Monday, August 17, 2009

It's called the free market. And it's turned on Glenn Beck.

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Glenn Beck went too far, even by his wildly extremist standards, when he recently called Obama a "racist" with "a deep-seated hatred for white people." (It was "glennbeckery" at its most blunt.) And, in response, advertisers are pulling their support from his show. As James Rucker reports at HuffPo, eight more advertisers have joined the growing list, including Wal-Mart (hardly a bastion of left-wing radicalism), Best Buy, and CVS. The number, apparently, is up to 20.

Obviously, these companies are not acting in a vacuum. They're responding, in large part, to an impressive anti-Beck campaign organized by Rucker's ColorOfChange.org. But what's wrong with that? I applaud Rucker and his fellow activists for saying that enough is enough and actually doing something about it. The right does this sort of thing all the time, pressuring companies to adopt policies sympathetic to various right-wing causes, notably of the fundamentalist Christian variety. But this isn't about moralism or theocratism, it's about exposing Glenn Beck for what he is, a right-wing blowhard who has made a name for himself spewing vitriol. This campaign, far from making things up, is simply pointing out to these companies that in advertising on Beck's show they are implicitly agreeing with him. And, clearly, the more they come to know about Beck, the less they like him, the more likely they are to pull their support.

And it's certainly refreshing when the Becks of the world get their comeuppance.

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22 Comments:

  • Michael, I respect your right to an opinion. But didn't Jesse Jackson do the same thing, boycotting industries for 'pay downs'? And doesn't Glenn have a right to espouse his opinion that millions agree with. Do we really want just a one-sided liberal voice on everything?

    By Blogger james, at 8:20 AM  

  • Still, Fox is holding onto Beck. Fox still gets ad revenue from these advertisers for other programs. Do they think they will reinforce the loyalty among the Fox faithful by standing by Beck? Until these advertisers pull ALL of their ads from Fox, I'm not certain anything will change. It would not surprise me to see Fox use Beck as some sort of a "loss leader." They are committed to owning their 25 to 30% of the viewer marketplace and to heck with the rest of us.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:23 AM  

  • Glenn Beck has a right to speak and not have the gov't come down on his neck. He does not have the right to speak and not have society come down on his neck. We are using the tools at hand (not the arm of the gov't) to let him know his speech is hateful and repugnant to many Americans.

    By Anonymous Boudica, at 8:27 AM  

  • The difference is Glenn Beck is spewing lies not an opinion. There is a definition of a racist (look it up) and President Obama is not a racist.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:29 AM  

  • I'm giving this three months. Once companies realize that liberals' wrath has been appeased, they'll return to advertising on Beck's show.

    By the way, since liberals are so into punishing commentators for "hate-speech," when will liberals demand Keith Olbermann get his just desserts?

    By Blogger Dr. J. Robert Asten, at 8:51 AM  

  • Dear Doctor, if you can tear yourself away from Glenn Beck long enough, you will be free to mount your own ad boycott of Olbermann and others. It is not "the liberals" job to do your work for you. Get on the stick man, stat!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:45 AM  

  • So you're admitting that you agree with Keith Olbermann's railings against conservatives, but oppose it when Beck says it? I never knew liberals could be hypocritical...I must get out more.

    I don't find Beck's rhetoric to be very threatening, nor that far off the mark, when you think about how the Justice Department dropped a solid case of voter intimidation against the New Black Panther Party, nodding in agreement with Jeremiah Wright, and throwing his white grandmother under the bus.

    By Blogger Dr. J. Robert Asten, at 10:01 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:30 AM  

  • Dear Mr. Asten, I happen to believe that Olbermann gets his facts right. The general jist of newspapers and radio & TV news agrees with me, and Olbermann.

    Glenn Beck has been proven, over and over again, to be a rumor-mongering liar.

    I notice that you can't stick with Beck, you feel you have to branch out (rather incoherently, I might add), is that because you have such a lousy argument in support of Beck? Nah, couldn't be!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:47 AM  

  • And I haven't heard Keith Olbermann do any "hate speech", he said the Bush administration was crooked, inumerating one person at a time. The evidence that is no appearing, since the Bush Administration can't cover it up any longer, supports all of his arguments.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:50 AM  

  • And yes, Mr. Asten, you DO need to get out more.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:51 AM  

  • Because Media Matters doesn't agree with Glenn Beck, doesn't mean he's "been proven over and over again to be a rumor-mongering liar." I'm not defending Glenn, I am only noting how liberals will use video and audio clips of people they don't like, in an attempt to silence them. When Rudy Giuliani opposed "Piss Christ," and Laura Ingraham and Michelle Malkin called on Verizon to drop sponsorship of Akon after the video of his shenanigans in Trinidad were released, liberals felt a chill over their free speech rights. Those two incidents were far more insidious than anything Glenn Beck has ever said.

