Why Fox News canceled my interview about Netroots & the Troops - KO-worthy

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project& My Left Wing

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At 3:44pm Eastern, Fox News Channel employee (I am guessing a segment producer) Eldad Yaron called me to arrange an interview for me to talk about BooksForSoldiers.com, our fundraising problems and how I am using the netroots to solve the problem.

BooksForSoldiers.com is a website run by a 501(c)(3) federally recognized tax-exempt charity. Any deployed US solider can go to the BooksForSoldiers.com website, fill out their contact info and tell us what they want - books, DVDs, video games, tube socks, almost anything - we will then send the item to the soldier for free. Plus we typically toss in snacks, chapstick, playing cards, and a brief note.

I started sending books to deployed soldiers during the first Gulf War. A bunch of my college friends were in the National Guard and they suddenly found themselves in Saudi Arabia setting up their Army hospital. When I heard of the extreme boredom of the troops after the shooting was over, I got all my friends I knew back in the states to give me their old novels and I sent them to the Army hospital in Riyadh. When Bush started his war, I knew I wanted to do the same thing, but on a larger scale, so I put together BooksForSoldiers.com.

I originally though for this new war, the troops would be back home in 6 weeks - I never thought Books For Soldiers would still be going 5 years later. I was totally unprepared for that. What started as a six week project has become a 5 year plus journey.

As with all journeys, there are bumps along the way.

Books For Soldiers is having financial problems due to corporate funding drying up. (You can donate here!) We had no corporate donations for the first quarter of this year. BFS is not a special case, other charities are in the same boat. Women's shelters are having to shut down and food banks have been hit very hard this year. In short, the economy sucks. The Board of Directors gave us a second chance at fund raising and assigned us a deadline of November 1st to raise the $70,000 goal or we would have to shut down at the end of the year. We would have the last Holiday Package Drive and that would be it.

I followed up the phone call with Fox News' Eldad Yaron with 8 emails - arranging for a driver to pick me up and drive me to San Francisco, sending them the BFS story, just putting the segment together for 10:20am Eastern today. I would arrive at their San Francisco location at no later than 10am and I would be on-air at exactly 10:20 - that was when they booked the sat time.

Yaron's last email to me read:

I'll brief you more in the morning but we're good to go.

This morning, 45 minutes before the car was supposed to pick me up, another Fox News employee, Kelly, called me to tell me the segment had been canceled. "Something came up."

Well, Hell. I used the last of my shave gel, got all dolled up and had no place to go!

I smelled a rat, hard to avoid with Fox News, and I wondered what story I got bumped for, so I switched on Fox News. Here is their line-up for the 10am hour of America's Newsroom With Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly. Keep in mind, I was slated for 10:20am.

10:08 Running of the Bulls

10:13 Video of a car chase in Portland, Oregon

10:13 Oregon man flies in a lawn chair from oregon to idaho


10:22 Obama and McCain layout out economic plans

10:25 Baseball player, A-Rod might be involved with Madonna according to tabloids.

Books For Soldiers got bumped for a snakebite story! A bite where no one died! Here is a link to the wire story.

I understand how cable news works and big stories could break at anytime. If Mugabe called for new elections or it started to rain in Big Sur, that I can understand being bumped. But a guy gets bit by a pygmy rattlesnake at the local Walmart and the soldiers get bumped?

WTF, indeed.

My theory is BFS represents yet another inconvenient truth or maybe several:

Soldiers need to turn to the charities for things the military cannot provide.

BFS is run by a flaming liberal and had Michael Moore as a supporter.

A soldier's charity run out of corporate funding because the economy is in the toilet.

Yes, those bring up a whole host of issues, the Neo-cons, and I suspect their puppets at Fox News would rather not dwell about. You cannot ask me the second question, "Why is BFS in financial trouble?" without hitting an idealogical snag.

This story is what I call "Keith-worthy" - a story that would fit well as a "Worst Person" segment. Don't you think?

Here is a job for all you NetRooters out there, email Keith and anyone you might know at Countdown and pass this story along. My goal is to find funding for BFS, not the cartoon or anything else.

This is netroots for the troops.

YOU are the netroots for the troops.

