Tags: African Americans, Barack Obama, bigotry, birthers, Blacks, deathers, Jimmy Carter, Joe Wilson, politics, racial justice, racism, teabaggers
Our campaign to hold Glenn Beck accountable for his race-baiting and fear-mongering has been a great success, with 62 advertisers making it clear that they don't want their brands linked to Beck's vile rhetoric. Up until now, however, there's been a question of what the real consequences are for Beck and for Fox, especially as Beck's ratings have soared. It's starting to become clear.
Today, we're announcing that Glenn Beck's show has lost over 50% of its advertising dollars since just before our campaign started. From our press release about the news:
The advertising boycott of Glenn Beck has cost the controversial host over half of his estimated advertising revenue since it was launched by ColorOfChange.org a month ago. This according to data analyzed from industry sources.
Estimated advertising revenue [the total amount of advertising money being spent during a block of commercial time for a program] was collected on a week-by-week basis for a period of two months. According to the data collected, the amount of money spent by national advertisers on Beck's program per week was at its highest at approximately $1,060,000, for the week ending August 2, 2009. ColorOfChange.org launched their campaign at the end of that week and since then, 62 advertisers have distanced themselves from Beck. Data collected for the week ending September 6, 2009 shows Beck's estimated ad revenue at $492,000, equal to a loss of $568,000.
"Fox News Channel has consistently claimed they haven't lost revenue as advertisers abandon Glenn Beck, but the numbers prove otherwise," said James Rucker, Executive Director of ColorOfChange.org. "Fox News Channel has a limited amount of ad positions. If 62 companies refuse to run ads on two of their 24 hours of programming, they are losing inventory. No matter how high Beck's ratings have been lately, advertisers still see Beck as toxic and don't want him associated with their brands. There is no way that Fox News Channel is making the money they should be making with Glenn Beck."
Our campaign is working. Respectable companies don't want to be associated with Beck or support his show with their dollars. It's resulting in a major loss of funding for his show, and at the same time making it clear that Beck's race-baiting and fear-mongering are far outside the mainstream.
The longer Beck stays isolated, the more of a problem he'll be for Fox, and the less he'll be able to spread his lies and distortions. If we can keep the pressure on, Fox will have to make a choice: 1) drop Beck because it doesn't make business sense to keep him; or 2) communicate to the world that they're so intent on providing a platform for race-baiting and fear-mongering that they don't care if they lose money (a serious problem for a public company like News Corporation, the owner of Fox).
Thanks for everything you've done to make this effort a success -- none of it could have happened without the more than 200,000 of you who have stepped to be a part of this campaign. More than ever, it's time to keep the pressure on. You can help by joining us in thanking the advertisers that have stopped supporting Glenn Beck, and calling on those whose ads are still running on his show to follow suit.
Tags: action, advertising, Color of Change, ColorOfChange.org, Fox News, Glenn Beck, petition, race-baiting
The racism and red-baiting suffered by Jones at the hands of Beck and
his admirers are simply key elements in a marketing strategy designed
to serve Very Big Business -- the oil and other business interests that
support the astroturfing group Americans for Prosperity. The strategy
is simple: prey upon the worst fears of the right-wing folks who live
next door in order to get them to organize against their own interests.
When word of Van Jones' resignation from his White House post hit the airwaves, Americans for Prosperity's Phil Kerpen, the group's policy director, wasted no time in taking personal credit. In his column on FOXNews.com, Kerpen wrote, "The Van Jones affair…is one of the most significant things I've ever had the honor of being involved in."
Progressives first became familiar with Americans for Prosperity because of its role, along with Glenn Beck's 912 Project, in organizing the disruption of town-hall meetings across the country at which members of Congress were scheduled to discuss pending health-care reform legislation with their constituents. Many assumed the AFP astroturfers, who are not required to disclose their funding sources, were aligned specifically with health-care interests -- and indeed they may be aligned with some. Look a little closer, though, and you'll find at the top of their agenda the derailment of energy reform, especially the cap-and-trade formula for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Naming defeat of clean-energy legislation his "number one legislative priority," Kerpen, in his FOX News column, details his role in demonizing Jones in the right-wing echo-chamber from which Jones, as an Obama aide, could not escape.
