Get Involved

Ben Smith of the Politico (via):

The ABC debate, according to the network, got 10.7 viewers.

It also triggered the most furious outrage I’ve seen from the huge, and growing, Obama activist base, which in this case merged with the liberal Netroots — which aren’t always on the same page — to generate a volume of complaints about the first 45-minutes of questioning that are pretty impossible to miss.

It’s just a small glimpse, I think, of the level of heat the media is going to take in the general election, and John McCain doesn’t seem to have any equivalent.

Did you forget to call ABC today? I bet the lines won’t be as busy.


Polite but pissed always works better than profanity. It can’t hurt to remind ABC News about their Path to 9/11 probation.


From the comments it sounds as though ABC has made it substantially harder to get through on their main feedback line. If that’s how they want to play it, here are some alternative contacts provided by a helpful commenter.

BC NEW YORK NEWSROOM: (212) 456-5100 Newsroom Fax Machine 212.456.5150

Peter Salinger (THE MAN IN CHARGE OF ELECTION COVERAGE) Director, Special Events & Sports 212.456.5105

Cristi LandesManager, Programming 212.456.5107

Wayne Fisk Director, Programming 212.456.5327

Jeff Fitzgerald Executive Director, Operations 212.456.5554

Heidi Oringer Executive Director, Entertainment 212.456.5541

Jon Newman News Coverage 212.456.5100

Joyce Alcantara Assignment Manager 212.456.5106

Jim Kane Deputy D.C. Bureau Chief 212.222. 6604

Andrew Kalb Executive Director, Programming 05.567.2269

Robert Garcia Executive Director, News & Sports 212.456.5103

Have fun.

22 replies
  1. 1
    Jen says:

    10.7 viewers sounds like what that debate should’ve gotten.

  2. 2
    Palooza says:

    ABC has created phone tree hell (including a nice advertisement for them) and I was dropped after making the selection to leave a message. What a bunch of A$$holes.

  3. 3
    JR says:

    John McCain doesn’t seem to have any equivalent? He is the establishment media’s CHOICE. McCain already HAS the media. What is this fool talking about?

    Do these people actually understand that they are operating in a democratic system? We the People still have that illusion, and it would be smart for our hard Right-wing masters to keep it up for appearances.

  4. 4
    cleek says:

    maybe it’d be nice to also thank ABC for the work they did last week with the torture “principals” story, at the same time.

  5. 5
    Doug says:

    Thanks for the e-mail address. It’ll get chucked straight to the spam filter, more likely than not, but for what it’s worth I sent the following e-mail to Mr. Salinger:

    Dear Mr. Salinger:

    I am writing to add to the chorus of folks who are profoundly disappointed with ABC’s moderation of the debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. There is a difference between tough questioning and dumb questioning and, I’m afraid your moderators engaged in too much of the latter. Simply put, questions about lapel pins do your viewers a disservice when so many actual issues went unexplored such as: The financial crisis; The collapse of housing values in the US and around the world; Afghanistan; Health care; Torture; The declining value of the US Dollar; Education; Trade; Pakistan; Energy; Immigration; The decline of American; Manufacturing; The Supreme Court; Global warming; China; The decline of organized labor and the struggles of the working class (a/k/a those making significantly less than $200,000 per year); Terrorism and al Qaeda; and Civil liberties and constraints on government surveillance. If your moderators are unable to do any better than this, perhaps ABC should think about assisting in returning debates to the League of Women Voters Education Fund.

    Yours very truly,
    Doug Masson

  6. 6
    Shinobi says:

    Is there any place we could find a list of ABC’s local and or national advertisers? I think that might be more effective since ABC seems to think they did a great job.

  7. 7
    Original Lee says:

    I just called the ABC main number. The very nice operator asked how to direct my call. When I asked if they had a designated fielder of debate complaints, she said yes and transferred me to the programming menu, which does not have a voicemail box option now. I will e-mail Mr. Salinger later.

  8. 8
    D0n Camillo says:

    10.7 viewers sounds like what that debate should’ve gotten.

    It came out to 10.7 because the eleventh viewer tore his or her head off rather than watch any more.

  9. 9
    Brachiator says:

    If your moderators are unable to do any better than this, perhaps ABC should think about assisting in returning debates to the League of Women Voters Education Fund.

