On Spocko, KSFO, and a different look

If you’ve been keeping up with some of the geek/tech/random sites that I often link to (in particular, boingboing) you might have been reading some of the up roar caused by postings at Spocko’s Brain (also covered in much more detail at Daily Kos). Spocko has spent some time sending transcript information to conservative radio station KSFO sponsers concerning some potentially undesireable product and spokesperson assocations. For example, Spocko asks of one sponsor:

“Would your marketing people be happy to hear your commercial ran after Lee Rogers said this about a black man in Lincoln, Nebraska?”

“Now you start with the Sear’s Diehard the battery cables connected to his testi*les and you entertain him with that for awhile and then you blow his bleeping head off. “

Unforunately, I haven’t had time to listen to all the available audio for this, but I’m going to briefly point out some other sites discussing this event and speak only on the available information from the web. I do recommend you listen to the audio to understand just how information is presented or distorted by Spocko, his supporters, and his detractors. I will be listening to the clips as I have time.

Since you almost certainly don’t know the background, let me point out that the above battery subject referred to is Kevin Holder, who the hosts commented on, after hearing of his 226th arrest. After you see what boingboing, Spocko’s Brain, DailyKos and such have to say about the affair, be sure to look at Michelle Malkin’s very balanced view (IMNSHO) of the situation.

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.

. . .


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.

Overall, it’s a muddled situation. My own reading and what little listening I’ve done makes me think that Spocko is more on target with the right and wrong of the show than Newsbusters, but I agree with Malkin that his letter are at times dishonest (or more misleading, as I view it) or have taken some quotes out of context. If nothing else, this is a good situation for seeing what goes on when you get articulate left- and right-wing bloggers covering a situation from opposite (naturally) sides. Spocko continues covering the event (and other things, at his website with his new host), although others have reduced coverage some after the initial break out on the story.

Since one of the points in the back-and-forth here is the race of the battery/testicles subject, I felt it necessary to link to the article on Kevin Holder. The radio hosts say they never even knew the color of the subject. From reading Spocko’s letter, I notice he manipulates the statement so it appears the hosts were targetting a black man, while leaving it stated in a way that he could say “I didn’t say they said he was black. I knew that from reading about him.” He can give a more negative appearance of the show without attributing actual racial comments to the hosts.

If nothing else, I’m interested in the outcome of this as it impacts fair-use rights. From what I’ve seen and read, it appears that Spocko was well within fair-use boundaries on using the audio clips and quotes. But that whole “I am not a lawyer” thing means I clearly have no real knowledge on that point.

[tags]Spocko’s Brain vs. Disney/right wing radio, When bloggers collide[/tags]