By his own account, Kerpen's quest to fell Van Jones began on July 9 -- weeks before Color of Change began to organize against Beck -- when he was asked to appear on FOX & Friends to explain "what green jobs are"; and to discuss Obama's green-jobs "czar," Van Jones. A little research revealed Jones' involvement, early in his activist career, with a group that embraced socialist values. From there, Kerpen extrapolated, "the ‘green jobs' concept was merely a new face on the old ideology of central economic planning and control, an alternative and a threat to free market capitalism."
The month before, Kerpen explains, he and Beck had dubbed the cap-and-trade energy reform legislation embraced by the Obama as "a watermelon" -- "green on the outside but Communist red to the core." (No racist intent in that characterization, of course.) Cap-and-trade is a mechanism through which industrial plants are given permits to produce X amount of pollution. After they've used up their allotment, they can only pollute more by buying the unused permits of other permit-holders. This creates incentives for certain businesses to limit their greenhouse gas emissions for the monetary payoff of selling their permits.
In Kerpen's August 28 appearance on Beck's show, he broadened his attack to include the Apollo Alliance, on whose board Jones once sat. The Apollo Alliance seeks to build public-private partnerships on green jobs, working with business, labor unions, government officials and activists. After that, Kerpen brays, Beck "began pounding away" on Jones.
Americans for Prosperity, FOX News and the Murdoch Agenda
Americans for Prosperity, as AlterNet reported, works closely with the personalities of FOX News, and has long received substantial funding by the oil money of David Koch, who serves as chairman of the board of directors of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation. But even that fun fact offers too narrow a view of the agenda advanced by Americans for Prosperity with the mighty assistance of Glenn Beck's uber-boss, Rupert Murdoch, owner of FOX and the Wall Street Journal, and chairman of the colossal News Corporation. Together, these two entities oppose any form of regulation that would disturb the status quo for Very Big Business -- conglomerates that range in sector from nuclear power to the for-profit prison industry.
To these entrenched interests, Van Jones is a very dangerous man, indeed -- even as a mid-level White House aide. (Now that he is "liberated" by his White House resignation, as AlterNet Executive Editor Don Hazen writes, they may soon rue the day they sought to turn Jones out of the government.)
As inspirational speakers go, it's hard to find an equal to Jones, who has already helped to broaden the clean-energy and environmental movements far beyond their white, crunchy-granola base. Adept at building coalitions and finding interdisciplinary approaches, Jones is just the person to sell an abstract concept like cap-and-trade to regular, cash-strapped Americans.
Jones' approach includes the greening of American cities, the development of green jobs for inner-city citizens -- and especially for repatriating ex-convicts into civil society -- as well as wonky remedies like cap-and-trade. It's a fully integrated vision. As Jones told me in an interview last year, "If you ... have to break up with oil and coal, you may as well break up with poverty and a bunch of other stuff."
Actually, in his FOX News column, Kerpen gets the Jones agenda pretty well:
Kerpen's problem with this agenda?
Kerpen goes on to complain that "cap-and-trade…could send these
Green groups trillions…" And they stand to gain "billions," he writes,
from "the unspent portion of the stimulus bill," which he wants to see
In essence, Kerpen's modus operandi is the latter-day equivalent of the "Defund the Left" campaign embarked on by Howard Phillips, a founder of the religious right, during his short stint in the Nixon administration.
In addition to Glenn Beck and Americans for Prosperity, a less-noticed player in the health-care drama is Grassfire, another astroturfing outfit, which, as AlterNet reported, organized town-hall disrupters through its ResisNet site. Grassfire is endosed by Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, who on September 4, called upon Van Jones to resign, citing Jones' "extremist views".
