Samuel Adams: Once Might be a Mistake. Four Times is a Pattern.

Kathy Schiffer wrote a post yesterday that moved Samuel Adams beer from a purveyor of too-politically correct advertising to dedicated Christian basher and misogynist.

I wrote a couple of days ago about the Samuel Adams beer commercial in which the company aired an ad that conflated their beer with the Declaration of Independence and then paraphrased it to take the words “endowed by their Creator” out of this quote?

Once the not-so-surprising backlash began, Samuel Adams issued the meaningless comment (I wouldn’t call it an apology) that they were just following the guidelines of the beer manufacturer’s association. I assume that Samuel Adams beer is a member of this association and voted on these “guidelines” which hardly makes them binding. The comment is, as I said, meaningless.

However Kathy moved the discussion to a whole new level by informing her readers of Samuel Adams’ past behavior. She is speaking of Samuel Adams’ company chairman, Jim Koch, when she says (emphasis mine):

It appears that Mr Koch made the usual lame comment when the public got angry. “We are not in control of the program,” he claimed, “and it was never our intent to part of a radio station promotion that cross the line.” In 2002, Boston Beer Company Chairman Jim Koch (pronounced “Cook”) was the so-called Grand Marshall of the “Sex for Sam” stunt, a radio contest on WNEW-FM in Manhattan.  Syndicated radio shock jocks Opie and Anthony staged a contest, challenging couples to engage in sexual activity in risky public places:  in taxis, in ATM vestibules, in the Disney Store and—wait for it!—in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.   Couples earned points (5, 10 or more) for each tryst in a public place.  The couple who succeeded in engaging in sexual intercourse in St. Patrick’s Cathedral were awarded 25 points for their effort.  The only way to earn more points was to engage in coitus at Koch’s feet—for which enterprising exhibitionist couples earned 30 points.

There are a few holes in the denial I put in italics. 

First, as Kathy points out:

Of course, this was the third time Koch’s company sponsored the “Sex for Sam” contest. And while acknowledging that his “presence on the show was a lapse in judgment, a serious mistake,” Koch has avoided describing just what he was doing in Opie and Anthony’s studio.

Along with handing out bottles of Sam Adams to contestants who stopped by the studio to take a break from having sex in cabs, ATM vestibules, and the Disney Store, Koch also served as the contest’s official “celebrity” voyeur. That meant if couples had sex in front of Koch, they were awarded 30 points (by comparison, sex in St. Patrick’s Cathedral was worth 25 points).

According to the audio clips you’ll find below, Koch watched as five couples attempted to obtain those 30 points (only two, um, succeeded). While Koch said he felt embarrassed for the three couples who failed to complete the act before him, he told Opie and Anthony that the competitors were, “awesome, all of ‘em, better teams. The quality gets better every year. (To read the rest go here.)

Second, he was advertising on and participating in the Opie and Anthony Show. Does anybody remember Opie and Anthony? They’re the sorry excuses for men who “interviewed” a “homeless” man and laughed approvingly and joked with him as he described in graphic terms how he wanted to rape and beat then Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and also how he wanted to rape First Lady Laura Bush to death. I’ve heard a recording of this routine. I am not going to say more about it, because it makes me too angry.

One ad might mean that the advertiser approved the campaign and was not aware of exactly what each specific ad had in it. Lame comments about following their own manufacturer’s association guidelines are admission that they knew, approved the ad, are not sorry and think we’re all stupid enough to buy their little comment as a reason.

But four times is a pattern, especially when three of those times involved active participation by the company’s founder and chairman. It moves the question from political correctness carried to the point that we are now editing the Declaration of Independence (which is bad enough) to deliberate Christian and Catholic bashing. The kind of thing the company sponsored on Opie and Anthony puts them outside the line, or at least it does with me. The fact that they supported Opie and Anthony …. no words.

I believe that the “comedy” routine about the First Lady and Secretary of State came after Samuel Adams’ beer sponsored the Sex for Sam promotion. But it is in keeping with what the continuous message of the show. Opie and Anthony had one “joke:” degradation of women and overt misogyny. In my opinion, misogyny, including incitment to violence against, and in some cases such as the one concerning the First Lady, murder of women, for laughs was the Opie and Anthony show.

