Your handy 'Fire David Letterman' Kit, Part Two

by CynthiaYockey on June 16, 2009

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This is Part Two of your handy “Fire David Letterman Kit,” complete with sample letters, mailmerge instructions and contact info. Here are the topics I plan to cover in the complete kit:

  1. Part One — Why we are angry and our cause is just: videos and timeline of David Letterman’s offenses.
  2. Part Two (this post): Overview of the tools to use to get David Letterman fired.
  3. Part Two (this post): How to do a mailmerge
  4. Part Three (next post): Table of contacts you can copy and paste into Word for your mailmerge data
  5. Part Four: Sample letters
  6. Part Five: Sample e-mails

Both Sebastian Gray* and I have a lot of experience in activism. Mine was for my late life partner, Margaret Ardussi, and ranged from learning how to work government and legal systems and letter-writing, to getting lawyers, elected officials and the media involved. [Maryland state senator Ida Ruben (D, Montgomery County) saved our lives, literally, several times.] Some of the organizations I won battles with include our condo association, a hospital, the Kennedy Center and the state of Maryland. My specialties were disability rights and Fair Housing laws. I also wrote the first edition of the most authoritative guide on the rights of people with disabilities to keep animals in all forms of “no pets” housing — you can find the current edition here. The happiest day of my life was when I won my battle with a bureaucrat and got Margaret restored to home hospice care. That’s why I keep telling everyone that mastering these skills will empower them for the rest of their lives.

However, Sebastian has more experience in gaining victories with letter-writing campaigns, so I will be linking his posts at HillBuzz where necessary. Here is an e-mail he sent me providing an overview of the hierarchy of what to do to get the most impact from your efforts:

Here is the most effective way to reach corporate America:

(1) Well-written letters FedExed directly to C-suite** and board members
(2) Well-written letters mailed by USPS to C-suite and board members
(3) Well-written letters faxed to C-suite and board members
(4) Phone calls to C-suite and board members
(5) Well-written letters emailed to C-Suite and board members
(6) Phone calls to customer complaint lines (which are seldom listened to)

The trouble with efforts like this is that most people in today’s world go straight to 5 and 6, and are thus ineffective.

FedEx is most effective because it costs money to send FedEx, so people listen as it’s rare to get massive complaints by FedEx. The US mail also costs money, so it’s listened to. Phone calls and emails are easiest for people to send, but they carry less weight.

Posting sample letters is smart. [I told Sebastian I will be posting sample letters. They will be in Parts Four and Five.]

The best thing to do is to focus on three advertisers and direct everyone’s attention to breaking them: we chose Olive Garden, Mars candy, and Kelloggs.

Once we knock one of those sponsors off, we’ll replace that sponsor with Burger King, and then when another goes, we’ll put in some other product. But all firepower needs to be directed at three targets instead of 100, and the effort is maintained by not stopping when we “win” against one, but instead setup a new target and keep going.

It’s the Al Sharpton Way.

And it works.

Here is an excellent post from Sebastian TODAY on the difference between Democrats and Republicans in persisting until they achieve their goal — which, in this case, is to take down a prominent sexist bully before we are swarmed with them BY GETTING LETTERMAN FIRED! It is NO FREAKING ACCIDENT that this campaign is being pressed by a Democratic gay man (Sebastian) and an ex-Democrat newly conservative Republican lesbian (me) because we both have Democrat activist TENACITY OF PURPOSE!!! WE. MUST. WIN. THIS. FIGHT.

*Sebastian is a centrist Democrat in Chicago and part of HillBuzz, the gay male collective of Hillary PUMAs who volunteered, donated, traveled and campaigned their hearts out for McCain/Palin as soon as the Democratic National Committee ratifed Obama’s theft of the nomination from Hillary Clinton. Sebastian and his HillBuzz friends are staunch supporters of both Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. I don’t know anyone else who has been doing a better job of calling out sexism and working to defeat it than HillBuzz.

