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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Radio Stations Yank Bogus Anti-R-71 Ads

Posted by on Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 2:42 PM

I was on the Dave Ross show yesterday, debating Gary Randall and talking about a new radio spot that asks voters to reject Referendum 71. The ad begins with two women chatting about how the legislature's priorities are askew—lawmakers are expanding gay rights instead of helping out folks who really need it. That's why they're voting to Reject R-71.

But stations are already yanking the ad. Smooth 98.9 FM and Warm 106.9 pulled the ad in the first two days it ran, a station spokeswoman says, in response to numerous complaints. And Sandusky Radio, the parent company, is also considering pulling the ads from KIXI. Meanwhile, KIRO program manager Rod Arquette says callers have complained, but intends to keep running the spot, because, "It's a free speech issue."

Here's what the ad says:

"Thousands of people are out of work, others are losing their homes, schools are not properly funded, but legislators spend time passing a so-called everything but marriage bill," says one of the women.

"Okay," the other woman replies, "you want state legislators to solve the real problems that affect our state, not to change the definition of marriage?"

“The bill they passed expands the rights of same-sex partners to be equal to married couples,” says the first woman. “How does that help people who are losing their home?”

Here's the full audio, which Ross played a clip from before we went to a commercial break:

And then during the commercial break—whaddaya know?—the ad played again. Because, as I reported earlier, the state affiliate of Focus on the Family donated $200,000, which is funding the commercials.

The premise here is simple: The legislature—instead of tending to priorities like keeping people in their homes—is dillydallied on frivolous measures. Lawmakers can't pursue both agendas at once, right?


The legislature passed laws doing all three of those things this year:

Keeping People in Their Homes: ESB 6033 created a program to "prevent or reduce owner-occupied foreclosure," and ESB 5810 requires notice to renters living in foreclosed properties.

Assisting the Unemployed: SB 5963 was "designed and intended to provide partial wage replacement for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own," and HB 1906 improves "economic security through unemployment compensation."

Funding Schools: In addition to funding state schools despite a recession, the legislature passed HB 2261 to pursue the expanded funding for Basic Education, and HB 1374 improves education standards.

This ad lies on two fronts. Passing the domestic-partnership bill did nothing to hamstring the legislature from tackling mainstream priorities; the legislature addressed the "real problems." And the domestic-partnership bill is explicitly not about marriage, which comes with over 1,000 federal rights not included under the state law (nor do gay partners get to use the word "marriage"). Moreover, we can't send the legislature back in a time machine to use that time differently, so if a prioritiy are askew, it's running an expensive referendum campaign that undermines gay and lesbian families—which rely on domestic partnership bill for sick leave, pension rights, insurance coverage—in a bad economy.

But this ad is just one lie in a long string of bogus messages. A television ad by Protect Marriage Washington running right now says that Rejecting R-71 is "God's Mandate," but God has lots of mandates that religious folks ignore (god also mandates that y'all don't eat shrimp but you don't see Christians running initiatives to ban dim sum). The petitions for R-71 claimed that domestic partnerships require teaching about gay marriage in schools (even though the law says nothing about curriculum). And they also talk about protecting families (even though Gary Randall admitted on the radio that "It wouldn't affect my marriage").

These real reason this ads exist is to create excuses... writing scripts for bigots to hide behind. Homophobes have a plausible reason to reject R-71—for the sake of religion, marriages, protecting families, children, and now for the principle of well-placed priorities!—without having to say they're homophobes.


Comments (46) RSS

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KIRO's running the ads because they're desperate for ad revenue. Pathetic.
Posted by Mike in Olympia on October 14, 2009 at 2:44 PM · Report this
Plus, by putting R-71 on the ballot, these bigots are actually costing taxpayers money.
Posted by Gidge on October 14, 2009 at 2:47 PM · Report this
danindowntown 3
Here is a list of stations airing the ads:

KIRO 97.3 FM 206-726-7000
KRWM 106.9 FM (425)373-5545
KWJZ 98.9 FM (425) 373-5536
KMPS 94.1 FM (206) 805-0941
KOMO 97.7FM 1000AM (206) 404-4000
KPLZ 101.5 FM (206) 404-4000
KING 98.1 FM (206)691-2981