Frankly, I don’t see how any decent human being would ever advertise on Opie and Anthony, based on their misogyny and support of violence and degradation of women.

My advice to those who want a clean conscience: Lay your money down for a product that does not support Catholic bashing, Christian bashing, dehumanizing and degrading exhibitionist sex and does not buy advertising on shows that promote the rape, battering and murder of women.

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  • Manny

    Yep, I saw Kathy’s and that sealed it for me too. I will not buy Sam Adams and I’ll spread the word.

  • FAZ

    You don’t listen to the show and you have no clue what the show is about in its current form. You’re rehashing something that happened ELEVEN years ago. ELEVEN. Please.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Please what? There is any need to “put in context” an invitation to inadequates to have sex in public places? Jokes about murder and rape? Where is the context? Now suppose I’d spat in your face eleven years ago, or called your mother a whore. (I am assuming, of course, that you would find either of these things insulting.) Suppose you met me again, and heard me make another crack of the same kind. Would you be inclined to shake my hand and do business with me, only because eleven years have passed, or would you say that behaviour shows the man? You would only prove a sane man if you picked the second alternative.

  • Dale

    I am only vaguely aware of Opie and Anthony and hadn’t heard about the “Sex for Sam” contest. The latter, of course, is disgusting. The former, apparently, had the reputation for being the same.

    Sam Adams Beer should never have been associated with the contest, and ideally not with the show either. However, those events took place 11 years ago. In reaction, 27 pub owners boycotted Sam Adams. Some of them said that the public apology, printed in Boston and New York newspapers, was not enough. “I will never allow (Koch’s products) inside my door again,” said Jeremiah Foley, owner of three
    J.J. Foley bars in Boston. “He was involved; he sponsored it; and he
    gave prizes. You should never disrespect a person’s place of worship.”

    Whether someone should be punished for choices made 11 years ago, I don’t know. I suppose it would depend if he were truly contrite. Does anyone know if the bad behavior of Jim Koch was repeated between then and now? I think the recent ad controversy involving the Declaration of Independence is of a different character.

    • hamiltonr

      We see it differently Dale. I see it as confirmation that what the earlier behavior demonstrated was an accurate indicator of this company’s values. If they’ve made any genuine apologies or said they were wrong, I don’t know about it. What I do see is people bending over backwards, making their apologies for them.

      How many times does a company have to spit in your face before you decide they mean it?

      If you want to buy Samuel Adams beer after all this, it’s your money. Personally, I don’t drink beer, but if I did, I’d buy something else and, since I’m the woman of this house, we’re not having any of it in my refrigerator.

      “I think the recent ad controversy involving the Declaration of Independence is of a different character.”

      • Dale

        “How many times does a company have to spit in your face before you decide they mean it?”

        I think the Declaration of Independence ad, and its omission of “by their Creator” was an act of cowardice. I don’t think it was spiteful. The same could not be said about the “Sex with Sam” contests, which was intentionally offensive.

  • Peter La Fleur

    oh boo hoo. it’s people like you that are destroying this country. a homeless guy rambles in the context of humor and you say it’s a show that promotes rape and murder. you obviously no nothing about Opie and Anthony or comedy in general so why not keep your opinions based on things you do know about.

    • Madzi

      Paula Deen is vilified for intemperate remarks 30 years ago but Opie and Anthony can encourage the disturbed to rant on about raping and killing women and that’s acceptable? PLF, your own misogyny is showing.

  • Peter La Fleur

    I disagree with your point of view and I think you are uneducated about the situations you speak about, the Opie and Anthony show and as well as comedy in general. — so Moderator .. you gonna let this comment through or so you only post favorable comments?

    • hamiltonr

      Note: I allowed these comments — I’ve gotten a flurry of similar ones — as a demonstration of how endemic misogyny is in our society. However, this blog is not the place to find support for violence against and degradation of women, much less jokes about murdering them. FWIW, I thought the program I’m referring to aired in 2007. If you are correct, and it was 11 years ago, then Samuel Adams supported the Sex for Sam promotion after it came out, which makes them the undeniable scum of the earth.