    When I refer to Olbermann, I'm not only talking about his incoherent Speshul Komints against all things conservative, I'm talking about how he will lift a story from a blue blog and "report" on it without fact checking. An example was claiming that Walter Reed was run by the VA in a tirade against the Bush Administrations alleged war on veterans, stating that the crumbling facilities was an indication that Bush doesn't car about vets, let alone their healthcare treatment. Walter Reed is managed by the US Army, not the VA. Just last night, this same VA system that doesn't care about vets, he called "superlative." Could that have anything to do with his Emmanuel Goldstein retiring on a ranch in Texas?

    And obviously, I do need to get out more, since I'm learning that liberals hate conservatives...

    By Blogger Dr. J. Robert Asten, at 11:17 AM  

  • Liberals don't hate conservatives. Many liberals I know today ARE conservative. "Dr. J" I suspect you are, like many neo-conservatives, spoon-fed your ideas as to what "liberal" and "conservative" are.

    In college, I was considered conservative, as an adult (age 50) I'm considered by many to be liberal. In fact, I haven't changed much. I'm similar to my farmer parents and grandparents in living simply, keeping promises, working hard, bearing my responsibility for friends, family, and neighbors. I don't believe the talking heads on the radio speak for me. You apparently believe in some modern "fantasy" of conservatism. You could not be more wrong.

    It is these labels that keep us divided. As long as there are self-proclaimed conservatives following the small-world, narrow views of what passes for conservative leadership these days, things will never get better.

    Dr. J, if you're not part of the solution....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:00 PM  

  • The difference between Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann, dr. j., is that while Keith may get his facts wrong once in a great while, he has yet to mime feeding Nancy Pelosi poisoned wine, spread insane rumors on TV about FEMA reeducation camps, or insinuate that Obama's healthcare reform effort will result in the deaths of senior citizens. We're not trying to silence Mr. Beck, dr. j., we're merely aghast that a man with his national media platform uses it in such ugly, disgusting, irresponsible and frightening ways. What Glenn Beck does is akin to yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. He is contributing in the worst ways to a very charged and angry atmosphere during the administration of the first black President of the United States. Quit drawing these false equivalencies between one pundit's righteous anger and another one's insane fear-mongering grandstanding.

    --Librarian

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:35 PM  

  • Dr. J,

    If you can't see the chasm of a difference between Beck and Olbermann then you are already brainwashed beyond hope. For instance, Olbermann never advocated for another terrorist attack on the US, Beck did. What Beck said was "What This Country Needs Is a Good Terrorist Attack". There aren't any domestic terrorists with Olbermann's books on their nightstands. The Unitarian Church shooter did have Beck's book. Beck said that "Obama hates white people" and then 75 seconds later said that he didn't hate white people! The man is deranged and he has been given a megaphone to incite other deranged people to violence. That you equate to a slip by blaming the VA instead of the Army for Walter Reed. I guess you missed it that his critique was still valid since Bush is both in control of the VA AND the Army. You were so excited that you found a splinter's worth of difference between the facts and what was said that you completely missed the point.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:24 PM  

  • Heartening to see the voice of reason here. As usual, undefined terms create false equivalences. Angry speech is not necessarily hate speech. If I am angry at OJ, you can't call me someone who hates black men - unless you're someone involved with professional Glennbeckery.

    There's a big difference between accusations supported with data and hate speech or incitement and we all know it and the law knows it. Any similarity between Beck and Olbermann is simply a tu quoque attempt to justify un-American and anti-American activity.

    And don't tell me his obvious, blatant lies and self-contradictions are all in the eye of the beholder - if they're not in your eyes, you're blind.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 3:29 PM  

  • Oh...THIS is different because the target is Glenn Beck. I get it now, so I guess Keith's continued fearmongering about the Bushie's "nearly invisible" fascism and alleged criminal activity, calling Darth Cheney a terrorist, sexist rhetoric about Sarah Palin, fantasizing about getting Bill Orally in the hamstrings in an interview with Dan Patrick, and get this...lies about Glenn Beck about a National Guard Base being a FEMA camp. That's different? I will agree with you that Beck can be over the top, but why are you trying to get away with dismissing the antics of Keith Olbermann, by expessing outrage at Glenn Beck? If anything, they're the exact same, but because liberals can't stand Beck, he must go.

    Olbermann's tirade against Bush's VA is valid, I'm not arguing that it isn't. I'm noting how this system he railed against is now "superlative" since his handler, the Teleprompter-in-Chief, is trying to get ObamaCare rammed through Congress. I'm shocked someone as smart as you hasn't noted the distinction.

