Have you ever had food poisoning? Remember what it was like? The cramps. The pain. The fever and chills. And who could forget the explosions from the north and south? Good times.
Okay, now while holding that in your mind (sorry), imagine finding out that the person who made the food said, “Sorry you got sick, but we are going to keep making that tainted food. We’ll try to be better, but we aren’t going to recall it. In fact, we’ve cut a deal with the guys who are supposed to be looking out for you so we don’t have to recall it.’
Now let’s say the person who sold you the food (not the maker, but the food seller) determines that rather than upset the food maker, she decides to throws her “highest priority”–food safety– out the window and agrees to keep selling the food. Remember, this is the food that had you driving the porcelain bus for three days.
How does that make you feel about the food maker and food seller? How might you act based on their actions? Does it bother you that nobody seems to be looking out for you and 18171 * of your friends who also got sick?
What I’m describing is what is currently happening with Foster Farms’ fresh raw chickens sold via Safeway stores. The chicken that was contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg was not recalled.
Foster Farms convinced the USDA that they are trying really hard to implement “a series of new safety measures to reduce the instances of salmonella on its poultry parts to significantly below the industry standard.” In exchange for these “new safety measures” Foster Farms didn’t have to recall the chicken. They simply issued a “Public Health Alert” telling people that fresh chicken, “when handled and cooked properly, is safe for consumption.”
Now I understand why Foster Farms would cut this deal with the USDA, but why did Safeway go along with it?
Robert L. Edwards, Safeway President & CEO, is supposed to decide what is best for the company after hearing from everyone. In this case Edwards decided that continuing to sell tainted chicken was the correct thing to do. Then someone went to the communications staff and said, “Wordsmith our decision to keep selling tainted food.” They produced this document. It’s really a marvel of passive voice “it has been determined” and contradictions, “Food safety is our highest priority.”
Now I could focus on Foster Farms here, but they already made a deal with the USDA. Stacy Finz at the SF Chronicle has the latest on them. But I want to reach out to the decision makers at Safeway. I have a history of alerting advertisers suggesting they stop associating their brands with toxic products (SF Chronicle link) So now I’m going to do something similar, I’m alerting three women at Safeway.
Diane M. Dietz, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
Kelly Griffith, Executive Vice President Retail Operations
GOP Government Shutdown Death Toll. Total As of Day 8: __
Hello. If you came here looking for a number and a list I don’t have one, as of Day 8. I wrote this headline in advance of the death(s). I will update the post upon confirmation of the dead.
Soon the media and the GOP will be talking about the people who died as a result of the current government shutdown. I’d like to suggest we talk about those future dead people now, in order to assign responsibility and force change.
If dealing with the right wing media and the “guns everywhere” crowd has taught me anything, it’s that right after someone is killed or dies because of a gun, it is not the time to talk about guns. Especially the ones used in the most recent mass shootings.
The people who want to get and keep guns everywhere have a standard response following a mass shooting. I anticipate the same will happen when people die because of the GOP orchestrated government shutdown. After a shooting we hear:
“Now is not the time to score political points! The bodies aren’t even cold. The families need to grieve!”
This is a very effective method to maintain the status quo because they know that the emotion following death is a window to change. The further the disconnect from the action and from the people who helped or supported the action, the harder it is to change.
The day the death(s) happens the media will be asking questions: What happened? Who died? Why did this happen? Who is responsible? In anticipation of these questions the GOP are working hard to make this about “both sides” As my old boss at the machine shop said, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses a life.”
Step One: GOP will deny it, “There is no connection between the death and the shutdown”
The GOP media machine will step up after the death(s) and do what the NRA and their supporters always do after a shooting. Confuse the issue by pointing out how this specific round of shootings would NOT have been prevented if certain forms of gun control measures were in place. For example, “Ah ha! He killed people with a shotgun, not an AR-15! So a ban on semi-automatic weapons wouldn’t have helped! And, the shotgun is what Joe Biden told Americans to get!”
Today Xeni Jardin at Boing Boing did a story about a woman with a rare form of cancer who won’t be getting a NIH treatment because of the shutdown. This could lead to her death. The people at Fox News will point out something like, ‘This was a clinical trial so there is no guaranteed it would have saved her life.” They will attempt to put the blame elsewhere and weaken the link between the shutdown and death.
