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by spocko

The Magic and Beauty of Hiding Behind Front Groups

2:45 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

From a great diary at Daily Kos, ”Industry Expert Says StopRush Has Destroyed Limbaugh’s Business For Good“ by Proglegs:

Speaking yesterday on the Ed Schultz radio show, industry insider Holland Cooke credited a persistent online activist movement with completely destroying right wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh’s business model by using the very free speech that El Rushbo claims gives him carte blanche to do what he does.

The piece quotes Cooke on the Ed Show and discusses the lower ratings, Rush’s move to smaller stations and the impact of less income for Rush’s distributors and radio stations.
Cover up False Front
Being the self-important Vulcan I am, I commented on the piece and my role in the process that lead to this.

Discussing the article with my friend Jeff Tiedrich of the Smirking Chimp there was some confusion.

Wait, how does losing advertisers result in fewer listeners? Seems to me they’re two different problems.

I explained they they were indeed separate issues. I created the Spocko Method specifically to reduce revenue in an environment where the ratings wouldn’t necessarily be impacted by an action and could even increase the ratings because of controversy.

I know that when KSFO, Savage, Beck or Limbaugh lost advertisers that didn’t necessarily mean they would lose ratings. In fact. they would keep bragging about the ratings because people were tuning in to hear the controversy. See the Streisand Effect

Higher ratings usually translate to higher ad rates. But if no one wants to advertise or sponsor the show, then high ratings are moot, especially to the people wanting to make money off of ratings. However, the ratings are still useful to people who want to push a message.

People who like a message, and want it to continue, needed to find new sponsors who love the message but are not vulnerable to pressure the way customer facing advertisers are. These new sponsors could stand behind someone who would normally be sanctioned or be fired for violating the normal HR policies found in most corporations. The groups could even support views that a huge percent of the population find offensive.

Front Groups are Magical

Front groups like the Heritage Foundation, Freedom Works and Americans For Prosperity can deflect connection and responsibility from individuals, corporations or brands who love a “no regulations ever” message, but can’t be seen supporting a sick and twisted host or his comments.

When you don’t want your brand tainted by association, you find or create a group of anonymous donors and ask them to pass money through to the messenger they don’t want to be associated with anymore.

Front groups funding right wing radio isn’t new, Politico did a piece on them funding right wing radio back in 2011. Here is another from this week. There are still reasons people and companies hide. There are marketing and brand considerations that remain. If you, as the person driving a message, find that activists have developed and harnessed a customer facing advertiser alert programs that challenges their brand, you work to remove those sponsors identities from the equation. Then you give them the option of funding you via the ‘cut out’ front group, like the Chamber of Commerce does. The other option is to reform the messenger, and that isn’t going to happen.

Customer facing advertisers, like the ones listed here at StopRush.net, had a hard time justifying sponsoring a sexist bigot who would be fired for violating all their own HR policies. But a front group doesn’t have to answer to HR policies, brand managers, customers or shareholders.

The people who want the money to keep rolling in do suggest the host change or tone down his views to appease the sponsors, and some of that does happen behind the scenes, although they will never admit it. The current procedure is to embrace the offensive comments and look for other sponsors.

The consumer facing advertisers were, (and some still are) a weak link in the game. They could be convinced to move away from Limbaugh. However dark money doesn’t care about what anyone thinks. They can “lose” money for decades on an influential narrative shaper, because they ARE getting an ROI. The advertisers could measure their short term ROI with new sales. But the front groups don’t have those short horizon metrics.

They are earning the money that they beg for every year from donors by pointing to their cultural impact.  They have:

Read the rest of this entry →

by spocko

Premier Networks Takes Massive Revenue Hit on Cumulus (CMLS) Contract, Rush Limbaugh Loses WABC in NY

1:44 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

Rush Limbaugh announced today that he has signed a new three year contract with Cumulus. This announcement represents a massive hit in licensing revenue for Premier Networks, Rush’s syndicator, which is owned by Clear Channel. (Video link of the announcement from the DailyRushbo)

Currently there are no details about the amount of the contract, nor are there likely to be. Historically when talent announces new contracts that are favorable to them, they make it public and mention the amount. But when it is a less favorable, they don’t. Then it’s proprietary.