    By Blogger Dr. J. Robert Asten, at 3:33 PM  

  • Dr. Asten sounds like another one of the right-wing's Pavlovian dogs.

    I regularly watch Keith Olbermann. I don't like the tone of some of his reports. I don't like his mocking of other people with his "funny" voices.

    However, unlike Beck, Keith Olbermann doesn't lie. He doesn't call people racists who aren't, in fact, racists. He doesn't attack little children (like Malkin). Or stalk people (like O'Reilly). He doesn't shill for insurance companies, or Wall Street, or big business.

    Companies withdrawing their advertising dollars from Beck's show is not politics. It's the American people standing up to Beck's lies and bullsh!t, and businesses responding to genuine outrage. Not the ginned up nonsense from the health insurance industry, and their paid lackies, the GOP.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:06 PM  

  • OK, "Dr." Asten. Game's up. Take your trollery somewhere else. Visit your pals over at Malkin's.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:40 PM  

  • I guess having 'DR' in front of one's name does not provide one with any more ability to compare and contrast than your average layman.
    Just because two people offer differing opinions does not mean there is an opposite/equal relationship to be had. One would not say, for example, that Adi Amin's point of view is valid since there were people who held the opposite point of view. Defending one person by jamming your finger at someone else you believe to be just AS BAD as your guy, is NOT defending your guy. It is merely deflecting the argument away from your guy.
    On top of that blindingly stupid bit of 'nahnah-nahnah-boo-boo' logic, all you offer is KO's choice of calling VA health care 'superlative' when he once decried Bush-era VA care as deplorable to Beck calling the current president a racist (though he didn't seems to be of no consequence to you, he said Pres. Obama had a problem with white people then offered no justification for the remark). These two things are not even remotely comparable. Bush-era VA care WAS deplorable and has gotten better (majority of vets approve of VA care, it ain't superlative but that's hyperbole for you!). Bush Admin sought to cripple the VA with cut after cut, that is a fact. Beck states his conclusion as if it were a well established fact. Nothing in these two examples compare. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Move on! Oops, bad choice of words there, I know how sensitive you are.
    Comparing GB to KO is no defense of GB. GB is a fear-mongering, hate-stoking opportunist people mistake for an entertainer, KO is a blowhard and a bit stuck on himself (if you paid any attention to liberal blogs you would know we have chided him from time to time) but he does have facts on his side 90% of the time.
    Lets see if you can defend GB with GB.

    By Anonymous DIck Stone, at 4:54 PM  

  • Well well well! It seems that not as many companies boycotted Beck as had been previously reported. The vacancies left by those companies that pulled their ads, due to liberals' anger du jour, have been filled by other companies.

    Olbermann doesn't lie, but he doesn't have facts on his side all the time. That's funny, I suggest you look at how the Iseman/McCain story was his top story for two days. He also smeared Rudy Giuliani by claiming that Democrats would invite Osama to the White House, when that's not what he said. But calling Obama a "racist" is enough to call for a boycott of Glenn Beck's show, and to dismiss him as a "fear-mongering, hate-stoking opportunist."

    That's an odd policy shift coming from a group that sees criticism of Obama as subliminal racism, and not legitimate policy disagreements. Usually, it's liberals who fabricate episodes of racism against the legitimate criticism of conservatives. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that one.

    Glenn Beck had been talking about the current economic crisis the early part of last year, which was around the time Olbermann was whining about 9/11 images in Giuliani's campaign commercials, claiming it has never happened before, but didn't note Hillary did the same thing.

    The only thing I'm saying is, in addition to my claim that this "boycott" will last no longer than three months, liberals' abhorrence to "hate-speech" should be equally applied, not directed at a person whose politics you happen to not agree with.

    By Blogger Dr. J. Robert Asten, at 9:49 AM  

  • Whatever your alleged doctorate is in, it's sure as hell not English. What a collection of cliche and solecism!

    The other guy makes an observation and it's always "whining" particularly if it's an accurate observation unflattering to the people who ruined the economy.

    I was predicting an economic collapse and credit crisis a long time ago -- to a chorus of accusations of "America hating liberals talking down America" I have a feeling I've been proved right and you sure as hell sound like a whiner to me.

    And it's abhorrence "of" not "to."

    "That's an odd policy shift coming from a group that sees criticism of Obama as subliminal racism"

    Sez who? Limbaugh? That's a convenient but baseless crutch for your lame line of argument and a smelly crock of shit coming from a grammatical imbecile who sees apt criticism as treason and an endless inspiration for mindless mockery.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 11:14 AM  

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