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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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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Sunday, June 03, 2007

The "Talent" that Citadel Broadcasting is Getting from ABC/Disney

In November of last year I wrote the following letter to the CFO of Disney. It followed a letter to management at ABC Radio and Disney in October. I know that several high-level people in management read it.

This is significant since Disney management supported KSFO as part of the Disney family. Disney knew a long time ago of the violent rhetoric spewing from the KSFO hosts. They made a choice to continue to support them.

The Disney/ABC lawyers response was to silence me for bringing this to their attention. They had my blog, Spocko's Brain, shut down so they could keep supporting violent rhetoric on commercially supported broadcast radio. This was the response at the highest corporate levels.

  • Disney allowed Lee Rodgers to proudly not apologize, Melanie Morgan, to deny she said what she said, (twice) and then try and spin her way out of it.
  • Sussman apologized for some things he said that I busted him on, but I have other repugnant clips from him that would now be dismissed as "old or out of context" (of course they still use the Dean scream which really IS old and out of context). It seems pointless to demonstrate again and again his transgressions to management since they clearly support him even in the face of multiple advertisers agreeing that his rhetoric has gone too far. Disneyland thought he went too far and pulled their ads! How much more direct a message did they need?
  • Tom Benner, who used the pseudonym "Officer Vic" although he is neither an police officer nor named Vic, dodged accountability by using the "'it's a joke" card about his graphic description of Bill Keller being electrocuted and avoided the $350, 000 obscenity fine by convincing people his word was something other than it was.

Disney chose to tie their fortunes to the KSFO "talent" and have their brand tainted by them internationally to keep the money rolling in from KSFO and to not lose this "talent"-- which would mess up the 2.7 billion dollar Citadel deal that closes June 6, 2007. They continued to ignore my very polite suggestions. So I took the evidence to the advertisers. It was pretty effective. At least 28 advertisers left. Months later a few have returned and others, who were unaware of the pattern of behavior and history of abuses, replaced them. How much did it cost them? $500,000? More? What about the brand hit Disney took? I don't know how to calculate that.

At the "talent" level they attacked me, viciously. Do you think that if I wrote under my real name they would hold back? No. They would dig deeper to do to me what they did to Cindy Sheehan and all of people they disagree with. This is their method. And they will continue to use it because they make everyone who challenges them a public figure. Then they bully and destroy them over the publics airwaves with the support of corporate management.

This is one reason WHY good people don't engage these people or challenge corporations for their ethical lapses. They will be financially threatened, as I was, and their character impugned and reputations will be trashed, as mine was, and even if you strive to be accurate and polite they don't respond in kind. They bear no accountability. When I hear people talk about the low level of "discourse" and lack of civility in our world today I point to the source of much of this. "Conservative" talk radio hosts.

This is the "talent" that Disney used their brand reputation to support. This is who Farid Suleman, Citadel’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, and directors Theodore J. Forstmann, and J. Anthony Forstmann have brought into their Citadel family. And Disney? They are STILL profiting from these people. They will be the majority shareholder of Citadel Broadcasting.

Nov. 29, 2006
Thomas O. Staggs, Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
The Walt Disney

Dear Tom:

I know how CFOs really like to stay in the loop regarding financials, and I hate to alert you about losing potential revenue under 40 million, especially since the people who work for you should really be tracking this, however it looks like there might be a short fall from one of your properties.

Right now the VPs of marketing of four national advertisers (Visa, Kaiser, FedEx and AT&T) are concerned about what is going out over the air waves at one of your ABC Radio stations, KSFO in San Francisco. They haven’t decided to pull their ads yet, but they have consulted with their agencies of record (BBDO and GSD&M) and media planners and it looks like they don’t want to be associated with hosts who talk about torturing and murdering people. When one of the hosts, Melanie Morgan, says "We've got a bull's-eye painted on [Pelosi's] big, wide laughing eyes" it makes them uncomfortable. Morgan’s comments reached the national stage last week with coverage on MSNBC and on the media watchdog site, Media Matters.

Luckily it’s not your job to protect the ABC Radio Disney brand; just the money, so this might not be a problem for you. Sadly it appears that the people whose job it is to protect the ABC Radio Disney brand clearly are quite fine with what Melanie Morgan, Lee Rogers, Tom Brenner and Brian Sussman say on the air at KSFO.

