The Hellscape That Is Facebook

Scott Galloway: Rick, over the last decade, I was fascinated when you were talking about media mix. If you had a hundred bucks to spend on media, how has that mix changed in terms of where you spend that money? And if you could only go with one platform or channel to spend money, what would that be?

[Rick] Wilson: Twenty years ago, obviously the mix was 99 to 1. Or 99.5 to …

Galloway: TV?

Wilson: For TV.

Galloway: Even direct mail?

Wilson: Direct mail as a persuasion tool has been dead for decades. Direct mail is good for raising money. And even that is dying off.

Galloway: So, it was all TV. What is it now? You got a hundred bucks. Where do you spend it?

Wilson: If I have a hundred bucks right now, I spend 30 bucks on cable, I spend 35 bucks on digital, I spend 15 on broadcast. And then I do a mix of other stuff out there, depending on the market and the audience. There are still markets in this country that are great for radio. It’s insane.

Galloway: What platform has the best tools? I think I know what the answer is going to be.

Wilson: The hellscape that is Facebook is the most meaningful tool of political manipulation ever devised in the history of all mankind.

-- "How the Lincoln Project Gets Into Trump’s Head," New York Magazine, July 21, 2020

University of California, Davis

UC Davis pepper-spray incident

UC Davis spent thousands to scrub pepper-spray references from Internet
UC-Davis Paid $175,000 to Clean Up Its Image After Pepper-Spray Incident

UC Davis spends $175,000 to sanitize its online image after ugly pepper spray episode

UC Davis thought it could pay to erase a scandal from the Internet

Why UC Davis spent $175,000 to scrub references to pepper-spray incident

UC Davis got conned for $175K to erase pepper-spray incident from internet

The University of California paid $175K to scrub the internet of this picture

UC Davis paid at least $175,000 to improve online reputation after pepper-spraying students in 2011

UC Davis Tried Really, Really Hard to Erase That 2011 Pepper Spray Incident From the Internet

UC Davis spent $175,000 to bury search results after cops pepper-sprayed protestors

After “pepper spray incident,” UC Davis spent $175,000 to boost image online

UC Davis spent $175K to hide pepper spray cop on Google, says report

UC Davis Paid Consultants $175K to Remove Pepper Spray Images From Google

UC Davis Spent $175,000 to Eliminate Pepper Spray Cop From Its Google Search Results

UC Davis Spent $175K To Scrub Pepper Spray Cop From Google

UC–Davis Spent $175,000 Trying to Wipe the Internet of Its Pepper-Spraying Scandal

Florida Primary


Now I realize that there are no delegates being awarded and maybe there won't be at the convention either. There are people talking about holding a new caucus later in the process so they do a mulligan in the state. And I also know that many people think Clinton is running some sort of scam and that she'll unfairly try to seat her delegates and that it's inappropriate for her to have a rally in Florida to celebrate "winning" etc, etc. Fine. That's all party politics and it's not what I'm talking about. It will be worked out one way or the other.

My point is that actual human beings voted today. If it is inappropriate for Clinton to declare victory it's also damned inappropriate for every gasbag on television to say that all these votes are completely meaningless. They may not add to the delegate count, but they were cast in good faith by American citizens and they should be treated with respect by these jackasses.

I have no idea how it would have come out with a full presidential campaign in the state -- probably differently in a dozen different ways -- but that doesn't mean the media are allowed to act as if the people's vote isn't worth taking seriously, even as they explain why there are no delegates being awarded.

I understand why the Obama campaign is saying that it was only Clinton's name recognition that propelled her higher vote tally. They may certainly be right about that. This is politics and it's fair for them to make that charge. But the Florida Democratic party actually worked to get their people out to the polls even if there wasn't a presidential campaign down there and they deserve at least a little bit of credit for getting so many people out under those circumstances. It's not the news media's job to make a judgment about whether they were right to do so. I have been voting for presidential primary candidates for decades where there was no primary campaign run in my state and while my vote may not have been decisive, I don't recall the news media derisively characterizing the primary voters of California as being dupes and fools for bothering to cast a vote in a state that wasn't being contested.

The contempt these elites hold for the people of this country is unparalleled. They are smirking and laughing and practically rolling their eyes, even as they report that more than a million Florida citizens cast their votes today.


The Index of Political Blogs. Christopher Ian Applegate’s Alternative Hippopotamus. Spy Blog: “This United Kingdom based blog attempts to draw public attention to, and comments on, some of the current trends in ever cheaper and more widespread surveillance technology being deployed to satisfy the rapacious demand by state and corporate bureaucracies and criminals for your private details, and the technological ignorance of our politicians and civil servants who frame our legal systems.” Newspaper corrections examined at Regret the Error. The Observer Blog. Wind Rose Hotel: Mostly in Italian, with links to other Italian weblogs. Halfway Down the Danube: posts from Bucharest. We Make Money Not Art. Silt3. A collection of Microsoft Excel weblogs: Andrew’s Excel Tips, Automate Excel, Colo’s Excel Junk Room, Dick’s Daily Dose of Excel, Excel Pragma, J-Walk, The Planning Deskbook, van Gelder. R. Robot, the self-writing weblog. Bighappyfunhouse: excellent found photos.


Faces of the Fallen: dead American soldiers. Coalition casualty report at Another at Peter Bergen on Laurie Mylroie’s influence on the decision to go to war. The Guardian’s Iraq timeline: 7/16/1979 to 1/31/2004 and 2/1/2004 to the present. Empire Notes weblog. More Iraq weblogs: Baghdad Burning, Back to Iraq, Salaam Pax and Raed, Juan Cole, Healing Iraq, and Kevin Sites. See also The Institute for War and Peace Reporting’s Iraqi Press Monitor. See also The Iraq Blog Count.