ResistNet is a social-networking hub for the armed patriot movement, as well as racists and paranoids of all stripes. (On the day we visited, we found one video comparing Obama to Hitler, and another featuring a preacher who called him "a half-breed MacDaddy" and called upon "white folks"; to "riot in the streets.") Grassfire is also organizing its members for a ground assault on cap-and-trade.
The Stop-Obama Alliance
Make no mistake: Van Jones' resignation from the White House was the work of the very same forces that brought you the rage of August's town-hall meetings, where a rude and sometimes violent minority, using the tactics of thugs, convinced mainstream media that the American people rejected efforts by Obama and congressional Democrats to reform health care. (Played over and over, that theme began to convinced even Americans who thought they had wanted health-care reform began to doubt themselves, thanks to the lies advanced by the town-hall screamers.)
Though these forces are most recognizably felt in the health-care debate, stopping health-care reform is likely a means to a greater end. It's far easier to upset people over their personal health care than it is to get them ginned up over something as esoteric as cap-and-trade or net neutrality (also targeted for legislative defeat by Americans for Prosperity). But once you've used health-care reform to convince the frightened and paranoid that the president is a white-people-hating socialist (or fascist, depending on the day) who wants to kill off Grandma, it's a lot easier to get them to oppose just about anything he might propose.
A very powerful alliance, designed to motivate various iterations of the grassroots of the right wing, is taking shape, and its players are determined to win by any means necessary -- be they racism, red-baiting, violence or lies. Americans for Prosperity, Grassfire, Freedom Works (the Astroturf group led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey) and the Murdoch empire -- especially as represented by Glenn Beck -- have teamed up to keep the air dirty, the poor in their place and more people dying every day for lack of health care. But more than anything, they've joined hands to keep the preponderance of the earth's riches in the hands of a very few -- the rest of us be damned. They're determined to die with the most toys, leaving a poisoned and impoverished planet as their legacy.
Adele M. Stan AlterNet's Washington bureau chief.
Tags: AlterNet, Americans for Prosperity, astroturfing, ColorOfChange, Dick Armey, Ella Baker, Fox News, Freedom Works, Glenn Beck, green jobs, GreenForAll, Obama, racism, Van Jones
By Ludovic Blain
I've been disappointed by white liberals and progressives' unwillingness and incompetence combating racism for 20 years. The inaction of large green groups Van Jones resignation is yet another example.The NAACP, Equal Justice Society and Color of Change explicitly supported Van Jones before his resignation. On the white side, Treehugger, Grist and a few other small white organizations did. But the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, Greenpeace, and NRDC, who together must represent more than $100 million of mostly liberal and progressive foundations, big donors, and individual contributors money, were MIA. These groups either took a dive because the attacks on Van were racist, or they incompetently let the right set the terms of debate before entering. Either way America deserves better greens.
Here's today's Color Line Question: Are there organized white liberals that can be trusted to maintain their commitment to their issue when the right attacks with racist wedges? I appreciate white fellow travelers, like Tim Wise, and small white anti-racist organizations like Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, on the racial justice path. But they seem to have no influence on larger white groups like the Sierra Club, NOW, Common Cause, MoveOn, and other staples of the white left. To be clear, I'm not discussing whether white groups will take on issues of people of color, as I'm setting the bar much lower--can organized white liberals keep their eye on THEIR prize when the right's racism comes a calling?It's been easy for progressives to attack President Obama for not defending Van--but do they really expect Obama to be out in front of the white left? It seem hypocritical to attack the White House for being spineless without attacking NRDC, Sierra Club, EDF and Greenpeace for being spineless as well.
Let's remember--the most radical thing said by any national figure about racism in the recent past was Obama saying the white cop acted stupidly. The left certainly didn't counter the right's racist framing of Obama's articulation of a racist incident.
