Hi, Disney!!

I know I said I wasn't going to blog regular, and I still mean it. But I couldn't resist a shout out to my friends at Disney who have been looking over my little corner of the blogosphere of late. Here's the info on their latest visit. Gotta think that they will eventually get tired of tracking down all of the negative publicity for the latest stupid thing said by their KSFO hosts . . . . :
proxy-ce5.disney.com (Disney Worldwide Services Inc)

California, Burbank, United States

Date Time WebPage
January 25th 200712:33:47kissoffksfo.blogspot.com/2007/01/bloggers-fighting-back.html
www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&q=lee rodgers testicle source:comment__subscription_&sa=N&tab=nw

"So, dear, how was your day at work?"
"Great, mom, I spent the day using 'the google' to searching for testicles."

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho . . . . .

Bloggers Winning Battle

Spocko's Brain is back on the air, KSFO a little worse for the wear. This is the way blogging can best affect a community.

I'll not be doing any more active blogging. This site will remain as a resource. The feedburner (right below this post) will give you latest blog posts on KSFO v Spocko, and latest news posts over in the sidebar. I'm just going to set her lose and let the place run free. If you need to alert me to something, you can get me at kissoffksfoatyahoodotcom(you can figure out what to do with that).

Latest Blog Posts on KSFO v Spocko's Brain

As Mainstream as You can Get -- NYTimes Covers KSFO v Spocko

From today's New York Times:

Bloggers Take on Talk Radio Hosts
Published: January 15, 2007

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, spockosbrain.com. 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. . . .

Ms. Morgan said that the on-air talent had “been reissued guidelines from the company about violent rhetoric and we’ve reviewed those rules . . . ." But the hosts were uniformly defiant against the bloggers, who were called “crackpots with keyboards” and accused of using “guerrilla tactics.” . . . .

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?”

How many apologies does a professional get before they realize they are an incompetent and move on to another line of work? -- Priceless. (Hey, Mr. Bush, are YOU listening???)

Advertisers Returning to KSFO?

From Saturday's San Francisco Chronicle:

Three advertisers told The Chronicle that they had withdrawn sponsorship after learning of the commentary from the blogger, and Spocko said more had fled. On the air Friday, morning show personality Melanie Morgan said all but one fleeing sponsor had returned after being contacted by the station's sales department.
If true, that would be disappointing.

Spocko on the David Goldstein Show

Listen here.

(Link thanks to Hominid Views.)

How Not to Handle a Controversy

Well, as expected, the big KSFO attempt to put a lid on the heaps of criticism they've received because of their ham-fisted manner of dealing with Spocko's complaints to their advertisers about the hate speech on their programs, didn't go quite a nicely as KSFO had hoped:
KSFO response to bloggers descends into name-calling
Brad Kava, Mercury News

It was a mostly one-sided gunfight on the media frontier Friday, as four hosts from the conservative talk radio station KSFO-AM (560) spent the better part of three hours name-calling, patting themselves on the back and shouting down the few callers from the other side who got through.

The unprecedented show from noon to 3 p.m. was convened by the San Francisco station in response to a campaign by liberal bloggers -- including one who goes by the name ``Spocko'' -- who sent recorded segments from the shows to advertisers, some that were offensive to Muslims and seemed to sanction violence against political opponents. . . .

There were some apparent contradictions about whether these hosts wanted to apologize or do battle. Morgan chided bloggers and media members for not seeing apologies she issued on her Web site. Yet, Rodgers repeatedly said they weren't apologizing for anything and warned that ``if you bite us, we will bite back.'' . . . . In the three hours, only a few dissenters made it onto the phone lines. One, a blogger from Virginia, made a few points before Rodgers cut him off in a slew of name-calling. . . .

They also accused the blogger, whose posts have now been distributed widely on the Internet and to advertisers, of threatening their livelihood, and that was something they wouldn't do. When someone suggested that Morgan did the same thing by calling for a boycott of Michael Moore's ``Fahrenheit 9/11,'' she argued it was different because the movie was ``filled with lies and deceit'' and added that she didn't say people ``can't go'' to the movie, ``but as conservatives, we have a right not to go.''

