Virgin Atlantic Loose Change update: Axed Update: Audio added Update: Virgin Atlantic statement added

posted at 12:48 pm on May 3, 2007 by Bryan

Folks, we made a difference. After our post about Virgin Atlantic airing the 9-11 conspiracy film Loose Change 2 as in-flight entertainment last night, the producer of Andrew Wilkow’s Sirius satellite radio show decided to make a phone call to Virgin Atlantic to protest the decision. Here’s what happened.

This is Nick Rizzuto the Producer of Andrew Wilkow’s show. I’ve spoken to Virgin Atlantic’s Press folks, a gentleman named Paul Charles. After a heated 20 minute conversation where I threatened to spread this information throughout the conservative media and promised them a media firestorm and PR poison, they have decided not to show the film.

Nice work, Nick. Very nice.

More: I was among many who sent emails to Virgin Atlantic to protest Loose Change. Here’s one reader’s email to the airline.

Hi – I thought since that since Virgin Airlines was going to give us a “chance to make up ‘your’ own minds” with regard to the 9/11 attacks on America, by showing the “Loose Change” movie inflight, we all would greatly appreciate seeing the works of Leni Riefenstahl so we could “make up our minds” about Nazis. And, how about all those wonderful German documentaries from 1939-1945 showing how subhumans are destroying European culture, and how Germania is a bulwark against the Bolshevik hordes and jazz-spouting American apes. We could really “make up our own minds” then. And, why stop there? Let’s see some classic Soviet films about Comrade Lenin and Comrade Stalin and the wonderful workers paradise and the marvelous 5-Year plans, so we can “make up our own minds” about the Soviet Gulags, etc. And, there’s also the glorious “Cultural Revolution” where we can “make up our minds” about how the People’s Army will free the people from the tyrannical control of the Capitalist American dogs. We could “make up our own minds” after that, too!!! Oh boy!

Loose Change? Pathetic.

- Mike H., Irvine, CA

Well said.

Update: Here’s audio from the Wilkow show.

More: Wilkow makes a salient point in that clip: What is Virgin thinking in airing a film on airplanes about hijackings? Why air a documentary that will scare already nervous passengers. It’s just a bad idea apart from the appalling film in question.

More: Statement from Virgin Atlantic–

We will not be showing Loose Change 2 on our aircraft. We don’t show movies or documentaries that cause mass offence and there is a danger with this movie that viewers, although they have the choice over what to watch and when on our flights, may be offended. Virgin Atlantic is known for showing the latest movies and media trends on its multi award-winning inflight entertainment system and we believe travellers have the right to choose from as wide a choice as possible.

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Wouldn’t it have been better to start the media firestorm after the movie had been playing for a couple of weeks? I’m just thinking that the movie would discredited even more if people have a chance to see it then have it throughly debunked and castigated in the national media.

Theworldisnotenough on May 3, 2007 at 12:56 PM

Power to the people!

soulsirkus on May 3, 2007 at 12:56 PM

Frankly, although I applaud the activism and the result, I’m not sure it really makes any difference. I would never have flown on this ass-hole’s airline no matter the cost, and I still won’t. And I’m sure the same goes for those on the left who like ass-holes like Branson; this issue was never going to change their minds about anything…

Jaibones on May 3, 2007 at 12:57 PM

Wait! Wait! A leftist selling out his principles for money? Leftists don’t do that, do they?

Farmer_Joe on May 3, 2007 at 12:58 PM

Bravo-

Loose Change – SCREWED!

Wander on May 3, 2007 at 1:01 PM

And Do-Over Dylan Avery is gonna be cranked!

Wander on May 3, 2007 at 1:07 PM

Dylan Avery will be screaming about censorship and strong arming now. What a pathetic twerp.

JammieWearingFool on May 3, 2007 at 1:08 PM

After a heated 20 minute conversation where I threatened to spread this information throughout the conservative media and promised them a media firestorm and PR poison, they have decided not to show the film.

We need to spread this information throughout the conservative media anyway, whether Virgin backed down or not. People have a right to know what kind of company they’re dealing with, especially at those prices.

ReubenJCogburn on May 3, 2007 at 1:10 PM

Dare I say it…why, yes, I think I shall…Pwn3d!

HAHAHA!!!! That is so true, Dylan Avery is gonna throw a tantrum!

Bad Candy on May 3, 2007 at 1:12 PM

Victory for the “Capitalist American Dogs” (of which I am a proud member)!!!