A blog on posted these earlier today. I would think listener complaints could sway at least KING FM since they are partly funded by donors.
Posted by danindowntown on October 14, 2009 at 2:52 PM · Report this
Funny thing is that Republicans in Washington D.C. are doing just what the woman said.…
Meanwhile a million people will lose their unemployment and many will be losing their homes while the GOP holds unemployment hostage.
Thousands of people are posting about how this is directly affecting them such as one fellow that owns his home but it losing it this week due to the property taxes he owes. The unemplyment extension would have helped him.
This is directly affecting tens of thousands in Washington State but of course the brainless writers at SLOG don't talk about this sort of shit.
Posted by Big in Japan on October 14, 2009 at 3:08 PM · Report this
very bad homo 5
I also heard it on KIXI.
Posted by very bad homo on October 14, 2009 at 3:12 PM · Report this
Timrrr 6
...not to mention that even if some idiot did think passing that initial law was a waste of legislators' time, how does spending thousands of taxpayer's dollars to bring it up for a statewide vote help solve those problems and keep people in their homes? Even a little bit??

Hoist, meet petard.
Posted by Timrrr on October 14, 2009 at 3:15 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
See, this is why our Constitution requires that the names, addresses, and signatures of those people petititioning the government to make a law be public.

So that we can go ask them why they hate America.

And post their pictures on the most wanted list on America's Most Wanted after we hack it.

(waiting for cries of outrage)
Posted by Will in Seattle on October 14, 2009 at 3:15 PM · Report this
Actually, all this is absolutely true, because everybody KNOWS teh Gays don't:

- have jobs
- own homes
- enroll their kids in public schools

So of course, none of these Very Important Issues Teh Legislature Should Be Working On Instead of Redefining, Um, Domestic Partnership affect teh Gays in any way whatsoever.

Douchenozzles, the lot of 'em...
Posted by COMTE on October 14, 2009 at 3:15 PM · Report this
You're right; these homophobes are the same ones who fought against establishing basic anti-discrimination legislation and anti-bullying laws. They're quick to mention that domestic partners already have (some) rights though they've fought to prohibit every effort to secure these rights for domestic partners. So what rights would they approve of? The answer is none, because quite simply, they are bigots.
Posted by sall on October 14, 2009 at 3:21 PM · Report this
Enigma 10
My coworkers and I wrote letters to the local Star station after we heard it yesterday afternoon. We told them we wouldn't be listening to a station that promotes hate like this and switched to KEXP.
Posted by Enigma on October 14, 2009 at 3:26 PM · Report this
KIRO radio, KIRO TV, and KTTH "The Truth" radio are all owned by Bonneville, which is owned by the Mormon Church.

Given the Mormon's large financial support given to Prop 8, and the Mormon "fingerprints" (use of images copyrighted by the Mormon church) all over some of the online and print ads already being used by the Reject 71 guys, it sure makes it convenient to own a few major media outlets here. I wonder who really makes the decision to run or not run these lying ads on KIRO and KTTH.
Posted by Jakey on October 14, 2009 at 3:35 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 13
If KIRO is still running the ads, then it's time to put a Sell recommendation on the stock.
Posted by Will in Seattle on October 14, 2009 at 3:38 PM · Report this
danindowntown 17
@ 11 What a BS answer. They might not be able to alter the content but they can certainly reject ads. I am writing to Mr. Greenberg right now to express my dissatisfaction with their policy and to KING FM to inform them they will no longer receive donations from this queer. Thanks for posting his answer and info!
Posted by danindowntown on October 14, 2009 at 3:46 PM · Report this
KIXI has been playing it all day.
Posted by RogerThat on October 14, 2009 at 3:47 PM · Report this
Simply Me 19
The FCC rules discuss federal candidates but do not discuss anything about issues. I think the radio stations do have a choice. If not they should site the law or rule that requires them to air this dishonest and hurtful ad.
Posted by Simply Me on October 14, 2009 at 3:50 PM · Report this
KING FM is still standing strong in its position to support HATE in our state, but at least they're willing to dialog about it on Faceplace… The KING FM Fan Page is currently "hosting" a debate about the issue. Chime in. PLEASE!!!
Posted by NoHateInMyState on October 14, 2009 at 3:51 PM · Report this
Rhett Oracle 22
We all have straight friends and relations - edjumacate them and their friends to APPROVE REF 71 for LBGTs to be equally treated under the law as they are already treated.

