The American Family Association recently took time out from its work against hate-crimes protections for gays and religious pluralism to launch an attack on a series of sleazy TV ads for hamburgers. In urging its supporters to contact local TV stations to halt the Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s ads, however, AFA’s automatic-outrage-generator unfortunately left letter-writers with the option of demanding satisfaction from all media outlets, leading one frustrated newspaper editor to pen an editorial titled “Please quit sending these generic letters.” From the Salem, Oregon Statesman Journal:
I haven’t taken time to watch the commercials, but they must be pretty tasteless (no pun intended). …
But I digress. My point is not the commercials; it’s the letter-writing campaign. The generic letter is from the American Family Association web site. It’s to be sent to TELEVISION STATIONS; they air commercials, newspapers don’t.
One has to wonder about the smarts of these letter writers, if they don’t follow the directions on the Web site, if they misspell the Statesman Journal’s name and Hardee’s name, if they send the letters to towns that don’t have a Hardee’s or Carl’s Jr. — and if they participate in a generic letter-writing campaign, which usually gets ignored.
From what people have told me, the commercials are awful. Still, don’t expect to see any of these letters in print anywhere in the country. Opinion editors automatically toss generic letters.