Monday, January 15, 2007

Spocko beds

The Gray Lady

Bloggers Take on Talk Radio Hosts

A San Francisco talk radio station pre-empted three hours of programming on Friday in response to a campaign by bloggers who have recorded extreme comments by several hosts and passed on digital copies to advertisers.

The lead blogger, who uses the name Spocko, said that he and other bloggers had contacted more than 30 advertisers on KSFO-AM to inform them of comments made on the air and to ask them to pull their ads.

The comments were also posted on Spocko’s Web site, In response, ABC Radio Networks, which owns KSFO and which in turn is owned by the Walt Disney Company, sent letters to the site’s service provider, demanding the clips be taken down from its servers. The provider complied, raising the issue of what constitutes fair use of copyrighted material by a critic.

In an unusual cap to a simmering controversy, four talk radio hosts at KSFO-AM themselves played the clips on Friday, which had, in some cases, drawn national attention for language considered racially insensitive, religiously intolerant or containing violent imagery. The broadcast contained the occasional carefully measured apology for language that “could have been put more elegantly,” as one host, Melanie Morgan, described her comment — “We’ve got a bull’s eye painted on her big wide laughing eyes” — about Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, who is from San Francisco. “But Ms. Morgan added that her words were obviously a political metaphor that had to be distorted by critics to appear violent.

Spocko had recorded and disseminated other clips from the station in an effort to alarm advertisers. In one, Brian Sussman, an evening host on KSFO, described Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois, as a “halfrican,” because he has one African parent and one white parent. In another, from 2005, he challenged a caller who said he was not a Muslim to prove it by repeating back an insult to Allah. Mr. Sussman apologized for both comments during Friday’s three-hour show.

In an interview, Spocko, who described himself as being in his “late 40s and a communications professional,” said he was appalled by what he heard on KSFO. Among the advertisers Spocko contacted, and who have been reported in The San Francisco Chronicle to have stopped advertising at KSFO were Bank of America, MasterCard and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. During the Friday show, one of the hosts, Lee Rodgers, read an e-mail message asking if the station had lost any sponsors so the listener could, in turn, boycott the former sponsors. Ms. Morgan said “one advertiser — exactly one” had left the station.

When reached at his office, KSFO-AM’s program director, Ken Berry, said he felt “the three-hour broadcast best spoke for us” and referred other questions to ABC. An ABC spokeswoman had no comment.

KSFO’s Lee Rodgers: “Well I haven’t apologized for anything and I am not going to start with you. How the hell do you like that, creep?”

Of course Rodgers hasn’t apologized. His state of contrition is irrelevant: Being an on-air, jackbooted Conservative wank means never having to say you’re sorry.

What is relevant is what Spocko has accomplished here.

Violent, eliminationist rhetoric has become the lingua franca of the fucktard base. It has been rolling off their tongues since the early mass media days of Limbaugh and the White Power Hotline, every year getting more casually vicious and every year getting more mainstream.

Like constant, toxic references to “dirty Jews” that were used almost as conversational punctuation in fascist Germany, or American bigot's beloved “nigger”, the Right Wing has grown so off-handedly comfortable with their giggling, "feminazi"-fication of the English language that their rhetorical universe has grown increasingly saturated.

They now steep so completely in their own vomitous propaganda that their gasbag heroes have to drill ever deeper into the bile mine to tickle their listener’s debased nerve endings with New!Hategasmic!Thrills!

They literally don’t notice anymore what appalling and manifestly anti-American swine they have become. The can no longer detect their own stench and act genuinely surprised/enraged when anyone calls them on it.

In the stinking wake of Iraq, Katrina, Terry Schiavo, The “AARP=Queer” campaign (during the Social Security crossfire) and especially in the last three election cycles, no one but the most willfully ignorant (in other words, about 116% of the Paid Pundit Caste) can fail to notice the oratory depths into which the GOP will gleefully sink, for any reason or none, at the drop of a hat.

That during the Reign of the Christopaths, the Right deliberately made Newspeak their Mother Tongue and Two Minutes Hate into a 24/7 media empire.

And once that happened –- once one side tossed Reason out the window and embraced darkness, irrationality, fear and smear as political instruments –- it stopped being OK to pretend that we can play nice with the crazy people any more.

It’s time for every American who still give a damn about this country to take the nearest available 2x4 to the only nerve-bundles they can still register -- the polling place and the $$$$-sac -- which is why what Spocko has done is so miraculous.

Using only a blog, a few words and some audio, Spocko has forced a story that features the two central issue of our times -- the rise of the Right as powerful, bellicose and explicitly Hate-based political cult, and the almost categorical refusal of the major media to report on it as such – onto the pages of America’s journal of record.

And that is pretty damned impressive.


mark1147 said...

the two central issue of our times -- the rise of the Right as powerful, bellicose and explicitly Hate-based political cult, and the almost categorical refusal of the major media to report on it as such

Much as I love your snarkerrific draughts, I really really love it when you distill matters into crystalline nectar!

Best piece I've read on the Spocko-KSFO/Disney confrontation. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

It is amazing, isn't it? The dead-from-the-neck-up crowd are so oblivious to what they've become that they're genuinely perplexed at saner people's reactions.

Anonymous said...

Hi all!

Has anyone heard about this store? -
I have a few friends that are interested in them.

See you

spaghetti happens said...

And remember, kids, it's the left who's angry.

Anonymous said...