It's called the Golden Rule - a multi-religious concept. Should they bring up something biblical or spout a religious belief suggesting not all of us should be allowed to be legally happy in our own way, ask them "what would your Jesus do?" Yes, that Jesus: unmarried, with the doting mother, sandal-wearing and long hair-sporting at 33, with twelve really close guy pals.

Posted by Rhett Oracle on October 14, 2009 at 3:54 PM · Report this
DOUG. 24
Maybe The Stranger staffers should think twice before contributing to KIRO's content.
Posted by DOUG. on October 14, 2009 at 4:18 PM · Report this
@ Jennifer Ridewood of KING (#15) - It's not just the irritating, self-righteous, WASP-y bitchy voices of the actresses in the ads that offends people, it's the fact that you run them at all, anywhere. Suggesting that those opposed to the 'reject 71' ads listen to a streaming version of your broadcast that excludes the ads indicates that you completely miss the point of the objection. I would not listen to anything you broadcast anywhere, even if it were dubbed over with the most pro-gay messages you could think of, because the fact is, you are still taking money from the 'reject 71' people and filling the airwaves with their misleading, hate-filled message. All of your other advertisers need to be aware that we are NOT LISTENING TO YOU AT ALL because of this, and pull their own ads from your stations as a result.
Posted by small town housewife on October 14, 2009 at 4:20 PM · Report this
If I was God, and I just might be, I'd be pissed. Why are these bigots not mentioning me (or him) in all of this. They're hiding and misdirecting his will.
Posted by steakhaus on October 14, 2009 at 4:21 PM · Report this
Ooh, ban dim sum. I wouldn't mind that... last time I went, I got a hair in....but anyways. Actually, any way you look at it, the ad is pretty stupid, itself. I mean, the legislation has already passed, so it's not like rejecting 71 is going to retroactively reverse the time spent in the past. Honestly, if it's rejected, the whole process is just going to start up again, causing more time spent in legislation... and if it is passed, the same people paying for this ad will expect just as much more time spent in legislation trying to reverse it. Let's not try to skirt around the real issue.

The real question is the issue. It's either a matter of equality, morality or both. People are either for gay rights, or they are against it on moral or religious grounds. Either way that seems pretty important for both sides of the fence, and either side is going to expect legislation to invest as much time as necessary in getting their views moved.
Posted by danfife on October 14, 2009 at 4:37 PM · Report this
danindowntown 28
@ 27 Actually if this does pass the legislature is unlikely to take the issue up again anytime soon. Elected officials are loathe to go against voters in the best of cases and the scenario you lay out would be one of the worst possible.
Posted by danindowntown on October 14, 2009 at 4:44 PM · Report this
I spoke with my sister today who works for several radio stations. She said radio stations do not have an option to air ads when it comes to political office campaigns BUT DO HAVE AN OPTION to air ads on referendums. She said they usually try to be "fair" and run ads for both sides or whoever pays the $$.
Posted by j101 on October 14, 2009 at 4:57 PM · Report this

It's the "whoever pays the $$" that is the key point: radio ad revenue is in the toilet right now and has been for the past 18 months or so. Stations are desperate to attract any sort of ads they can and will cut very generous deals for upfront cash (smart advertisers who don't mind having their ads run on somewhat off-peak schedules can get flights that are essentially 2-for-1 deals right now).

And of course they'll be more than happy to offer the same deal for Pro-71 spots - the color of money being the same no matter who's proffering it - although I would be very interested in knowing whether the Bonneville owned stations are so desperate for the quick cash that they'll disregard their owner's ecumenical imperative and opt for Capitalism over Religion.
Posted by COMTE on October 14, 2009 at 5:08 PM · Report this
Bryan Lowe at KING FM is now hiding behind their lawyers (instead of hiding behind the FCC which KING was trying to do this morning). He writes on their Faceplace Fan Page that," None of us are lawyers, so we have to trust the ones we've consulted." Hey, Bryan, time to hire new lawyers. I bet you could get a GREAT deal on a LGBT layer who'd be willing to show you the legal way out of the mess you've allegedly just accidentally wandered into.
Posted by NoHateInMyState on October 14, 2009 at 5:08 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 34
If you think that ad is bad, you should listen to the one against someone named Rob Holland who is running for the Port. It's a couple of smarky GOP types who condem Holland for associating with ACORN! (Horrors)

I know nothing about Rob Holland, but he won my vote just on the strength of that stupid, stupid ad by his opponent.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on October 14, 2009 at 5:15 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 35
If you want this to change, there is one SIMPLE thing you can do.

