Thursday, July 16, 2009

Latino radio show pushes back on racist talk radio

Berkeley-based "Latino MoveOn" ticks off Rush and O'Reilly

The two-month-old Berkeley liberal online hub called Presente -- which wants to be the Latino MoveOn -- has scored the progressive daily double: It has ticked off both Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly.

How: It is airing a radio ad this week in on Spanish-language stations in St. Pete and Orlando, Fla. calling out El Rushbo for referring to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as a "racist" and a "bigot." It called on local GOP Rep. John Mica to rebuke Rush's comments. Uh, not a high chance of that happening. Even if Mica did, he'd probably be on his knees apologizing by sunset....or the start of Rush's program. It's the GOP way. Here's Rush's react to all this.

"Republicans have been speaking out of both sides of their mouth to Latinos," Presente co-founder Favianna Rodriguez told The Politcs Blog. While the GOP is trying to woo them politically, they're also backing policies on immigration that "most Latinos are against" Rodriguez said, and using hateful rhetoric.

In the Presente family, O'Reilly notes the presence of former MoveOn organizer James Rucker, founder of San Francisco's Color of Change, which Rucker told us way back when that he wanted to be the black MoveOn, and connects the dots back to the "radical left" of MoveOn. No, Bill didn't rrrrrrrrroll his r's when he said "radical" the same way he did when he said Prrrresente. Apparently, Presente isn't Bill's cup of bile. He prefers The Minutemen, who he has referred to as being in "in the great tradition of neighborhood watch groups." Check out Bill and see.

Of course, this bit of publicity is a huge fundraising opportunity for the fledling Presente. They've spiked to 25,000 members and have got an ActBlue page going and about $5,600 has rolled in so far. It takes less than $1000 to produce these ads and not much more to run them for a couple of days. If more cash rolls in, Rodriguez said Presente will air them in other districts with high Latino populations. They went to Florida because it is an important swing state with a high Latino population.

The great irony here: This ad got WAAAAAAY more exposure by El Rushbo and O'Reilly playing it on their top-rated shows than if they just allowed it to linger online and on Spanish-language radio in Florida.

It's another lesson on the power of digital publishing -- provided you have good timing. You don't have to have a lot of cash to become a topic in the national conversation. The challenge is staying there.

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