"Therefore, when using troops, one must take advantage of the situation exactly as if he were setting a ball in motion on a steep slope. The force applied is minute, but the results are enormous..." - General Sun Tzu, The Art of War (V.25 Chang Yu), ~400BC
Well, it's come to this. Hopefully, you either visited Michael Yon's site to get the latest or heard him on Pundit Review Radio telling the story of how HFM agreed to stop using his image and make a donation to Fisher House, and then changed their tune.
I work with a few photographers in my civilian job. They all warned me to tell Mike that magazines run roughshod all over photogs because a photographer will not engage in a huge legal fight over a picture that is only worth a few hundred dollars. So, in the normal operation of their businesses, magazine publishers tend to get away with a lot of nonsense at the expense of photographers.
HFM really misjudged Mike Yon. They tried to placate him long enough to get by, and then changed the deal and tried a strongarm tactic on Mike. So, how can we help?
We already might have done in Shock, but that's not enough...
So I am calling for a boycott of HFM's flagship magazine Car and Driver. Boycott's are legal. Contact your clubs, friends, family, work groups, professional organizations, etc. You have more influence here than you might think.
Anyone want to start boycotts on the other magazines? Elle, Flying, etc...think about where you might fit in and get going.
I have sent emails to my friends about doing the same. My doctor pals are canceling their office subscriptions as well. I have a small email list of about two thousand veterans. They'll be hearing about this shortly.
Here's my letter to HFM:
I have long been an auto enthusiast and have purchased Car and Driver magazine for at least a decade - usually at Borders. I am also a military veteran and owner of the military blog Blackfive.net.
I am writing in response to your (1) misuse of the photo of Major Bieger and little Farah who was killed by insurgents which is owned by Michael Yon and (2) your feeble attempts at avoiding responsibility for said misuse. You took a heart-breaking and poignant photo and twisted it to fit your own political agenda. Mike could have benefited from that photo many times over by selling it to outfits like you seeking to undermine our success and change history. Mike has something that you obviously don't value.
You have grossly misunderstood the reaction that your blatant disregard for the rights of Michael Yon has caused.
At this moment, I am writing a post on my blog calling for a boycott of Car and Driver. My blog will reach a hundred thousand people by the time you read this letter. I am going to send a few thousand emails as well to military veterans. As you might know, veterans tend to be very motivated people. They'll forward it on...this will go viral. I'll make sure of that.
I'll make sure to discuss your conduct on New England's number one talk radio station this weekend, WRKO - if you get this letter in time, be sure to listen. If you miss this Sunday's broadcast, just tune in the next week. I'll keep at it.
And that's just for starters...
Then, I'm going to boycott your advertisers and ask everyone to do the same.
I don't think you quite understand what you have done. If you think that your fight is with Mike, you're mistaken. There are already thousands of people involved. By tomorrow, there'll be thousands more. We're not in this for money. We're going to fight you for honor and honor alone.
We're in for the long haul.
All the Way,
Please go to Mike's site where he's listed a lot of information and requested that you let him know if you've contacted HFM or it's subsidiary magazines. I think that he'd appreciate knowing that you've got his back on this.
Car and Driver contact information:
HFM contact information:
Executive Vice President & COO
tel : 1-212-767-6000
fax : 1-212-767-4895
email : [email protected]
[Also posted letter at MilBlogs.]