Step Two: Flip the narrative
They will use the death, because of a shutdown government, as an example of Big Government failure! “If anyone is to blame, it’s Obama. We begged him to negotiate, he wouldn’t. Also, if the government would just ease up on restrictions the drug companies wouldn’t have to wait for the NIH. The drug companies would have already made a pill to cure her! Socialized medicine fail!” (It makes no logical sense, but that is not the point, the point is to reverse the narrative to the usual talking points. Running government bad. Stopped government good.)
After the denial they are connected, and the evading of responsibility, they will attack the people who point out the GOP’s culpability. They will say we are “playing the blame game.” (I’m always amused that this somehow shuts people up. Hell yes I want to play the blame game. Especially when they are to blame!)
Step three: Use Media’s Fear of Access Loss
No one in the mainstream media will ask the representatives if they are going to stop the shut down now that their stunt has lead to death. To ask that question is to guaranteed loss of access. The response, if someone dared to ask, will be umbrage. “That is a ridiculous assertion! We are not to blame for that person’s death. How dare you even suggest it!? It is the President who is to blame. He failed to negotiate with us. Go ask him if this death will cause him to change his mind.”
Step Four: No Change. No Action.
After each big mass shooting the NRA implies the following, “These deaths, though tragic, do not mean anything has to change.”
Let’s say that Rachael Maddow points out to Boehner the direct connection from the actions of the Republicans to shut the government down to the death(s). Would that be enough for them to stop and change their policy? Again, let’s look at the history of the NRA for anticipated actions.
One thing I leaned working with corporations and their brands, is you do not want your brand to be associated with death, especially the death of women and children (Unless your business is death, like the gun manufacturers, then you brag about the speed and distance you can project death.)
So if the progressive left tries to point out to the “both sides do it” media that this death can be tied directly to GOP shutting down the government, the push back from the tea party and the RW media will be,
“They are using the death of this poor woman/child/man to score political points! The bodies aren’t even cold. The families need to grieve!”
There is a general view by many people that using the dead to “advance a political agenda” is distasteful. I understand that, so by bringing this up it in advance I’m trying not to be a ghoul. However, I also know that harnessing the emotion that happens right after the death can be the exact right thing to do. While the the righteous anger and cry for justice is in the air is the time to push for change.
I want to remind the people writing about this that these deaths should have been anticipated by the people who shut down the government.
Boehner and his staff have an acceptable loss of life number. You can NOT shut down something as complex as the government without some death and complication. After all, just running the government leads to death all the time, some of those deaths might not happen, but new ones will. I would bet that someone even calculated that fewer deaths will happen with a shut down and will point that out to the media. “Out of the thousands of government employees, X people die just going to and from work each week. So even with the deaths because of shutdown, there is actually a lower total death toll with the shutdown.” Slick eh? (And pretty sick. All deaths are not created equal.)
If they use Condi Rice’s, “No one could have predicted” line, then they are either lying, incompetent or both.
The question to ask Boehner and the republicans following the shutdown deaths, is NOT the standard, ”Do you feel like you are to blame?” since we know the response. The smart question is, “In your decision to shut down the government what were the number of deaths you anticipated?” If they say, “Nobody could have anticipated…’ then the follow up is. “Really why not? Are you telling me that you carried out an action this consequential without anticipating any lose of life or other serious damage?”
Someone somewhere sent out a memo with worst case scenarios. Which, like the Presidential Daily Brief memo, was ignored. This would be a nice smoking gun, but even without it, if you tie their actions to the consequences of death that will serve as a way to prevent future actions like this.
And that, my friends, is why I’m writing this post before the confirmation of people dying from the GOP orchestrated government shutdown. I want to score political points.
I don’t want to hear just, “The shut down inconvenienced people and it might cost the GOP the house, but I want us to say, “People died because the GOP wanted to act like a 3 year old. This can not be allowed to happen again, let’s hang these deaths around their necks and let it drag them down–and out of power.”
What if, after a disaster, Big Government treated people with the same cruelty that right-wing conservative Christian politicians say they want? What would that look like?
Dear Crushed Homeowner:
In the past you bitched about Big Government. That’s me. You voted people in place who said they hate Government. You have constantly railed against all Government spending–except War. Well, now is the time when you need Big Government. I’m betting today you have changed your tune since it is YOUR turn for help. Well guess what? Fuck you! HA!
For years I have been keeping track of what you said you wanted and who you voted into office. You said, “I don’t want Big Government!” Congrats! You win! No Big Government help for you!
Your neighbors, the dirty hippies who voted against the war, for a safety net and for people who believe in government, they will get help, but you won’t. As Thomas Friedman would say, ”Suck. On. This!”