They repeatedly made fun of Spocko for using a made up name that didn't seem to fit an adult. No one mentioned their sidekick who goes by ``Officer Vic.''

Yeah, that worked.

San Jose Mecury Covers Spocko Controversey

From the San Jose Mercury News:

The local hosts of talk radio station KSFO-AM (560) will take phone calls and answer questions today from noon to 3 p.m. in an extraordinary response to a lone blogger who has been recording their at-times offensive and violent diatribes and sending them to advertisers. . . .The anonymous blogger, who goes by ``Spocko'' and hosts a site at www.spockosbrain.com, has been picked up by liberal political sites across the country and has had more of an effect on the station than years of protests. . . . The station has consistently been in the Bay Area's Top 10 since it started as the lone conservative radio voice in 1995 and has been under fire by gay and minority groups for statements they deemed hateful.

The Internet has apparently made the protests more effective.

Spocko, who claims to have only 19 regular readers on his blog, forwarded links to statements by the radio hosts to advertisers including Visa, Bank of America and the state of Michigan, which apparently dropped ads.

Heheh. Guess someone's smarting a bit. I'm sure that their "extraordinary response" will go a long way to quelling the controversey. Yeah, right.

More MSM Coverage

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

A series of events involving a local liberal blogger, a San Francisco conservative radio station and the reaction of two of the larger corporate advertisers in the country -- Bank of America and MasterCard -- is revealing how slippery freedom of speech has become in the digital age.

The tale of Spocko, a self-described "fifth-tier" blogger who lives in San Francisco, exemplifies how one person with a computer and an Internet hookup can challenge the views of a major media corporation -- and what a media corporation will do to stop him.

For the past year, Spocko has been e-mailing advertisers of KSFO-AM with audio clips from its shows and asking sponsors to examine what they're supporting. Some sponsors have pulled their ads, after hearing clips like one of KSFO's Lee Rodgers suggesting that a protester be "stomped to death right there. Just stomp their bleeping guts out."

. . . .In a statement Wednesday, KSFO program director Ken Berry said, "Many of the remarks attributed to KSFO on the Internet are old, lacking context and, in some cases, outright lies. When our hosts have stepped over the line, they have apologized and have been reprimanded."

Berry declined to specify Wednesday which remarks were old or lies or who was reprimanded. Instead, at noon Friday, KSFO will pre-empt regular programming to allow four KSFO personalities cited in Spocko's e-mails to answer questions on-air about the controversy from the public, bloggers and media. "I don't tell people what to say, but I do think there will be some mea culpas there," Berry said.

Berry said KSFO will invite Spocko to appear on the air, but the blogger has declined such invitations in the past, saying in an e-mail to The Chronicle, "I'd be just another revenue generating 'event' for them to their audience, and they would love that kind of 'controversy' because it would MAKE them money and they still had control.". . . .

Spocko said it would be dangerous to dismiss the comments he's heard on KSFO as the sort of ratings-boosting hyperbole endemic to talk radio, even if it's uttered in the name of entertainment.

"It's entertainment until somebody is attacked," Spocko said. "Until it crosses the line, which I think this does."

From the Chicago Daily Southtown:

There are a lot of right-wing pornographers on the radio, provocateurs who get their jollies making up evil nicknames for Barbra Streisand and telling the same seven Bill Clinton jokes forwarded through e-mail accounts for the past half-decade.

Even in this crude environment, however, the hosts at KSFO radio in San Francisco stood out.

. . . .This isn't mere political porn. It's political snuff, the equivalent of those sad little films of people stomping on hamsters in high-heeled shoes.

And it attracted the attention of a liberal blogger, pseudonym of "Spocko," who wrote to the station's management to protest. And when the station management turned a deaf ear, he wrote to the station's owners, ABC and Disney, figuring that family-friendly Disney Radio wouldn't want it known that it paid people who called for the deaths of political figures in public.

. . . .He posted audio clips from the shows on his blog, Spocko's Brain (www.spockosbrain.com) so that people could hear that his assertions were true.

Advertisers were appalled. Visa yanked all its ads from the station.

Bank of America and Netflix likewise rebelled. And Disney finally took notice.