This is good news for Cumulus and bad news for Premier, Clear Channel and Limbaugh. 

Why do I know that Premier (and probably Limbaugh) are taking a massive income hit?

1) Cumulus, Premier and Limbaugh will not release details and comparisons to previous contracts.

2) Limbaugh reframed the story to focuses on the strawman of Cumulus possibly dumping him vs. how much less money his syndicator is getting from Cumulus.

“A group owner was going to cancel their contract with me on 35 of their radio stations and that would be ‘the end of my career’ because one of those 35 was WABC in New York, and WLS in Chicago and WMAL in Washington, and WBAP in Dallas and WJR in Detroit and other large markets. And once that happened, sayonara I’m in everyone’s rear view mirror. ” – Rush Limbaugh, August 23, 2013

He then goes on to talk about how the MSM figured this would be the end of him, but ta da, nothing has changed! Except he is off WABC in New York. And he won’t talk about what it cost him to stay on Cumulus. I’m betting that Premier had to take a massive licensing fee cut. How much is massive? I don’t know, only insiders will know and they will only talk if it is to their advantage.

Now will Limbaugh personally make less money because Premier got less money from Cumulus? I’m guessing yes, unless Clear Channel/Premier’s lawyers are really stupid, which they might be. But maybe not. Rush might still be under an old contract with them that pays him a flat fee vs. a percent of the licensing fees. Clear Channel is a private company. They don’t have to tell anyone squat. Even public companies like Cumulus don’t have to break out information on contracts.

The fact that Limbaugh announced this himself on Friday, probably after the market closed, with no details on the size of the contract, means that is the good news for Cumulus. The bad news is for Premier and Limbaugh. They will be getting smaller licensing fees. The losing of a key 50kW station, WABC in New York, is mitigated with his move to Clear Channels WOR. For Clear Channel this is an easy switch since they own both WOR and Premier, it is just an internal accounting swap, money goes from one pocket into another.  But he did lose it, which means less revenue from Cumulus.

What I want to point out to everyone in the media, in the liberal community and especially to the activist community, is that coming together and using tweets, emails and phone calls to alert advertisers of Rush’s horrific comments, works. They don’t want to taint their brand by associating with him. This is a massive success story. We have used the power of the market, and corporate branding fears to financially push back the RW media. This is a story that you won’t see the MSM or even the trade media acknowledging as significant. As they say in the financial industry this was an material event. This work has moved markets. It’s a big fraking deal.

Rush’s show has become toxic to most advertisers. Rush is not making as much revenue for his syndicators and the distribution groups as before. Rush was an asset that is becoming a liability.

We did this. All the #stoprush people everyone who wrote to or tweeted at advertisers did this. Angelo Carusone, and the folks at Media Matters did this.

How much did this hurt? I haven’t done the money math, but if you extrapolate from the lack of advertisers on the Limbaugh shows in the various markets to the cost each paid, you know it’s 10′s of millions. (Also, sometimes in order to even get advertisers on the show, they have to give it away for free. So you might hear an advertiser, but they are paying nothing, but getting it as part of a bundle.) Bottom line? Net net? Less advertisers means less revenue. He can have huge ratings, but millions of earballs don’t translate to greenbacks.

Limbaugh can boast about the way that he didn’t get dumped by 34 of the 35 stations, but he won’t be talking about just how powerful the campaign was. Of course he will say, “They didn’t get me off the air!” but that really wasn’t the point. That negotiating chip couldn’t have even been used by Cumulus without the campaign (although I doubt they will thank us.)  Can Rush say, ‘They didn’t cost me money, personally?” maybe, but again, that’s not the point. I see people arguing, “You Libtards didn’t hurt Rush, he can’t be fired!”  It’s like a baseball player with a 30 million dollar, three year contract. He breaks his leg the third year, they still have to pay him the last 10 million. Unless his agent is incompetent. Rush’s contract with his syndicator won’t be discussed, but you can guaran-damn-tee it that when it is time to renegotiate his contract with Premier/Clear channel he ain’t getting the same amount as before. And that’s a Victory with a capital V for us.