I notified several ABC and Disney executives between October 26-29, 2006 about the continuing violent rhetoric on the show and it appears they chose to ignore it. John Hare of ABC, Zenia Mucha, Heather Rim and Alan Braverman were all alerted, but chose to continue to support this talk and these hosts. Since the time of those emails co-host Rogers has talked about hanging liberals from a post (audio link), and “joked” about cutting off the test*icles of a liberal radio host from KGO (audio) (another ABC Radio property and the number one station in the SF Bay area.) On two different days,11/14 and 11/20, Morgan talked about “putting a bulls-eye on House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi.” She recently gave a non-apology and pretended she never used the terminology of an assassin when referring to Speaker-elect Pelosi. (link)

I suppose from a financial point of view all that is irrelevant just as long as they make their numbers and projections, and I suppose from their point of view the Disney brand is so far removed from KSFO that they can say anything on the air with no consequences. They are rolling the dice that there will be no financial consequences and they are probably right. But if advertisers start leaving, you will at least be aware of WHY it happened. If the FCC fines Morgan, Rogers or Sussman for inciting violence it will be your fine to pay.

When I told people I was going to write you they said, “Don’t bother. Tom will only care if KSFO loses enough money to be noticed by Wall Street. And they were right.

When Brian Sussman, the substitute morning host and evening drive time host, first lost multiple national advertisers like MasterCard, Bank of America, Borders Books, Aetna Insurance, Toyota and even Disneyland, I thought that management would do something. Even after Sussman demanded a caller, “Say Allah is a Wh*re” nothing happened. (You can check with KSFO to confirm this, I’m sure they would be eager to show you the canceled or curtailed ad runs.)

So now it looks like the hosts at KSFO are embarrassing you nationally. I still was told that it didn’t matter since it wasn’t big enough. They hadn’t lost enough money. I guess it is part of the Disney principles to stand up for these hosts as they call for people to be murdered, tortured and set on fire. They want millions of "Muslims scum" to be KILLED. On Monday, Nov. 27, Lee Rogers proclaimed that in Arab and Egyptian cultures “lying is as natural as breathing.” Those are some fine Disney ABC corporate values he is spreading to Bay Area listeners.

How do I know that the Disney values are being invoked to promote and protect KSFO radio hosts? When corresponding with Riviana Foods, parent company of advertiser Mahatma Rice, I was told that KSFO is using the Disney name as cover for their hate speech, “we do consider whether if (sic) offers a family-friendly environment. In this case, KSFO, a Disney affiliate, was deemed innocuous.” It appears that when it comes time to associate KSFO and its HOSTS with advertisers, KSFO is a Disney station which ensures a “family-friendly” environment. Doesn’t that also mean that when it comes time to associate a KSFO host with “painting a bull’s-eye between the laughing eyes” of Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi, that KSFO is still a Disney station?

With the sale of ABC Radio to Citadel it may appear you are one step further removed from KSFO, however if I understand the deal memo correctly, you will maintain controlling interest of 52% in Citadel. It also appears that you have the opportunity to cut loose 11 of the 122 ABC Radio stations. Maybe you could look into making KSFO one of those stations. After all, they hate ABC Radio, they would probably be happier with another parent company. It might be better for all concerned, since some managers seem determined to support these hosts no matter what violent, repugnant things they say to taint the ABC Radio Disney brand.


Todd Milbourn, Sacramento Bee
David Lazarus, San Francisco Chronicle
Oliver Willis, Eric Boehlart Media Matters
Joe Conason, Salon
Frank Rich, New York Times
David Neiwert
Allison Hantschel
Greg Sargent, Talking Points Memo
Izzy Povich, Executive Producer,Countdown MSNBC

Note -----I've retained the spelling errors and grammatical mistakes in the letter. It will give Melanie Morgan's PR firm something to focus on and point out that I have no paid editors unlike say, Newsbusters who get funding from the Sarah Mellon Scaife Foundation through the Media Research Center.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

McCain Brand Slippage on "Straight Talk Express"

A good friend of my bragged about how the ties he bought were all silk but he only paid 2 dollars a piece for them. They looked 100% polyester to me and I wondered how they could be all silk at that low price. He flipped the tie over and showed me the brand name label on the tie.
"All Silk"®

Of course the tie was made out of polyester, but the large brand name label said "All Silk"®

I think about that story and the John McCain Straight Talk Express.®

How do you know that he's giving you the straight talk? Well, you are ON the Straight Talk Express®, so you must be getting straight talk!

