|December 29, 2004|
My Fight With Clear Channel
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
BuzzFlash Update: The station manager at WGY is Greg Foster. the general telephone number is (518) 452-4800. Greg Foster's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Be nice, but don't hesitate to express your opinion.
* * *
Like a lot of people, I think our country is in trouble. Fundamental issues about war and social equity are largely ignored by the main stream media.
I decided I had to do something about it, for myself and my family's sake, and set out to create a series of thirty second audio recordings, Issue Ads to frame basic questions about our country. With the help of my wife and several like minded friends I produced seven "Paid Radio Moments," and contacted WGY, the big AM radio station in Albany, New York. It should be no surprise that WGY is a Clear Channel station.
Through an advertising representative I set up a schedule and gave them my credit card authorizing a $710.00 charge. Believe me, that's a lot of money for me and my wife. The plan was to put six of the ads on the morning drive program over two days and end with the "Christianity Spot" on Rush Limbaugh's program.
Within minutes of sending the audio files to the Clear Channel I was informed by e-mail that my issue ads were rejected by the programming staff. I wrote back to Clear Channel twice. I asking for an explanation as to why the ads were rejected. Was it a specific ad? Was it specific language? So far, I have received no answer. A newspaper reporter from the Schenectady Daily Gazette called WGY and requested a reason for the rejection of my ads. He also asked if they had a company policy on advertising. He also received no answers.
I can understand that this is a two edged sword. I would not want to hear radio commercials from the Ku Klux Klan, but surely there is some middle ground. And if the FCC can censure broadcasters for indecent speech, there should be some standard for what is acceptable. If publicly owned air-waves can be used for the financial benefit of Clear Channel, then I believe Clear Channel has an obligation to define a standard for acceptable advertising.
Regardless of what happens at Clear Channel, my hope is that people in this country will start asking hard questions, and ask them out loud. I truly believe that once we get past the labels, many conservatives and liberals will find they share the same convictions about fair play and equal rights. Social equity is not a luxury in a free society, it is the life blood, and we will perish without it.
Last, but not least, I encourage people who are concerned about vote suppression to financially support the statisticians at www.uscountvotes.org. If we can first turn the public discussion back to basic issues like the right to vote, we want to have real information ready when that discussion takes place.
Robert Millman - 12/29/04
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
Interested in contributing an article to BuzzFlash? Click here for more info.
Articles in the BuzzFlash Contributor section are posted as-is. Given the timeliness of some Contributor articles, BuzzFlash cannot verify or guarantee the accuracy of every word. We strive to correct inaccuracies when they are brought to our attention.