And here is a small note for Keith,
Here is another opportunity to apply your sharpened stick to the eye of Fox News. I can supply you the emails and let you listen to Kelly's voice mail! Here is my contact info:
stormbear [at] gmail.com


Get it before Fox News sends out the lawyers with a cease and desist!

Lastly, thank-you for your support of our troops.

Tags: books for soldiers, cartoons, comics, Fox News, humor, Keith Olbermann, netroots, webcomics (all tags)



Re: Why Fox News canceled my interview about Netro

Hang in there..

by nogo postal 2008-07-07 10:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Fox News canceled my interview about Netro

If there was a button bigger than rec, I would click it repeatedly for you. It's a diary that makes you laugh, then feel depressed, then look for the wallet.

I'm sure if you asked Fox would say the satellite wasn't available or something, but you have to wonder, for the station that drapes itself in the flag, why they wouldn't make every effort to eventually get your segment aired. It's a great, non-partisan effort that deserves attention.

by TCQuad 2008-07-07 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Fox News canceled my interview about Netro

They could of at least taped it.

by stormbear 2008-07-07 11:11AM | 0 recs
books for soldiers

Have you crossposted at Kos?

KO posts there fairly regularly, and he may well see the diary.

BTW, do you take donations of used books?

by LIsoundview 2008-07-07 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: books for soldiers

It is on the top of reccomended list at KOS

I hope that the same happens hear ...

and I hope that Keith brings up on Countdown tonight ... a whole segment ... not just "worst person in the world"

by akdude6016 2008-07-07 11:09AM | 0 recs
by stormbear 2008-07-07 11:10AM | 0 recs

The primary issue (equally despicable) is that FOX News, just like any other conservative, only supports the troops when they agree with them.

by vcalzone 2008-07-07 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Alternatively...

Well, you know they might be getting subversive books, that would make them think about their situation more, and possibly (gasp) make them wonder who has really screwed them. That would be bad, bad, bad.

by Hollede 2008-07-07 01:44PM | 0 recs
Thank you for posting this.

Well done Stormbear, in all accounts, well done.

by Hollede 2008-07-07 01:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Fox News canceled my interview about Netro
As a former marine, I would like to personally thank you for your charitable work.
Recced and Tipped.
by Terminus 2008-07-07 03:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Maybe this could help.

You should send an email to JohnBoy and Billy out of Birmingham, Alabama. They have a national morning radio call in show and coincedentally thay are also authors. Matter of fact they have a book out they are touring for right now.

You can call in or email with your bio. They have a website on the internet.

If that doesn't work you could contact Rick and Bubba. Also a national radio call in show.

You can call in the Steve Harvey Show. ALSO national radio call in show with an internet presence. Really funny show with national exposure.

I don't know if they'd help but then again,"Nothing ventured..."

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-07-07 03:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Fox News canceled my interview about Netro

Great project.  Sorry about the cancellation.  

by ProfessorReo 2008-07-07 03:31PM | 0 recs
Just so you know....

that's not even the first time someone has been bitten by a pygmy rattler in a Florida garden center.

It's not a huge story.  Probably the only reason it got airtime is because it's about a snake, and well, with some of their anchors and commenters, who can tell the difference?

by emsprater 2008-07-07 04:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Fox News canceled my interview about Netro

Heh, my dad also ran a charity that sent books to the troops, and he is also a flaming liberal.

He didn't stop due to lack of funding or anything, but he said book donations just sort of dried up.  Maybe people just got sick of the war or something.

I'd note that he had a policy of never sending political books of any stripe.  Seems wise to me.

by Steve M 2008-07-07 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Fox News canceled my interview about Netro

If it were me I'd only send books by Dr. King and copies of the book of Matthew.  We can't fight a war if our soldiers hammer their weapons into farming tools and begin to help the Iraqi poor raise crops.  Wouldn't that be more beautiful than a war filled with violence and John Grisham novels?

by proseandpromise 2008-07-08 05:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Fox News canceled my interview about Netro

My dad actually said that romance novels were just about the most popular type of request.  I bet you wouldn't have figured that one.

by Steve M 2008-07-08 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Fox News canceled my interview

I have emailed KO, and rec'd this diary.  Thanks for all that you do!

by CLLGADEM 2008-07-08 06:40AM | 0 recs


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