Media Matters shows ABC's Tapper gushing
about McCain as a straight talker because he's back on the Straight Talk Express® Bus.

And as worrierking from the Media Matters comments section points out:

Straight Talk My Ass.

[link to]

Just because you name your bus the Straight Talk Express"® doesn't mean anything, except to people who are easily lead by apperances. You need to ask "Is the outside appearance consistent with inside?" If it isn't, stop referring to the outside as if it reflects the inside, unless you are being sarcastic.

If you call your self a Pro-Troop group but you really are the, "Get Cindy Sheehan, Stalking Tour" then the media should ask you, "Why the anger at Cindy Sheehan. Did she kill your son? Why the promoting of potential conflict with Code Pink? Are you really more concerned with supporting the troops or making Cindy Sheehan and Code Pink look like criminals?" I hope the media asks THESE questions of the Move America Forward "pro-troop" rally on Saturday.

And if they don't ask those questions maybe they should check their ties, they are probably "All Silk"®

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Melanie Morgan of ABC Disney Radio Uses Parent's Grief to Sell Mattresses

Yesterday Melanie Morgan and ABC Disney Radio station cynically used the anger and grief of a dead soldier's parent to sell more Sleep Train mattresses, mortgages, carpet from Home Depot, cars from Mercedes Benz, pick-ups from Dodge, and fast food from Burger King and McDonald's (all current KSFO advertisers).

How? By using the TV media's need for visual conflict narratives about the war and the personal cost to people and twisting it to show anger at peace activists who created a memorial in Lafayette to the dead soldiers in Iraq. I have to hand it to them, it was perfect for TV. ( If only that burly activist had smacked down that gray haired senior citizen! BTW, I wonder what Yellow Elephant unit he serves with?)

The TV media lapped it up. Link to ABC coverage of the "Cindy Sheehan Stalking Posse"
Kind of sick eh?

You can really hear the smugness in the KSFO ABC/Disney employee's voices over their media "coup" this morning.

They are SO PROUD of themselves. You see folks, when the right uses the anger and grief of parents over the death of a son to attractive media attention they MAKE MONEY ON IT! They really showed Cindy Sheehan how it was done! Way to go ABC/Disney!
NOTE: ABC/Disney is neck deep in this stunt, the rally was at the ABC studios, it's all over KSFO's website and Morgan promoted it in her dual role as ABC Disney radio employee "talent" as well as Move America Forward's Chairwoman.
  • I wonder if Morgan's constant begging for donations for MAF during the show counts as a trade-out? Did the "charity" MAF pay for that air time? Or since this is clearly sponsored by ABC/Disney and Morgan is both the MAF chairwoman and an ABC employee, is the promise that revenue will be realized after the promotion results in media coverage which will supposedly lead to hirer ratings? I'm sure the financial wizards will figure it out.

This morning Lee, Mel and OV were simply GIDDY over how they pulled one over on the TV media coverage of the "Cindy Sheehan Stalking Posse". Of course two seconds later they showed their contempt for TV media. (Note to TV news directors: they only say they will respect you in the next day, but they DON'T. Remember this the next time they call to use you. Have some self respect. )

Why so GIDDY at ABC/Disney station KSFO? Well in January they were finally called on their YEARS of violent rhetoric and anti-Muslim talk in a way that DIDN'T lead to positive PR or ratings. For once they paid a financial price for their extremist, violent views. They were revealed as unsafe for decent advertisers and sponsors. And this made them angry. ("You wouldn't like me when I'm angry"- Bruce Banner)

How DARE anyone challenge their control of the nation's media! With this story they wanted to show those nasty bloggers how to do it, OLD SCHOOL!

They sure showed us!

How did they do it? That's a good question for ABC7 KGO News Director Kevin Keeshan. I'm a only half human, so maybe I'm missing something, but I'll provide brief guide for the kids in school who are joining us:

1) Get yourself an AM radio station license. Use resources of your corporate parent (Disney) to promote your violent rhetoric and fool advertisers into thinking you are family friendly radio.