We kicked ‘em in the balance sheet folks. Kicked ‘em hard. In the famous words of Eddie Murphy in Trading Places. “If you want to hurt rich people, you take away their money.”

by spocko

9 questions the press won’t ask about Cumulus vs. a Flaming Gasbag

11:27 am in Uncategorized by spocko

Have you noticed the Cumulus v. Rush stories in the press lately? What makes me crazy is thinking about all the questions that could be asked of the distributors, media corporations and the people who have made money or spent money on right wing media. Sadly they won’t be asked, although if they were asked I suspect the answers would range from, “No comment.” to, “We don’t have to tell you nothin’ Poindexter” and include lots of, ” We are a private company! Now drop and give me 20 stories on missing white women!”Day 252 - blowing up WildCamp 2011

Although public companies like Cumulus will answer a few questions, those answers will mostly be bullshit. I also know that no one in the press will call them on their doublespeak because shut up. But if I was an old timey journalist, wearing a fedora with PRESS in the hat band I would ask ‘em. I know I wouldn’t get any good answers of course, but it would be fun to watch the squirming. Today’s journalists aren’t about making anyone squirm. Not their job. Getting deeper truthful answers? Not their job. Reporting what they say exactly as they say it? That’s their job.

Here are a few questions I would ask of media companies that syndicate Rush or make money from the ads they sell during the show. I’d start with my natural wide-eyed innocence and then proceed to my grizzled, impatient self and finally ask sarcastic, cynical questions.

1) Why don’t you treat Rush like any other poorly performing asset and dump him for something better?
Answer: [mumble mumble.] He’s a fine asset, he still has the highest ratings in the industry! Frumpy, frumpy, frumpy. There is no one better! Next question.

2) Why don’t you renegotiate his contract?
Answer: We aren’t in a position at this time to discuss contract terms.

They will compare Rush to an athlete with two broken legs. He has to be paid even if he can’t play until the contract is over. As we know from the banking industry only the little people can never walk away from an asset that is under-performing. The big boys do it all the time, why aren’t they now?.

3) Why don’t you find a way out of the contract?
Answer: [ Something, something, pause] At this juncture we don’t have that option.

Translation, “We are trying to figure something out, unfortunately his lawyers are smarter than our lawyers and they removed all the loopholes to get out of it.”

4) Why don’t you demand that Rush find a way to return to profitability? Why don’t you demand that Rush “stop insulting women” so you can reach out to advertisers other than herbal boner pill makers?
Answer: Our conversations with Mr. Limbaugh aren’t subject to public disclosure.

[Behind the scenes with ad sales guys: That fat bastard didn't even return our calls! We've GOLFED with him! I laughed at his stupid dirty jokes! We kept him on when he was popping Oxy like doughnut holes! Oh, his "people" say, "This will blow over. Advertisers will come back." we are tired of waiting Rushbo. Unlike him we have to work and live with real women . Women who put up with him when he made us money but now won't buy our line, "Sure he is a pig, but he's our pig and he's making us a butt load of money".]

If you have to ask you aren’t part of the boys’ club, questions.

The following questions should be asked but the answers are usually unstated. Everybody just “knows” the answer. To even mention them is considered naive. Questions such as:
Read the rest of this entry →

by spocko

Dear MSM: Spare Me Your Lame, “Dow Soars!” pieces. I want Comeuppance Stories!

4:51 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

Brute ForceI used to think that if only America’s political leaders could see the unemployed in the media, and hear their stories they would act. I don’t believe that anymore.

Right now in news rooms across the nation well-meaning editors are assigning someone to write a “balanced” story about the Dow breaking 15,000 that also includes some stories about people struggling to find work.  They know not to totally cheer the Dow, “See, we know that not everything is okay, so here’s a sad story of a person sort of like you, which you will dismiss in 10 seconds because it’s depressing as  hell.” ( Pam Spauling’s story “Over 55, out of work more than six months? Headhunters say you’re screwed.” made me loath my birthday and myself instead of loathing the people driving our economy. Their incorrect, destructive austerity metaphor is destroying lives as surely as bullets in our brains.)