When you hear the ad on the radio, phone the OTHER advertisers on that station and complain to THEM about the radio station ad.

Amazing what that will do.

You're not powerless - target the OTHER advertisers.
Posted by Will in Seattle on October 14, 2009 at 5:24 PM · Report this
The ads got me riled up also. Star 101.5 used to be one of my favorite stations. But I'm not sure how effective complaining to the stations will be. We might ourselves be portrayed as intolerant for trying to suppress other people's free speech rights. The state supreme court said years ago that telling deliberate lies in a campaign ad is constitutionally protected free speech protected by the First Amendment. See Public Disclosure Commission v. 119 Vote No! Committee, 135 Wash.2d 618 (1998). I kid you not. Justice Sanders wrote the opinion for the majority. Neither the person making the deliberate false statements, nor the paper/station that prints/airs them can be held liable. This wasn't even a close case for the court - so a slightly different fact pattern will not likely make a difference. I'll bet a month's pay that the ACLU (which donated generously to the Approve 71 campaign, but has also defended the free speech rights of Nazis and the KKK) will agree with me. I hate to say this, but the stations are on firm ground when they say airing the ads falls squarely within "free speech".

It might seem more effective for the Approve 71 campaign to run counter-ads on the same radio stations that call the opposition on their deception.
Posted by Erick on October 14, 2009 at 5:44 PM · Report this
Why are CHRISTIANS being labeled HOMOPHOBES? Are there no CHRISTIANS among you GAYS? Are all GAYS NON-BELIEVERS, ATHEISTS?

The comments and the labeling, the hate toward CHRISTIANS-- points toward this being TRUE!
Posted by epluribus on October 14, 2009 at 6:41 PM · Report this
NoHateInMyState was this an intentional spelling error?

get a GREAT deal on a LGBT layer who'd be willing

Posted by epluribus on October 14, 2009 at 7:31 PM · Report this
lunasea 39
@30, you have to remember that Bryce Phillipy is a conservative Mormon, and will likely vote to reject Ref. 71 anyway. Mormons don't believe in equal rights for all; hell, they don't believe in equal rights for women. When was the last time you met a Mormon woman that actually had a job and wasn't tied barefoot to the kitchen and a dozen screaming blond babies?
Posted by lunasea on October 14, 2009 at 8:02 PM · Report this
sounds like a generalization of ALL Mormons....what do Gays say about that sort of thing when done against them...hmm, not profiling...??? ahhh--stereotyping! Are you stereotyping Mormons?

Gee, this Gay group seems to have all the negative tendencies of those horrible, Conservative, Christian, Republicans.

I just used 3 naughty words in one sentence. Does reading that make YOU feel dirty?

You better go cleanse your mind by watching some gay porn.
Posted by epluribus on October 14, 2009 at 8:12 PM · Report this
Thousands of people are out of work, others are losing their homes, schools are not properly funded... doesn't God have bigger issues to worry about than if gay people are getting hitched?
Posted by madcap on October 14, 2009 at 8:27 PM · Report this
Hey, we have a new troll. Say hi to epluribus, everyone.
Posted by YTAH on October 14, 2009 at 11:08 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 44
Dominic!! ALERT ALERT They are in this fight to win. They are not in this fight to tell the truth. This is politics, not church. They can tell the difference, Gay citizens seem not to be able to.

I hope Approval of the Referendum wins, but if you folks think politics is a big ole hippy love in, you're screwed. And in about 30 states where similar issues have gone to a vote you've been screwed. The other side has got it figured out, they know what it takes to win. How badly do YOU want to win?
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on October 14, 2009 at 11:33 PM · Report this

As soon as ONE Mormon speaks up denouncing the actions of the Mormons spearheading the anti-Gay initiatives, then the rest of us will have a reason to not generalize a whole group based on the actions of their purported leaders.

