Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Melanie Morgan of KSFO: "The LA Times actually doctored photographs"

Douglas Frantz, Managing Editor
Bob Chamberlin, staff photographer
Gina Ferazzi, staff photographer
Los Angeles Times

Dear Mr. Frantz, Mr. Chamberlin and Ms. Ferazzi:

On March 28th Melanie Morgan of KSFO radio in San Francisco accused the LA Times of doctoring photos from the protest this last weekend to show only America flags in the crowd. Her co-host, Lee Rogers, agreed with her.

Specifically Morgan said, "The LA Times actually doctored photographs to make it look as if they were ALL American flags and there were NO Mexican flags."

Lee Rogers: "What? A major liberal newspaper would falsify the news?"

Melanie Morgan: "Yes."

Lee Rogers: "Why that's unprecedented, isn't it."

Melanie Morgan: And ESPECIALLY the Los Angeles Times."

Here is the audio clip of the exchange: (Link. Windows audio clip. 43 seconds)

[ Note: ^ This is a doctored photo. The image was flipped by the author and captions added.]

The journalistic integrity of your paper has been questioned as well as your personal photojournalism ethics. Now I suppose you can say, "it was just a slip of the tongue and she simply 'misspoke'. Besides, they are just a couple of talk radio hosts joking." But Ms. Morgan spoke with confidence that the photos were doctored, so perhaps she has proof she can provide you with. As a former ABC-TV researcher, television reporter and anchor I'm sure Ms. Morgan clearly knows the meaning of the word doctored. If she has deliberately and reckless accused you of doctoring photos with no proof, perhaps she owes you an apology.

In 2003 the Los Angeles Times fired its own photographer, Brian Walski, for doctoring a photo, so clearly you take this issue seriously. I hope you take these allegations seriously as well.

KSFO's business line is (415) 398-5600, but the emails for Melanie Morgan and her co-host Lee Rogers are: melaniemorgan @ abc-sf.com and leerodgers @ abc-sf.com. KSFO is currently owned by ABC Radio, a Disney company which I believe has offices in Southern California.

If you want to hear even more of the clip to get the total context I will be happy to provide it.
My blog: www.spockosbrain.com


Los Angeles Times
Managing Editors: Douglas Frantz (News)
Shelby Grad, City Desk
Teresa Watanabe, Staff Writer
Hector Becerra, Staff Writer
David Garcia Director, Media Relations

Associated Press
Ann Johansson, photographer

ABC Radio
John Hare, President

Columbia Journalism School
Prof. Sreenath Sreenivasan
Dean of Students

Penn State University
Dr. Russell Frank,
Professor News Media Ethics

Media Matters
Anna Dimond

Update: Did you find this blog post because of the Reuter's doctored photo story? Be sure to read the LA Times response to Melanie Morgan's FALSE accusation that they doctored their photos of the immigration protests in LA.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

KSFO Radio: Lee Rogers and Brian Sussman -- The Crab Apple doesn't fall far from the Tree?

I sometimes wonder what level of offensiveness it takes on advertiser supported broadcast radio for the hosts to be reprimanded, fined or fired. History and the law have clearly shown that there are legal rules and limits on commercial broadcast speech. There are things you shouldn't say on broadcast radio. If you do, you get warned, fined and/or fired. There are other comments that might not break an FCC law, but go beyond the pale and the radio management steps in and says, "Okay that's too much. Apologize. If you don't apologize we don't want you representing us on the air."

When I play Brian Sussman's radio sound clips from his KSFO radio show (560 AM 6-8PM, San Francisco bay area) to people I usually get shocked, appalled and incredulous reactions. "He said that? And he calls himself a Christian?" (Actually he won't admit to being a Christian, I'll get to that in another post.)

Now on advertiser supported broadcast radio, companies have the right to respond to a host's comments, "We really don't want to be associated with those kind of comments. Please withdraw our ads." In addition, radio management reveals something about their own values when they say, "Yes, we agree with the advertiser's request, that was over the line. Apologize. Knock it off. Tone it down. If you don't apologize, you are fired." (link Washington Post, free registration required)

Radio management can also reveal their values by saying to the host something like, "Yes, keep it up. We agree with you, therefore, no need to apologize. We will keep backing your outrageous comments. Even if you are likely to incite 'imminent lawless action'. Even if we aren't serving our shareholders and costing everyone money. We'll make a stand in support of your statements."