I used to believe that personal stories, combined with cold hard statistics could break through to politicians and policy makers who would say, ‘Enough! The lack of good jobs with good wages is a national tragedy, we must fix it or I’ll never get re-elected!” I had the same delusion when it came to weapons. Silly rational Spocko. I thought 20 dead kids with their arms and legs shot off combined with 90 percent of the country behind a sensible change in gun laws would do the trick.  I was an optimist, but I am not stupid. I do know how the world works. It takes more than stories and statistics. It takes leverage.

Individual stories about the unemployed won’t force politician into working for change.  Polling data showing a desire for jobs aren’t going to move politicians to act.  You might get some pity, and a pledge for future action, but not the massive shift in actions we need RIGHT NOW.  Especially when the unemployed people whose stories finally get told aren’t donating to your re-election campaign or you don’t need to be re-elected.

The people who benefit when the Dow soars use their leverage to keep the country on course with current economic policies.  Policies which don’t include a massive jobs program in the United States, because those people don’t feel the pain the way the rest of us feel the pain.  You will note that when they do feel something they call pain, say in the form of delayed flights, they will let the politicians know and they are quickly healed, even if it is a band-aid just for them.  Who is using leverage to ease our pain?

People who read me know that I’m a big science fiction fan (my name is a clue!) but I’m also a fan of what I call “comeuppance stories” ones where a person or group of people work together to ensure the bad guys get their comeuppance. I don’t like violent revenge stories, but stories of justice. I like seeing a show of karma in this lifetime.  In the olden days journalists used to work on stories that lead to someone getting their comeuppance. You know, “afflict the comfortable.” But now these kind of stories are almost entirely seen in fiction.

These days people who SHOULD be getting their comeuppance have insulated themselves from the traditional sources of comeupatude–the press, the prosecutor, the politicians, the people.

Instead of the press creating stories that might lead to someone’s comeuppance they wait for someone else to do the heavy lifting and jump in to report on  “both sides.”

Prosecutors don’t want to go after big complex cases.  Politicians see that if you have a well-funded small group of supporters you can ignore the people. And the people, well the people can rant and rave and march and tweet, but if they don’t have leverage (via the law, politicians they own, money streams they control, votes they can cast or dirt they know) nothing will happen.

So that is why I think about ways to gain leverage. Since I’m a communicator I often think about how to use the media, but I know that you need multiple methods. I always like to point out the successes we have had interrupting the money stream of right wing media. The naysayers love to come back with, “Yes, but… Rush is still rich, Beck is back.” I remind them that this one form of leverage worked when people thought nothing ever would. (I wish that the media that cover this story would ask about the goals of the people coordinating the advertiser alert campaigns instead of listening to the straw men that are offered up by the subjects.)

We wanted advertisers to walk away from the hosts because the host was tainting their brand. They did. We wanted to create a situation in a corporation that is financially unsupportable if they wanted normal ad sources. We did.  We showed shareholders that what was an asset has become either a liability or an under-performing asset. CEOs responded as they often do with other under-performing assets in a pure capitalist environment.  They look at ways to get out of their contract.

We need to be constantly looking for leverage points to help the economy of the 99% sometimes it involves pushing for accountability, other times it involves pushing for people to enforce the laws that still exist. I have showed how with one model we used successfully against the RW media, but there are others.  I know there are more “comeuppance” stories out there. People love those stories. There is a reason that Shawshank Redemption is a lot of people’s favorite movie.

So tonight or tomorrow, as you listen to “Dow Soars!” stories and skim over the depressing bits about the unemployed, “Joe Btfsplk is 55 years old and has sent out 3,500 resumes blah, blah blah, spent retirement saving, yada yada yada played by the rules. zzzzz” think about what kind of leverage you can wield to help change things. What leverage can you develop that helps the 99%? I look forward to reading your comeuppance stories. Read the rest of this entry →

by spocko

Rush Doesn’t Need Your Stinking Ads!

5:05 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

News Flash! 50 advertisers have pulled their ads from the Rush Limbaugh show. Updated list here.

Radio flyer by Kevin Dooley Creative Commons via FlickrEveryone wants to know, “What will happen next?” Some people want to know how to “fix the problem” (i.e. lost sponsors) others want to know, how can we make,”the problem” worse.

