There is a Sinclair Group at 80 Broad Street that is not the Sinclair Broadcasting Group that has agitated so many people with their plans for anti-Kerry propaganda. The receptionist at the other Sinclair, Joanne, is getting barraged with calls from people like me.
By the time I spoke with Joanne I had spent the afternoon making calls to various affiliate stations of Sinclair and having polite exchanges with sales managers. I informed them that I planned to boycott their advertisers, but not to take it personally. Never mind that I don’t exactly sound like I live in Portland, Main, or San Antonio, Texas, or Ashville, North Carolina.
My exchanges with the station managers were brief and civil. Manners are the new activism. Kerry has a good shot at winning, and the people who support him must convert their desire to bludgeon the idiots who will vote for Bush… excuse me, people with different political opinions into a desire to persuade them.
But these calls were abstract, and I wanted something more concrete. The corporate headquarters of the Sinclair Broadcast Group (stock symbol: SBGI, short it and see the rewards) are in Maryland, but I was sure they would have a New York office. I wanted to stand outside and do something. Something agitated, but civilized. So I called information and ended up with Joanne.
“Is this Sinclair?” I said.
“Yes, but not that Sinclair!” she said. And then she laughed. “We’re a brokerage firm, stocks and bonds.”
“I’m sorry to bother you,” I said. “I was calling about the company that owns TV stations.”
“They’re in Maryland!” said Joanne, and she laughed again. “I have nothing to do with the election. You wanna open to stock trading account? That I could help you with.”
“I’m sorry to bother you. Has it been busy for you?”
“Busy! We’ve had like five hundred calls this afternoon!” She laughed again. Joanne was the most cheerful person I had talked to all day!
“That sounds busy.”
“We usually get some calls, but not this many wrong numbers!”
“Have we been polite?” I asked.
“Uhm, well… mostly. One guy screamed at me,” she said.
“Good luck Joanne!”I said. “And thank you. And vote for John Kerry, Joanne, he’s your man!”
She laughed noncommittally.
For more information about this important matter:
Oct 15 update:
A very nice lady on the customer service line at Chili’s tells me that their reports on customer comments are usually filed weekly, but that the marketing department has asked for daily updates on matters relating to Sinclair. And they are getting a lot of calls.
Call Chillis today! (and be polite!)
800-983-4637 ** Another Update: Twenty minutes on the phone with the proprietor of Folmar. His customers are Bush and Kerry supporters evenly, he said, and he said he wouldn’t wish the job of president on anyone. He said to win a capmaign you have to sell your soul. And he could not be persuaded that Kerry’s mistakes would not be nearly as calamitous as those George W. Bush has already made.
“If Kerry wins, he’ll wake up on his first morning on the job and over half the world will hate him. And it will be down hill from there.”
I don’t know if this was a Bush supporter. Perhaps he was a political agnostic. He was a civilized and decent man. He was willing to talk. Call him up and use your powers of persuasion!