February 17, 2004
Coverage of the CBS boycott by CNN, ABC News, and many major local stations on Monday spiked the numbers of those supporting the boycott, and some who don’t.
As of Tuesday morning, over 31,000 emails had been sent to the Native American Cultural Center (NACC), up over 10,000 from the previous day.
“We’re thankful for all the support,” said Shauna Alexander, volunteer email manager at NACC. “Of the total about 30,000 are supportive and another 1500 are not, for a 20 to1 ratio. Of course, these email responses are not scientific.”
Personal responses to each email had to be curtailed last week when the volume overwhelmed the volunteer team managing emails. “When you start to read the same responses over and over we feel like the points have been made,” said Alexander.
NACC is instead asking all supporters to email all their friends to support the CBS boycott. So far the campaign has reached many households who are connected to the Nielson metering system that determines ad revenues for the networks.
“We got one email from a lady in New York who said as soon as she heard about it, she turned off CBS. Her husband was just setting down to 60 Minutes.”
In the next day or two, NACC will post representative comments from the pile of email responses for the use of parents and educators who asked for the summary. Profane and insulting remarks will be removed from the negative remarks.
“These reactions, both positive and negative, are an interesting snapshot of where we are in 2004 on issues like racial stereotyping on television,” said Troy Zhishewa, another NACC volunteer. “They help clarify the educational purpose of the boycott, which seems to have been achieved.
One local ABC affiliate did a news segment on the boycott and broadcast images of traditional Pomo dancers doing a social dance at an Oakland event. For many, it was the first time they had ever seen traditional indigenous dancing on television. “It looked so beautiful and interesting, nothing like the Grammy telecast,” said one email respondent. “The comments we got on that news segment really made our week,” said Alexander. “A ton of people saw it, which kind of made up for the Grammy Awards.”
On a humorous note, one supporter in Florida sent in a link to a news article that concerns another attempt to commercialize culture without respecting the creators. You can read about it HERE.