I am of the metaphorical mindset, “When your nemesis is drowning, throw him an anchor.”

There is, and will be, tremendous pressure to keep The Limbaugh Zeppelin afloat.  Lots of people are scrambling to find the right words, strategy or actions to get back to the status quo. What might be surprising to some, but not to me, is that the MSM will help keep this gasbag in the air. Why? A few reasons:

1) The “They could do this to me!” fear. They might remember that Lou Dobbs is gone and Glenn Beck if off TV, not because of what they said, but because of “market forces.” The progressive left made those “market forces” happen by alerting advertisers and asking them to stop allowing these people to taint their brands.

2) Rush gives them the language for ideas that are easy to describe. One stop shopping for what “the Right” thinks. (His ability to articulate the worst impulses of the right and make them seem noble is a real talent.)

3) The MSM have to make sure to run, “Rush’s side of the story.” Rush is, of course, the real victim in all this. Their stories can cover ad experts to answer questions about the economic impact of this on Rush or Premier.  Political experts to discuss the ramifications of this on the Presidential race. Social media experts on why this movement got traction vs others.

What they all know is that there is an entire community (LimbaughSphere?) that needs Rush to stay on the air.

One of the big questions that will be raised is, “How can Rush stay on the air without advertisers?”

Surprise! Rush doesn’t actually need advertisers. The people in the radio industry want and “need” that revenue stream, but not Rush. Like Glenn Beck while at Fox, he still has his contract if he has 2 or 200 advertisers.  Additionally the people who want him to continue could subsidize him for months if not years if they want.

What people forget is that massive long term subsidies have propped up the Right and movement conservatism for years. Fox lost money for years. NewsCorp is so big and Murdoch’s control so strong he could hide the money losing ventures from shareholders, until they could pay off financially. Here is a link to me asking Rupert how long he will keep subsidizing Beck) In the mean time their subsidies was paying off in Right Wing messaging and political wins.

The expectation that directed messaging efforts should also make money is fairly new. The Right mocked liberal radio for “not making money” from the comfort of their money losing belief tank jobs.

When was the last year the Washington Times made money? Never. As of 2002 Moon and his businesses have plowed about $1.7 billion into subsidizing the Times, say current and former employees. (Story from the money losing Washington Post.)

Rush’s Brand is Now Bigger Than Sponsor’s Brands

What is different now is that Rush’s “brand values” have become more important than his consumer product sponsors’ brand values.  His agenda has become more important than their needs. He will taint the advertiser’s brand rather than retreat from some horrific statements that advance his agenda.

This is huge problem for people who make money on Rush such a:

Radio stations, sales reps, and radio execs

Companies who get revenue sells products or services to his listeners

This is NOT a huge problem for folks who use Rush to push the movement conservative agenda. People like:

Koch, Scaife, Olin, Moon and others funding money losing papers, RW belief tanks like Heritage and American’s For Prosperity.

Brent Bozell of the non-revenue generating group, the Media Research Council who will use this as an opportunity to raise money on Rush the Victim. Of course that will be pennies vs. what he gets from his funders, Exxon, Scaife, Olin and other tax exempt right wing foundations.

However, one of the problems will be the perception problem. How do you explain keeping Rush on the air without commercial advertisers? They might admit that they support money losing shows all the time and admit that generating revenue was just a happy accident of the true goal of the show, making the extreme right’s views “normal”. Janeane Garofalo  used to call it “Giving people permission to bring out their inner Archie Bunker.”)

I expect multiple methods will be deployed to change the subject from the financial consequences. I discussed some of them in my article here.

As various techniques are used I’d like to remind people of the insights that I developed when I created The Spocko Method. There will be a need to keep dogging the LimbaughSphere’s attempt to make this problem go away.  I talk about some of this on Angie Corio’s In Deep Radio show, broadcast tonight, March 9, at 8:00 pm  on KRXA in Monterey and March 10th broadcast in Washington D.C. at 10:00 AM on WPWC 1480 AM DC Progressive Talk Radio, @WeActRadio. Also you can listen to the Podcast of Mike Stark and I discussing this and Andrew Breitbart’s death and his impact on the media on Virtually Speaking.

