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Friday, December 16, 2011

Kayak.com second to explain ad pull on TLC show

 Before we get to Kayak, the Florida Family Association says 65-75 companies pulled the ads, but apparently this is a misrepresentation. Many placed the ads for a specific number of episodes and are distancing themselves from the bigotry of the current Lowe's /FFA/ All-American Muslim (and Kayak?) problem.


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Kayak.com has pulled ads for the same reason as Lowe's. There is an apology out there. I don't know if they are just backtracking or if they are sorry for the bigotry of the situation.

Initially Kayak said it pulled the ads because TLC was not up front about the nature of the show (which sounds like they could be headed in the same direction as the FFA complaint- how dare TLC air a show that shows Muslims as normal rather than the terrorists we know they are) but I guess it could mean anything.



Part of Kayak's initial statement using the "lighting rod" terminology like Lowe's:
"It's a worthy topic, but any reasonable person would know that this topic is a particular lightning rod," Birge says in the letter. "We believe TLC went out of their way to pick a fight on this, and they didn't let us know their intentions."

I would like to know more about the above before I decide whether the next statement about pulling the ads because it was simply a bad, poor quality, boring or whatever show is actually true. I tend to think "the show sucked" thing is a cop out and a good way to get out of this without looking as bad as Lowe's if they can get people to believe it.

Kayak does say it was disappointed in the vitriol of the ad pulling campaigners and said those opposing the ad pulling were more civil. I guess that's something. Maybe.


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Quote from this site:
“When TLC pitched All-American Muslim to advertisers, it was characterized as a fair-and-balanced look at the life of an American Muslim,” Birge says. “However, what was not disclosed was the preexisting controversy surrounding race, religion and specifically the divide between the Muslim and Christian communities in Dearborn, Mich. Dearborn has been a center of controversy for right or wrong; however, that was omitted by TLC when it pitched the show.”


Also on that site, it says Kayak's first blog post was about this issue (it is sorry to say) and that it has been interacting with critics on Twitter. Interesting...


The first sentence makes it seem like they were headed in the direction of the FFA - hey- this shows Muslims as "too normal."


The other part makes it seem like they just didn't know Dearborn had a large Arab and/ or Muslim population, uncharacteristic of the rest of the country- which is where charges of misrepresentation may occur. But if you want to see how Muslims are living here, it would make sense you'd go there. But as to them not realizing Dearborn was a center of controversy- that's ridiculous. Look at the heat Muslims have taken after 9/11. Any show about them is going to be (considered) controversial. They really should have known that, even if they didn't know much of anything about Dearborn.

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Their apology and current position is that they pulled it because it was not a good show, and are sorry it came across as bending to bigotry. Backtracking? Hmmm.




 *** Lowe's-- additional info ***

 A good article on the Lowe's ad pull. Author says ad was pulled due to dozens, not hundreds or more emails, says company:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gingrich says Palestinians are an "invented people"

Perry stumbles and falls, Cain's past (and present) catches up to him, and now the man of the hour is spouting this garbage? It's inaccurate and if it were said about another people, anti-Semitism charges would abound...

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/12/newt-the-jews-and-an-invented-people.html

Lowe's letter- All American Muslim ads

My letter to Lowe's Home Improvement:

I, a formerly satisfied customer, am writing to inform you of my extreme displeasure in the recent events with which you have been involved: The so called Florida Family Association got you to pull ads from TLC's All-American Muslim, you made a statement admitting as much, then amid backlash you backtracked saying that you received emails from a broad spectrum of customers which actually only amounted to dozens rather than thousands or hundreds of thousands of letters.

The decision to pull the ads was not only hasty and premature, but also bigoted and cowardly. You obviously didn't investigate the claims of your dozens of Muslim hating customers because if you had, you would have found that TLC's show does not advocate one way or the other on any societal or political issues. All-American Muslim simply depicts the daily life of several members of a community many Americans know very little about. This show has much educational value and it naturally prompts discussion of important issues anyone encounters in life. This show is about life in America as much as any other show that you fund with your ads; I'm very confused as to how this one violates your ad guidelines.

I can only assume Lowe's has Muslim customers. I would have hoped, had you acted after some thought, that you would have been able to stand up for these customers who may or may not write to express their displeasure. Your actions rather said you would rather not be associated with one segment of the American population. Is that true? Do you only offer your products to certain people? I expected you to stand up for the fact that Muslim or Christian or anything else- we are all Americans instead of caving to a minority of bigots. I expected a large corporation like Lowe's to have a backbone and be able to stand up to a dozen emailers or even thousands on the very American value of all men being created equal.

Maybe I was wrong to expect your company to stand for what is right and American. Bigotry has won- unless you have a plan to turn this around.

Maybe it is not possible to buy back your ads for All-American Muslim, but what is needed is a massive sensitive, well-thought out apology and/or campaign to repair your image with those who are Muslim, those who are American and those whose intelligence you insulted by siding so quickly and decisively with those who want us to believe all Muslims are terrorists. I wouldn't know where to begin, so wish you much luck with that.

