and reliably reputed to be some of the worst schools in the country.

The President is going to be down there today and there's going to be endless babbling by him and other politicians, about "Oh we gotta rebuild New Orleans" Where is it written that we have to rebuild New Orleans so the whole damn thing can happen all over again?
Morgan: (crosstalk)

Rodgers: That's just plain simple minded stupidity

Morgan: I agree

Rodgers: And of course now it's come out. Big surprise, Louisiana er um which is a moral sewer in terms of political responsibility, one of the most corrupt states and New Orleans is one of the most corrupt cities in the country and big surprise yesterday or day before it was in the news that millions perhaps billions of dollars of aid that's gone down there has never reached the intended....

Morgan: Victims

Rodgers: recipients, the victims of Hurricane Katrina. No. No. No. Some how it got siphoned off by crooked contractors and crooked politicians you know the kind who go around bribe money in home freezers and stuff like that.

Get the hell over it! Rebuild New Orleans? Why? Why? Alright, it was a lovely charming old city it's gone and I don't care how much money they stuff into the pockets of crooked contractors down there, it ain't ever coming back. Never. Never. Never. 14 feet below sea level! For god's sakes think about that for a moment. ( Audio Link)

Another Katrina. It's isn't if, it's just when. And then you do it all over again. That's why I resent the government subsidizing flood plan insurance. People get flooded out, the government gives them a check to go back and build another house in the exact location to get flooded out again. The next time the Mississippi or the Missouri river is up or a Hurricane comes ashore what are we doing? This is insanity! Thank you.

Morgan: You are welcome very much, and truer words were never spoken.

Rodgers and Morgan 8/29/07 05:15 am ( Link MP3 9 minutes )

FROM 8/30/07 6:40 AM

Rodgers: Yesterday we have the orgy of media coverage of course that's spilling over into today about the second anniversary of Katrina. The elected leaders of in Louisiana and New Orleans and let's never forget they were elected.

Morgan: Mm hmm.

Rodgers: The people down their picked them, the elected leaders two years after hurricane Katrina. Still they can't seem to do much of anything beyond whine and beg. "Somebody come fix our problem." ABC's Steve Ocinsamie is down there in New Orleans as part of the coverage of the anniversary and talks about what NOLA, New Orleans Louisiana is like today today.

AUDIO from ABC News

"Two years after Katrina and much of this city still looks like it did the day the city was flooded. While many people have come back it just doesn't have the life that New Orleans have that we all remember. It seems that people are more distrustful of government people don't trust anything that they hear. There is very little faith in the levees, which supposedly have been mostly rebuilt but only to category 3 protection. That doesn't sit well with many residences.

Rodgers:: Then do this people, Get OUT!

Morgan: Yeah.

Rodgers: Move somewhere else. Hundreds of millions, billions of human beings before you have done exactly that. Conditions aren't good here, let's go somewhere else, why do you think you have to live in a bleeping swamp?

This two year pity party has gone on long enough and then some. And this may also help explain why so many people who left New Orleans after the hurricane have decided, no they are not coming back. Now the population of the city of New Orleans is only about two third what it was before hurricane Katrina, but boy one group that is back in force, the crime element.

The criminals, mostly drug dealers have certainly come back and taken up residence. One hundred and 60 people have died in street killings in the last year, many of them residences killed by thugs looking for money. This past weekend in New Orleans east a Vietnamese couple was gunned down in their home in front of their kids.

What a contrast between the endless whining and begging by the crooks who run Louisiana compared to the post Katrina rebuilding next door in the state of Mississippi. There is still more to be done there, but a whole lot of progress is being made along Mississippi's gulf coast two years after the Hurricane. ABC Robin Roberts reports from Pass Christian Mississippi

Eleven of Mississippi's thirteen casinos big employers are back. Employing 18,000 people. That's a thousand more than before Katrina. Almost every school is back, enrollment at 94 percent of what it was before the storm.

So long story short, while Louisiana keeps begging the federal government to come in and fix everything for them, Mississippians simply got to work and did it.

Morgan: Begging and blaming. That's their favorite pastime. To blame the Federal government for everything that went wrong in Louisiana and that it's all their fault that Katrina victims don't have any money, and God after two whole years, their benefits are running out.