If this article has become tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) you can go now.

Below is background for people who want to understand The Spocko Method and why it works vs. boycotts, appeals to the FCC or radio management. If you want to do a quick action you can go to my friends at FreePress, Media Matters or Credo who all have ways to act on this.

The Spocko Method

I learned a lot and and established a lot of principles during my early work on KSFO hosts, then advising Hate Hurts America on Michael Savage and Color of Change on Glenn Beck.

When I started my advertiser alert campaign in 2005-06 I did a lot of research on what worked and didn’t work when engaging the Right Wing media. Based on that research I determined that the leverage point was the station’s revenue stream. If you had great ratings with no advertisers, you are screwed.  If they didn’t have a sugar daddy, they needed advertisers.

I looked at and discarded going to the FCC, like the Right did with Howard Stern. I looked at and discarded appealing to management since they could position themselves as, “supporters of free speech” even if they disagreed with it. Also, they easily could ignore efforts that weren’t widespread, since the audience who is offended doesn’t usually listen, therefore they didn’t really care what they thought.

My solution was to show the advertisers that the hosts of KSFO were tainting their brand.  This involved finding email addresses and the right people to contact showing them the clips and letting them decide. Twitter and Facebook weren’t as pervasive as now.

My special perspective on this is a deep understanding of how to talk about the action and how to communicate to the corporations. My background is in helping companies and people tell their stories to the press, their investors and customers. I’ve media trained the top executives, founders and funders of major tech companies and consumer firms. I know what they care about. I work a lot with the marketing, PR and internal communications people.

Based on this I did some important things different.

I didn’t go to the FCC, they don’t care. (that is what the right did with Howard Stern, Brent Bozell’s Media Research Council is always happy to use Big Government to get what he wants).

Based on the liberal criticism of that action I made it clear I never wanted to silence people or get them fired. I just wanted them to be less profitable.  If they modified what they said on the air or are let go because they have become unprofitable, well so be it. I explained this to other groups who then used them on Michael Savage and Glenn Beck.

Then there are some instructions I gave to my followers, basics like be polite, but also how to frame the request.

It’s NOT a boycott. Don’t write the sponsors and say, “I’m going to stop buying your product if you don’t do this.” That is a threat and advertisers don’t like to be threatened. Instead get them to see the disconnect between their own values, brand or policies and this person.

Get the corporations to see how the comments aren’t “in-line with their values.”
I did this by showing them their own policies on discrimination, violence or sexism. Then I  linked them to the audio clip that aired right after the horrific comment. Imagine being Pro-Flowers after the, “women using birth control are sluts and prostitutes” comment.  With KSFO they had HR companies advertising. I sent them links to sexist comments about Dana Perino and women they wanted to work in the office naked because they had “a great rack”.

Make it clear you aren’t trying to silence anyone.  This is because that is censorship and there are people on the left who don’t want to have anything to do with any kind of censorship, even of someone like Rush.

They are the, ‘I’ll don’t like what they have to say, but I’ll defend to the death their right to say it.” people. They need to see that this a MARKET-based action, that way they don’t have to defend Rush under the 1st Amendment. It’s not about the host’s rights, it’s just business. The companies have a right to not advertise on a show. Nobody has a right to get rich saying horrible things.

Help the corporations explain why they are pulling their ads.
“You aren’t censoring him or silencing him. You are just removing your financial support because what he says doesn’t match with your brand image. Someone else who doesn’t have your good values can pay to be associated with him.” This information is then used by companies so that they can explain it to their customers and internal marketing people when they ask, “Why aren’t we advertising on the show with the highest ratings!” They can respond “Because, hating Muslims, gays, and vicious sexism isn’t what our company and brand are about.”

Keep your followers aware of how the other side will fight this and keep adjusting your messages to counter them.
So if they say, “Rush apologized!” point out all the other instances where he didn’t. “This is a pattern of behavior, not a one time thing. Do you want to be associated with him when he says the next horrific things?”

Avoid Media Boredom. As the campaign for Color of Change got boring to the media people wanted to “move on.” I suggested that they take the results to the next level. That was when I took it to the financial journalists and NewsCorp Institutional investors. That was a new and  different story for the media. “What is the economic impact of advertisers leaving? Why was Murdoch still subsidizing him?”

