The story the Internet has been buzzing about for days — ABC Radio/Disney’s attempt to silence a liberal blogger who is critical of its conservative KSFO talk station — has been picked up by the mainstream media, and one of the station’s hosts, Brian Sussman, has issued an apology. Tuesday night, KPIX CBS 5 aired a story by reporter Joe Vazquez on the controversy and played some of the audio files that Disney wanted off the Internet.

A liberal blogger only known as Spocko taped portions of KSFO broadcasts he found objectionable, such as hosts ridiculing Muslims or advocating torture, and posted them on his Web site. Spocko went a step further and wrote letters to KSFO’s advertisers, asking them to listen to the sound bites and decide if they supported the station.

At least two advertisers pulled their commercials, according to CBS5.

Disney lawyers responded with a cease-and-desist letter (which CBS5 posted on its web site) that caused the Internet service provider hosting Spocko to pull his blog. Disney argued in the letter that posting the sound bites violated copyright laws. However, when Spocko’s plight began circulating online, liberal bloggers began putting the same sound bites on their Web sites — and now CBS5 has played them on the air (and they can be heard on that station’s Web site as part of Tuesday’s story). If Disney is going to sue, it will have a lot more people to sue, including CBS.

In addition to CBS5, the story also was printed Tuesday a Chicago-area newspaper, the Daily Southtown, and on Monday by the small San Francisco Daily, which printed transcripts of some of Spocko’s sound bites.

Meanwhile, of the KSFO hosts whose remarks were posted by Spocko, Brian Sussman, has issued an apology “to my African American family members and precious friends” for comments he made about Sen. Barack Obama’s heritage. Sussman, a former CBS5 weatherman, called Obama a “halfrican” because his father was from Kenya and his mother is white. To hear the other sound bites Spocko posted, click here.

SF Press Club News

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