Advertisers Flee From Right-Wing Hate Radio
So Disney doesn't want the public at large to have access instant, ongoing access to the trash spewed by their radio talk show hating hosts? I haven't had time to check the blogs, but I'm sure this is getting and will continue to get a lot of coverage.
In the latest skirmish between big media and a blogger, The Walt Disney Company has succeeded in shutting down the Web site “Spocko’s Brain.”
On the site, blogger and media critic “Spocko” took issue with on-air comments made by right-wing talk show hosts at Bay Area ABC affiliate radio station KSFO. He posted audio files of hosts’ comments on his Web site, and also began a letter-writing campaign that, he says, resulted in advertisers fleeing the station.
But Tuesday, Spocko’s Internet service provider, 1&1 Internet, pulled the plug on the blog--a move prompted by a Dec. 22 cease-and-desist letter from ABC Radio claiming that material on Spocko’s Brain violated Disney’s copyright.
Neil Simpkins, spokesperson for 1&1, says the company gave Spocko one week to remove the material, and when he did not, took down his site. He says the company is particularly leery of the audio files, adding that 1&1 would “probably be more than likely” to allow the blog back if Spocko used transcripts of the show as opposed to actual audio files of what aired.
But Spocko argues that the audio files on his site constitute a “fair use” of the copyrighted material. “The [fair use] battle for bloggers hasn’t been waged yet,” Simpkins says. “Right now, technology is outracing the legal system.”
KSFO features hard right-wing talk show hosts who endorse torture, call for the public hangings of New York Times editor Bill Keller and other journalists, and demand that callers mock Islam. They also mock their own advertisers—calling Chevrolet, for example, “sh!tty,” or recommending that Sears’ Diehard battery be attached to an African-American’s testicles.
Spocko not only recorded the programming and posted audio files on his site, but also sent letters to advertisers on the station, including AT&T, Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard, and others—pointing out the station’s content and directing them to his blog to hear proof through his audio files.
Since Spocko began contacting advertisers, they have departed KSFO in droves. Netflix, MasterCard, Bank of America, and most recently, Visa have pulled their advertising from the station. According to Spocko, Federal Express, AT&T and Kaiser Permanente are weighing their departure as well.
A spokeswoman for ABC Radio declined comment. Spocko’s situation was originally reported on the Web site Daily Kos.
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