Rodgers: At some point, at some point you gotta say, you people are gonna have to stand on your own two feet. Of course FEMA made a total bleeping botch of their what should have been immediate response to the hurricane it's like, it's not like they didn't know the hurricane was coming. So they screwed that up. But two years later for god's sake people, solve your own bleeping problems, we're sick of hearing about you. And eh, and if you are sick and tired of the whining of the people in or from New Orleans about the government not doing enough for them and doing the rebuilding job for them. Maybe those people down there ought to stop their sniveling and whining and watch and example of self reliance right there in their own community. ( Audio Link)

Now the only really surprising thing about this story is that USA Today ran it, they run a story with out the focus of beating up on the Bush administration,

"While much of the rest of New Orleans is still the same disaster area it was the day after the hurricane two years ago. One neighborhood has rebuilt itself. It's the neighborhood of Versailles a few miles east of downtown New Orleans where the houses have been rebuilt and repainted, nearly all 7,000 residents of that neighborhood has returned. And you might ask what's different about that neighborhood. Here's what's different, it's made up of Vietnamese refugees who came to this country after the Vietnam war, they knew about untenable circumstances, they did something about it. They moved. And they, most of these people come from the Mekong river delta in Vietnam which is the rice growing area, why because it's lowlands and the Mekong river floods regularly so they know something about that. And they didn't wait for the government to come in and solve their problems for them. They just went to work fixing things. One of the early returning residences in the neighborhood a woman named Linda Tran, she is 55 she and her husband and their son slept on air mattresses while her family and other neighbors worked together to rebuild each other's house fix them up repaint them. She owns a restaurant in the neighborhood and she used money from her insurance to rebuild and she says, "I didn't want any money from the government. We needed our home. We worked all our lives for it," so she like her neighbors when to work and they did it themselves. And instead of Bush going down there and engaging in another hugathon and making more promises about how much more money we are going to pour in to that area. He should have said, "Hey people look at your neighbors the Vietnamese, see what they did and stop bitching and moaning, 'Oh the government is supposed to ffff fix things!' Here's a little footnote by the way, President Bush and the congress have committed over 127 billion dollars to relief for New Orleans and the immediate gulf cost region around there. Now to give you some perspective, adjust for inflation, so it's an apples to apples comparison. Dollars for dollar, 127 billion dollars is more than the 107.6 billion dollars we spent rebuilding 16 countries in Europe after World War II.

Morgan: Wow.

Rodgers: I don't wanna hear anymore of this crap from people in Louisiana saying "Gimmee, Gimmee, Gimmee. Shut the hell up. Solve your own problems. It's been two years, grow up.

It's 13 minutes before seven o'clock. Hot talk. 560 KSFO.




Gravy Train
Rathole Sewer
Freeloading whiners
Permanent gravy train
Get over it
Sniveling Whining
Shut the hell up

Sniveling Whining

NOTE: If you want to send this to other media, use the brilliant Spotlight project!

Just plug in the permalink from Spocko's Brain and pick a few TV, Radio and Print journalists in the states/cities that are mentioned.
Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, San Francisco, Phoenix, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arizona and California

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Lee Rodgers Likes that the Chinese Poisoned Your Cat or Dog

This is an actual quote. Listen: audio link

Are some people so black hearted and cruel that they come out in favor of the poisoning of your pets? Yes. Are these people paid by the pet food industry to promote their products? Yes.
Who are these people? One is Lee Rodgers at KSFO, and today, June 12, his new boss, Citadel Broadcasting closes the 2.7 billion dollar deal with Disney.

When confronted what do people like Rodgers say? That they were joking? I've heard sick jokes and I recognize the cadence. Doesn't sound like it to me. But if it is, is calling it a joke really enough cover for this sickness? And is the excuse, "Well I have a pet myself! So clearly I didn't mean it!" Going to fly? So I guess he really doesn't want all cats and dogs dead, just yours and not his.

Purina is a major sponsor of KSFO's Morning program. And if you think that Rodgers will apologize think again. He does NOT apologize for talking about blowing the brains out of humans. (link) audio of Rodgers not apologizing for suggesting the torture and execution of a Lincoln Nebraska man. Link

He never bothered to apologize for saying someone suspected of a crime be burned alive (Melanie Morgan added the hogtied to the burned alive bit). So this isn't just a one time deal.
I'm sure the excuse that the humans did bad things works for some people, but what did a bunch of innocent pets ever do to him?

I do hope that Karen Crawford, the Director-advertising and relationship marketing at Nestle USA or Kathie Day, the Director, Marketing, Purina One, Nestle Purina Petcare understand that associating with these kind of people isn't' really good for their brand.
People with dead pets don't need to buy Purina.

A friend put the email contacts in encrypted form to make it harder for screen scrappers to get the email. You must have javascript enabled to get the info.

Nestlé Purina PetCare Company Keith Schopp Public Relations Checkerboard Square St. Louis MO 63164 314-982-1000
Nestlé Purina PetCare Company Jim Radt Marketing Director Checkerboard Square St. Louis MO 63164 314-982-1000
Nestlé Purina PetCare Company Karen Crawford Director-advertising and relationship marketing, Nestle USA Checkerboard Square St. Louis MO 63164 314-982-1000
Nestlé Purina PetCare Company Kathie Day Director, Marketing, Purina One Nestle Purina Petcare Checkerboard Square St. Louis MO 63164 314-982-1000

Thanks to Special Place in Hell for the javascript encryption!
update 6-12-07: correctly pointed out the NON-apologies and added audio clip

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Lee Rodgers' Legacy at KSFO, a Disney ABC Radio affiliate

Farid Suleman
Citadel Broadcasting

Dear Farid:

I know you are super busy this week closing the $2.7 billion dollar deal with Disney for ABC Radio, but after your third glass of Tranya you might want to play a quick game of: Meet Your New Radio Talent!

