Talking to Folmar Gun & Pawn, in Tallahassee, FL.

by Thomas Beller

10/19/2004

265 west 11th st ny 10014

Neighborhood: Uncategorized

“Hi I’m calling…”

“About the boycott,” said the man’s voice. He spoke with a honeyed southern accent and sounded both weary and sympathetic, like a man whose next-door neighbor’s new puppy craps on his front door on a daily basis.

“Well, yes,” I said. “That is the reason for the call. Let me start by saying, ‘I’m on your side!”

“And you want us to stop advertising with Sinclair.” “Yes.” Was I on the side of Folmar Gun & Pawn?

I was going down the boycott Sinclair top ten list, which includes businesses based all over the country, many in swing states.But my previous conversations had been with personable customer service people. Here was a proprietor.

The boycott has been going well and gaining steam. Many advertisers have pulled out; they feel Sinclair is abusing their position as a broadcaster. Maybe they supported Kerry, maybe they were responding to the threat of a boycott, or maybe the felt that what Sinclair was doing was obviously wrong, and they wanted no part of it. Throughout my calls, I took care to frame the boycott in terms of solidarity. “Join us,” I said tot them.

Still, the task was tinged with bitterness. There was the irony that after all the talk on the insidious liberal media, here was a company whose partisan gesture wasn’t insidious at all– it was brazen, and not at at all liberal.

And then there was the wall street angle: It was a bitter pill to discover that the among the people who sold the Sinclair stock short (betting it would go down) and made a lot of money (it has been going down) are members of the Sinclair management themselves; it’s a bit like a manager who discovers his star pitcher has hurt his arm and rushes off to bet against his own team.

The point was to rally people to be aware of the political allegiances of the Sinclair Broadcast group are– a little to the left of fascist.

I spent twenty minutes on the phone with the proprietor of Folmar Gun & Pawn. It was a nice chat. His customers are both Bush and Kerry supporters, he said.

He said he wouldn’t wish the job of president on anyone. He said to win a campaign you have to sell your soul. And he could not be persuaded that Kerry’s mistakes, the hypothetical ones he might make as president, 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,” he said.

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. But in truth, he was not persuaded, so I had failed the cause on this one. However, if he knew he was speaking to a New Yorker, and he must have known I wasn’t calling locally, he at least must have felt we were reasonable people. So I need you help to close the deal: Call him up and use your powers of persuasion!

Folmar Gun & Pawn (Tallahassee) 850-224-6836 | 850-224-3335

Here is the top ten, a list of advertisers to lobby:

Arby’s (_National)
1-800-487-2729
Website


Circuit City (_National)
804-418-8298

Folmar Gun & Pawn (Tallahassee)
850-224-6836 | 850-224-3335

Hannaford Supermarkets (Portland)
800-213-9040
Website

Homemakers Furniture – Rick (Des Moines)
515-309-4673 | 888-818-7283 | 515-265-3481
Website

IAMS Pet Food (Dayton)
1-800-675-3849
Website

Once Upon A Child / Winmark (Minneapolis)
(763) 520-8500 | (800) 567-6600
Website

Pineworks Furniture (Portland)
207-777-7009 | 207-786-4849 | 1-866-876-746
Website

Rank & Son Buick Pontiac GMC (Milwaukee)
414-372-4000
Website

Rightway (Flint)
810-239-4392 | 989-779-8900 | 989-835-8143
Website

U.S. Cellular (_National)
773-399-8873
Website

Watson’s (Kansas City)
913-888-SPAS | (513) 326-1100
Website
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