**The “C-suite” is comprised of all the top executives whose titles start with “C,” for “chief,” for example, chief executive officer, chief financial officer — see Wikipedia here for a list of possible C-suite titles.

The EASY way to send as many personalized letters as you like — how to do a mailmerge

You may feel daunted about the prospect of individually addressing and personalizing each letter you write, even if you use “Save As” to create a new copy of your letter with the intention of deleting the previous addressee and putting in a new one. Not to worry. Using mailmerge will automate the process.

“Mailmerge” is when your word processing software can take data from a table you create and enter it at the right place in letters you set up so the program knows where to put the data that make the letter look unique and personalized. For this campaign, I will find the contact data, put it into the data tables and write the sample letters set up correctly. This info will be in Parts Four, Five and Six of my “Fire David Letterman” Kit.

Microsoft’s tutorial on how to do a mailmerge is here. Both the PC and Mac versions of Microsoft Word have the mailmerge feature. However, Pages, the word processing program in Apple’s iWork suite, does not have mailmerge capability.

You can use mailmerge not only to create personalized letters, but also to address envelopes, mailing labels, even make name badges. Knowing how to create a mailmerge letter will empower you as an activist for the rest of your life. Plus, it is very handy for sending out personalized Christmas letters.

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James Lloyd June 16, 2009 at 8:17 pm

Just saw a Letterman advert for the “Top Ten Things Heard at a Fire Letterman Rally.”

He’s laughing at you.

Happy Hubris David.

BlackRedneck June 16, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Hi Cynthia,

Great start to your Fire-the-Fool kit. I’m happy to help. I have questions about letters to the advertisers.

*Is it better to send 1 letter and cc the others on the list or should I go with the mail merge for each one?
*How often should I send a letter to the same company? (I already emailed / mailed the Big 3 advertisers. Normally, I would wait for a response b4 sending the next letter. But, since this is a protest and things move swiftly, how often should I just keep firing them off?)
*Any additions to the cc’s? Depending on the issue, I like to cc businesses and gov’ment agencies related to the company I’m targeting. The cc’s can include the Better Business Bureau, SEC, FCC, media outlets, etc. Media won’t be a big help here, but how about Fox News and the community relations department of local radio, El Rushbo, Hannity?

Cynthia Yockey June 17, 2009 at 12:53 am

Black Redneck,

1. Mailmerge the letter to the entire list, but also have the name of everyone receiving it in the cc list. If that bugs you, I think you can set the mailmerge so you see each letter as it comes up with the merged data and make last-minute changes — like taking the name of the addressee out of the cc list. I know I’ve done that, but not in the current version of Word, which I’ve only had since early April.
2. Yes, if you like, also cc your letters to Rush and Hannity and Glenn, your local newspaper and your local affiliate TV station that carries Letterman.
3. The FCC is the agency that regulates the television station licenses and the public airwaves. You do not need to include other agencies or the BBB or SEC.
4. If you receive replies, please scan them and forward them to me at cynthia at along with a PDF of your original letter.

Well done! You are doing it right! Keep me posted!!!


Dee June 17, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Enough already. Now you’re trampling on Letterman’s rights to have a job. This is a free country. Political correctness is exhausting poison.

Jim Treacher June 18, 2009 at 9:20 am

I’m fine with his apology, but in no sense is Cynthia trampling on his rights by exercising her own.

Nor is it “PC.”

Cynthia Yockey June 18, 2009 at 9:53 am

Jim Treacher,

Thank you for coming to comment, which is very gracious, especially since I criticized you in a post for being willing to let things go after Gov. Palin accepted Letterman’s apology. Letterman’s remarks were insulting and intimidating to all women and also to all the Republican and conservative candidates he wants to use his platform to destroy. We must fight back and we must fight until Letterman is fired because our lives and the future of this country truly are at stake in this battle.

Jim, I enjoy your work very much. If I ever write anything that makes YOU laugh, it will make my day.


