I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and am now a journalist. I am the author of three New York Times bestselling books -- "How Would a Patriot Act" (a critique of Bush executive power theories), "Tragic Legacy" (documenting the Bush legacy), and With Liberty and Justice for Some (critiquing America's two-tiered justice system and the collapse of the rule of law for its political and financial elites). My fifth book - No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State - will be released on April 29, 2014 by Holt/Metropolitan.

Monday, September 11, 2006

More on Disney's highly selective PT911 marketing campaign

(updated below)

Alan Colmes is the co-host of one of the highest-rated television cable news shows in the country. He is also, according to Talkers Magazine, the sole host of one of the most listened-to radio talk shows in the country, with an audience in excess of 1 million listeners. He has access on a daily basis to millions of Americans who are interested in political matters.

If you were a publicist for that film trying to generate "buzz" for it, there are few people whom you'd rather have screen the film than Colmes -- assuming, that is, that you didn't have an agenda of trying to ensure that no Bush critics viewed the film. Following up on my post this weekend about the bizarrely selective marketing campaign for Path to 9/11, I asked Colmes this morning by e-mail if he received a screener of Path to 9/11. Here is what he said:

No, I did not receive an advance copy of the ABC show at any time.

What an odd oversight. Hugh Hewitt (who has no television show and whose radio audience is smaller than Colmes') received a copy, as he has been reminding us on a daily basis for that last two weeks. Even Bill Handel, a local radio host (who coincidentally happens to be a worshipful supporter of the Bush "war on terror" at a neoconservative radio station) who did not even request a copy and evinced no interest in viewing it, nonetheless recieved a screener. Yet Colmes did not. I wonder what accounts for that discrepancy. What possible marketing strategy might explain that?

According to Talkers, Air America's Randi Rhodes has roughly the same audience size as Colmes for her radio show, which is also more than Hewitt's. Did Rhodes get a screener? Why would Disney send screeners to Hugh Hewitt and even Bill Handel but not Alan Colmes?

UPDATE: John Amato confirms that Air America's Al Franken also received nothing from ABC. Additionally, Amato -- who has one of the largest political blogs on the Internet -- attempted to have a screener sent to him but was continuously given the run-around and never received one, just as was the case for other large liberal blogs.


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