I can hear you screaming now, “But I’m a TAX PAYER!” Here’s the thing, I have implemented, at your insistence I might add, PAYGO and tax revenue profiles matched specifically to viewpoints. You can now know what each tax payer’s dollars were used for based on what you have said you want.
With my new accounting software I can see that the taxes you paid in last year have gone to pay for one tail fin assembly of a GBU-31. This bomb was used to blow up a building. I can’t tell you which building or why because you didn’t pay enough to know that. However, we did exactly what you wanted, none of your tax dollars were spent on any kind of food programs, safety net or aid programs for anyone, including you. Maybe you should have been more specific on who you were denying help to. Too bad you forgot the phrase, “There but for grace of God go I.”
BTW, stop trying to get your neighbors (or Blue states) to help you. Is that what John Galt would do? They should not give you anything. Being good liberals they will ignore me and still help you, kind of like the Christian you pretend to be. Being generous outside your tribe is different than being generous inside it. For a long time I’ve tried to see the entire country as “my tribe.” But I’m listening and learning from you, It’s all PAYGO now, I can’t afford to carry you. You said you don’t want me. Fine. I won’t show up.
You think you will get help from your church? Ha, as if they can scale for this disaster. I can scale, after all I’m Big Government, and I could do it without discrimination too, but why should I? You said you don’t want me. Okay. No help from me. (I still give then a break by not requiring they pay taxes for all the services I provide, maybe I should reconsider their free ride.)
The NSA folks tell me what you actually say and do. I know you love Ayn Rand and her fictional character John Galt. I’m curious, which corporations will step in to make money on your disaster? Remember, unlike me, they have to make a profit. Could any of them do it without my support? I see you didn’t buy any flood insurance, even the expensive non-government backed kind. That was stupid. You gambled that some poor sucker liberal blue stater congressperson will make me cover you. Wrong! I’m taking a page from your book, Atlas Shrugged. Who’s the parasite now?
I’m sure you’ll stick to your Rand and will shun any company looking for government handouts in this disaster. If you see any company getting money from me, run away from them and the tainted Government Welfare money! I’ll bet a bunch of them will ignore their “hate” of Big Government–if I send them checks. Saying they hate me in public while taking my money in private is very fashionable. Disaster Capitalism is the New Black.
Remember your dream of a Government so small that you could “drown it in a bathtub?” I’m drowning here trying to help everyone as well as getting my wars on, so I have to cut some dead weight. You. Would you help people who hate you and keep trying to kill you? I might be big but I’m not stupid. Read the rest of this entry →
I’m sitting outside in a cafe on a rare sunny day in my part of SF, reading a fascinating book, Nexus, about the next stage in human evolution. Will we use our technology for creation or destruction? To lift people up or enslave them? Will we lead with compassion and love or hate and anger?
Two guys sit next to me. One, late 20′s Asian in a tee shirt, the other a “bro” in sunglasses and a faux tux shirt. Think 20-something, less-handsome Christian Bale from the movie American Psycho.
Bro starts talking about a girl he met while with his girlfriend, Hailey, at a bar. He describes her as “ugly, like Windows 8″ (which was kind of clever, but clearly it was a new joke he was working) and talks about giving her advice on men and suggests she lose weight. He sells it to her with the line, “I wouldn’t be telling you this if I didn’t think you had potential.” His girlfriend, “Gave me a talking to about this, but it felt good though to tell an ugly girl to lose 20 pounds.” he said laughing.
Then he the proceeds to talk about what women “really like.” It starts with them knowing they have lots of competition. “I got three fresh new numbers the night after I first met Hailey and she wouldn’t hookup with me.” She complained when she found out, ‘Why wouldn’t you wait for me?’ He points out, “Women, SAY that they want you to be nice but they really don’t. They don’t respect a guy who stays home waiting for her call.” And he gives the advice of an abuser, “You make them feel insecure then you open your arms and they come back. And then you’re the man, you’ve got the power again.”