As I noted on the "SMCD part 1" thread, if the reality-based community ever gets hold of this country again, we must use the anti-trust laws to shatter the McMedia oligopoly, and also restore the Fairness Doctrine.

As for the Disnazi Company, I was wrong earlier. Don't kill Mickey, free him! Change the copyright laws so Disnazi can't keep renewing copyrights on Mickey and Donald and friends and bring them into the public domain! [*evil grin*] That would hit the Disnazis where it REALLY hurts!

leigh said...

What is relevant is what Spocko has accomplished here.


Skunqesh said...

IBW - Yes!

Thanks DG for putting it into the only perspective that makes sense (to me)

Spocko is really deserving of much credit, but it takes a lot of support to get the boycott train rolling. What needs to be repeated, also, is Spocko's professional manner in which this was carried out. The viciousness of the language coming from KSFO pundits is all the more seen for what it is in this contrast.

BitterHarvest said...

That's a great idea. You could draw a dozen really inexcusable quotes from Rush Limbaugh and Dennis Prager or Michael Medved on any given day, not to mention Michael Weiner. Take any quote from Lush when he speaks about Nancy Pelosi or Barbara Boxer and the seething misogyny is impossible to ignore. "Oh, look at how impressive Nancy Pelosi is! She can breast feed, hold a gavel, and hold a kid in the other hand," the sarcasm just oozing out of the radio.

rat bastahd said...

The last paragraph nails it. As Bitter Harvest points out, this is an issue begging for its own blog. Is anyone out there doing it. MediaMatters does, but I don't think they focus on the smaller hatemongers. If there are progressive blogs focused on this I'd love a few links. Thanks.

Sarah Philips said...

Spocko is really deserving of much credit, but it takes a lot of support to get the boycott train rolling. What is relevant is what is being accomplished here. Great article

driftglass said...

Well if you're looking for a group with a track record of taking on the loonies, these folks (the Southern Poverty Law Center) have always done a righteous job:

But I don't know if anyone is taking on the whole idea of Rightcotting (tm driftglass) as a consistent strategy.


Seems to me that a "Brand Name Protection" service might actually afford one the opportunity to make an honest living saving companies from having their good names tarnished by associations with whackjobs.

Double hmmm...

Joe Max said...

Living in the Bay Area as I do, I can't help feeling an overwhelming sense of schadenfreude right now. These asses have spilled their bilge into the bluest of Blue districts for over a decade, due to the proximity of outlying Red districts (like the ones who elected Dick Pombo) within their signal reach. That, and the morbid fascination of geeks like me who would sometimes listen to them and scream at the car radio. They rose to prominence during the Clinton madness, when rubbernecking idiots just couldn't get enough of Big Willie's willie.

Seeing them being pilloried on the national media is satisfying indeed.

cleter said...

I think it's interesting that Disney is wigging out because Spocko is showing content to advertisers, as if that was some sort of crime. But Paramount (the owners of Star Trek) doesn't seem to give a shit that he's calling himself "Spocko," using "Star Trek" screen captures on his website.

If Disney doesn't want advertisers to see their shitty content, maybe the solution is to, you know, make less shitty content, rather than go all nuclear on bloggers.

ripley said...

Nicely done, drifty - thanks for keeping the story alive!

¡El Gato Negro! said...

Si, muchas gracias Sr. Glass.

I must point out to some of the commenters here that Spocko ees NO talking about boycott.

Thees sponsors are not the enemy.

They have been misled eento theenking that KSFO was a "family-friendly" Disney station.

Many of them, when given an opportunity to see the truth, have acted as reasonable pipples would anywhere, they have pulled their ads from the station.

Please, eef joo are looking for a list of advertisers, email me at gatobloggerro "at" yahoo "dot" com,
and eef joo write to them, por favor, be polite.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely. I think this is significant. The NY Times covered this and the Wa Po covered the Chuckles/Bow Tie Boy fiasco. We're not always being ignored and getting treated like pajamaed loonies, anymore.

Yet, the mouthbreathers on the wrong side of the tracks call us on being hateful, of running "liberal hate sites."

Case in point: Recently, I'd written a post entitled Did Someone Order 21,500 More Human Sacrifices and a Large Buffalo Wings? and I noticed that someone on AOL had linked to me. Following the link, the guy had posted my entire article. OK, I said, and I followed the comment thread. Someone then asked the webmaster who'd written the post, since it looked as if he was taking credit for it.

The guys's answer? "It's from a liberal hate site."


"Liberal hate site"?

My answer was in the update at the bottom of the post but there was nothing in that post (that got linked to on Buzzflash, which doesn't take just any old crap and certainly wouldn't accept anything that crosses the line of separating anger from outright hatred) that advocated violence or murder, such as the clowns at KSFO.

No, that's Ann Coulter, Mel Morgan, Hal Turner, Pat Robertson, Glenn Beck and other clowns who ejaculate their spittle-flecked hatred from nationally syndicated columns and national TV and radio.

Man, that pissed me off and still does, at how they have the fucking chutzpah to try to corner the market on hatred then try to deny us even well-articulated outrage driven by the truth, as my post was.

Anonymous said...

Y'know, Drifty, I can't be certain if you have influenced me or whether we each have responded to other influences, but when I read your words I feel the flow of my own heart. Your writing is the best political prose poetry I have ever read. I'm not sure what function it has, but it certainly comforts me to know that there are people like you around in these troubling times.

I salute you.

Yours -- Ally