Hosts at conservative talk station KSFO-AM, including Lee Rodgers (left) and Melanie Morgan (center), will be part of a special program on Friday (Jan. 12) to address criticism by a liberal blogger named Spocko, whose Web site the station’s owners shut down. By threatening Spocko’s Internet servivce provider with a copyright infringement lawsuit, KSFO owner ABC Radio/Disney temporarily silenced a critic, but the audio clips of the station’s hosts were picked up by other bloggers — and the story picked up momentum.

The audio clips are from KSFO programs where the hosts advocate the killing of liberal critics, ridicule Muslims and where host Brian Sussman calls Sen. Barak Obama a “halfrican” because his father was from Africa but his mother was white. The Chronicle, today in its first story on the controversy, agreed not to identify Spocko but described him as a “communications professional” from San Francisco but not an employee of a rival radio station or a former KSFO employee. Spocko, who said he got 15 visitors to his site per day, wrote to KSFO’s advertisers, asking them to listen to his audio sound bites and two of them, Bank of America and MasterCard, pulled their commercials from the station.

The Chronicle quoted a statement KSFO-KGO spokesman Ken Berry released: “Many of the remarks attributed to KSFO on the Internet are old, lacking context and, in some cases, outright lies. When our hosts have stepped over the line, they have apologized and have been reprimanded.”

Berry declined to specify which remarks were old or lies or who was reprimanded, the Chron said. As for Friday’s program, Berry said: “I don’t tell people what to say, but I do think there will be some mea culpas there.” Spocko has been invited on the show, but he declined saying it would “be just another revenue generating ‘event’ for them to their audience, and they would love that kind of ‘controversy’ because it would MAKE them money and they still had control.” (Chronicle file photos by Kim Komenich (of Rodgers) and Carlos Avila Gonzalez (of Morgan).)

SF Press Club News

One Comment

  1. most newsrooms have rules about providing anonymity to sources — they do so sparingly and the source should not be allowed to use anonymity to voice an opinion, only to provide facts. i don’t have the chronicle’s policy at hand, but that’s a typical rule in most newsrooms. given that, it’s surprising to see the platform the chronicle has given “spocko.” if anyone were to write the chronicle a letter-to-the-editor, they would have to provide their name and city for publication purposes. why does “spocko” get special consideration?

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