Asian guy describes his pick up technique in cafes, “I tell the girl I want to meet to watch my laptop while I go to the bathroom.” (Holy crap, now I understand why all the people I asked to watch my laptop kept giving me their phone numbers!) He describes the older woman that Bro spotted him with at a Japan Town cafe. Asian guy kind of likes her, thinks she’s “high level.” Bro thinks he’s getting too emotional, and explains how he could “sweep in” on this older women by “removing yourself from the whole situation, kind go on ‘autopilot.’” Bro says, “She will probably hook up with you on the first date and take you back to her place.” (BTW, how did they know she was older? Her confidence. Plus her shoes, socks and hair. “Did you see her hair? She definitely had older lady hair.“)
Bro asked Asian guy, “Do you like white women? Because if you do, you totally want to go to Walnut Creek.” Why? That’s where the dumb blonde girls are. They make plans to go down to Walnut Creek with “fake stories” and score with some “slutty suburban girls.”
Next he talked about this woman he broke up with, Stacy, who was “crazy” and contacted his old employer accusing him of “crazy stuff I never did.” After the HR department told him they had received info from her he said he could prove it was all made up and he was going to the police department to file a restraining order on her.
So, already I think this guy is a major jerk on multiple levels. Then he proceeds to describe how Asian guy can game the system at Levis by spending $250 on jeans to get 40% off the purchase, then returning three of the jeans so he can get the one he wants at 40% off. It’s a system that the Levi’s “cashier lady” was too slow to understand how he was going to get his 40% discount on one pair of jeans. He’s a financial genius!
Finally he talks about his interview at JPM and how he hadn’t heard back from them. At first I heard JPL and wondered, “Jet Propulsion Lab? Really?” But then the Asian guy asked, “Would you ever work in “Wealth Management?” Bro said, “Only if it was for a name firm like Blackrock or Pimco, not some D-Bag Assets place” So JPM is clearly JP Morgan since he mentioned two other firms he had interviewed with.
The “Qualities” of the Wall Street Mindset
So this guy in one conversation proceeded to show the following that mirrors many WS corporations:
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Research via Internet Archive and Google will calculate your total fees to date, beginning from the date of first use. If you are unable to pay the fees we have the legal right to seize your property as per this agreement which you consented to when you first started using the phrase. Sale of forfeited assets will be used to pay our fees (minus expenses used by our collection agents).
By using the phrase beyond your first time, you have agreed to these terms and conditions. Please send your check or money order to:
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P.S. We are also the copyright holder to any bumper sticker phrase beginning with, “Guns don’t kill people…” be advised that your comment history will be checked for use of this phrase and variations thereof.
Note: We are NOT attempting to censor you. You have your First Amendment rights. Blammo encourages use of our complete line of gun bumper sticker arguments, but we believe we should be compensated for our creative work. Using our ideas without paying is stealing. Picture in your mind how you would you act if someone tried to steal your things. We will act the same as you would, using the same methods and tools you just pictured.
Finally, if you come up with an original bumper sticker phrase you are welcome to use it, but please check to see who owns that phrase, it might be us. And then pay us if you are using it. You wouldn’t want to stiff us, would you?
On the heels of the “Zimmerman destroys wife’s iPad in a fit of rage,” story I got this letter from the founder of the United States Concealed Carry Association. What I really love about this letter is the way the author correlates what his son did with the SYG concept. He also uses the whole father/son pride/disappointment and bully/victim construct to pluck at the heart strings and open the wallets.
The formatting and bolding are his own.
I’m a proud parent…
When my son was in 4th grade, the 5th grade bully started picking
on him at recess.
So he took matters into his own hands…
Now, most parents these days would hear that my son defended himself rather than “telling the teacher,” and they would likely
But THIS is why I’m proud:
Since the boy didn’t tell the teachers the whole story comes from the 4th grader. I wonder what the school had to say about this “bully” and his son? How do we know that the 5th grader was the bully and not his son? We can’t verify any of this. But we do know what Dad’s first positive message was to his son, “I’m glad you didn’t tell your teacher.” Unsaid is a dislike of talking vs. hitting.
He evaded the bully. He told the bully to stop.
He went so far as to swallow his pride and try to run away.
Note how he starts with the “retreating/evading” part and then the “I asked him to stop” part. He dismisses as ineffective the “duty to retreat” and/or discussing the issue rationally–like the teachers would probably make him do. But the critical line here is, “He swallowed his pride.” Tim Schmitz Sr.’s message to his readers is, “If you are armed, you won’t ever have to “swallow your pride” especially in the face of bullies.”
For people who feel like they are under siege all the time, or who think they are the victim or who believe that the world is a dangerous place (both in reality and in their imagination) this concept, “Don’t swallow your pride” resonates. It’s all about “honor” and “manhood” because winning by talking doesn’t count. He follows up with the perfunctory, “Hey, my son even did the wimpy “run away” thing and tried to retreat, but he just couldn’t…”
But when the bully pushed him to his limit, and Tim Jr. couldn’t
escape, he struck back as ferociously as necessary to ensure the
bully would never mess with him again.