Instead of responding with more free-speech arguments, however, Disney slapped Spocko with a cease-and-desist order, saying his posting of audio clips from Morgan's and Sussman's radio shows on his Web site violated the station's copyright. The corporation threatened Spocko's Web host with a lawsuit, and the host pulled his site down, the audio clips along with it.

But within days, Spocko had found a new Web host, one not so easily cowed by the mighty Mouse, and the clips were back up in all their violent glory. Dozens of progressive news sites also posted them, in sympathy with his cause, saying the clips constitute fair use of the material.

Spocko on TV

The bit confirms that Bank of America and MasterCard have kissed off KSFO and that, poor man, Brian Sussman isn't gratning interviews:

Two More Advertisers Kiss Off KSFO

From Media Daily News:
FEDERAL EXPRESS AND THE MICHIGAN Economic Development Corporation have both ceased advertising on KSFO, the controversial extremist right-wing ABC Radio affiliate, spokespersons for both advertisers confirmed yesterday. In both cases, the organizations asserted they were unaware that media firms had placed their marketing messages on the station. They had no plans to advertise on the station again. "We were horrified," said Mike Shore, chief communications officer for MEDC.

MSM on Spocko

The NY Daily News Radio column covers Disney Empire v. Spocko today:

BLOG WAR: Talk station KSFO in San Francisco has blocked a blogger from posting sound bites he was using to criticize the station.

The blogger, "Spocko," had been posting bits of KSFO shows for months as part of a campaign to persuade advertisers to withdraw sponsorship.

He claimed that several companies, including Bank of America, Visa and Netflix, had pulled their ads to avoid being associated with controversial content.

KSFO contends Spocko violated copyright laws, and last month it sent him a cease-and-desist letter. It also threatened action against his Internet service provider, which has now removed his site.

KSFO Video

Hey, Mom! Lookit what we did!

Ahhhh, the power of cheese.

Bloggers Give Spocko An Assist, Post Contested ABC Radio Files
by Tom Siebert, Monday, Jan 8, 2007 6:00 AM ET

MEDIA CRITIC SPOCKO, WHOSE BLOG was shut down last week in response to Disney's complaints that he violated its copyright by posting audio files from right-wing San Francisco talk radio station KSFO, is once again online.

Sunday morning, his muckraking blog Spocko's Brain (www.spockosbrain.com), had resurfaced on the Web, hosted by Computer Tyme Web Hosting. What's more, several bloggers from around the world posted the disputed audio files--all but daring Disney to go after them as well. . . .

It took less than 48 hours for the material Disney tried to keep quiet to go wide. By Friday night, the site Online Blogintegrity linked to zip files of the entire collection of KSFO hate rants, as well as solo links to separate incidents. These links were supported by one of Blogintegrity's seven regular contributors, Iowan Scott Ripley, on his personal site, The Zen Cabin (www.zencabin.com). By Saturday morning, a site in Hong Kong and one with sympathies to the Arab world had added the audio files. By early Saturday afternoon, there were a dozen sites supporting them, including the progressive blog that sparked the first news of Spocko's situation, The Daily Kos.

By late Saturday afternoon, selections were posted on YouTube and the battle to suppress the information was effectively over, with Disney and KSFO the losers.

Take that!

Bloggers Fighting Back

Welcome to Kiss Off KSFO.

I've set up this blog to help fight back against the Disney/ABC empire's attempts to silence criticism of their product -- specifically, KSFO in San Fransisco.

Here's the background.

KSFO is a wingnut station, the hosts of which are rabid supporters of torture and hate speech of every kind imaginable. The station of part of the Disney/ABC family of stations, and relies heavily on that connection in its marketing to advertisers.

Some time ago, blogger Spocko's Brain began a campaign to alert advertisers to the nature of the product with which they were associating their merchandise and services. In doing so, he made use (fair use, I would say) of actual audio clips demonstrating the disgusting nature of the "free speech" indulged by these Disney Empire employees.

Spocko's Brain got the attention of Disney's hired guns when the information campaign began to have an effect on KSFO advertisers -- in December VISA pulled its advertising as a result of the information they received from Spocko's Brain.

One thing led to another and the Disney Empire lawyers leaned on Spocko's Brain's internet provider to pull the plug on the blog.