2) Create a "non-profit, non-partisan" group for quick cash to pay your PR firm. IMPORTANT TIP, call it a charity so the suckers members can get a tax deduction (don't tell them it won't be used just for cookies for soldiers but also for endorsing an independent Kurdistan, endorsing Republican candidates and attacking their critics) If necessary, do trade out ads with tax attorneys to make sure it's legal.

3) Create a conflict. The more visual the better. Use lots of ACTUAL emotional words like "conflict" and "desecration" so that listeners will get angry and be ready to rumble.

4) Get help from the right-wing bloggers. Go to the ALWAYS reliable hater, Michelle Malkin, for unconfirmed rumors of upcoming potential desecration to justify your OUTRAGE. Malkin is the preferred inciter these days since Ann Coulter is out of favor.

5) Get your "charity" PR firm to promise the TV media, "There's going to be trouble! There will be lots of flags and parents of dead soldiers to interview." Promise a couple of parents who are in FAVOR of the war, to "balance" the hundreds who are against it who WON'T be available for interviews.) Get the NRA involved, hint about violence. Be sure to remind the ONE TV station that accurately covered your suppression of a blogger critic, over a bogus copyright claim, that "YOU OWE US! YOU have to be BALANCED!" Use their feelings of guilt to get them to cover the story. Play on their desire to watch a peace activist get beat up by an angry grieving parent.

6) Place flags in hands of parents of dead soldiers. (Kudos to MAF for use of Mom, kid and flag!)

7) Invite media to the spot on slow news mid-morning, provide "in your face" action you promised/threatened

8) Media covers "event" positions it as pro-troop not as "Cindy Sheehan Stalking Posse"

9) Sell mattresses! Sell Hamburgers!

10) Profit!

Rinse and repeat in 25 cities! WHEEEE!

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Monday, March 05, 2007

"Funny" Ann Coulter Audio Quotes

Spocko knows funny.

It was DATA in Star Trek: The Next Generation, who didn't understand funny.

I also know the difference between "gallows", insult, and "ranking" humor. I understand ironic, sick and dirty jokes. I can spot something that is NOT a joke but people laugh at it because if they didn't laugh it would destroy the conceit developed for people like Coulter that EVERYTHING repugnant or offensive is simply A JOKE. Because if the comment is seen as WHAT it really is, the serious views of the commenter, decent humans the world over would find the views disgusting and shun the people who trade in those comments.

You learn something about the PEOPLE who laugh at disgusting things as much as the people who tell the "jokes." And I'm not talking about people laughing at black or gallows humor. *I*, and most humans, know the difference.

These are NOT "A duck Walks Into A Bar", Jokes, Folks

Context and venue are also important. If you're at the late great Bill Hicks concert laughing at something you hear there is not the same as what you laugh at in the audience at the Conservative Political Action Committee event. Professional comedians have always know that what plays in a comedy club to a bunch of people who have downed their two drink minimum is different than to an audience at some corporate gig. There are judgment calls to be made. And if you know your audience, you know what will work with them.

Something Disgusting Said by Ann Coulter, Disguised as a Joke.

On ABC Radio/Disney station KSFO 560 AM in SF on July 27th 2006 Ann Coulter was talking to Lee Rodgers, Melanie Morgan and Tom Benner (whose pseudonym is "Officer Vic") about the bombing in Southern Lebanon. The first person talking is Lee Rodgers.

Ann Coulter: "On the bright side we hit a couple of UN peacekeepers."
Melanie Morgan: laughs
Officer Vic: "Look at those blue helmets go flyin'"
Coulter: "Somebody has to tell Israel about the installation on 42nd street."

Please LISTEN to the actual audio.
(WMA Audio link 1.01 clip, comment at 45 sec)

It is widely agreed that Ann Coulter says things that are repellent to decent humans. But when you LAUGH at her obnoxious comments, what does that say about YOUR character?
As Glenn Greenwald points out in his brilliant Salon column today, Ann Coulter is "very popular among conservatives."

If you were an advertiser would you really want to be associated with someone who says things like this or laughs at the deaths of Peacekeepers?

And as Matt Yglesias writes:
Obviously, I'd forgotten the Conservative Rule of Decency which is that calling, explicitly or implicitly, for one's political rivals to be killed and/or imprisoned is fine, but using naughty language is not.

