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KSFO: not helping matters one bit

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By See-Dubya  •  January 15, 2007 07:06 PM

KSFO, San Francisco’s conservative talk-radio station, is being hounded by left-wing bloggers. Now, most of what KSFO does is just your regular conservative talk radio, with Dr. Laura and Rush Limbaugh. A lot of my friends in earshot of their station consider it an island of sanity, and most of their shows are a nice counterbalance to the San Fran wackitude.

Enter lefty blogger and militant Trekkie “Spocko”, who’s on a crusade of recording and transcripting snippets from KSFO’s local shows. He then sent letters to KSFO’s sponsors, asking them to drop their support for KSFO’s programming. As Newsbusters’ Noel Sheppard ably documents, many of these letters were dishonest, took quotes way out of context, or were just totally dumb. Especially the “Chevy/ sh**y” thing–I’m listening to KSFO’s defense here, and you can hear it for yourself about 16:30 in the first hour of the streaming audio.

Furthermore, according to Sheppard, it also looks like Air America’s contributors are getting involved in promoting this controversy. Remember pushy, combative blowhard Mike Stark from the Allen campaign trail? He’s still around and playing ringmaster to this circus.

But.

KSFO’s not in the clear here. Newsbusters does some good work, but Noel Sheppard’s defense of KSFO doesn’t exactly fill me with goodwill toward them.

First, they sent a letter to Spocko’s ISP and got his audio clips of KSFO shows taken down. I don’t know the extent of the Fair-Use issues there, and they may have been within their rights to do so, but that’s a pretty ham-handed move for KSFO to make. One that will alienate a lot of bloggers who might be inclined to cut them some slack.

But more important is the thing that started it all. Spocko’s first letter to AT&T said this ( The [sic]s are Sheppard’s:):

Thanks to radio hosts from KSFO your brand is being associated with torturing and killing people. Would your marketing people be happy to hear your commercial ran after Lee Rogers [sic] said this about a black man in Lincoln, Nebraska?
“Now you start with the Sear’s [sic] Diehard [sic] the battery cables connected to his testi*les and you entertain him with that for awhile [sic] and then you blow his bleeping head off. ” [sic] (Audio link)
You should know the person calling for the execution and torture of the black man in that clip READS THE AT&T commercials on the air. Right now on KSFO Lee Rogers [sic] is THE VOICE of AT&T to the SF Bay area.

Sheppard notes–correctly–that KSFO’s broadcast made absolutely no reference to the race of the criminal, and Rogers (on the audio stream) says he still doesn’t know the guy’s race. But then Sheppard tries to offer a little more context for the incident in Spocko’s letter, and the context is not particularly mitigating. To read that, you’ll need to go into the extended entry:

Here’s some of Sheppard’s transcript of KSFO’s Lee Rodgers and Melanie Morgan, who note a Nebraska man has been arrested for the 236th time, this time for breaking into a car.

Rodgers: Better yet, put a bullet between his eyes and get it over because he’s never going to be worth a damn, never going to be anything but a criminal anyway.

Morgan: Well, that’s a bit of a harsh judgment, Lee.

Rodgers: No it isn’t, no it isn’t. No, it’s only common sense. What does the guy do? He’s demonstrated two hundred some odd times where he’s been caught. This doesn’t even count all the times he’s gotten away with crimes. So what the hell is the point of letting some creep like this live? What is the point? Now you start with the Sears DieHard, the battery cables connected to his testicles, and you entertain him with that for a while, and then you blow his bleeping head off. Thank you very much.

Morgan: That’s what I like about you. You’re so temperate.

Sheppard thinks this proves something:

It’s a bit different when you find out that Rodgers and Morgan were discussing a felon that had been arrested 236 times, and were thereby using the Sears DieHard image to mock the justice and penal systems for his continued presence on the streets. Wouldn’t you agree?

Um, no. No, I most definitely wouldn’t. I don’t care if the guy had two thousand felonies, I don’t want the state shooting people for property crimes. Battery cables on the testicles and summary executions may be cool within the Mahdi army or Chi-Com dungeons, but not here in America. There’s nothing conservative about that sadistic, statist fantasy and as a conservative myself I don’t like being associated with it.

Talk radio is hard work and if you stand in front of a mike for a few hours each day talking politics, you’re eventually going to say something stupid. In this case, that’s exactly what the KSFO hosts did. I was discussing this with co-guest-blogger Mary Katharine Ham, who pointed out that gaffes like this “Just give[] liberals a foothold, which is then turned into a freakin’ ladder by the MSM, if you follow my metaphor.” That’s exactly what “Spocko” and the Left are trying to do with this issue. As I understand the controversy, it’s the single legitimate peg all the rest of this trumped-up stuff hangs on. While the sinistropheric poop-storm is typically overwrought and more than a little dishonest, KSFO ought to come up with an apology for that remark.

Although at 54 minutes into the audio stream linked above, they say anyone expecting an apology is “gonna have a loooong wait”. I doubt their sponsors and supporters will be willing to wait that long.

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