Renee June 18, 2009 at 3:36 pm

I have good intentions but I broke the “mail a letter” rule and emailed instead to the people listed below.:) I wanted to share what I got back a few minutes ago. I also listed the brands/products listed below that I will not be supporting any longer (use this list! ). I am sure I missed some products but these are the ones I found when researching the four sponsors I chose to address. I read on politico today that Olive Garden has pulled their ads. Here is my first response!

Hello Renee,
Thank you for contacting us regarding your disappointment with the program content which contained a commercial for a Unilever product. We never wish to offend anyone and your opinions are appreciated regarding this subject matter. Advertising for Hellmann’s or media buys are done months in advance and unfortunately we can’t foresee issues in the media before they come up. We appreciate the feedback from our consumers and we’ve decided to pull our online ads from the Letterman show from our advertising schedule moving forward.
We hope that this information has given you a better understanding of our advertising practices. Thank you again for taking the time to share your views with us. You can be assured that your comments will be considered as we continue to challenge our perceptions about what is appropriate for us in today’s environment.

Kind regards,
Your friends at Hellmann’s/Best Foods

My letter went to these emails: ; ; ; ;
Cc:,,,,;;;, ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

Parent Companies and their bands which sponser the David Letterman Show:

Darden Brands:

Olive Garden

Red Lobster

Longhorn Steakhouse

Seasons 22

Bahama Breeze

Capital Grille




Mars Bar


Dove Chocolate



Uncle Bens


Sheba pet Food

Cesar Pet Food



Royal Canin


Becel, Flora









Blue Band, Rama


Hellmann’s, Amora










Kelloggs Brands:

Apple Jacks®
Kellogg’s Corn Flakes®
Cracklin’ Oat Bran®
Crunchy Blends®
Eggo® Cereal
Froot Loops®
Frosted Flakes®
Frosted Mini-Wheats®
Fruit Harvest®
Honey Smacks®
Product 19®
Kellogg’s Raisin Bran®
Rice Krispies®
Smart Start®
Special K®
Organic Promise®
Good Friends®
Mighty BitesTM
Heart to Heart®
7 Whole Grains
Pop-Tarts® Toaster Pastries
Kellogg’s Go-Tarts!™
Snack Bars
Kashi® Chewy Granola Bars
Kashi® GOLEAN® Bars
Kellogg’s® Crunch™ Bars
Kellogg’s® Crunchy Nut™
Sweet & Salty Bars
Kellogg’s® Granola Munch’ems
Rice Krispies Treats® Squares
Special K® Bars
Breakfast Bars
All-Bran™ Bars
Nutri-Grain® Cereal Bars
Nutri-Grain® Muffin Bars
Nutri-Grain® Yogurt Bars
Fruit Flavored Snacks
Fruit Steamers™
Fruit Twistables™
Kellogg’s™ Yogos™
Fruit Leather
Stretch Island® Fruit Leather
On-the-Go Snacks
Rite BitesTM
Keebler® Cookies
Keebler® Cookies
Chips Deluxe® Cookies
E.L. Fudge® Cookies
Fudge Shoppe® Cookies
Golden Vanilla Wafers® Cookies
Sandies® Cookies
Soft Batch® Cookies
Vienna Fingers® Cookies

Carr’s® Cookies

Famous Amos®
Famous Amos® Cookies

Murray® Cookies
Murray® Sugar Free Cookies

Keebler® Crackers
Club® Crackers
Keebler® Grahams
Munch’ems® Baked Snacks
Town House® Crackers
Wheatables® Crackers
Toasteds® Crackers
Zesta® Crackers

Austin® Crackers

Carr’s® Crackers

Cheez-It® Crackers
Sunshine Krispy® Crackers

Kashi® TLCTM Crackers

Loma Linda®

Morningstar Farms® Organic

Kashi GOLEAN Waffles
Morningstar Farms®

Perplexed June 20, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Why haven’t the flight attendant unions climbed all over Letterman for his “slutty stewardess” remark?

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