I wrote about this first here, then wrote to the Governor General of Canada (whose UN Peacekeeper was killed in the bombing Coulter "jokes" about) to apologize for Coulter's remarks which the radio hosts thought was so funny.

Here is the response from the office of Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean. (link).

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Spocko to Disney: You Never Call. You Never Write.

March 4, 2007

It's been 39 days since my attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Matt Zimmerman, sent the lawyer for Disney owned ABC Radio station KSFO a letter demanding they retract their legally baseless threats that lead to my blog being shut down.

I just checked with Matt and he hasn't gotten a letter, email, phone call or even an instant message from them. In case they misplaced it, all his info is in the letter he sent them on January 25, 2007.

If you are just joining us, Matt requested ABC/Disney retract their threats immediately. Now I'm not a lawyer, but on this planet my understanding is that "immediately" is usually sooner than 39 days. Now maybe they are planning on traveling back in time to address Matt's letter immediately which will causing this time line to be nullified. I don't recommend time travel, I've had some bad experiences with it, but that's me.

When ABC/Disney sent their Cease and Desist letter to 1&1 Hosting demanding I "remove the content immediately" (right before the Christmas holiday I might add) they gave 1&1 Hosting 10 days to get me to comply. In turn 1&1 gave me 24 hours to remove the material. I immediately complied with the request from 1&1. And I did it within 6 hours (compare my understanding of " immediate" to theirs). I'd show everyone the proof, but alas I can't access my 1&1 logs to prove it because it's still shut down.

Their intimidation tactics worked on 1&1 Hosting, one of the largest hosting companies in the world. It appeared 1&1 didn't bother to check that I removed everything in time and just shut down my entire blog, words and all. Although my new blog host, Computer Tyme Hosting, is smaller my understanding is that a C&D letter sent to them regarding my posting of audio clips from KSFO will get ABC/Disney a very different response.

But I still don't understand why ABC/Disney hasn't responded to the letter from the EFF.

I thought they clearly pointed out that my use of KSFO's audio clips qualifies as noninfringing fair use. I would expect them to at least acknowledge that the EFF proved the case.

I think that it was rather rude of them to ignore the letter.

It can be inferred from their silence that even they agree that my use of KSFO's audio clips qualifies as noninfringing fair use. The hosts of KSFO objected that the clips were too short and didn't have enough context (even though we have demonstrated here and here that more context doesn't exculpate them, but actually reveals more of their depravity. But since they want more context, I'll just post longer clips. However, unlike some people I won't put up the ENTIRE show.

BTW, did you know that Melanie Morgan is rebroadcasting the entire three hour January 12, 2007 show on her website? Did ABC Radio authorize that? Did the Disney boss of ABC Radio? Was Morgan acting as an ABC or Disney employee when she posted that? Was she acting as Melanie Morgan, the chairwoman of Move America Forward or Melanie Morgan an individual who is hosting San Francisco Radio Assets' content on her personal website?

It says on her website where the content is hosted: Copyright © 2006 Melanie Morgan. All Rights Reserved. Is she an individual infringing on ABC or Disney's copyright? Will she be getting a C&D letter from ABC or Disney?

What's the Hold Up? Everyone Must be Briefed by Now
I know that big corporations move slowly, but given the impact this story had on the Disney brand I would think that they would treat the EFF letter with a little more urgency.

I know that the people in charge of the Disney brand probably ignore the blogs who wrote about this even the big ones like DailyKos with 500,000 readers a day.
But maybe they caught the story in:

It was even on TV! (For the millions who get their news from TV, check out the Crooks and Liars Link since the CBS video is gone now.)

Even if the brand managers didn't read or watch ANY of those stories, I'm fairly confident that lots of ABC/Disney executives made sure that they listened into the VERY SPECIAL PROGRAM that KSFO held on January 12, 2007. Why? Because that was the show where they kicked Dr. Laura off the air for three hours trying to convince advertisers that what the advertisers heard wasn't really what they heard (by the way, I wonder which division will be charged for that little stunt. Does Dr. Laura get paid syndication fees if she wasn't broadcast? Who pays her? Does ABC Radio legal cover it? Disney PR? Disney HR? ABC Sales? Probably an accounting nightmare.)