Until that happens, however, my advice to you is to SUCK IT.

I will now "cleanse" my dirty, dirty mind by watching a video of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sped up so they sound just like Alvin & The Chipmunks.
Posted by COMTE on October 14, 2009 at 11:34 PM · Report this
As far as I know voting YES on referendum 71 is what will protect Washington families!
Posted by ElizaL on October 14, 2009 at 11:34 PM · Report this
As far as I know voting YES on referendum 71 is what will protect Washington families!
Posted by ElizaL on October 14, 2009 at 11:36 PM · Report this
As far as I know voting YES on referendum 71 is what will protect Washington families!
Posted by ElizaL on October 14, 2009 at 11:36 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 51
I've taken the liberty to rewrite the script, with the part of the rational friend changed a bit. I kept the crazy lady pretty much intact:

DISTURBED WOMAN – you know something? Our elected representatives don’t get it

RATIONAL FRIEND – Oh God, here we go again. What are you complaining about now?

DISTURBED WOMAN - About the folks in Olympia being out of touch with the real world.

RATIONAL FRIEND – Jesus. Do you ever actually think, or is your brain just a collection of clichés?

DISTURBED WOMAN – Thousands of people are out of work, others are losing their homes, schools are not properly funded, yet legislators spend time passing a so-called everything but marriage bill.

RATIONAL FRIEND – Are you talking about the initiative expanding the state domestic partnership law?

DISTURBED WOMAN- That’s it. It should be rejected

RATIONAL FRIEND – Jesus, Donna. There you go hating on the gays again. Can’t you give it a rest? What does it matter to you?

DISTURBED WOMAN- The bill they passed expands the rights of same-sex partners to be equal to those of married couples.


DISTURBED WOMAN- How does that help people who are losing their home?

RATIONAL FRIEND- How does that hurt people who are losing their home? You’re not making any sense. Are you feeling ok?

DISTURBED WOMAN – Fortunately, Referendum 71 lets us have a voice!

RATIONAL FRIEND – So you want them to keep people from having equal rights because granting them those rights keeps schools under funded and increases foreclosures? It’s only noon, Donna. Have you been drinking?


RATIONAL FRIEND – I think we need to get you some help, dear.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on October 15, 2009 at 7:28 AM · Report this

I expect you to have this up on YouTube by the end of the week!

Posted by COMTE on October 15, 2009 at 9:39 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 56
Comte, dear, I can barely operate my Telex to post on the slog. There's no way I could do a youtube!

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on October 15, 2009 at 12:58 PM · Report this
loveunitesdefendequity 57
Yesterday, I forgot my iPod and was listening to the radio. It was 101.5 and I heard that awful ad that was full of lies! I turned it off. I don't need to be listening to that while I am heading out and helping families.

I personally am a GAY CHRISTIAN. We are not all full of hate, but I will be among those to feel that the VAST MAJORITY AND NOT ALL CHRISTIANS are disagreeable to Same-Sex unions. Why? Because they think it will affect them and maybe its because they feel they don't know many, if any, gay people.

Things change as we integrate as out individuals. This Ref. is a step in the right direction.
Posted by loveunitesdefendequity on October 15, 2009 at 7:11 PM · Report this
Banning dim sum??? Don't ever say that again.
Posted by kersy on October 16, 2009 at 1:25 PM · Report this
That is why God gave them up to shameful lusts. Women have changed their natural way to an unnatural one. And men likewise have given up the natural relation with a woman and burned with lust for one another, men doing the shameful act with men and for their error getting punished in themselves as they must. As they refused to know God any longer, God gave them up so that their minds were degraded and they lived immorally.
Romans 1:26-29 Reject R-71
Posted by victor on October 21, 2009 at 9:51 PM · Report this
The night before the election deadline, I heard a Focus on the Family radio ad that really floored me. I was scanning the dial and landed on a woman's voice saying that homosexuality would be taught in schools (this gave me pause) and parents would not be able to opt out. Then it said fortunately Washington State residents have a chance to vote against Referendum 71. Apparently, it's a full-time job to keep up with all the lies and hate-baiting from the religious right.

Posted by idealist on November 4, 2009 at 10:51 PM · Report this

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