Clear Channel Rallies and the Bush Administration

Paul Krugman on Clear Channel's sponsorship of prowar rallies (New York Times, 3/25/03):

Who has been organizing those pro-war rallies? The answer, it turns out, is that they are being promoted by key players in the radio industry -- with close links to the Bush administration. . . .

Experienced Bushologists let out a collective "Aha!" when Clear Channel was revealed to be behind the pro-war rallies, because the company's top management has a history with George W. Bush. The vice chairman of Clear Channel is Tom Hicks, whose name may be familiar to readers of this column. When Mr. Bush was governor of Texas, Mr. Hicks was chairman of the University of Texas Investment Management Company, called Utimco, and Clear Channel's chairman, Lowry Mays, was on its board. Under Mr. Hicks, Utimco placed much of the university's endowment under the management of companies with strong Republican Party or Bush family ties. In 1998 Mr. Hicks purchased the Texas Rangers in a deal that made Mr. Bush a multimillionaire.

There's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear, but a good guess is that we're now seeing the next stage in the evolution of a new American oligarchy. As Jonathan Chait has written in The New Republic, in the Bush administration "government and business have melded into one big 'us.' " On almost every aspect of domestic policy, business interests rule: "Scores of midlevel appointees . . . now oversee industries for which they once worked." We should have realized that this is a two-way street: if politicians are busy doing favors for businesses that support them, why shouldn't we expect businesses to reciprocate by doing favors for those politicians -- by, for example, organizing "grass roots" rallies on their behalf?

Clear Channel Rallies

"Media Giant's Rally Sponsorship Raises Questions" (Tim Jones, Chicago Tribune, 3/19/03):

Some of the biggest rallies this month have endorsed President Bush's strategy against Saddam Hussein, and the common thread linking most of them is Clear Channel Worldwide Inc., the nation's largest owner of radio stations. . . .

The sponsorship of large rallies by Clear Channel stations is unique among major media companies, which have confined their activities in the war debate to reporting and occasionally commenting on the news. The San Antonio-based broadcaster owns more than 1,200 stations in 50 states and the District of Columbia.

While labor unions and special interest groups have organized and hosted rallies for decades, the involvement of a big publicly regulated broadcasting company breaks new ground in public demonstrations.

"I think this is pretty extraordinary," said former Federal Communications Commissioner Glen Robinson, who teaches law at the University of Virginia. "I can't say that this violates any of a broadcaster's obligations, but it sounds like borderline manufacturing of the news."

Don’t Let These Peace Protesters Confuse You

Conservative talk radio host organizes prowar rallies; Clear Channel Communications pays for them (Douglas Jehl in the New York Times, 3/24/03):

"Don't let these peace protesters confuse you," Glenn Beck, a conservative radio host from Philadelphia, told the crowd estimated at 10,000 . . . [in Glen Allen, VA on March 23]. "We know we're facing dark and terrible, terrifying times. But I tell you, we will look these times dead in the eye, and we will climb these stairs."

Over the last few weeks, Mr. Beck, whose three-hour program is heard five days a week on more than 100 stations, has helped promote many similar demonstrations under the banner of Rally for America. Some have been financed by radio stations owned by his employer, Clear Channel Communications, the nation's largest owner of radio stations, in an arrangement that has been criticized by those who contend that media companies should not engage in political advocacy.

The rally near Richmond was paid for by WRVA, a local radio station that broadcasts Mr. Beck's program. Executives at WRVA, which is owned by Clear Channel, said they had decided to stage the event in response to calls from listeners, who in turn had been exhorted by Mr. Beck to seek venues for such rallies.

Dead People

On Al Jazeera's images of dead bodies and the western press: Tim Cavanaugh in Reasononline (3/24/03).

Since the beginning of the new Iraq war on Wednesday, the Qatari news network Al Jazeera has been showing images of corpses. . . . The station really hit paydirt late Friday and throughout Saturday. Al Jazeera provided some of the most shocking war images ever broadcast on television: A field of bodies after the American strike on the Ansar al-Islam terrorist group in northern Iraq, a blood-soaked emergency room at the same location, and most horrendously of all, a luxuriously-paced tour of civilian casualties in Basra. Among those, one will linger in this viewer's mind forever . . . It was the corpse of a boy with the top of his head blown off. The kid's face, while stiff and covered with dust, retains its human features, but beginning at the forehead the skull simply deflates like an old balloon, ending in an unsupported scalp that (with apologies for the mixed similes) resembles the loose hide of skinned animal. . . .

Al Jazeera photo of dead Iraqi child

The elements of Jazeera's total and terrible victory over its competitors are pretty basic: It treats news as an immediate and vital resource. Jazeera's reporters take great personal risks for exciting footage and stories. The station has rapidly attained core professionalism -- full coverage of press conferences, comments from all sides, and so on. It is welcome in areas where the western networks are not, and it is absolutely not squeamish about presenting any claim or image. . . .

To the extent that the Jazeera version of events presents a plausible case that America could lose the war, every extra day that the war takes to complete will make even victory look more and more like defeat. (In fact, given that current resistance appears to be coming as much from small bands of guerillas as from Iraq's regular army, and considering the near certainty that jihadists are now eagerly making their way into Iraq, it's no longer clear that the peace will look substantially different from what we're seeing right now.) The more CNN's coverage starts to look like Jazeera's, and the messier the war starts to look, the more it will embolden both opponents of the war and those who actually oppose America. Whether it will also reveal how thin domestic support for the war is remains to be seen: Americans may become more determined to fight as more dead soldiers pile up (though significantly, they will no longer claim to be fighting for democracy).