Thursday, January 04, 2007

We Interrupt This Program...

My pal Spocko has been doing a tremendous job of documenting the grotesque eliminationist rhetoric spouted by Melanie Morgan and Lee Rogers on San Francisco’s wingnut flagship KSFO. His approach has been perfectly reasonable, and perfectly legal: He gathers verbatim statements from these lunatics, and then contacts KSFO advertisers and asks them whether the statements reflect their brand identity.

A number of advertisers evidently feel that they don't, and have pulled their spots. As a result, Spocko has been subject to harassment and threats from KSFO’s management, and from ABC/Disney, of which KSFO is an affiliate.

Now, they’ve managed to shut his blog down, on the grounds that the audio clips Spocko posted are an infringement of copyright. It’s absurd, of course; Spocko’s use of the clips clearly falls under the Fair Use Doctrine. The station’s actions are just as vindictive, cowardly, dangerous, and stupid as the rhetoric of its hosts, and just as incapable of withstanding public scrutiny.

Accordingly, links to the audio clips have been posted at Online Blogintegrity. If it gets shut down, I think it’s safe to say that they’ll be moved to another one. In the meantime, as ¡El Gato Negro! says, “Listen to them for jourself, then, por favor, post them far and wide.”

The ABC/Disney lawyers who’ve come after Spocko are doing so because they think the benefits will outweigh the costs. Negative PR can change their calculations very quickly. So tell your friends, contact KSFO’s advertisers (politely!), and if you have a blog, spread the word.

Spocko’s also being threatened - and rightly so - by Interrobang:

[I]f he doesn't get a PayPal account so we can all start putting up links to it so we can contribute to his legal defense fund, he's going to get yelled at.
I believe I speak for all of us when I say that this is no idle threat.

(Talk-radio whirligig by William Ross.)

UPDATE: Echidne discusses Hal Turner's recent call for the assassination of U.S. politicians. In the WND story to which she links, Turner, who previously singled out federal judge Joan Lefkow as "worthy of being killed," says that "his comments are 'uttered in a context which does not lend itself to imminent lawlessness,' do not constitute a 'true threat,' and could be considered 'political hyperbole.'

Ms. Lefkow, I imagine, might feel differently.

ALSO: More on Spocko from Thers, Elroon, Juan Cole, and David (Austin TX). And many others.


¡El Gato Negro! said...

But, but... Spocko's blog, she ees down.

Thees account, he has no place to place her.

Someone needs to start a paypal account on their bloggy-theeng.

(...y tambien, muchas gracias para tu postido).


Phila said...

Someone needs to start a paypal account on their bloggy-theeng.

No, Spocko just needs to open one, and we can make direct payments to it. We can also put PayPal buttons on our various sites.

Failing that, someone else could collect the money in his name. But I think it'd be easiest if he had an account to which people could donate directly.

Phila said...

I didn't explain that very well. The gist is, you don't need a website to have a PayPal account. All you need is an e-mail address.

Interrobang said...

You're damn right it's no idle threat. I have his phone number, and if he ever answers the phone, he will get yelled at. I may be Canadian, but being polite doesn't mean I'm averse to the use of a little tactical ruthlessness. >:)

Besides which, it's the least some of us can do -- I'm not the ones with the guts to dedicate part-time job hours to fighting radio screamers.

Anonymous said...

It's building, already. Google searches are showing a lot of bloggers talking about it. It's also popping up on TailRank.

I'll be working on media this weekend.

Phila said...

The tech and consulting/PR blogs seem to be especially interested in it.

And Boing Boing has picked it up too, under the evocative headline "Disney shuts down blogger for posting audio excerpts of vile radio station."

Sunshine's the best disinectant, they say...