Game Politics (gamepolitics ) wrote,

Radio Killed the Video Game Star, Part 1: Jack Attack

Friday was a very interesting day on the airwaves...

First, we happened to catch the contentious last 15 minutes or so of our old pal Jack Thompson on Minneapolis talk radio station WCCO-AM late yesterday morning. This was a random happenstance for GP. We noticed Jack's mention of his upcoming appearance in an e-mail he sent to Minnesota Department of Education and dialed over to the WCCO website just in time to pick up the juicy bits via the station's streaming audio feed.

Among other things (Minnesota-based retailer Best Buy taking pre-orders on Bully, blah-blah...), Jack got into it on the air with an associate of Dr. David Walsh of National Institute on Media and the Family fame. Walsh's colleague called in to contest Jack's claim that people associated with Best Buy are big NIMF donors.

This is a point of contention for a variety of reasons. It's important to remember, of course, that, in a story broken right here on GamePolitics, NIMF publicly disavowed Thompson last fall. The controversial barrister did not take NIMF's slap well, to say the least.

Regarding Best Buy, GP interviewed David Walsh in a podcast segment last December. Walsh made it very clear that Best Buy has given no funding to NIMF. Thompson, however, maintains that an attorney named Elliot Kaplan who sits on Best Buy's board of directors, has given "millions" to NIMF.

GP hasn't seen any proof either way. Even if Kaplan did contribute through a charitable foundation he runs, we'd need to see a lot more dots connected before we'd lend any credence to Thompson's conspiracy theory concerning Kaplan's alleged donations, the perfect secret shopper score NIMF gave to Best Buy in its most recent Annual Video Game Report Card, and the fact that Best Buy is taking pre-orders for Bully on its website.

The talk show host also mentioned the ongoing Florida Bar Association investigations of Thompson, which apparently caught the embattled Miami lawyer off-guard. He deflected mention of those investigations by blaming favorite targets Philadelphia law firm Blank Rome and the video game industry.

Sadly, GP was AWOL from GPHQ at the time of the program and thus unable to record the segment. Although WCCO digitally archives some of its shows, the program Thompson appeared on does not seem to be among them. GP has contacted the station to request an audio file. As of now we have not yet received an answer.

Following the interview, GP was copied on a frothy e-mail Thompson dashed off to Walsh which reads in part:

"I just did an interview on WCCO-AM... You were contacted, unbeknownst to me, to be part of what I told was just going to be an interview of me. You told WCCO that you would not come on with me, in part, because of my alleged Florida Bar problems...You and Kaplan are hypocrites, with a capital 'H.' ...Either cut off your blood money funding, or get out of the public square on this issue."

GP: While it's true that Best Buy is pre-selling Bully, so is every other game retailer. Why single out one company? Why Minnesota? Could it be because David Walsh and NIMF are based there?

Tags: best buy, david walsh, elliott kaplan, jack thompson, nimf, radio, wcco
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