Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stupid DJ Tricks: Part 9

Stupid DJ Tricks is a mix of two kinds of DJs: Idiots and Evil Idiots. This one falls into the latter category.   Mere egomania is not enough to qualify. While I do have to account for the indigenous colossal egos within the broadcasting "talent pool" this one is still special.  In this case that super villain-sized ego drove a DJ to err on the wrong side of a judge who was reconsidering a $36.7 million contempt sanction.  Trying to stay on his good side would have probably been a better idea.
So to tell this story I must start in the middle.  Judge Robert Gettlemen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois had already found Kevin Trudeau in contempt of a previous court order for using deceptive practices to market a diet program. It had all started with Kevin Trudeau getting dragged into court.. again.  He spends a lot of time there. He was convicted of larceny and credit card fraud over a pyramid scheme in the early 1990s, and actually served prison time.  In 1998 he paid a $500,000 fine for making false and/or misleading claims in his infomercials. In 2004 he settled an FTC suit by agreeing to a ban on his infomercials and a $2 million settlement. With a rap sheet like that, I don't think it's a stretch to call him a white collar criminal.  So of course he saw radio as the next logical forum for his antics.there's a relatively complete list at Wikipedia HERE.
In February of 2009, Trudeau launched a self-titled Internet radio talk show.  He then sought and acquired syndication on a few small AM radio stations including 1340 WFEB-AM on Saturdays from 10am – 12pm and on 1400 WFPA-AM on Sundays from noon – 3pm. Both stations are in the distant rural suburbs of Huntsville Alabama. From this radio station he would parrot much of the same crapola he'd previously written in his books and in his infomercials.
In 2007 he published the book The Weight Loss Cure "They" Don't Want You to Know About. The FTC filed a contempt of court action against Trudeau for violating that pesky 2004 court order. On November 19, 2007, Trudeau was found in contempt of that very court order. On August 7, 2008, (9 months later) Judge Gettleman issued an order that fined Trudeau 5 million dollars and barred Trudeau from appearing in any infomercials for any product in which he has any interest, for three years. On November 4, 2008, Judge Gettleman amended the judgment to $37,616,161, An amount wholly offsetting the amount consumers paid in response to the deceptive infomercials. More here.

In February of 2009, just weeks after launching his radio show Trudeau asked his listeners to essentially spam judge Gettlemen.  Trudeau  gave out the judge's email  and asked his listeners to email words of support for Tudeau. Thousands of people complied overwhelming the judges email provider and thus disabling Gettlemen's Blackberry and PC.  The judge called an emergency hearing, and promptly held Trudeau in criminal contempt.sadly on appeal Trudeau later overturned that criminal contempt charge.  The indignant prick Trudeau followed the story on his own website of course. More here.