Hypocritical Mass

Bruce Brugmann attacked us for doing business with Clear Channel--but didn't bother to mention he'd done the same thing.

In the summer of 2005, Brugmann ran a series of ads railing against the fact that the Weekly had run advertising from the Clear Channel company, which booked music events in San Francisco. Among other things, Brugmann claimed, "Clear Channel equals monopoly media...Clear Channel equals Bush." Yet as VVM's Lacey noted in a rejoinder, Brugmann himself had a history of running Clear Channel ads, and only seemed to recognize the company's inherent evil when it did business with his competition.

It is no secret in our industry, or anywhere else in the greater Bay Area, that Bruce Brugmann is bull-goose loony. Consequently, sane people desert any room that Brugmann is sucking the oxygen out of. Why engage a homeless paranoid about the contents of his shopping cart?

No one bothers to call Brugmann on his ethical and financial corruption because no one wants to be on a bizarre person's radar screen.

Last month Brugmann ran a series of full-page ads attacking Clear Channel and our publication, SF Weekly, because a Clear Channel subsidiary, a music venue, was advertising with us. There was no allegation of editorial impropriety, no allegation of a quid pro quo, simply the charge that running advertising from Clear Channel was immoral.

Brugmann's ads and stories bandied about allegations of "monopoly media" and "chains." Brugmann neglected to tell his readers that he'd personally taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the very same Clear Channel business that he was now savaging. He only attacked Clear Channel when they stopped advertising with his paper in favor of ours.

Here is what Brugmann wrote: "Why are the Weekly folks fooling around with a greedy Texas corporation that's hell-bent on muzzling dissenting voices and homogenizing the media? ... Clear Channel, one of the nation's most notorious media conglomerates ... Clear Channel equals monopoly media ... Clear Channel equals Bush ... Clear Channel equals censorship."

If Brugmann felt this way about Clear Channel, why didn't he write this when he was cashing Clear Channel's checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising revenue? Why was he so silent as long as he was paid? Clearly, Bruce Brugmann's opinions are for sale.

Clear Channel had been one of Brugmann's most important advertisers since 2000. For all of his incessant fulminating about media concentration, Brugmann was happy to take — by conservative estimates — more than half a million dollars of Clear Channel's money to the bank, money that apparently bought his silence.

Why was he silent for five years? Why did he take their money for five years? He was silent for five years because he took their money for five years.

Bruce Brugmann's ethics are as convenient as any whore's.

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