Apparently, talk isn’t cheap, as a talk radio station is finding out the hard way. The station, KSFO-AM, has been losing advertisers after a blogger sent its advertisers audio clips of a series of culturally-insensitive remarks made by the station’s radio hosts.
The David vs. Goliath battle began when the blogger, Spocko, recorded clips from KSFO-AM’s radio shows and sent them to the station’s sponsors — who apparently hadn’t been listening — claiming that the language used by the show’s hosts was a form of hate speech. He also posted the clips on his website, Spocosbrain.
According to the New York Times, Brian Sussman, an evening host at KSFO-AM, made derogatory comments about Muslims and Senator Barack Obama, an African-American politician.
On one show, Sussman called Obama a “halfrican,” referring to Obama’s biracial heritage. On another show, Sussman told a caller who claimed not to be Muslim to prove it by cursing Allah.
Though Sussman later apologized, Spocko isn’t buying it. Spoco wrote that “…they will bluster and attack and use either the “We were JUST Joking” or how I was so mean and “it’s all out of context” and you MUST LISTEN to the entire SHOW to understand. Right. Always remember, they “control the box” in this venue and they’ve had 10 years to practice. I’m named after a fictional character on a defunct TV show, a brain in a box. Which one of us is the professional verbal bully?” Spocko’s indignation didn’t end there, saying that “it is their advertisers they need to apologize to for not respecting the hard work they all put into their brands. Those marketers and ad reps and PR folks who busted their humps to make their product stand out only to be trashed by being next to this “Hot Talk.”
Spocko’s campaign against KSFO-AM resulted in the shutdown of his blog. ABC, who owns the station, sent a letter to Spocko’s Internet service provider, 1&1 Internet, asking the company to take down the blog because it used copyrighted material. Spocko later switched service providers and continued his blog posts.
Many bloggers are applauding Spocko’s chutzpah. Squibster of the Liberal Gambler writes, “The ability to rapidly disseminate viewpoints, first through the printing press radically changed religion globally, then newsprint changed the political scene giving birth to Democracy, television then greased the wheels of commerce allowing vast quantities of soap to be sold, and now the internet is marking a major return of power to individuals (wealthy enough to have internet access) to change society. All of that breeds fear (and in the case of TV, cleanliness), and with fear comes danger, as those who begin to realize that their former power is slipping away from them begin to do stupid and oh so strange things, like try to censor a guy with a blog.”
ChillyBeaver is also celebrating Spocko’s triumph saying, “Bloggers really can make a difference. They are showing themselves (at least in the clear air of Greater Left Blogistan, but not in the fetid swampy regions of Lower Reight Blogsylvania) to have a thirst for truth and an understanding of journalistic integrity rare in the highly-paid professional newswhores of FOX, ABC/Disney, et. al.”
But certain bloggers on the right aren’t too happy with Spocko. Noel Sheppard of Newsbusters thinks the whole situation is overblown, commenting that this is “a perfect example of how the liberal bloggers that jumped on this chance to eviscerate a conservative radio station totally ignored even a modicum of research to validate the accuracy of Spocko’s contentions.”
Sister Todljah, writes that “These are the same people who will assert every day that the administration is working hard to take away your right to dissent, so the level of hypocrisy displayed by these nitwits shouldn’t be lost on anyone who pays attention to the unwritten far left rule of ‘do as I say, not as I do.”
Those criticisms aside, the Bank of America, MasterCard and Michigan Economic Development Corporation have all stopped advertising on the station.
Maybe, as Sellsius says, “the keyboard is mightier than the sword.”