Maybe ABC/Disney didn't respond because they think we are unserious people who use pseudonyms (something no RADIO person cough* Officer Vic * cough ever uses). I will point out that Mr. Zimmerman gave them very specific, serious contact information. Still, they ignored his letter.

Maybe they didn't respond because they wanted to just keep the threat hanging out there.
And they continue to let the people at KSFO look for methods to stifle and/or smear their critics. But pretending that they didn't get the letter doesn't really give the Disney executives plausible deniability in the public eye.

Why is the continued clear awareness about what is going on at KSFO--by multiple executives from ABC and Disney-- important? Because when the next atrocity is spewed by Rodgers, Morgan, Sussman or "Officer Vic" they can not say, "We had NO idea those kind of things were being said on a Disney station!" Multiple executives from ABC and Disney knew what was going on at KSFO months before that 1/12/2007 show. I'm fairly confident that many listened in that day (or they can still listen to the whole three hour rebroadcast on Melanie Morgan's personal website.) There really is no excuse for anyone's lack of awareness at this point. And that should mean a real responsibility on their part to ensure that hosts stay within their corporate guidelines. Have the hosts conducted themselves as professionals on a commercially-supported broadcast radio network that was granted a license by the public via the FCC?

But Didn't KSFO Hosts Already Address All the Issues Raised by "Crackpots with Keyboards"?

Some violent rhetoric was NEVER addressed on their Very Special Program (did they cherry pick which clips to address? You bet.) Other comments were even embraced. When some of those comments become relevant yet again (say for example because of current news items) will management continue to accept the word games and bluster of the hosts?

Lee Rodgers Strikes Back, at KSFO's Own Advertisers!

Did you read in MediaNewsDaily about how Lee Rodgers threatened to boycott the KSFO advertisers who left? Wow. Attacking their own previous sponsors. I'm sure their competitors would really be happy to inform sponsors how they will be treated if they dare choose to leave. As my friend over at Backseatdriving said:

Tomorrow’s threatened former advertiser is a potential advertiser today, deciding whether they want to buy air time. Rogers is saying to them that starting ads on KSFO carries a downside risk the buyer won’t find anywhere else: if you ever stop advertising for any reason, Rogers or his fans may try to harm your company’s brand and image.

I thought that actively damaging a former advertiser's brand and image was just more bizarre, un-profitable blather from Rodgers, but then I heard something from on KSFO that convinced me that hosts from KSFO WILL attack former advertisers!

I'll be posting that in the next week or so (which, by the way is NOT immediately, just in case you wondered what MY definition of immediately was.)


Mr. Spocko

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Hearing is Believing

From Media Magazine, by Tom Siebert, February 2007 issue

It's one thing to read KSFO host Melanie Morgan complaining that the San Francisco Chronicle is trying to influence a California congressional race by altering a photo of Rep. Richard Pombo so he appears "furtive and dark," but it's another thing entirely to actually listen to the sound bite and hear the way she spits out the word "black" in her comment: "It is shaded to where it looks like he's a black man. ... I think it's just shameful."

The way she says the word, she makes it sound like being black would be the worst thing in the world - because to Melanie Morgan, it probably would be. And it's far more shocking than reading it on the page.

As you listen to the KSFO segments, the hatred in the hosts' voices comes through so much stronger than reading it. There is a truly chilling moment listening to morning talk host Lee Rodgers ruminate: "The day will come when unpleasant things are going to happen to a bunch of stupid liberals. ... It's going to be very amusing to watch."

Read the whole article here.


Here is the audio clip Mr. Siebert was referring to in his article. Audio Link

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Success! Allstate: [We are] "pulling our advertising"

> From: "XXXX, XXXXX" <>
To: xxxxx@xxxxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2006 10:54:39 AM
Subject: RE: E-Mail routed via EchoMail (Ticket#

Hello and thank you for your recent message.

We appreciate the feedback you provided. We are not always able to know the programming where our advertising will run in advance. We were unaware that our commercials were running during this show and are pulling our advertising from it.

Thanks again.

About this email:

This was Allstate's first specific, non-form letter response. First we got the form letter, then Allstate checked out the show, then we got this email. Then, after a few months, they started up again and moved the ads to another time near the news, (clearly to avoid the association factor with some of the outrageous things they say on KSFO). But as we saw earlier, that isn't much distance. For example, immediately after the 6:00 AM ABC Network News on 10/27/2006, Rodgers and Morgan talked about hog-tying and burning an alleged arsonist alive and stomping a protester to death).

