Starving the Monkeys: Fight Back Smarter
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How Premiere Radio Protects Suit Monkeys From You
People often tell me that the material in this book looks like it would be perfect for conservative or libertarian talk shows like Glenn Beck, Hannity or Rush Limbaugh. They then ask why I don't advertise on those programs, or at least on their sites.
Great question, simple answer.
Because they won't let us. Here is an example of a creative we wanted to run on Glenn Beck's site, recently, as well as the page it links to.
So, on 30 Jun 2009 I sent the following email to Premiere Radio, the management of the Glenn Beck, Hannity and Rush Limbaugh "properties":
Here is the info for this campaign. I have attached 300x250 jpeg creatives for both Coast to Coast AM and Glenn Beck. Please do not downsample or otherwise alter these images. If changes are needed please let us do it on our end.
Coast to Coast AM
... creatives and links follow
... creatives and links follow
Total campaign cost: $****.**. Credit card fax payment on the way.
Please let me know when this is live, or scheduled to go live.
I'm reading through your creative, and I am very confused. There are two things:
1. If I'm gathering your content correctly, you are not supportive of Glenn's views and do not approve of his work. Therefore I do not understand why you are seeking to advertise with his program. His listeners and web traffic reach the most loyal Glenn Beck supporters, and they are not going to be receptive to your book when it is speaking out against him. Your targeting does not add up.
2. You cannot use the names of our personalities (Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity) in your advertising creative without prior approval from the personalities themselves. Based on my previous point, I see no way this creative will be approved.
Would like to work with you, but I simply cannot move forward with this order under the circumstances with your creative. I will not process this order or your payment form (which was received) until we have settled these two major challenges.
Account Manager | Business Development
Premiere Radio & Interactive Networks
Well, well, well. Fair and balanced? Yeah, right. Do these guys fear the message that little ole Tom might be sending?
These bastions of free thought, liberty and discourse who dare hold themselves up to you as the salvation of your liberty?
There are two major things wrong with their response.
1. My money is mine to spend however I choose. If I want to waste it on an ad trying to reach millions of Beck listeners, who are, in what seems to be the opinion of the "property" managers, too stupid to think for themselves and consider alternative points of view, then it is my money to waste if I choose. Don't condescend to me and try to tell me how to spend my money. Isn't that what these guys have been ranting about the left doing for decades?
2. Our creative didn't include their names. Only the content on my site did. I think I still have a First Amendment right to freedom of expression, don't I? Unless these right wing fascists want to control my content, too, as a condition of doing business with them.
No wonder so many people in this country think that the deck is stacked against them.
Because it is.
In addition, we have been exchanging emails with Fox News for advertising this book on their site. Until we told them the product we wanted to advertise. And then they stopped answering our emails. (Update 10 Jul 09: Fox returned our emails on the morning of 1 Jul 09 and indicated a willingness to proceed. Then today, after a week or so of some administrative issues, they ran our campaign. OK, Fox, I was wrong about you. Your boy Beck, I still have an issue with.)
Here was my response to Premiere:
The creative doesn't mention any of your personalities at all. Nowhere in any of those ads do your personalities' names appear.
Our site, on the other hand, does mention public figures, and your personalities are included in that.
Does that mean that you don't accept advertising from anyone that isn't 100% in agreement with your personalities on all issues?
To illustrate, you can look at our proposed Glenn Beck ad campaign and our proposed Coast to Coast AM ad campaign and see for yourself. No names on those ads at all. So their refusal didn't hold water. And they didn't answer that email above. Still haven't.
Apparently, they really don't want you to read this book. So what else don't they want you to know?
What is it that he says? Oh, yeah, "don't be afraid to stand up and talk."
Well, I'm talking. And his personality management, who works for him, doesn't want you to hear what I'm saying.
But he also says, "C'mon, follow me." I think that is the key part. This only works if you follow him. Shut out all those nasty ideas and that listening to other opinions. Even if those other opinions are only a little different.
As this exchange was happening that afternoon, Glenn Beck was saying these words on his Fox show:
"I have to ask you a favor, and I mean this citizen to citizen, I want you to tell me, and please, if you're just one of these hacks that only cares about the Republicans or the Democrats, don't write me, don't call me, I don't want to hear from you. But if you are somebody who is honestly... You don't care what the answer is, you just want an answer, will you please tell me how I'm wrong on this, write me, call me, tweet me, I don't care how you get ahold, I, I know, this just does not add up to incompetence. What does it add up to?"
Oh really? Is that why your staff was doing all they could to block the ad for my book which explains how you are wrong, and what the insanity in the country today DOES add up to? Or were those just words for the rubes?
A**** mentioned that I am "not supportive of Glenn's views and do not approve of his work."
The sad thing is, that isn't even true. On probably about eighty percent of the issues of the day, I do agree. Our representatives don't represent us any more. I think bailouts are wrong. I think taxes are too high. I think there are too many regulations. I don't believe in the religion of global warming. I could go on and on.
I just don't agree with all of his views.
I think that President Obama, and President Bush, and all the other politicians in Washington, are merely symptoms, not causes. At least not as much as we are led by these narrow-focus people to believe.
I don't think we are going to accomplish anything with tea parties and marches. These just provide media events for media people to cover. Hmmmm. Who actually benefits from this? Maybe media people? Do any come to mind?
I don't think it was a good idea for him to milk Craig T. Nelson into making that bold declaration that he wasn't going to pay his taxes. Now, he can have anyone on his show that he wants, and I think he or any of his guests can say anything they want, but I disagree with that message. I don't think the solutions to our problems involve violence or deliberate disobedience of the law.
I simply think that there are other solutions that these guys don't want you to hear. Because those things aren't media spectacles, and these guys are solely focused on their ratings. And if some of you get riled up, and then get shot up, they can wring their hands and tell the rest of you to stay calm as you watch the commercial breaks.
Which was the point of my ad in the first place. The ad they refused to let you see.
Now, these guys can refuse to do business with me, as that is their right. But don't feed me a line of crap about how much they care about open debate.
A few minutes after posting this FAQ, my office gets a call. I'll let my receptionist fill you in:
"A man indentifying himself only as Premiere Radio asked for Tom. I asked his name. He said A**** (female name). I asked if that was really his name and A**** spoke up in the background saying that she was there too. I asked the man his name again. He said only Premiere Radio. I asked again. He gave the same response. He sounded as if he were trying to scold me, using the same tone that a policeman might use to tell you to get out of your car. I finally gave up trying to get his name and said goodbye as I do not put anonymous callers through."
To me, that sounds like the same kind of semi-anonymous crap that he chides Acorn and SEIU and others for doing. And now, his own people are doing this. Beam in your own eye, my friend.
So what is in my book that he doesn't like?
You can get it right now and find out.
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