Monday, January 15, 2007

Joining the Swarm

In my inbox this morning was a link to this post at The Gaelic Starover (h/t Blue Gal.) It seems that the New York Times has picked up on the story of Spocko's Brain, a smallish blog that got itself into a pissing war with media giant ABC/Disney over things being said on the air at Disney-owned KSFO radio.

The story in a nutshell:
-KSFO's right-wing talkshow hosts have been spewing things, including Melanie Morgan's apparent advocacy of murdering Nancy Pelosi, that would make mAnne Coulter think twice. (Check that. I just remembered the 'crème brulée' comment she made about the Supreme Court.)
-Spocko started a campaign against KSFO and ABC/Disney that included posting digital copies of the offensive statements, said copies forwarded to KSFO's advertisers so they would be aware of the hate speech their dollars were funding.
-ABC/Disney retaliated with a letter to Spocko's ISP alleging copyright infringement over the sound clips. The ISP didn't just ask Spocko to remove the clips - they suspended his service, killing his blog.
-Other bloggers, notably Daily Kos, rallied to Spocko's aid, calling for a blogswarm. The Electronic Freedom Foundation agreed to back Spocko by footing his legal bills to fight ABC/Disney. Spocko is back up and running at a new ISP.

My observations:
-For an organization that includes a news service, ABC/Disney seems dismally unaware of the 'fair use' provisions of the Digital Millenium copyright act.
-In Canada, where there is no first amendment, free speech is still protected, but hate speech is a crime. Melanie Morgan, Ann Coulter, Limbaugh, O'Reilly et. al. would find themselves in court facing possible jail time.
-When the MSM does fight for the first amendment, it is in the most egregious and despicable way, as this case involving FOX, resolved in 2003 demonstrates. Court Rules the Media Can LIE

Happy ending: Bloggers really can make a difference. They are showing themselves (at least in the clear air of Greater Left Blogistan, but not in the fetid swampy regions of Lower Right Blogsylvania) to have a thirst for truth and an understanding of journalistic integrity rare in the highly-paid professional newswhores of FOX, ABC/Disney, et. al. SOME small segment of the MSM is beginning to recognize this, as proven by the NYT article and this video clip. Spocko's story has spread far beyond the small readership he had before this controversy arose. Good on ya' Spocko! Way to cut yourself in for a piece of the action.

CBS SanFran on Spocko

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