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.
But the painstaking method Spocko used – telling a station’s advertisers that their hosts were saying things that might not line up with their corporate values – took root and spread.
One of the people who informally advised ColorofChange.org then was Spocko.
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Eventually, companies including Bank of America and MasterCard asked that their advertising be withdrawn.
From New York Times:
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.
Some of Spocko’s tweets:
— Spocko (@spockosbrain) March 5, 2012
@JC_Christian, I like to defund RWhosts who spew hate. Maybe @chrissie_hynde can Use Royalties to fund efforts to tell sponsors to pull ads.
— Spocko (@spockosbrain) March 8, 2012
— Spocko (@spockosbrain) March 10, 2012