    The sad thing is that the League of Women Voters got kicked to the curb precisely because presidential candidates wanted the debates to be less honest and more shallow. As always, be careful what you ask for (The League of Women Voters).

    On October 2, 1988, the LWV’s 14 trustees voted unanimously to pull out of the debates, and on October 3 they issued a dramatic press release:

    The League of Women Voters is withdrawing sponsorship of the presidential debates … because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates’ organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.

    ABC, apparently, has no such scruples when it comes to hoodwinking the American public.

  10. 10
    linda says:

    is there some way to seize this moment and appeal to the league of women voters to take control of the debates between the eventual presidential candidates…

    i’d really like to see a concerted effort by bloggers to push this. (me no gots a blog)

  11. 11
    Tom says:

    I wrote all of them. All of them. I’ll check back if any recipient has the balls to respond.

  12. 12

    John McCain will not publish his wife’s tax returns. He is scheduled to appear on Stephanopoulos’ show this Sunday we can assist by turning lemons into lemonade, as it were, and press George S. and ABC to question McCain about this matter.

    Senator and Mrs. McCain have kept their personal finances separate throughout their 27-year marriage. Accordingly, they have for many years filed separate tax returns. However, their home state of Arizona is a community property jurisdiction. In community property states, individuals maintain a separation of all property brought to the marriage, or inherited during it, but share financial responsibility for other assets acquired through the efforts of each spouse during the marriage. This means that their tax returns report one half of each of their community property income and expenses (such as income each of them earn as salaries, Senator McCain’s book royalties, and expenses attributable to both of them such as charitable contributions from community assets).

    Imagine if HRC and Bill had filed separately and said his tax returns were not for public consumption because he’s a private person. The shit storn would rage for weeks.

  13. 13
    SpaceCat says:

    Hells yeah. Righteous.

  14. 14
    dj spellchecka says:

    i just wanted to point out that the politico article linked to offers no proof that the 19,000 comments abc’s website recieved all came from obama fans and/or the netroots.
    the vast majority of the comment i read made no mention of obama.

  15. 15
    Delia says:

    Watch Stephanapoulos here, when he was young and pure of heart. (h/t Sully)

  16. 16
    slag says:

    Coincidentally, 10.7 people were hospitalized yesterday after trying to impale themselves on a pair of rabbit ear antennas.’s got a petition telling the entire media how bad it sucks. Our petition is not only better, but it was firster:

  17. 17
    reid says:

    .7? I resent this heightist attack on Senator Clinton.

  18. 18
    bains says:

    Yet another whinapalooza… Let us all call ABC and complain that our messianic candidate failed miserably – let us just make sure to couch it as ABC’s fault.

    Let’s dig a bit deeper. One of the highest TV ratings throughout the entire ‘debate.’ Couldn’t be that average Americans were actually interested is how the candidates would answer such ‘trivial/gotcha’ questions. Or was Rove forcing millions of p ople to watch… or perhaps Haliburton?

    You are the embodiment of the caricature you have created to represent that which you profess to hate. Carry on Tim.

  19. 19
    skippy says:

    hey, i haven’t tried this, but it just occured to me, to avoid getting dumped into abc’s phone tree limbo, why not ask the operator for some unrelated office?

    like, “i’d like to compliment the program manager for ‘dancing with the stars.’ and when you get a program manager or voice mail, say, “i love dancing with the stars. and you know what else i love? i love when a network does its job as a news organization and asks relevant questions in a debate, unlike what gibson and snuffleupagus did last wednesday.”

    just a thought.

  20. 20
    Mike G says:

    ABC don’t give a shit about your opinion.
    Go straight to the source. Get a list of companies that advertised during the debate, and contact them to notify them they won’t be getting any of your business anymore.
    Money is the only thing these whores respect.

  21. 21
    D-Chance. says:

    Deer… ABC…

    Don’t ask any more tough questions. I don’t like it when my ObaMessiah is asked tough questions. It makes me mad. You wouldn’t want to see me when I’m mad. I hold my breath and I scream, “I don’t love you anymore!”. And then I fold my arms and pout until I get a MUpony.

    So don’t do it again. I love my MUpony.

    Thank you.


    Timmeh F.

  22. 22

    […] Tim F. a Balloon Juice implores readers to contact ABC and be “pissed but polite” in order to register anger over the questions asked at the debate the other night featuring Obama and Clinton. […]

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