Or maybe your pulling of your ads from All-American Muslim have effectively highlighted the discrimination Muslims face in America and a boycott of your company will be a lesson in human rights and equality for many.

Peace to you,

Monday, December 12, 2011

NC based Lowes pulls funding from show All-American Muslim


So, I'm wondering, what do they have the problem with, Americans or Muslims?  ;)  

Did they buy into that idiotic email about Muslims not being "good Americans"? I (probably unreasonably) have had more faith in people than that recently.

The Florida Family Association will play a role, if you read anything about the controversy. A web search for their campaign/petition text yields a "404 Not Found" message, but this site quotes some of it as well as trying to link to it (full FFA letter)...

A one man show??

Whatever the reason- pretty trashy move, Lowes!


Let's go on and post this link to the petition to talk some sense into Lowes (and contacts for Lowe's and TLC):


What do they have to say for themselves (not much- pretty weak, Lowes!):
The North Carolina-based Lowe's issued a statement apologizing for having "managed to make some people very unhappy."
"Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lightning rod for many of those views," the statement said. "As a result we did pull our advertising on this program. We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance."

Way to cave to a little pressure, Lowes! So much for socially responsible business. Like Caterpillar and the bulldozing of homes overseas. Wow. NC and Lowes aren't looking too good right about now. All those "Home of this and that" signs across the state might as well say bigot now. "Managed to make some people unhappy"??? I'd rather see "oops, that was racist/bigoted, we'll try and have more respect for fellow human beings in the future, we're sorry for reflecting poorly on NC and the US, guess what we're starting a Muslim scholarship fund (or at least reinstating ads)."

Really?!?! I mean if a bunch of bigoted white people emailed Lowes hate mail about black people, would Lowes fire all black employees? Or stop ads during shows with majority black casts? 

Or is it just Muslims that it's OK to discriminate against and or hate?

It's best to defer to bigots? When? On what planet? I mean, where do we live? What decade is this again? We never learn. Come on, Lowes!


On wikipedia:
A chain spokesperson said it was because of "...concerns, complaints or issues from multiple sides of the viewer spectrum", while also telling the association in an e-mail that it had "brought [the show] to our attention."

Multiple sides? Really? Spectrum? Would that be the Christians the hate Muslims, the Jews and hate Muslim and atheists who hate Muslims? We've got FFA and sites like this one (yikes). I'm afraid I can't fathom more than one side on this. I'd like to see some sort of graph or explanation of the spectrum.


Lowes on Twitter (for even less clarity):
Lowe’s values diversity of thought in everyone, including our employees and prospective customers.

We did not pull our ads based solely on the complaints or emails of any one group. It is never our intent to alienate anyone.

Really, Lowes? Because it looks like either your other comments are a lie or these tweets are a lie. I wonder which it is.

I wonder if Lowes has the same feeling about TLC's other shows- Extreme Couponing (I've got a disease similar to hoarding, but it's cool, I'm saving money), 19 Kids and Counting (trying to make a fringe extremist Christian group mainstream- if I were to make a complaint similar to the AAM haters'), Sister Wives (polygamy is illegal- Lowes wants to promote that but not Muslim Americans??). I really don't know if All-American Muslim is the only show Lowes has pulled it's ads from on TLC or on any other network, but I have to ask.

If you watch the show, you see that that could easily be a show about a bunch of Christian families- maybe different denominations or differing levels of "devoutness." They discuss Islam on the show (both in reality and discussion formats), so you don't have to hear about it from hateful people or evangelicals who know nothing about it. You also see that outside of the religion they also struggle with  exactly the same things everyone else does. 

And I suppose (with all 3 items) therein lies the danger- once you see others as human and there's no one to demonize, you have to look inward- and we can't have that, now, can we? Who knows what we would find.

Another issue- There are Lowes in or around Dearborn. What are they going to do??? Maybe Muslims shop there. (?!?!? The horror!) Are they going to ban Muslims from the stores to save their sorry image and make this evangelical group happy? Do they accept Muslims' money? Lowes needs to poop or get off the pot. Do you have a problem with Muslims or Americans or peace and understanding? Be consistent. If you get rid of the ads, get on with it, put the sign on your door. Take us back to the pre-civil rights era. Get it out there so we can have this thing struck down. Or you could admit you were wrong and headed in a very un-American direction and make amends yourself.


On a different note:  Previews after the 5th episode show what looks like Fouad, the football coach, the cast at a memorial service, with the eulogy including something like "when will the violence end." Yikes. Could be several events crammed together by TLC (like all networks like to do) to look exactly like something it isn't, but it looks serious. We'll see!


Also good points on:
http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2011/12/12/387101/lowes-all-american-muslim/

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2011-12-12/muslim-reality-show-american/51836318/1

http://www.thetakeaway.org/2011/dec/12/lowes-pulls-ads-reality-show-all-american-muslim/


Not to get big brother on you, but my Feedjit tool tells what people search for and some crack me up:

muslims hate lowes
lowes says they hate muslims
what is going on between lowes and the muslims
lowes muslim problem