Today's Talent? Lee Rodgers of KSFO in San Francisco.

I think the most relevant fact to you personally is that Lee Rodgers thinks that "[For Egyptians and other Arab cultures], lying is as natural as breathing" (audio link)

Since you were born in Egypt, I'm guessing that you have heard this kind of statement before. What do you call a person who makes that kind of statement about Arab cultures and Egyptians?

By the way, if you ask Lee about that comment, don't expect an apology. Lee thinks apologies are for other people, not him. Maybe he'll get the program manager to say he regrets Lee said that.

It's not just Rodgers pronouncements about lying Egyptians you should look out for Farid, it's his unrepentant violent rhetoric toward journalists, liberals, and democrats and his anti-Muslim comments that are the most troubling. He now represents YOU to the world.

When confronted with a truly repugnant comment, Rodgers has said he'd say the same thing again. Remember Imus? At least he didn't suggest the losing basketball team be tortured and executed. Yet Rodgers wanted a common thief tortured and executed. What kind of person talks about this kind of violence on publicly broadcast commercially-supported radio? Lee Rodgers does. And with the approval of management, since he never apologized.

Listen to Rodgers as he talks about torturing and blowing the brains out of Kevin Holder, 41 of Lincoln Nebraska. (Audio link)

When I first heard him say those things I looked up the story at the ABC affiliate in the area, KETV channel 7 in Omaha Nebraska. Here is the story link and a screen grab from the story.

Kevin Holder looks like a black man to me Farid. So that is why I wrote that Rodgers talked about torturing a black man. Rodgers said later that he didn't know he was black then, "and I don't know now." It is possible that he didn't know the first time, but after all the advertisers leaving, I find it hard to believe that no one alerted him to the fact that the man was black.

Do Citadel's guidelines cover how to respond to hosts who talk about torturing a specific person and blowing his brains out? Maybe that kind of talk is fine on satellite radio but on commercially supported broadcast radio?

Here is the audio clip from January 12, 2007 where they attempt to explain away their own words. Audio clip.

Rodgers says he'd say the same thing over again. You will note that he characterizes his comment as "hyperbolic" and thinks he is making a "valid point". Which is what? If you were a teacher listening to a student making these kind of comments might you suggest he undergo counseling? Are these the warning signs of someone who will act on his violent rhetoric? Is there a history of violence with this employee?

Two other notes on the audio clip Farid. Rodgers' non-sequitur about the left-loving Castro came out of nowhere, but Morgan's comment was her feeble attempt to ameliorate her own violent rhetoric directed toward Bill Keller and other editors from the New York Times, The Washington Post, LA Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Morgan's specific wording about "if tried and convicted" had nothing to do with Rodgers comment. I recognize the legalese weasel words which demonstrates that she has been warned repeatedly about her violent rhetoric yet continues to act as if only her words on TV or in the newspaper count.

Later, when advertisers heard Rodgers' comments and started leaving, instead of addressing the problem of the hosts, your ABC Radio legal team decided to shut down my blog using a bogus copyright claim.
(BTW, now that you have access to the KSFO's books, you should have your operations people check to see how many advertisers their outrageous comments cost KSFO and ABC Radio. By my count it's 28 major advertisers. I don't know how to calculate the damage to Disney's Brand, but I'm sure you do. Won't it be fun to calculate how much brand equity these people will cost you? )

Rodgers also threatened advertisers with retaliation if they pulled their ads because they didn't want to be associated with his comments. I suppose that is one way to hold onto advertisers, but in my experience advertisers don't like to be threatened.

Finally Farid you may have been told (as I'm sure advertisers were) that KSFO management has dealt with the problem of those nasty bloggers (which is not the real problem, it's the hosts). Yes, KSFO did have a one-time special show, but as I've just demonstrated, rather than use the event to moderate his future rhetoric, he boasts of his violent comments, refuses to retract them and --since there are no consequences -- he will continue to put your advertisers in jeopardy of being associated with future verbal transgressions.

And since some people want new examples, here is a current example of Lee Rodgers wanting the death of others. This time innocent cats and dogs. Listen as he supports the Chinese in their acts of poisoning our pets.

(Audio link)

I can't imagine that advertisers want to be associated with a man who LIKES that China is poisoning our kittens and puppies.

What do you call a person who makes these kinds of statement about innocent animals?

I call him Citadel Broadcasting's newest radio representative to the world! I'm sure you are proud to have him as part of the Citadel family.

Have a great week,
Mr. Spocko

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