Also, based on my email with advertisers, sometimes a new ad or media buying team comes on and doesn't know WHY the previous ads were pulled so they put them back up. So we need to contact them again. Sometimes we find it was simply a mistake, and they didn't intend to advertise again on the show.

Other times they are offered great 'deals' to get them back. For all I know they are giving them ads for free or bundling them with ads on Hannity, Rush or other programs. Of course it will look like a huge bargain at the time, and the sponsors might think "Hey this Gift Horse looks GREAT" so they advertise. But what kind of deal is it when the hosts cross the line yet again to taint their brand?

Of course the sales people will say, "Oh that's an old clip", or "they apologized for THAT". Would they really tell advertisers that they have no control over the hosts? So I just point out the NEW offensive things that they said and the things they have NOT apologized for (and believe me, I got LOTS of new things I never had time to post).

Advertisers: You can listen to Lee Rodgers NOT apologize for what he has said on 1/12/2007 at the KSFO website.

And regarding context? Well the fine folks at Online Blogtegrity have a few thoughts on that and Zombie facts.

I don't know what the good people at Allstate plan for future advertising. They may feel that they have to blast out ads all over the place no matter what the show's reputation is, but for awhile Allstate was paying attention to their own internal guidelines about NOT supporting violent rhetoric directed toward people of different races and religions. That was a good sign.

Wow, It just occurred to me, I certainly hope they didn't return after leaving because they were threatened by Lee Rodgers! That's not a very nice way to treat the people who (paid? pay? might pay?) the bills.

From MediaNewsDaily: Free Registration required

He [Rodgers] also seemed to threaten former advertisers. Responding to an email question, Rodgers declined to name advertisers that have withdrawn their support, but added: "People who want to play that boycott game seem to forget this is a sword that cuts both ways. We have plenty of people that listen to this radio station that say 'hell, if somebody is trying to shut up the people on my favorite radio station, I don't think I want to give them any money,' so it could work two ways."

Why did I run this quote again?
First, to remind advertisers that I'm not the one threatening them.
Second, I never called for a boycott.
Third, I know that the advertisers might not know the whole story and they want context.
Finally, the advertisers can always listen to the show on-line and make the decision themselves.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Still no word from ABC about the EFF letter

Maybe they are checking with Disney. My 15 minutes ran out while we were waiting. Hmmm, maybe that was intentional. BTW, I'm still not feeling well. My illness is sparing you the five long-winded, poorly spelled posts I've been having fever dreams about.

In the meantime I've posted the entire EFF letter to ABC. Since some might not have access to PDF technology I've posted it in jpg form. Also, each page goes to the full letter in PDF form. If you feel that Adobe Acrobat is too slow, try Foxit Reader 2.0. basic is free and fast.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Success! In-N-Out Burger: "We are pulling our Advertising from this Station"

To: xxxxx
Subject: FW: KSFO radio
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2007 08:12:47 -0800



Thank you for taking the time to call us today to let us know about the negative statements you heard on KSFO Radio in San Francisco.

I just learned that my Supervisor cancelled this station last week, but apparently her request was not yet implemented. We are pulling our advertising from this station and will remind our Agency to follow up immediatley.

We appreciated your feedback, and sincerely aplogize for this incident.

Thank you again for bringing this matter to our attention.

Kind regards,

In-N-Out Burger
Marketing Department

A big thank you to the Spocko's Brain Irregular member who sent this to me. Just a reminder folks, be sure to ask the advertiser to let you know their decision after they have had a chance to check out the situation.

I do hope the agency follows up. A quick note to them:

Dear In-N-Out Burger agency people:

Please note what Melaine Morgan said about you and your clients on their VERY SPECIAL PROGRAM on January 12, 2007. First, A Fresh Insult. Second, for complete context you can listen for yourself! They have helpfully put the audio stream on their site. But here is what Morgan says about you:

If there are sponsors who listen to these idiots, and I'm not sure there are, despite what they say," asserted Morgan, "but if that's the case, I know who it would be. It would be some craven little time buyers at an advertising agency someplace who have no guts whatsoever."

