Monday, January 15, 2007

Mouse sez bring it on. Libs show up packin' glueboards.

This is one of those things I would ordinarily consider off my beat; blog wars and talk show wars are "Hard Copy" and "ET" material in my arrogant opinion, akin to gossip about whether or not Rosie and The Donald are really fighting or just hyping their respective ratings. But as the blogswarm spreads across the Internets, it's making navigation difficult in these here "tubes," One particular obstacle to navigation showed up in this comment thread on Echidne of the Snakes. unintentionally brought attention to issues vital to all bloggers - not just Libs, Lefties and Litigants.

It's a bit self-serving to reference a thread in which I gleefully participated... so let us just say that the consensus was that they just had to be a corporate shill. Considering the exact points (and the exact and particular bits of misinformation about "fair use" and "copyright,") I can't imagine what or who else they could be.

(I have yet to be visited by such a corporate shill. Just the odd spammer. I clearly need to work harder.)

Anyway, KSFO's response to all this was to pre-empt three hours of regular programming and devote it to Spocko-slamming. Their management referred to it as their "response."

I wonder how their advertisers feel about that hearty little "fuck you?"

Media Matters - KSFO's Morgan: "I wouldn't describe Friday's show as apologetic by any means"

Go read the Media Matters article for full - and I do mean EXHAUSTIVE context - in contrast to KSFO's blustering and whining about being "taken out of context."

One wonders what context would make it appropriate to require a caller to "call Mohamed a Whore," to refer to Barack Obama as a "Halfrican," or agree with a caller that all mosques in Syria should be blown up by cruise missiles when they are most likely to be full of praying Muslims?

Tell, me do, oh Disney/Viacom/ABC? Explain to us why this sort of speech is something that should not be brought to the attention of your advertisers?

The First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech - it does not guarantee the right to speak without response or consequence. Anyone who really respected the first amendment - rather than trying to hide behind it - would not have acted in any way that KSFO/ABC/Viacom/Disney have.

But fair use requires me to take this chunk... out of context. (from Media Matters, and quotes from their KSFO transcript.)

During the January 12 program, the hosts certainly did defend many of the inflammatory remarks that, in 2006, San Francisco-based blogger Spocko highlighted on his weblog and in letters to KSFO advertisers, before ABC Inc. issued a cease-and-desist letter that ultimately led to his blog being shut down. Nonetheless, on several occasions throughout the broadcast, the hosts emphasized that they had already apologized for some of the comments in question. For instance, when discussing his October 2005 remarks in which he asked a caller to "[s]ay Allah is a whore" in order to prove he was not a Muslim, host Brian Sussman said, "I realized what I said was over the top. It offended a lot of people. It could be deemed as being highly insensitive. And not only did I apologize once, but I've apologized several times since." Later in the show, Sussman addressed another controversial comment from December 2006 in which he referred to Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) as a "Halfrican" -- a term that Morgan repeated. Sussman said on January 12, "[A]gain, this is one that I've apologized for and I've mentioned that my comments were insensitive." He then complained that people "don't want to hear any mea culpa. They don't want to hear any excuse. They don't want to hear any forgiveness or the asking thereof."
Media Matters went to look for the apologies and could not find them. Perhaps there's a script involved that detects liberal readers and adjusts contents accordingly? Hm. I wonder if it can detect First Amendment lawyers?

Even the venerable and Very Professional New York Times has taken notice - and over at DKos, that notice is put into context. The Times has a long memory, and has not escaped the notice of Hate Radio Talkers heard on KSFO.

Their summation was this, and their "slant" on the story may be inferred in these three graphs:

Most of the callers were sympathetic during Friday’s broadcast, but one blogger who has supported Spocko’s cause, Mike Stark, was encouraged to call in. The extended dialogue perhaps can best be summarized by one exchange.

Mr. Stark: “You’ve spoken of the number of apologies you have tried to make. How many apologies does a professional get before they realize they are an incompetent and move on to another line of work?”

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?”

From your lips to the FCC's ears, Mr. Rodgers. And thank you for a tour of your neighborhood.

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3 comments:

ripley said...

Thanks for helping to spread the word!

Rip -
(Team Blog Integrity)

Radfem said...

Interesting article. As someone who has been threatened with being investigated for writing on topics that aren't making the local folks happy, I really value free speech.

Hate speech is harder for me. That's one I've grappled with in terms of comments.

Bob King said...

For myself:

Hate speech = "I win."

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