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Hullabaloo


Sunday, March 18, 2012

 
Spocko Lives

by digby

A largely unsung blogospheric buddy gets some credit where credit is due:

The campaign to pressure advertisers to leave conservative Rush Limbaugh's radio show after his misogynistic comments about a college student looks familiar - it was presaged six years ago in a similar effort directed at a San Francisco talk-radio station by an anonymous blogger called Spocko.

Since then, contacting advertisers about the content their ads pay for has become routine, fueled by the Internet. This time, organizations such as Ultra Violet, an online activism site focused on women's issues, are leading the backlash.

Contacting the Federal Communications Commission is as archaic as using a typewriter.

Limbaugh - who draws 15 million listeners a week, the largest audience in radio, according to Talkers magazine - has stared down protests before. But industry analysts say this campaign, 3 weeks old, could have staying power.

While Spocko was largely a one-man band, activists are now using social-media networks to corral consumers incensed that Limbaugh called Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" after she testified before a congressional panel about the value of contraception...

Starting in 2006, Spocko - whose day job is advising large companies about their media image - became disturbed by commentary he heard on KSFO, a prominent Bay Area conservative talk station.

Instead of threatening a boycott, he would suggest to a corporation that a host's commentary was not reflecting its corporate values. He would send online clips, like one of former KSFO host Lee Rodgers suggesting that a protester be "stomped to death right there. Just stomp their bleeping guts out."

Eventually, companies including Bank of America and MasterCard asked that their advertising be withdrawn.

The Limbaugh campaign is "so reminiscent of what happened to us at KSFO," morning show co-host Melanie Morgan said this week...

Stifling free speech is not the intent, said Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of Ultra Violet. Like ColorOfChange.org, it sprung from the East Bay's nonprofit Citizen Engagement Laboratory, which uses digital media to spotlight underrepresented constituencies.

Chaudhary, a former national organizer for liberal online hub MoveOn.org, said the Limbaugh matter is about holding powerful media figures responsible for what they say.

Her organization and others, including the liberal Media Matters for America, are monitoring every minute of Limbaugh's show. When they hear a new advertiser's commercial, they contact the company directly, much like Spocko did years ago.

Chaudhary said her organization soon will contact local stations that carry Limbaugh that "may be feeling the pinch" of the loss of advertisers.


Go Spocko.


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