Sunday, September 14, 2008

Update: FRC Doesn't Have a Clue

Sarah Pulliam, Christianity Today:

Spokesman for Family Research Council J.P. Duffy said that those in the organization did not look closely at the box until someone brought it up. Duffy said the executive director thinks the box is racist and if Joe Biden were portrayed, it would have been fine.

The booth was set up yesterday and displayed large posters of what was on the front and back of the waffle box. Several organizations like Summit Ministries and the Witherspoon Fellowship set up booths, but the booth selling waffles was the only satire product.

"We have dozens of booths and we don't know what kind of material they have. Obviously we don't necessarily approve of the material," Duffy said. "We may have given them permission to purchase a booth, but if there's anything like that that crosses the line, we ask them to cease and they did."

Duffy's statements are pure, unadulterated bullshit. Publicity for Obama Waffles started on September 5th! They received a favorable review from bloggers BY September 12th. Creator Bob DeVoss told reporters that Obama Waffles had been called racist before. The display for the boxes was up FOR AT LEAST 24 HOURS. The Summit had an attendance of about 3000. It would have been difficult (or bizarre) if Duffy or someone like Tony Perkins had not seen the display. The "someone" who "brought it up" was Eric Herman of American Atheists. Therein lies irony: FRC hates atheists. Herman probably knew that he wouldn't get anywhere with FRC, so he told reporters to look at the display and the boxes. Duffy then heard the objections from reporters - not atheists.

And DeVoss said that the boxes had been "selling like hot cakes." Yep, they'd been there for a while; at least long enough to satisfy their sales.

And who were buying them? Collectors of "Campaign Memorabilia"? People who just wanted to buy a box of waffle mix? If Lou Dobbs was pictured buying one box (yes, he was), then Lou Dobbs' cable program may be slanted, shall we say, a little too much toward the right.

Family Research Council and Focus on the Family (co-sponsors) will undoubtedly blame the media and Democrats for painting them in such an unfavorable light. They will scream "Christian-haters!!"

Too bad.

Just a thought.

Post Mortem

From working at conventions before (book conventions), I can safely say that the costs of display, setup, rental and staffing (travel expenses) were at least $25,000. In order to break even, the makers of Obama Waffles would have had to sell at least 2500 boxes! And unless they had storage facilities in Washington, DeVoss would have sent to the exhibition only about 300 at most. This was a publicity stunt that paid off.

Question: who's funding this stuff? 4-color boxes are hellishly expensive to produce unless you have a breakpoint at about 10,000. How long has their website been up?

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