I'm not sure what they have said, but clearly Sussman thinks his views are supported by management,"I've got great support from the staff and management of this great radio station". (Link. Audio clip 10 seconds)

People can look at that management support and say, "They are supporting offensive, hateful comments." Of course the host can position it as a "free speech" struggle even when it's NOT. Commercially supported broadcast radio has its own rules that apply. For example, a station policy could detail certain comments they consider over the line even if another station would allow it.

ABC Radio stations, such as KSFO, are currently owned by Disney and may have different rules of behavior than a Clear Channel station. Of course when Farid Suleman, Chairman of Citadel Broadcasting Corporation, becomes the new owner maybe new rules about Muslims will apply. As always, management can acknowledge that the radio host is always welcome to make certain comments on a street corner in front of the federal building, just not while under their employ.

Now if station management DOESN'T do or say anything publicly about a host's comments, then we must conclude that Sussman's on-air statements do reflect the attitudes and opinions of station management. And according to Lee Rogers, KSFO management does support offensive, hateful comments about Muslims and Muslim groups. "Because we won't ass kiss every Muslim cause that comes along."

This is in contrast to what Rogers thought of the response of Chris Berry, president and general manager of WMAL, to Michael Graham's anti-Muslim statements at WMAL-AM in Washington. (Graham was asked to apologize and when he didn't he was fired.). "Yeah, because that station in Washington DC was run by a gutless nothing." (link. 3o seconds)

The management may position themselves as bravely standing up for free speech, but they are actually supporting the hate speech with the potential to incite violence.

Here is what they are supporting, and by extension companies that advertise on the show are also supporting:
A host (Brian Sussman) that says he:
- doesn't respect or tolerate another religion and sees them as the enemy (link. 23 seconds)
- believes in torture (link. 9 seconds) including cutting off fingers and genitals (link. 19 seconds)
- supports pre-empetive attacks on the enemy (link. 30 seconds)
- doesn't believe in due process (link 18 seconds)
- is armed and supports arming everyone with machine guns (link. 41 seconds)
- considers it a "global fight to the finish and only one side is going to win. It's good and evil!" (link. 20 seconds)
- screams about "the religion of peace" (link. 8 seconds)

So that finally he believes we have to kill 10 million members of the religion he doesn't respect before they kill us. Link. 25 seconds)

For those of you who are tempted to pass this all off sayin, "It's just talk radio, they are just radio hosts. What's the big deal?" I'd like to mention three names to you: Hassan Ngeze, Ferdinand Nahimana, and Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza. Maybe you've never heard of them, but the three Rwandans were convicted of of genocide for media reports that fostered the killing of about 800,000 Rwandans, mostly of the Tutsi minority, over several months in 1994.

# # #

(Note: If you are an advertiser on Sussman's show and no longer wish to be associated with the show, contact Michael Black, KSFO General Sales Manager at 415-954-7661. E-Mail Michael Black. [michael dot black at abc dot com]. If you have written letters to advertisers or management and received responses please send me a copy, I'm keeping a collection. E-Mail spockosemail at gmail dot com.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Brian Sussman: "You just have to kill them." Complains, "Abu Ghraibs aren't good enough for people like that."

"You got to go out there and just smother them. You got to kill them. That's the only way you can do business. Abu Ghraibs aren't tough enough for people like that. You just have to kill them. You have to begin killing them in such a way that the fear of death will deter them. If that's possible. Sussman show Hot talk 560 KSFO 808-5600." 3/14/2006 ( link 23 second Windows audio clip.)

- Brian Sussman, Talk show host, KSFO 560 AM San Francisco speaking about an estimated 10 million Muslims he has determined are on a jihad to kill "the infidel".