(BTW that was the question I asked Murdoch during the May 2010 financial conference call. That pushed the story back into the news and got Murdoch to comment on it, which the media needed to quote on the issue.)

Prepare for Dishonest Reframing and Strawmen
You will see that in the response to defend Rush they create strawmen. “They want to silence Rush! They want to bring back the Fairness Doctrine!” But since I was very careful to never talk about firing them or bringing back the Fairness Doctrine I could easily show that this was a lie.

I think the advertisers should have a choice, and they should be able to work within the market to decide if they want to make this purchase. When they pull their ads they aren’t censoring anyone, just making him less rich, nothing wrong with that.

This is how the free market is supposed to work, but the right actually wants a monopoly. They don’t want to give companies a choice, especially if , through media consolidation, they make their guy the only game in town.

Keep up the good work everyone!

LLAP,

Spocko

Cross  posted at Spocko’s Brain.

@spockosbrain follow me around on twitter

by spocko

Coming up: The Right’s Revenge For Hurting Rush

6:04 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

People everywhere have written about Rush, his comments and the actions taken to convince advertisers to leave. I could analyze which actions will and won’t work with Rush but I won’t. I’d bore myself writing that, what I want to do is talk about what is happening right now and in the next few weeks so we can prepare and act.

How will the Right Get its Revenge for Hurting Rush?

I’m going to slingshot around the Sun and go into the future and tell you what I see happening the weeks of  March 4-18th, 2012 around this issue.

1) Three bazillion pixels will be turned on defending Rush. They will tell us that he is “an entertainer” who has “apologized” and we should just “move on.” Besides he never technically called her a slut and, something something something, yargle bargle why should I pay for a woman having sex, especially if it’s not with me?”

2) Groups will decide to get Revenge for Rush with a boycott. Probable Targets?

  • Rachael Maddow
  • Keith Olberman (or Ed Schultz or any male in the ‘liberal media’)
  • Ellen Degeneres
  • Rosie O’Donnell
  • Oprah
  • Sandra Fluke, her university, her future employers
  • The advertisers who pulled their ads from the Limbaugh show.

3) Other actions? Buycott! Rush will show advertisers who stuck with him how good that stance is for business. He will tell everyone to go buy something made by a sponsor. So since ProFlowers left he will get 1-800-Flowers as a sponsor and tell his listeners to use them for Mother’s day. Listeners response: See, you mess with Rush we go to your competition! Buycott! (I wonder what the slogan will be, “Buy flowers for your slutty mother!” Nah, maybe something like “Your mothers is a saint and never had sex except to create you! Show her your thanks with flowers!”

They will use forwarded email, talk radio, Facebook and maybe Twitter to organize these campaigns. Read the rest of this entry →

by spocko

Real Questions to ask Rush Limbaugh

1:28 pm in Uncategorized by spocko

Here are my questions for Rush this Sunday on Fox.

When you came back from the Dominican Republic in July 2006 you were caught with a prescription bottle of Viagra with one pill missing. You said it was yours but filled under the name of Steven Strumwasser, your drug treatment doctor, to protect your privacy. Smoking Gun Link

  • While in the DR did you have oral, vaginal or anal sex with one or more people?
  • What were the ages and genders of these people?
  • Did you pay the people or did someone pay these people for you?
  • Did you use some sort of barrier protection during your sex act(s)?

  • Do you remember the names of the people you were involved with?

  • Have you been in contact with any of these people since that time?

Photo by telethon
Please answer the above questions as if you are under oath. I say this because I know the answers to all the above questions and I will expect you to answer them honestly. Because, as you know, in American we don’t care about the sex we care about the lying.

The reason that I ask these questions is that as one of the leaders of the conservative movement your behavior is important. When people listen to you and agree with your views they have a right to know what kind of person you really are.
Just as we have moved on regarding Michael Vick, since he has great talents, I believe that the people will move on when they find out what you did in the DR and with whom you did it. Your sex life is important to the American public. We don’t care about it on the left, but the people on the right have shown time and time again that the sex life of entertainers and politicians is important and worthy of coverage.