Hulk smash! Note his emphasis, he struck back as ferociously as necessary. Now who decides how much force is necessary to ensure the bully would never mess with him again? What level of damage would it take? A black eye? Broken nose? Unconsciousness? Death? Heck, if the bully is living he could mess with him again. But as an adult you don’t have to guess what it will take. Do you want someone to stop messing with you? Shoot ‘em! Take ‘em out! Let ‘em take a dirt nap. It’s legal! Here’s the wording from Florida’s SYG law. Emphasis mine:
“Is it safe to joke again?” people asked. Jon Stewart spent the first show back justifying being entertaining.
Of course the “very serious people” (™ Atrios) in the news said, “We are going to stop goofing around with silly stuff and get serious about foreign news!” How’s that working out today? Are any of the TV networks or newspapers funding more full-time foreign bureaus? Or is the money being spent on shows recycling the same “experts” as before?
Speaking of experts, TV show producers who got duped by former Pentagon people working for military contractors didn’t learn their lesson. Syrian analyst, Elizabeth O’Bagy, got fired from the Institute for the Study of War. Not because of conflict of interest, but for faked credentials. Keep this firing reason in mind people, there will be a suggested use for it below!
I didn’t get serious about “politics” right after 9/11, but I did during the run up to the Iraq War. Because I work in PR and marketing, I understood the concept quoted by Bush White House chief of staff Andrew H. Card Jr: ”From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.”
I saw how serious disagreement with a war position was treated on TV and in the news. Our comedians were/are one of the few groups who challenged the “very serious people” who wanted a war. They were attacked and dismissed as “just comedians.” They were people who had “no credentials.” We were/are the dirty hippies who were/are not to be taken seriously. Who gets taken seriously? The people who make money on war. What of the people who make money on peace? Where are they in this discussion?
The reason Janeane Garofalo could be one of the voices against the War in Iraq was because the producers felt they could marginalize her as, “comedian/actress” yet she was a still celebrity which is great for TV. I pulled this clip of her talking about the run up to the war in Iraq.
Look at how knowledgeable she is and how disgusting they are in trying to position her. “Saddam must love you.”
I don’t watch the TV shows now, but for those who do, were there “very serious people” on TV this time pushing against bombing Syria? Were CEOs from the multibillion dollar Institute for the Study of Peace and the Gandhi Institute on? Were there three people to one against bombing people? Did the non-bombers get the same treatment as Garofalo? Were they “crazy”, “pink” or “weak” people selected by the producers so they could get dismissed?
I’m watching the fantasy show The Newsroom right now. Dan Rather says that it’s pretty accurate about what goes on in real TV newsrooms, with the exception of the whole “standing by your reporters” part. I notice who they call to get as “experts” and why they call them. They have a bias. Not necessarily a liberal or conservative bias, but a bias for TV friendly or Expert or an Authority on The Subject. They are in the, “We have their phone number” database. They are on the “can be camera ready in 2 hours” list.
Did the producers ask themselves, “Did these people get the last war wrong?” No. It’s a benefit because now they can compare and contrast! They ask, “Are they in prison?” No? Great, then they can be on camera. They check, “Were they busted for plagiarism?” Yes? Oops, hold off on them for a while.
When Doug Feith got a Georgetown University teaching position people squawked. Some did the grudging, “academic freedom” bit. I pointed out to people that there are multiple ways to get someone like Feith out of his Georgetown University position. I suggested people look at his expense accounts, see if he has plagiarized, find out if he has side deals that, though allowable, he didn’t get permission for from the dean. That is how you bust “experts” in our media world. Rumsfeld isn’t going to be brought up on war crimes, but we can bust him for something else. Use your imagination people! Give the producers a reason NOT to call him. The producers hated not having Doris Kerns Goodwin on, but in their world the taint of plagiarism is stronger than war crimes.
The other way to bust these people is with humor. Did Tina Fay and the writers of SNL help defeat Sarah Palin? I think so, but what do I know? It’s not like I have a Ph.D in political humor, I just see what works.
There is nothing funny about buildings blowing up and people dying. It’s news. Bombs dropping is news. Finding a diplomatic solution? That’s news too, but not the kind of news the very serious people can get interesting footage out of. It’s boring! But it is also less deadly. (Here’s a great video clip of a President that couldn’t wait for a diplomatic solution.)