Here's Spocko's Brain's own story, as guest-posted on Online Blogintegrity:

ABC Radio Lawyer tells Spocko to Shut Up

Two days before Christmas I got a Cease and Desist letter from ABC regarding my use of audio clips from KSFO radio hosts Melanie Morgan and Lee Rogers on my blog, Spocko’s Brain (see attached PDF).

KSFO is a Disney affiliate whose radio hosts broadcast violent rhetoric directed toward journalists, liberals, Democrats, Arabs and Muslims all over the SF Bay Area and to the world via the Internet. I commented about the content of these host’s broadcasts on my blog and informed KSFO’s advertisers about what they were supporting by letting them listen to the exact audio quotes from the hosts.

Why the C&L Letter Now?

In mid-December I got confirmation that a major national advertiser, VISA, pulled their ads from the Melanie Morgan and Lee Rogers show, based on listening to audio clips I provided them. I also think that FedEx, AT&T and Kaiser are considering pulling their ads. Visa isn’t the first advertiser who has left KSFO, multiple advertisers have left the station, especially from the Brian Sussman show. In July of this year when KSFO lost MasterCard as an advertiser someone from KSFO “outed” me on a counter-blog (which I won’t link to). This same person has also threatened me with local and federal criminal action for using the audio (which I clearly used under the fair use portion of copyright law). And because they have suggested violence toward me (in addition to talking about suing me "for everything I have”) I have chosen to remain anonymous.

As Thers has said, 95 percent of blog fights don’t mean anything, but I think this one does since KSFO is using the full weight and force of an ABC/Disney lawyer and copyright law against a private citizen blogger. I dared to use the audio content in question for nonprofit educational purposes (I don’t even have ads on my blog!), and thus under the protection of the Fair Use Doctrine set forth in Section 107 of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C.§107.

It’s about Money not Ideology

Talk Radio is a multi-billion dollar industry. It is also a regulated industry because the public gave the broadcast airwaves to radio stations. There are rules. First there are FCC rules with fines of $315,000 for obscene and indecent speech, thanks to the Christian Right. Interestingly, the radio union, (which KSFO hosts hate so much) worked very hard to stop those fines from being directed to individual radio hosts. So the corporation will bear the burden of any fines. Next, there are guidelines at the local station level, the network level and the parent company level. So even if the inciting of violence and hate speech is ignored by the FCC, the continued violent rhetoric has been, and continues to be, approved at the station level (KSFO) the group level (KGO-KSFO) the company level (ABC Radio) and the parent company level (Disney). They are ALL aware of this speech, and because they have not acted in a meaningful way, they all are giving approval for it to continue.

No Management Action

When Keith Olbermann and Media Matters ran Melanie Morgan’s comments about “putting the bull’s-eye on” Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi, management did nothing. Morgan did a jokey non-apology where she never even mentioned she used the term bull’s-eye.

I’ m guessing Lee Rogers may have gotten a memo telling him to stop talking about burning people alive, torturing them and blowing their brains out, because on November 30th, he defiantly said to management and advertisers, "Nobody is gonna tell me what to talk about or not talk about or in what fashion on this radio program. It ain't gonna happen!"

ABC/Disney acted only when they lost revenue. Then they went after ME with a cease and desist letter.

Why me? I’m not the one saying journalists should be hanged, thieves should be tortured and killed, people should be burned alive, stomped to death or have their testicles cut off. I’m not the one saying that millions of Muslims should be killed on the presumption that they are extremists or just because they live in Indonesia . I’m not the one who says that lying is as natural as breathing to Egyptians and Arabs or demanding that a caller “Say Allah is a Whore” to prove he is not an Islamist. I’m simply documenting this speech and providing it to the people who are paying KSFO hosts on commercially supported broadcast radio.

They have Lawyers, Guns and Money. I’ve got a 5th tier blog and no money

Because I and some other listeners hit right-wing talk radio in the pocket book, they are acting like wounded animals and brought out the big guns, Corporate Lawyers. Am I scared? Hell yes. They can easily squish me like a bug and tie me up in legal battles for the rest of my natural life (and Vulcans live a long time), not to mention that unlike KSFO radio hosts, I’m not getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars and generating millions of revenue for a multibillion-dollar parent company. If I pursue this further I expect the next step is a “CyberSLAPP" suit.