Now I don't know if she "apologized" or not for this comment. I suspect she will say that she wasn't talking about YOU, just all the OTHER Craven Little Time Buyers. She is very clever that way.

Oh and In-N-Out Burger people, PLEASE tell me if Lee Rodgers incites his listeners to boycott you. You will note that I and my readers suggested no such boycott of your products.

From MediaNewsDaily: Free Registation required

He [Rodgers] also seemed to threaten former advertisers. Responding to an email question, Rodgers declined to name advertisers that have withdrawn their support, but added: "People who want to play that boycott game seem to forget this is a sword that cuts both ways. We have plenty of people that listen to this radio station that say 'hell, if somebody is trying to shut up the people on my favorite radio station, I don't think I want to give them any money,' so it could work two ways."

That was Rodgers’ suggested response to how KSFO listeners should deal with an advertiser who made a business decision and decided to discontinue their support. Kind of scary that he would use the power of his position on commerically supported broadcast radio to go after former advertisers. It makes me wonder if the current advertisers are staying to avoid Rodgers unleashing his listeners against them. Isn't there a word for that?

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Success! The First One. Borders Books

One of the criticisms launched against me is, "Those audio clips are old." Or "We apologized!"

Two things. First, some were "old" because those were the ones that I sent to the companies advertising at the time (see below). Second, not everyone apologized for everything (You mean KSFO cherry picked the clips they wanted to talk about on their three hour VERY SPECIAL PROGRAM and ignored others? That's unpossible!)

  • Do I really have to go back and play ALL the clips that the hosts DIDN'T apologize for? Because I can.

  • Must I demonstrate specifically how they were part of a long pattern of violent rhetoric including multiple instances from more than one host? Because I could.

  • Do I need to point out how they tried to explain away their own words using more parsing tricks than Ari Fleischer and Tony Snow combined? I might.

  • And maybe we might just take apart the dates and times of the "apologies" to see what really prompted them and just what they LEFT out that illustrates specifically why managment knew what the host said was the wrong. I probably will.

But first, here is an example of another company, Borders Books, following its own internal guidelines for the kind of shows they advertise on.

This response was my first indication that advertisers were in the dark as to what they were buying and why it was important to educate them so they could make an informed decision. As I learned later from someone at Mahatama Rice, often the advertisers thought they were simply getting a Disney affiliate (with the brand association that name implies), something, "family-friendly".

My letter to Borders referred to Sussman's own "War on Christmas" in which he asked listeners to call up and tell him about retail stores that used the more inclusive, "Happy Holidays" greeting rather than "Merry Christmas". If any listeners caught a clerk saying anything other than "Merry Christmas" he "outed them" live on the radio.

That is what the customer service manager was referring to in the response.

Borders Books Borders Customer Care < > to me
More options Dec 2 (3 days ago)

Dear Concerned Customer,

Michael Tam forwarded your email and asked that I respond, as I am the Customer Service Manager for Borders.

Thank you for sharing your concerns regarding a Borders advertisement that recently ran during the Brian Sussman show on Talk Radio KSFO 560 AM in San Francisco.

As a company, Borders is absolutely apolitical and as such, we do not purchase advertising time during shows with primarily political content. Although our media purchasing guidelines reflect this policy, sometimes errors are made or station scheduling changes. As we did not intend for our ads to run during the program mentioned and, in keeping with our stated guidelines, all remaining spots scheduled during the Brian Sussman show have been canceled.

Borders believes in the basic right of our customers to choose what they want to listen to, read and buy. Our stores provide our patrons with a wide selection of products, and an environment in which they can explore, discover and enjoy what is of interest to them.

Additionally, we strive to create an inviting atmosphere in our stores that supports varying beliefs and holiday celebrations for both our customers and our staffs. We specifically communicate to our employees that during the holiday season they should use any holiday greeting they feel is appropriate when interacting with customers.

Thank you again for sharing your concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have further questions or comments.


Customer Service Manager
Borders and Waldenbooks Customer Care

So from now on when I'm out buying items with my Visa or MasterCard I like to shop at Borders Books. I buy science fiction books, gift cards or books on the wonderful state of Michigan.

And just to point out some verification that I wasn't the only one who noted Sussman attacking retailers for their attempt to be inclusive, here is KSFO's own program summary from that week.

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