  • Were you aware that your activities in the DR were videotaped by a private detective?

  • Do you know who hired the private detective?

The reason you would know that these activities were taped is that it is my understanding that you have been given a copy of this tape so that when necessary the people who have it can use it to control your opinion on certain matters.

  • Would you please tell the American people what acts are you being blackmailed for and who is blackmailing you?

It was good for the public to know about Letterman, don’t you think it would be good for the public to know about your encounters in the DR? Letterman brought in the police for his case, isn’t it time you did the same?
Remember, I do know who hired this detective and if you claim/blame that it was someone other than who it really was, I can prove in a court of law who it actually was.
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QUESTIONS ON DRUG USE DURING AND AFTER PROBATION

Rush, you were arrested and convicted for a felony commonly known as "doctor shopping". As part of your plea negotiations you agreed to submit to random drug testing. We all know that addiction is hard to overcome and many people are not successful in their first attempt to get clean.

  • Did you pass your random drug tests during the three years you were on probation?

Remember, I can check with your probation officer. As you know, in American we don’t care about taking certain drugs. we care about the lying about taking certain drugs. In professional sports many athletes are in the position of taking random drug tests while they are working. Although the parallels are not exact:

  • Since the time you have been arrested have you been free of drugs?
  • Have you been high while performing your radio show in the last 3 years?
  • Could you have passed a random drug test during the time you have been off probation for your felony?

Smoking Gun link to Rush’s Drug plea negotiations. "Doctor Shopping" felony statute
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FINANCIAL QUESTIONS FOR A MULTIMILLIONAIRE

Rush, you have said on the air that you are being audited by the IRS. We know that the IRS is not supposed to be used by politicians for political revenge. That said, under which President did this audit start
  
Remember, I do know the exact timeline for when the audit in question was ordered, please consider that before you answer the question.

  • Which areas of your personal finance or corporation finance are under investigation?
  • Will the results of this audit be made public?

Thank you Mr. Limbaugh. Now a word from our sponsor.

SPOCKO GETS META: or
 "What’s the point? Isn’t it All Okay If You Are A Republican?"

Allow me to get meta here for a minute. Someone asked me about my first series of questions and wondered why, if such video evidence existed, did I not bring it forward. I explained my thought process here.

I do not expect any journalist to ask the questions above for a couple of reasons. They might ask a pale version of the above questions but, based on recent puff pieces on folks like Rush, Savage and Beck, they will not ask any tough questions. Rush gets entertainer questions. Yet he is a huge economic and political force in this country. Why is he treated as if he is Jennifer Lopez in a profile in US Weekly? Rush, like Lopez has control over who interviews her, the types of questions and even approves the photos in the photo shoot. Rush is the key man for a multibillion dollar industry that relies on his revenue; the infrastructure he supports is massive. If you read the SEC documents from these companies you’ll see that if anything happened to Rush it would be a massive material event and crash the stock. Is Rush "too big to fail?" They don’t want to find out, so they will keep propping him up.

The questions I asked above are stylistically more like a criminal investigation or a deposition than a celebrity interview –and rightly so, since Rush may be guilty of some new felonies.  I would expect that the authorities would ask questions like the above if he was caught in flagrante delicto (which I believe is Latin for flavored dyslectics.) I would also expect that there are "cleaners" who keep Rush’s messes quiet.

I am not a law enforcement officer. I am not a lawyer. I’m not a journalist, I’m not even human, but I know the importance of good questions and it’s time that he be asked these questions. The only thing that can bring Rush down is Rush and he is working very hard to make that happen while his plate spinners and financial beneficiaries attempt to save him. At some point, like the water that broke the poorly constructed federal levees in New Orleans, the flood will come.

Now is the time for some real journalists to get in there because Rush wants something, he wants sympathy, he wants to be the victim and in the process of his whining for sympathy it gives people an opening to ask some real questions. Questions about other laws he may have broken and some repugnant acts he may have committed.

If you are interested in posting some questions for Chris Wallace to ask Rush, go here Link to Wallace’s Blog
And, since there are bunch of Rush fans who want to know why the NFL is picking on poor Rush YOU can answer their questions or question their premises.

LLAP
Spocko