Rick on May 3, 2007 at 1:13 PM

I’m just thinking that the movie would discredited even more if people have a chance to see it then have it throughly debunked and castigated in the national media.

Been there. Done that. Classic cognitive dissonance.

Hootie on May 3, 2007 at 1:13 PM

I’m glad the exposure of this led to the pulling of this film but we need to keep in mind that if Virgin wants to be dumb enough to offend 70% (I’m sorry to say the % is not higher) of the flying public they have the right to do that. The real damage will come to the company when the 70% realize just how insane this company is and normal people stop using the airline along with the rest of the company’s services.

Zetterson on May 3, 2007 at 1:15 PM

Would prefer letters to the FAA. Landing rights are expensive. Might be a price increase. You never know.

Limerick on May 3, 2007 at 1:15 PM

Let’s see some classic Soviet films about Comrade Lenin and Comrade Stalin and the wonderful workers paradise and the marvelous 5-Year plans, so we can “make up our own minds” about the Soviet Gulags, etc. And, there’s also the glorious “Cultural Revolution” where we can “make up our minds” about how the People’s Army will free the people from the tyrannical control of the Capitalist American dogs.

Wait, a guy from Irvine wrote this? Irvine, California?

Wow, he must be the only person in that town that doesn’t reflexively sneer that “real communism has never been tried” at the mention of Soviet and Chinese oppression.

ScottMcC on May 3, 2007 at 1:21 PM

Hootie on May 3, 2007 at 1:13 PM

I’m just saying how many people in the middle of the political spectrum will not hear about this at all? Better to shine a little sunlight on the madness. I think Virgin is getting off easy.

Theworldisnotenough on May 3, 2007 at 1:21 PM

Woof!

amerpundit on May 3, 2007 at 1:21 PM

Boo-Yah bungholios!!!!

omnipotent on May 3, 2007 at 1:25 PM

Zetterson on May 3, 2007 at 1:15 PM

I agree, but, the ‘threat’ was never that the government would get involved and punish them. It was only that the information would be spread throughout the conservative sphere.

The fact that they were willing to remove the movie from their line up so quickly is evidence that they thought better of offending their viewing/traveling public.

The free market at work is a beautiful thing.

JadeNYU on May 3, 2007 at 1:29 PM

Jade

NYU on May 3, 2007 at 1:29 PM

JadeNYU, correct. You properly expressed where the constitutional line is drawn. They have a right to say what they want and we have the right to tell them they are idiotic and expose their idiocy through the media. You are right.

Zetterson on May 3, 2007 at 1:45 PM

What is Virgin thinking in airing a film on airplanes about hijackings?

That was my first thought. It would make for a very uncomfortable 6 hour transatlantic flight. Talk about frayed nerves…. I like BA anyway…

Mike H., Irvine, CA

Fantastic letter Mike. Major kudos to you!

TheBigOldDog on May 3, 2007 at 1:46 PM

After this experience, they are Virgin no more.

JayHaw Phrenzie on May 3, 2007 at 1:48 PM

So now I won’t fly Virgin Atlantic, I won’t buy books from Borders (the Koran must be on the top shelf), won’t buy Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, French wine has been on the no-go list for a long time…it’s getting a little tricky to be a capitalist tool!

Retread on May 3, 2007 at 2:03 PM

Branson should just rename it 72Virgin. Has a nice ring to it. Burka up the flight attendents. No alcohol. A little rotating arrow in the cabin pointing to Mecca for those long distance flights.

Limerick on May 3, 2007 at 2:16 PM

Branson should just rename it 72Virgin…
Limerick on May 3, 2007 at 2:16 PM

Brilliant!

Zetterson on May 3, 2007 at 2:22 PM

Wait, a guy from Irvine wrote this? Irvine, California?

I always thought Irvine was a lonely little island of conservatism in the sea of LA guano, no?

Blacklake on May 3, 2007 at 2:22 PM

More: Wilkow makes a salient point in that clip: What is Virgin thinking in airing a film on airplanes about hijackings? Why air a documentary that will scare already nervous passengers. It’s just a bad idea apart from the appalling film in question.

That was my exact thought too.

CrimsonFisted on May 3, 2007 at 2:24 PM

one gripe, he says that 99% of US knows the Trade Center was brought down by planes, I don’t beleive this is close to true. How old is that poll that showed 36% of the US public beleives government was behind it…about the same number of Dems in country

jp on May 3, 2007 at 2:28 PM

I’m glad the Loose Change dudes aren’t in it for the money…cause the Wilkow Show just cost them a load of it. Score one for the good guys!

