Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Radio: The National Association of Bamboozlers


Did you hear about the piece in the Washington Post yesterday on the National Association of Broadcasters latest feeble attempt to block the XM-Sirius merger?

The NAB was forced to admit it was behind a total of 8,500 e-mails opposing the merger, which were forwarded to the House and Senate.

Even worse. They’re phonies!

You can’t make this stuff up.

The Post tried to make contact with sixty of those “whose names were attached to similar, anti-merger emails instigated by the NAB.”

Only ten of the names were real and only one recalled filling out something about the merger – but had no position on it.

Fumbles, now you’ve been caught stuffing the ballot box. Did you hire former Ohio Secretary of State and election-fixer Ken Blackwell as your consultant?

What were you drinking?

Is this another one of the “new ideas” you promised the radio industry when you first took over the helm at the NAB?

Did you really believe, given your dubious past performance, that you’d avoid scrutiny on this one?

There’s obvious and there’s painfully obvious. You’re in the latter.

Fumbles, you’re Elmer Fudd to the rascally rabbits and XM and Sirius.

I like the way you hid under his desk and dispatched your doorstop and mouthpiece, Dennis Wharton, to sheepishly confess and confirm that the NAB bought pop-ups on numerous consumer web sites, including PriceGrabber.com and Staples.com.

Love the header: The XM/Sirius Merger will Create Higher Prices. Stop the Monopoly.

The site offered participants a choice: Yes, I’d like to stop the monopoly and an option to file a comment or No, thank you.

None of the people contacted by the Post recalled going through the procedure of supplying personal contact information.

That didn’t stop your boy Wharton from counter-claiming that the NAB has the names, dates, postal addresses, and e-mails to prove the responses were sent by real people.

That’s like elections where dead people are still registered to vote.

Stretching the truth, one could say real people they once were.

Those among the living deny sending the e-mails – and some are enraged that their e-mail addresses were pilfered and used by the NAB without permission.

"I have a high degree of confidence in this," Wharton told the Post. "They (the e-mailers) had to physically type in their name and address. It was a fairly rigorous process."

Memo to Dennis Wharton: If you’re going to lie, lie convincingly.

How did XM and Sirius respond to Fumbles’ latest stumble?

"The timing and pattern of delivery of these comments is highly unusual and suspicious," said Kelly Sullivan, a spokeswoman that reps both XM and Sirius. "The letters lack any apparent common tie or indication of the source of the effort, all of which calls into question the legitimacy of the filings."

Fumbles, the standard operating procedure when caught manipulating a self-made poll is to blame it on a data entry problem. Make sure you attribute the gaffe to some “immediately fired” intern.

What you did isn’t exactly hacking – but it does prove that you’re a hack. A fraudulent hack.

Fumbles, this is your life at the NAB, so far.

Your Radio 2020 campaign – all of two months old - is a stiff.

Your claim to being a Congressional insider has proved to be false. You can’t even get the FCC on the line – and that commission is run by one of your own kind.

Now this?

Even your most loyal supporters now cringe at the mere mention of your name.

It’s almost a given that the XM-Sirius merger will go through – and, even worse, just to screw with you, Fumbles, the FCC and Justice Department will almost certainly release their decision when you least expect it.

How about the night before Christmas or the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day?

Fumbles, check your calendar. It’s nearly 2008. Three years ago the Congressional Management Institute polled 350 congressional staffers and learned that half of them didn’t believe form-letter messages were authentic or were sent by constituents.

The House and Senate offices were fed 318 million of these e-mail form letters last year. Do you really believe they’re taken seriously?

You’re useless, Fumbles, useless.

Is this how your NAB members want their money spent? Is this the image the radio industry wants or needs right about now?

You’re not even bright enough to be called a carpetbagger. You’re just a carpet and your opponents are walking all over you.

Read the Washington Post story here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/21/AR2007112102149.html


Anonymous said...

G-Man - You called that one right from the beginning. I had hoped David Rehr would pump some fresh blood in the NAB. Instead he has transformed radio into a Wall Street pariah no one wants to touch.

You left out HD radio. Another one of his legacies.

Mel Karmazin could not have created something as easy to bowl over as David Rehr if he tried.

The name Fumbles fits.

I look forward to your blog.

tim wallick said...

john, this issue goes back a couple of months the links below are interesting background information from when the consumer letter was first noticed.and consumers fought back and used the media contacts they had.

whats really funny is even some of the radio stations used a form letter. for making coomments in the docket.


this link is to the form letter that showed up by the thousands


this link is from the day it all started.


Anonymous said...

Bush league move.

What did they hope to accomplish when no one in Washington buys these mass mailings to begin with?

Fumbles is usless, you're right.

TAlx said...

I can't wait to see how the NAB weasles their way out of this one. This is being caught red handed. How many other stunts did the NAB pull that went undetected?

Considering that Clear Channel, CBS and all the other major chains having their own problems use the NAB as their lobby I am not surprised that that org is being run just like their radio chains.

Anonymous said...

I would guess that a former WMMS employee would know something about stuffing a ballot box..........

ffwdr said...

John, I would venture to say that little or nothing will be done to Rehr for his latest dumb move. Disgrace is no longer in radio's vocabulary. In the days of Eddie Fritz heads would have rolled.

seriousfanScott said...

Hi John. I caught you on STC.com today and grew up on your product. How might someone contact you about your consulting services?
Please let me know.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to the day when our current broadcast leaders are put out to pasture. They proved to be as you put earlier The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight. They have not been straight about anything. They won the war and got to own all the stations they wanted and got their boys into the White House and the FCC. Now that they have what the want they don't know what to do with it.

Ryan G said...

What a great article. I am not reall yin favor of the merger, I like competition more than i do cost cutting...and I work on Wall Street! Fumbles is so spot on, it's perfect!

This posting has bounced around my office a few times now among us "Sat-Rad groupies," from now on when you speak we sit dilligently with pen and pad.

Anonymous said...

I think the NAB thing about the merger is taking a chapter of Uncle Remus. "Please don't throw me into that briar patch!" They really want it to go through, so they can use it to justify more consolidation. But if they support it, all the haters will attack the merger. So now everyone thinks the merger is a good idea, and the NAB gets what it wants.

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