Monday, January 15, 2007

A brief interlude for a new group of readers –

Greetings New York Times Business Section readers, and welcome!

You are joining “in medias res” First, Noam Cohen did a good job of summarizing the story so far. There are a LOT of issues in this story that you might care about. You might wonder, what does this mean to me? How does this impact MY business? What should I do? Well first things first. Get educated.

If you have a business and don’t have a blogging policy, get one. Not just for you but for your EMPLOYEES. Two great guides are the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s legal guide for bloggers and blogger rights. If you are at a senior level, you probably know guidelines on stuff like this, but for all the average joes out there, they probably don’t, help ‘em out. Believe me, nobody enjoys getting a cease and desist letter from a multi-billion dollar corporation for Christmas (I really wanted a pair of Homer Simpson underwear and a watch). You help them understand the issues, you will help yourself.

Next. Since this is coming from the business/marketing section you might be thinking, “How can I USE the blogs?” or “How can I Protect myself AGAINST the blogs?” Bloggers are people. So if your first impulse is to USE people and to FEAR people then that will inform your choices. I would suggest trying to UNDERSTAND the people who write these things so you can interact with them. It’s not hard, read a few of them, because often they are your customers who WANT to be heard. They are crying OUT to be heard. They will tell you things like, “Hey, you are hurting your own brand by associating with this violent talk from this radio program. Check them out, it doesn’t seem to be what you stand for as a company.” And then you can decide. A lot of smart VPs of Marketing like the ones at Visa, Mastercard, Bank of America and Border’s Books listened, and chose to operate in a way that simply reflected their own internal values. It seems logical to me, but you would expect that from a Vulcan in a fedora.

There are lots of other lessons here, including ones about fair use and abuse of copyright. But to get personal for a minute, I think we all have a responsibility to protect the people who have a hard time defending themselves. Even powerful journalists are people to, and they have been attacked for YEARS from the right, and sadly, it shows. Bloggers on the left want journalists to do their jobs because it is important, on the right they want them hanged. That is a fundamental difference and one you should all notice.

There are a lot of bullies in the world and we all know that powerless feeling of being bullied. How you wish that someone would help you but you didn’t want to “tattle” because the bully will beat you up HARDER after you tell. Well that is what happened to me. But I had a few friends who helped. And for your business you might want to consider, are we supporting bullies? Does that reflect OUR values? You can say “it all comes down to numbers” but the listeners are people, they aren’t numbers, and if you listen to THEM, they will tell you what they think. As my friend Ellroon said about these “Hot Talkers” on the radio:

[bloggers and citizens] are so sick of this sense of entitlement, this arrogance of power, this conspiracy to yank the country to the fanatic, non-thinking fearful right just to gain a bit more power, a bit more money, a bit more control.

Enough. Americans are not Nazis. We are not hateful, intolerant, greedy, and stupid. We are not going to be told we are.

Thanks for listening.



Kevin Hayden said...

Keep up the good fight, Spocko. The advertisers who continue to support such talKKK radio will be boycotted by me and my extended nuclear family.

I don't support government censorship but popular dissent utilizing the power of the wallet against hate promoters is economic democracy at its best.

1:37 AM  
Mustang Bobby said...

I just put up a post about the New York Times article at Bark Bark Woof Woof. Education is the ultimate weapon, and the more we show people how to fight back and defend our rights, the more we will be able to fight back the bullies.

3:33 AM  
Anonymous said...

You've done a great job Spocko but I'm feeling kinda down about this entire issue. The advertisers don't seem to care about the "content" of the media message as long as the shows are popular.

There is a huge audience for inflammatory rant speech and propaganda. Just look at the popularity of Fox News!

4:54 AM  
Alan Levy said...

I enjoyed reading the NY Times piece. Might I suggest that you get on radio yourself to discuss the issues. By that I mean

Our citizen broadcasters control what goes on during their shows. The shows are streamed live using a phone, Skype, etc and the show is archived with RSS feeds.

Talk radio is no longer limited by the barriers presented by terrestrial radio.

Spocko, good luck and keep up the fight.


Alan Levy
CEO Blogtalkradio

5:41 AM  
David S said...


I'm becoming more and more of a fan of yours every day!

I am just one person, but thankfully there are several thousands of other 'just one persons' out there!

I'm only be able to offer support and a few dollars here and there!

In my mind, right-wing ideloges are toughest only when you turn from them, at which point they put 'a knife' in your back.

Facts, truth, tolerance (you know: all things liberal!) are their worst enemy

They may have a 1st amendment right to spread their vile, lies, and hate, but we have a right to educate those that would listen to this crap and perhaps, over time, this type of un-American talk will go away on its own!

5:57 AM  
Eli said...

I don't support government censorship but popular dissent utilizing the power of the wallet against hate promoters is economic democracy at its best.

Sure, they have every right to spout their Hate Talk - but no-one has any obligation to *pay* them for it.

7:02 AM  
Anonymous said...

I have contacted as many advertisers as I could, urging them to re-examine their policy with respect to KSFO. Two advertisers in particular should be sensitive to this: Kaiser Permanente and PG&E. Both are headquarted in the Bay Area (Oakland and San Francisco, respectively) and both have long track records of respecting the diversity of our local values.

