Sunday, December 14, 2008


It doesn't matter why, but The Onion has removed the offending video skit about wounded combat veterans. I congratulate them on showing some mercy. This deserves the widest possible dissemination; because many have been upset with The Onion and have written a storm of emails to both them and their advertisers. I, for one, asked for people to consider doing that. Several other milbloggers did the same. Soldiers' Angels bloggers were pretty upset about it, too. Some of us called for boycotts of the advertisers. I know that I did.

Vampire 06 over at Afghanistan Shrugged wrote and said that he and his entire team were boycotting Sonic and Burger King, which will surely doom the new Burger King franchise set to open at FOB Bermel.

Burger King actually does have have locations on the larger FOBs in Afghanistan. There is no evidence that Burger King tried to influence The Onion in any way during this episode. A reader from Sonic's office did visit this blog, so I know that they noticed. It is unclear if they influenced The Onion's decision in any way.

Apparently, at least one of the advertisers chipped in and took action. It appears that Anita Lavine at Screenlife Games let The Onion know that she and her company disagreed with the attempt at humor which missed the mark so widely. A visit to The Onion indicates that Screenlife Games are no longer advertised there.

I would like to express my appreciation to Anita Lavine and to everyone who wrote to The Onion and/or its advertisers. By bringing attention to this matter, I'm sure that everyone who took some action had an impact on their decision to remove the offending video from their pages and from YouTube as well.

If you try to access the video from the embed on this page, it will work, which means that it still resides on their server, but they have severed the links on their pages as well as removing it from their playlist. That's good enough, I think.

When someone crosses the line with an attempt at humor in our family or circle of friends, we correct them and move on. Some called for an apology. While it would be the ultimate in class, I don't think that it's necessary. Removing the video at least took us back to status quo ante. There is no need to further attempt to influence the people at The Onion or encourage their advertisers to influence them for us.

We can certainly remember those who were good corporate citizens, though. The real winner in all of this appears to be Screenlife Games, who showed a lot of class by standing up to one of their advertising outlets. Really, that's how we pay for all of this "free" media. We buy products, and the producers of those products buy advertising. Wonderful.

While we can never be sure if The Onion had a sudden attack of conscience and good taste regarding the treatment of severely wounded warriors, I think that we all know in our hearts that something happened here that once again demonstrated that a group of people who share a common idea can have influence from time to time.

Make up your own mind, but my boycott of the advertisers, having no further purpose at this point in time, has ended. While I have no reason to be seriously impressed by the corporate citizenship of either Sonic or Burger King, I have a new found respect for Screenlife Games.

Thanks for listening to us, Onion. Hey, we know that satire is your business, but you did the right thing by taking it down. Good job setting it straight.

Anita, if you ever read this, thank you very much. You have demonstrated good corporate citizenship and what it can accomplish.

To anyone who read this blog and took some action, thank you so very much. Action speaks.

I am humbled by the voices of the Angels who rallied to stand up for those for whom they care so much. They fight hard. Many of their local chapters have blogs. Take a look at the Angels in your area and see what they're up to. Each action sends a ripple across the pond.

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