Wednesday, July 26, 2006

T-Mobile Update

I called T-Mobile's headquarters to complain and got shunted to an automated message system after asking to go to the CEO's office. Then I called customer service to complain, the guy listened to me and then offered me 100 extra minutes for one month. I said I didn't want 100 extra minutes -- I wanted an apology and for T-Mobile to stop linking itself to a far right extremist group like the American Family Association, which has been labeled "extremist" by the respected Southern Poverty Law center, the group that has kept an eye on wingnuts like the KKK and the AFA and neo-Nazis for generations.

And some people seem to be confused into thinking this is a referendum on "Rescue Me" -- which for the record, I have literally never watched (and there are very few shows I can say that about; I have the DVDs but haven't given it a shot yet).

This is not about whether you like Rescue Me or Seventh Heaven or Jay versus Dave or whatever. T-Mobile did not pull its ads because they decided that Rescue Me was a danger to society or something they didn't want to be associated with. They pulled their ads from AN ENTIRE CABLE CHANNEL -- not just one show -- simply because a fringe far right religious group told them to. Period. If you don't like Rescue Me, don't watch it. If no one watches it, the show will be cancelled. If its ratings drop, advertisers won't pay for ads on it or at least all you'll be seeing are cheapo ads for the Pocket Fisherman and Girls Gone Wild DVDs.

I don't want T-Mobile execs deciding what they think is appropriate for me to watch and I certainly don't want them kow-towing to far right extremist groups. There was no public outcry about T-Mobile advertising on FX. There was a fake controversy engineered by the AFA and a few thousand emails by their faithful (the same people who've been ignored by Disney and Ford and most every other major advertiser for years) and the multi-billion dollar technology company T-Mobile not only caved to their demands, they parroted their beliefs. That is not good. It gives a fringe, extremist group power way beyond its membership and reinforces their narrow, bigoted agenda. No company should be willing to associate themselves with the AFA anymore than they should be willing to associate themselves with David Duke or the hate-mongering Bob Jones University or neo-Nazis. That's what this is about.

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