Verbal Abuse on May 3, 2007 at 2:28 PM

Dylan needs to update his blog.

Quisp on May 3, 2007 at 2:39 PM

What is Virgin thinking in airing a film on airplanes about hijackings?

It’s called having a captive audience.

JinxMcHue on May 3, 2007 at 3:00 PM

Blacklake, you’re right. Irvine is in district 48, represented by Congressman John Campbell [R].

Virgin needs to be exposed further. MM could bring this to FOX. Bill O’ should feature it big, so that the international viewers can see it too. Not all (perhaps some businesspeople are exceptions) are falling off the Left cliff.

Entelechy on May 3, 2007 at 3:02 PM

I think Virgin is getting off easy.

Theworldisnotenough on May 3, 2007 at 1:21 PM

As always, context is everything. ;-)

Mibrilane on May 3, 2007 at 3:21 PM

Kudos to these guys for getting this set right.

They must have read my post to another site yesterday evening which is part of the email I sent to Virgin:

All trutherism BS aside, who wants to fly on a plane where they play video showing four airliners that were hijacked, crashed, and everyone died? Great way to keep your passengers at ease — morons. Of course this is the only venue where that “documentary” could be shown without everyone getting up and walking out.

db on May 3, 2007 at 3:32 PM

Mibrilane on May 3, 2007 at 3:21 PM

Heh!

Theworldisnotenough on May 3, 2007 at 3:33 PM

Dear Virgin Atlantic Customers:

In lieu of Loose Change, which may disturb some viewers, we have elected to show you the Academy Award-nominated United 93. Have a pleasant flight.

see-dubya on May 3, 2007 at 3:33 PM

Capitalism = freedom to make a difference.

JustTruth101 on May 3, 2007 at 3:53 PM

The Truthers are going to be all over you for this HotAir. You’ve now revealed yourself as part of the Bushinati. And by the way, Virgin may have caved (for now), but I still believe that Trutherism is well on it’s way to being a mainstream, and roughly half of the population buying in to some form of Trutherism within about 10 years.

RightWinged on May 3, 2007 at 4:11 PM

Heh, nice, SeeDub.

BTW, nice job crushing the Truthers’ patriotic dissent, you buncha fascists!

Heh.

Bad Candy on May 3, 2007 at 4:11 PM

Although, in a way, this piece of claptrap could be used to our advantage. We could have them put a sign next to the screen that says, “The producers of this film support everything the hijackers did that day. This is what happens when we don’t stand up to our enemies.”

BigOrangeAxe on May 3, 2007 at 4:12 PM

RW, I hope to God that half the country isn’t that stupid. A quarter I can see, half, that’s scary. Stupid Truthers.

Bad Candy on May 3, 2007 at 4:13 PM

RW, I hope to God that half the country isn’t that stupid. A quarter I can see, half, that’s scary. Stupid Truthers.

Bad Candy on May 3, 2007 at 4:13 PM

Scary? Yup. Likely? IMO, sadly yes.

By the way, Bryan, does Michelle have an express line to the Fox News anchors? Cavuto just (like 2 minutes ago) reported that Virgin will be showing Loose Change… Obviously, once again, the blogosphere is ahead of the MSM… Anyway, Cavuto is the type of cat, if informed, who would like to report on Virgin caving to pressure.

RightWinged on May 3, 2007 at 4:28 PM

Let your passengers choose Virgin. We’ll choose to sell your azzes down the river.

Griz on May 3, 2007 at 4:35 PM

“Virgin Atlantic is known for showing the latest movies and media trends…”

Yeah, I bet they are …

“… on its multi award-winning inflight entertainment system …”

Bwahahaha …

“… we believe travellers have the right to choose from as wide a choice as possible.”

Yeah, I am sure you do. What’s the channel for the beheading vids, again? Nope, 2 is the XXX movie of the week. Hey, the Akon Concert!!!! Cool.

Anyone notice VA did a damn good product placement ad using that “statement”?

Dusty on May 3, 2007 at 4:39 PM

Drudge linked it. But it’s not there anymore :)

BJ* on May 3, 2007 at 4:41 PM

Wait, a guy from Irvine wrote this? Irvine, California?

Wow, he must be the only person in that town that doesn’t reflexively sneer that “real communism has never been tried” at the mention of Soviet and Chinese oppression.