7:37 AM  
shrimplate said...

As we used to say: Right on. Thanks for the EFF link. I'm adding it to my blogroll.

8:17 AM  
Allan said...

Hi Spocko. Good work on those radios, keep it up. Greetings from Denmark.

8:36 AM  
Tim said...

From all of us at PINK PANTHERS BLOG!

Congraulations, Spocko!

Keep up your EXCELLENT work.

10:35 AM  
PoliShifter said...

Great post. Appreciate the info.

I am fairly new to this story having just heard about it a couple of weeks ago.

You've done some great work. I really appreciate that you have drawn national media attention and shown the spotlight on these cockroaches at KFSO.

It's hilarious to see the outrage and hatred pouring out of Melanie Morgan just because you held a mirror up to her. Must not be a pretty sight.

10:37 AM  
sharon said...

Enough. Americans are not Nazis.

Thank God you cleared that up.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous said...

Hiya, Spocko!

Glad to see you're back on the air (ether?).

I heard one of the patrons talking about "this Spocko guy" at the bar (at work) the other night, unfortunately he left before I could talk to him, so I don't know the context, but...

It seems you're to be famous whether you like it or not. Use it wisely.

1:02 PM  
Jeff Wood said...

Good Work Spocko!

I wholeheartedly agree in allowing people to speak freely...I'm also wholeheartedly in favor of responsible speech.

Hold them accountable to the the people who pay them advertising dollars, what an ingenious and AMERICAN idea!

Money talks, sometimes louder and for the right reasons (rarely, but sometimes!).

Keep up the good work. I'll be monitoring your situation with interest.

2:55 PM  
cracker said...

It is all about the money. Consumers listen to conservative radio; businesses and marketers know this. There is very little demand for liberal talk radio. If you don't like the content, TURN THE DIAL - we all have the freedom to CHOOSE what we listen to. America - an amazing country.

4:15 PM  
MJS said...

Since your actions and the thoughts they have inspired now rank spamming
I thought you might enjoy a wee ditty...

Send in the Spam
(thank you Stephen Sondheim)

Is it a glitch?
Is it unfair?
Spocko keeps track of the hate
Broadcast on air
Send in the Spam

Just astroturf?
Don't you smell bull?
Memes propagated in force
And yet so dull
Where is the Spam?
Send in the Spam

Just when I'd stopped trolling for whores
Finally knowing that wingnuts were largely just bores
Smiling and posting again with nary a care
Sure of my thoughts
No comments there

My words you'll parse
My words you'll smear
I thought that you'd toast what I post
Guess not, it's clear
But where is the Spam?
Quick, turf it with Spam
Hit enter, come here

Is it a glitch?
My words are jeered?
Losing my readers and yet
No payment is near?
Where is the Spam?
There ought to be Spam
And generic beer


4:15 PM  
montag said...

The NYT article named 3 sponsors that had quit. Is this true? And who are the national sponsors that are still on board? You are doing a great job and I want to do my bit.

4:51 PM  
Nick Lento said...

Live long and Prosper! :-)

The kind of incite-ful hate speech you've exposed has been endemic for decades.

This goes way beyond rudeness. The hate has clouded rationality and I hold these bastards indirectly responsible for the Bush administrations.

The cumulative policy effects of hate radio amount to dead people, human suffering and vast amounts of money being pissed away into the pockets of war profiteers.

WABC Hate radio in the NYC market has been doing this going back to the eighties. Fox "News" is nothing more than hate radio with a camera and a billion bucks worth of aggressive marketing from Rupert Murdoch behind it.

They have a lock on vitriol, hate, fear and rage mongering; but like all bullies they can "dish it out" but can't "take it" if anyone dares to fight back just a wee bit.

Imagine how these bullies would fare in a truly honest and fare debate with real rules and equal time.

Spocko you've really done something I've only thought about doing for many many years.

Please let me know if there's any way I can help.


Nick Lento

6:23 PM  
Anonymous said... are not a coward you are brave and true. The goading is what bullies are good at. As a SF native, can I just say what a bad name they give those call letters? i've been following your saga to some degree but would like to call/email advertisers. Is there an active list? Anyone? Bueller? If anyone has the LIST, please post it.

10:17 PM  
Looter said...

Hi Spocko

Great work. How long before you are on Boston Legal?

12:06 AM  
Anonymous said...

great post.

i'm for free speech too. i just don't understand why hatemongers should be paid, and paid too well, to rile up and incite the most base instincts in american society.

you hit 'em where they live. good job.

8:44 AM  
Mr. Toast said...

Amen to you Spocko! As a former radio broadcaster I am both disturbed and amused that this right-wing venom can indiscriminantly pollute the airwaves at the same time as the government's sideshow against so-called "indecency". The most polite word that comes to mind is "hypocrisy".

I've posted an article in support of you on my blog, and wish you luck. Keep up the good fight.

2:45 PM  
mrspammo said...

spock is SO hurted hes in full diatribe mode with an audience largely comprised of malcontent juvie pukes with NO LIVES.

isnt that a shame

get your own radio station ya pathetic RUBER

2:11 PM  

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