      I don’t link to evil things. You can find the link on YouTube if you want. It’s under the heading: Opie and Anthony — the clip that got them suspended from XM.

      In my opinion, Opie and Anthony are sorry excuses for men, as are their listeners. They will not find support for their hate-filled misogyny on this blog.

  • steven carr

    You’re an idiot. I’m not bashing you as a woman, I’m bashing you as a human.

  • steven carr

    Unmoderate your comment section coward. Don’t believe much in free speech unless it pertains to yours only?

    • Dale

      Steven, I also prefer being able to post comments without prior moderation. My preference is based on a desire to edit my comment to correct formatting errors.

      However, Rebecca has previously explained why she prefers moderated approval. She wants the ability to compose a response if someone challenges, with substance, what she had previously written. That seems perfectly reasonable given her motivation for writing this blog.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      I believe in free speech. Your mother is a (deleted). And even if she isn’t, by your idea of free speech I have every right to say it to your face.

    • Dave

      Where does Rebecca say anything against free speech. Samuel Adams Beer is welcome to say what they want, and we are free to boycott them and point out what they have done. Where’s the problem?

  • Jim

    We are to be ‘good stewards’ of our blessings. And if all true Christians humbled ourselves to that command, businesses would not get away with trashing our country and our God (all the time wrapping themselves in the flag).
    Shame on Mr. Koch.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    Dear Rebecca, I have left some pretty intemperate replies on this entry. I know that you don’t like that sort of thing and I won’t mind if you delete them. But I hope the individuals concerned see them, because they deserve that kind of response, and you are too civilized a person to give it to them.

    • hamiltonr

      Thank you Fabio. I did have to delete one of them (regretfully) because it was just too unkind. I also took the liberty of editing out a word in one. If the edit is something you’d rather I not do, I’ll have to delete the comment. I do thank you for your defense though. It’s much appreciate.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    I’m too much of a gourmand with my beer to have ever drunk lager in the first place. It’s good for making pancakes though- and so I’ll avoid Sam Adams for pancake breakfasts in the future.

  • FW Ken

    Where I live, Public Lewd is a class A misdemeanor. Get enough of them and you register as a sex offender, which Koch should have to do. I realize that shock jocks appeal to a certain juvenile mentality (on display in some of these comments), but that doesn’t make it ok to encourage public sex.

    I don’t drink either. If I did, this sorry excuse for a man would not be selling me his beer.

  • Bill S

    “Kathy moved the discussion to a whole new level by informing her readers of Samuel Adams’ past behavior.”

    This Kathy person sounds like a snitch. It is as if she is a tattletale telling actual and potential Sam Adams patrons about Jim Koch’s moral character. I don’t think serious beer drinkers who enjoy the taste of the Sam Adams beers really care about the morality of its founder.

    • FW Ken

      And yet, gay rights advocates are calling for a boycott of the new Ender Games movie because Orson Scott Card is a Mormon who believes in the teachings of his church (with respect to The Only Thing That Matters). But I doubt that serious movie-goers who enjoy science fiction really care about the personal views of the author.

      • Bill S

        “Orson Scott Card is a Mormon who believes in the teachings of his church (with respect to The Only Thing That Matters).”

        Ok. I’ll bite. What is The Only Thing That Matters, and what would it have to do with gays?

  • Archaeopteryx

    Haven’t had a chance to keep up with your blog, so sorry no-one seems to have pointed this out yet.

    Typo in your paragraph after the second block quote: You misspelled

    ConDoleezza as ConGoleeza. You horrible racist you. ;P

    • hamiltonr

      Fixed. Thanks for the heads up.

  • maddermusic

    I haven’t bought Sam Adams beer for years because of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral incident. Contemptible.

  • Adoration Servants

    As a devout Catholic I don’t see this as being anti-Catholic I see it as typical of the godlessness within our hedonistic immoral, amoral society. When one wants to be godless and hedonistically immoral, defaming God is just part of the fun.