I don’t want to consider the possibility of Morgan’s good friend Michelle Malkin deciding to publish my address and real name so that her minions can send me death threats or “white powder” in the mail. Chad Castagana, was charged with mailing more than a dozen threatening letters containing white powder to liberals. He got the idea from someone that journalists, liberals and democrats were the enemy and deserved to die.

Brian Sussman proudly poses with his handgun in KSFO publicity shots and says that he thinks that everyone should have the right to have a machine gun. Maybe I’m over reacting, why would they attack me? I’m not famous, I’m not an elected official, I tried very hard to be accurate about what THEY said BY USING THEIR OWN WORDS.

I tried to help companies protect their brands from being tainted with the violent rhetoric and anti-any-religion-but-right-wing-christianism speech. I wanted to help the VPs of marketing avoid being associated with Lee Roger’s “testicle talk” or Sussman talking about cutting off a finger and a penis of an Iraqi in his imaginary torture sessions.

It’s about Brands: All the Blessings, None of the Taint

I have found out that KSFO is sold to advertisers as “a Disney affiliate” with all the associated family-friendly connotations. So KSFO is getting all the benefit of the Disney name as well as the massive infrastructure of ad sales at the national level. Clearly ABC Radio doesn’t want KSFO hosts’ horrific comments to actually reach advertisers. Advertisers are kept in the dark so KSFO can benefit from the Disney brand glow (ABC Radio News creditability glow?).

Advertisers should be able to decide if they want to keep supporting this show based on complete information. We already know that management at ABC and Disney support these hosts, which means that the ABC/Disney Radio brand now apparently includes support for violent hate speech toward Muslims, democrats and liberals.

But instead of directing the hosts to refrain from violent rhetoric and hate speech, they go after the weakest person with the fewest resources. It’s cheaper and easier.

Bottom line: ABC/Disney is supporting and profiting from this violent speech, they should at least also accept any negative connotations or financial impact it might have to their image.

What can you do?

1) As El Gato Negro suggested, let’s distribute the audio clips of violent rhetoric and hate speech to multiple locations on the internet so that the ABC/Disney lawyers will have to find and send cease and desist letters to ISPs with stronger policies than the nice people at 1&1.

2) Crank this up around the blogosphere, if you have a blog link and post about this.

3) Let’s see if anyone in the mainstream media cares. Sadly they have a hard time writing about people who want them dead. I would think that at least the PUBLISHERS and MANAGEMENT at the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Associate Press would want to at least defend their own journalists and photojournalists. To date only the LA Times has called Morgan out for accusing them of photojournalist misconduct..

Some members of the press HAVE covered this. When Joe Conason at Salon did a story about Morgan and KSFO he got called a hack by Morgan. When Todd Milbourn of the Sacramento Bee did a story about Move America Forward he got called a liar by Morgan.

4) Donate to groups who would defend bloggers, journalists and others that Morgan, Rogers and Sussman attack. Specifically I’m recommending you donate money to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Media Matters.

You can also support the journalists who are doing their jobs and are threatened with death from talk radio hosts.

5) Write the advertisers of KSFO. I have a list of SOME of the advertisers who advertise on KSFO. Drop me a line at spockosemail @ gmail.com and I’ll send you a link to an updated list.

As always, be polite, let them know what they are supporting and how it is impacting their brand in your eyes. They often times have their own stated values that they want to maintain, you may want to ask if their corporate values align with what is being said on KSFO (often times the hosts are the VOICE of their brand in the Bay Area, so it’s not just the fact that their ad is run right after some violent hate speech, but that the person who is reading their copy is the person who is spewing the violent rhetoric.)

I’m open to other ideas too.

I’d like to thank everyone who has written letters to advertisers, especially PTcruiser and BP. Thanks to the Blog-Integrity folks for the forum, and special thanks to El Gato Negro.
So, we join now with Spocko in fighting back against the Disney Empire in particular, and unreasoning censorship in general, if not to strike a blow against the Empire, to at least irritate the little rat fuckers.

And that goes for their damn lawyers, too.