Pretty grim quote eh? But check it out, this constitutes progress with Brian Sussman. After losing 8 major national advertisers he has modified his rhetoric somewhat. It only took 6 months and who knows know much lost advertising revenue for KSFO for him to slightly modify his hate vectors (I wonder if the sales people who lost their Christmas bonus because of his comments are still buddies with him?) So now instead of insulting all Muslims (even going to the extreme of insulting people who just SOUND like Muslims) he recommends we only have to kill the 10 million he estimates are out to kill us. Now I don't know what faith Sussman actually practices, because this doesn't sound like any Christian faith I'm familiar with.

He really wants to ratchet this holy war up a notch! He's not joking around either. He's really into this preemptive strike business. He admits he's always been a preemptive hitter:

"You did it on the playground when you were a kid. At least I did. You find out that some guy is going to deck ya and you decide you're going to deck him first, catch him off guard. Sports is filled with that, it's all about preemption. Surprising the enemy, that's the only way you can win. You can't react. You have to, you have to make the first attack. You can't react you have to attack. And you do it in war and history is laden with examples for us." Link 30 seconds
Hmm, sounds like the school yard bully to me, I wonder who his school yard intelligent sources were? Curveball? Judy Miller? "Brian, Curveball told Judy who told me that Ahmed is totally going to punch you some day." And what sports is he watching, Bumfights? Knife Baseball? Assassin League Football? Sure history is laden with examples of preemptive attacks, but it's the BAD GUYS doing it. Way to hang with Germans in WW2 and every tin pot dictator on a expansionist jag, Brian.

And of course today he's trying to pump Jesus up into his own version of The Terminator. It really bugs him that Jesus didn't smite all those Romans preemptively. I guess in his bible Jesus only turns the other cheek when he is giving a round house kick.

I think Suss-man is confusing Jesus with Chuck Norris or Jack Bauer. Sadly, his faith doesn't sound like it can take any competition.

"And by the way I don't have to tolerate your religion and I don't have to respect your religion, if I did, what good is my religion? If I tolerate, certainly I don't have to respect your religion, if I respect your religion, what good is my religion? Tolerate? How about this, I can tolerate you, but I don't have to tolerate your religion." 2/3/2006 ( link. 25 seconds)

How sad that his religion (Christianity? ) is no good if it respects another religion.

Update 3-11-2009 A note to teachers and the administration at Los Gatos High School. I fixed the audio clips. They were dead because they were tied to the blog that KSFO/ABC Radio/Disney had shut down with a bogus copyright claim. They did not want people to hear what these people say on commerially supported broadcast radio which is licensed by the public.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Thomas Jefferson's Ghost Vomit! Ick!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

GOP supplies Pundits with Talking Points

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Bush: Incompetent, Good, Idiot, Liar

Top 4 words to describe Bush:

Pew Research

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Why is KSFO subsidising Brian Sussman?

Okay so now the eighth NATIONAL ADVERTISER will be pulling their ads from the Brian Sussman show. In fact they were so annoyed that Sussman wasn't reprimanded that they are pulling all ads from KSFO! So I guess their strategy of having him on the morning show "filling in" for Lee Rogers as a way to keep him in check hasn't really worked. Congrats to Spocko's Brain Surgeon James Madison for educating this advertiser.

It appears that right wing radio is terribly forgiving, big name advertiser after big name advertiser drops out but the host keeps going, he even gets MORE air time. I guess it is like the Bush Republicans, you get rewarded for failing. Maybe he will get a Freedom medal for losing such stellar advertisers as:
Borders Books
Mercedes Benz
American Express
History Channel

And now another national advertiser pulls their ads. (I'll tell you tomorrow, I don't want to spoil the surprise for the KSFO team. I want them to hear it from the horses mouth.)

I guess it is kind of admirable that KSFO keep backing him up and forcing the sales team to scramble for new advertisers in lower and lower tiers. The poor sales reps have to call Herbal Viagra makers and say "You can send spam or advertise on the Sussman show!" Must suck to be them.

To do the obvious comparison, do you suppose that anyone who lost all these advertisers would be kept on if they weren't a right wing talker? I thought the conservatives believed in the invisible hand of the market. But we know that's not true, they believe in throwing money at right wing pundits to push their agenda since they know that they will get it back in the back end on juicy contracts.