ScottMcC on May 3, 2007 at 1:21 PM

Scott – Ha, ha. Although you’ll hear horror stories about UC Irvine, there are a lot of right-thinkers here in town (and not on campus). Just ask Hugh Hewitt. For other confirmation, check this out:
http://www.northwoodmemorial.com/

MikeHu on May 3, 2007 at 4:55 PM

Drudge linked it. But it’s not there anymore :)

BJ* on May 3, 2007 at 4:41 PM

Yes, it’s still there – two items below the red spider photo

Entelechy on May 3, 2007 at 5:40 PM

ScottMcC and MikeHu, others, please see my comment about Irvine, above. Just because UC Irvine is nuts, doesn’t make all of Irvine so. I don’t live there, just trying to be objective.

Entelechy on May 3, 2007 at 5:42 PM

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake…

Jim Treacher on May 3, 2007 at 5:43 PM

Do-Over Dylan Avery’s statement is up. He claims that he doesn’t care if they show his film, they signed a contract. In other words, he’s only in it for the money.

Brainster on May 3, 2007 at 5:59 PM

Entelechy: I got you and you’re good, but check out my post again (re: “here in town” = I live here; That’s why I posted the link). Regardless, thanks.

MikeHu on May 3, 2007 at 8:25 PM

MikeHu, I would never haggle with anyone on their local “here in town” situations – just wanted to clarify about the district. Respectfully,

Entelechy on May 3, 2007 at 11:37 PM

In response to

“So now I won’t fly Virgin Atlantic, I won’t buy books from Borders (the Koran must be on the top shelf), won’t buy Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, French wine has been on the no-go list for a long time…it’s getting a little tricky to be a capitalist tool!

Retread on May 3, 2007 at 2:03 PM”

I have given thought to this before. I decided that rather than worry about whether a few cents from this or that ketchup went to help a cause I disapproved of, I’d eat whatever ketchup I liked, then donate Dollars to approved causes. Basically, buy what you like, but be sure to spend planty on positions you support. I also urge my friends to see it the same way.

I’m not against boycotts, when they can be easily organized and maintained, but a lot of the time companies fly low, and they donate broadly, so it’s hard to be effective.

If you try and stop buying goods and services you can get outmanuvered, and the loss of your business volume by a large company may not affect thier “charities” as much as you’d like. If you can put hard cash into fighting what you oppose, it will often be a better usage of resources.

Your monetary decision to directly fund your prefered organizations with donations translates directly into political force, because you have paid real money directly to the ones you want to help. Compared to the few pennies someone you hate, will recieve from a product you might buy, your dollar is clearly more meaningful.

Yes, you do end up helping both sides of an issue, but in practical terms, you free up a lot of useful time by streamlining your process. It ends up being more efficient. Rather than track each product, wondering if any money goes to the ACLU or whoever, you focus on the organizations, and aid or oppose them with more focused intent.

The hours add up, and your valuable time can be channelled to great effect. You can even volunteer some of it if organzations you support, are in your area.

Take ‘Borders’ for example. In some areas, bookstores work with libraries to promote literacy. People are asked to volunteer and help people learn to read. So what if it’s Borders?

Use the opportunity to help someone, and add a friend to your network. Once they can read decently enough, see if they like the books that you like. Someone you have helped might take your suggestion, and really get involved in a Robert Spencer book. That helps compensate for that Koran on the top shelf. Lots of possibilities there.

I’m not saying to never boycott, but simplify your method.

Obviously any big ticket purchases can be easily targeted, and if you make sure and fire off a letter, with a competitors reciept attached, you will definetly impact your target. Suppose you were a CEO and you recieved a few thousand letters with an average Airfare reciept attached, and NONE were from your airline! “I chose your rivals because …” And there you go!

Thats how I break it down for my own mind, and if you think my tricks will work for you, I’d be flattered if you used ‘em.

USA, all the way!

ValhallaMike on May 4, 2007 at 5:02 AM

Quisp !

I read that article a bit ago, and was appalled! It is really scary to think people could be so disconnected from reality, in such large numbers, and over something as nationally important.

USA, all the way!

ValhallaMike on May 4, 2007 at 5:05 AM

More: Wilkow makes a salient point in that clip: What is Virgin thinking in airing a film on airplanes about hijackings? Why air a documentary that will scare already nervous passengers. It’s just a bad idea apart from the appalling film in question.

This was the only thought that I had when reading the original story. How stupid could an airline be to play ANYTHING inflight that concerns itself with skyjackings? Let’s just terrorize our passengers while they munch their peanuts.

Insanity.

But with a moral purpose. /sarc

Freelancer on May 4, 2007 at 12:27 PM