I started watching M.A.S.H for the jokes, but I absorbed more about the tragedy of war from that show than from all the documentaries or newscasts that I ever watched. Especially the ones I never watched.
Want to stop bombing? Let’s look at how to make money in the non-bombs industry. Let’s look at making more comedy and entertainment, after all, it’s still one of our biggest exports. How many funny movies could you make for the price of a bunch of Tomahawk missiles? I’m not about making fun of death, but I am for looking for alternatives to death as a first response to death.
Poking fun of the absurdity of war is important because The Powers That Be on TV and DC certainly aren’t listening to serious people. That’s the funny thing I learned, post 9/11.
While clicking on a story about Republicans being bribed (old news, yawn) I got a pop-up ad that said, “Tell Google to stop going through your email to sell ads.” (link) It was sponsored by Microsoft’s Outlook.com. I clicked on it and was taken to Care2 to sign the petition.
There is an old saying, “Let’s you and him go fight.” Setting two corporations up to fight each other to get a result that you want is pretty clever. We aren’t the only species that thinks so. Here is a video of a crow prodding two cats to fight each other, for entertainment.
Now I don’t know if this petition was Care2′s idea and they sold it to Microsoft or the idea came from Microsoft. Care2 is an interesting company and they have clearly put a lot of thought into how to use corporations’ power and money for good. They are also a B Corporation which is a excellent choice for a company. Care2 says their goal is to, “Make it easy for everyone to live a healthy, green lifestyle and impact the causes they care about most.” They have lots of non-profit partners like Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists and NRDC as well as for-profit partners, like PepsiCo’s Gatorade, Ares Management’s Beauty Rest Mattresses and Pfizer’s ADHD drugs.
One of components to the Spocko Method is pitting one corporation against another by using Corporation A’s stated values or brand against Corporation B. We contacted an advertiser at Corporation A and pointed out that their brand was being tainted by the comments of a RW radio host employed by Advertiser B. Note, this is NOT a boycott. We didn’t threaten to stop buying product. We convinced one corporation to follow their own stated values and they did.
The Spocko Method has been wildly successful. Corporations and syndicators of RW radio hosts have lost 10s of millions of dollars when it was used on them. It is what lead to Glenn Beck getting fired by Fox. It caused Rush Limbaugh’s syndicator to take a massive revenue hit and Rush to lose WABC in NYC.
I want to encourage this new activity of getting one corporation to attack another corporation over their policies and suggest to my friends in the progressive activism business to figure out more ways to make this happen. I also think it’s smart to make money off of one company challenging another company to be better. It’s leverage with a pay off. I wish I had figured it out.
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.”
My comedian friend Jimmy Dore got to do what journalists rarely do–but should–call out a politician on his BS. This is from his podcast. I animated it with goAnimate. It’s short, about a minute and a half.
It’s great that most people have a camera, phone, video and audio recorder on them at all times. Politicians and their spokespeople now need to find new ways to dig out of terrible comments. When they can’t “walk it back” or “clarify in context” they just deny they said it.
As John Oliver said on the Daily Show, it’s their job to find politicians and media saying the opposite of what they said earlier. And now it can be ALL of our jobs. Fire up those iPhones!
If journalists don’t hold people responsible for what they say, we should be able to laugh at them for ham-handed attempts at damage control.
BTW, check out Jimmy Dore’s podcasts. It’s available free on itunes, here’s the link.When I explain to people what the podcast is like I say. “It’s like the Daily Show, only on radio” and that usually hooks them. One of the guys on the podcast was a former Daily Show writer. (Steve Rosenfield,)
It also usually includes the brilliant Frank Connif who wrote for Mystery Science Theater 3000. (Favorite Line, “Chris Christie voted for the Defense of Marinara Act”)
Besides the political comedy they do spot on funny phone calls with celebrities with Mike MacRae, doing Bill O’Reilly, Herman Cain, The Pope, Paula Deen, President Obama, and my favorite, Chris Christie. Robert Yasumura, Stef Zamorano (American’s favorite Mex I CAN), and Paul Kozlowski help write the show and are in on all the bits.
I went to his live stand-up show in Sunnyvale last week and it was great. I got permission to use the audio for the animation. I might make some more if you like them, especially with Ron Paul and Herman Cain because they make me laugh really hard. And I think we all need a good laugh these days, I know I do.
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