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Which Came First? The Hype Or The Outrage

The Smoking Gun got a hold of 1570 of the 200,000 letters and e-mails sent to the FCC about the Janet Jackson boob exposure at the Super Bowl. They've published a selection of their favorites. They also note that none of the letters they were given as a representative sample were sent the evening of the Super Bowl. Once the all out media hype set in and conservative groups started agitating, only then did the tidal wave of complaints to the FCC start...


Comments (5)

My favorite:I e... (Below threshold)

My favorite:

I even found the footbnall a disgrace. The fouls were not all called!

Heh!!

I think we should fear the ... (Below threshold)

I think we should fear the fact that most of those people could not spell or use proper grammar.

I just wanted to poi... (Below threshold)


I just wanted to point out one thing about these letters. I practise before the FCC and have to read a great many sets of comments in various proceedings. The past year or two has seen a jump in what I call these "Joe Public" comments - particularly in high-profile cases like the Echostar/DirecTV merger and the rulemaking to change broadcast ownership limits.

The agitation machine in both of these cases organized "form comments" which allowed people simply to stick their names on the top of a stock paragraph and email it in. Particularly with respect to media ownership, you may have read about hundreds of thousands of letters opposed to relaxation of the rules. What you did not generally hear was that most of these letters were exact duplicates of each other.

So the agitation machine is, in fact, nothing new.

But there is a difference: In the present case, so far as the letters I've skimmed go, folks seem to be writing them themselves (however poorly). I have not seen very much of that in my practice.

Feel free to make of this what you will.

I'm with Anastasia on this.... (Below threshold)
Robb:

I'm with Anastasia on this. I'm amazed that people expect to be taken seriously even though they don't take the time to -- or simply can't -- use proper grammar, punctuation and spelling. I'm glad they send such letters, though, because I feel better about myself after reading them. And they're really funny.

2 thoughts.1: I a... (Below threshold)
Paul:

2 thoughts.

1: I always hear people talk about how many form letter complaints they get. I never understood why these people's feelings should be discounted because they let someone else do the writing. Presumably if they did not agree with the sediment they would not sign off on it. Seeing how poorly people write is it any wonder they jump at the opportunity to let others do it?

2: I found it interesting that TSG put all the ones that really embarrassed the folks in support of Janet last. The letter that called the FCC a bunch of Bush's Nazi Bitches surely did not help their cause.




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