In addition to this situation, in my political lifetime people of color have been let down by white national liberal organizations on mid-1990s welfare deform by white feminist groups, on prop 8 by white gay groups who blamed Black voters for it's passage, by white communications organizations on any number of issues including California propositions 187 (anti-Affirmative Action) and 209 (anti-immigrant), and many other times. Although some examples are from a decade ago, I see no indication that white liberals are any better on racism now.Although whites will be a minority by around 2050, America has to survive that long. If white progressives either can't or won't oppose racism, then we'll need a new set of white progressive funders and leaders to do something better. And if white liberals continue to be unable or unwilling to challenge the right's racist attacks then we are truly on the path to fascism.
And the world and it's humans of all races can't take too many more failures. Or, more accurately, the world and all it's races can't take many more white failures.
Afro-Netizen on Sunday, September 06, 2009 at 01:34 PM in Commentary/Opinion, Media/Technology, ObamaWatch, Politics, Public Policy, Race, Culture & History, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: ColorOfChange, MoveOn, racial justice, racism, Treehugger, Van Jones, white liberals
UPDATE: On "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos, Gibbs told Stephanopoulos that Obama thanks Jones for his service but doesn't endorse his views or object to his resignation.
"What Van Jones decided was that the agenda of this president was bigger than any one individual. The president thanks Van Jones for his service in the first eight months," Gibbs said.
Before Gibbs came on his show, Stephanopoulos tweeted ominously:
Van Jones, under fire from the extremist television show host for his background in radical activism, has resigned from the administration.
Jones was Special Adviser for Green Jobs at the Council on Environmental Quality - the so-called 'Green Jobs' Czar. Jones' 2008 book, The Green Collar Economy, was a New York Times best-seller.
The saga began with Glenn Beck, a talk show host for Fox News, who hammered at Jones relentlessly the last several weeks for his radical past.
Jones never denied his past affiliation with the radical left. In the '90s, he was involved with the group Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM), which sympathized with Maoist-inspired peasant movements throughout the world and was organized to protest police brutality.
Jones, however, left radical politics and made the decision to work within the system, rather than try to overthrow it. For Beck, however, Jones' past statements were evidence that Obama is secretly marshaling a cadre of lieutenants pushing an agenda that is "radical, revolutionary and in some cases Marxist." (Meanwhile, in reality, Obama is backing away from even including a public health insurance option as part of health care reform. How that squares with Obama's Marxist agenda Beck has yet to explain.)
Before Beck mentioned Jones in the last few weeks on his Fox News television show, Jones remained an obscure figure in the administration. After Beck mentioned him, protesters at town hall meetings made Jones a staple of their complaints.
Jones, in a statement, said he no longer wanted to be a distraction.
"On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide. I have been inundated with calls - from across the political spectrum -- urging me to 'stay and fight.' But I came here to fight for others, not for myself. I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future."
It's exceedingly unlikely that Beck will be satisfied by Jones' resignation, seeing in it evidence that he was correct in his assessment of Obama's supposed radical lieutenants. "Jones is the tip of the iceberg," Beck has said.
Once Beck made Jones a target, a series of revelations put him in political danger. Asked in February of this year why Republicans were able to block Democratic legislation despite being wildly outnumbered, he said, "The answer to that is, they're assholes."
Jones went on: "And Barack Obama is not an asshole. So, now, I will say this: I can be an asshole, and some of us who are not Barack Hussein Obama, are going to have to start getting a little bit uppity."
It also emerged that Jones had signed a "truther" petition back in 2004. Truthers insist that there are unanswered questions about what U.S. officials knew about the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks before they occurred and want further investigations.
There's nothing inherently left-wing about 9/11 conspiracy theorists or right-wing about birthers, though backers of each theory tend to fall on opposite ideological extremes because of mistrust of the president in question, be he Bush or Obama. But the birther movement includes prominent Republicans, including members of Congress, while connection to the truther movement can help cost a relatively obscure administration official his job.
There's a lesson to be learned. "If you want to say batsh*t-crazy stuff and still be treated as a respectable participant in the national debate, you'd better be a Republican," gauged blogger Mark Kleiman after hearing the news of Jones' resignation. "Suggesting that President Bush invited the 9/11 attacks in order to start a war is really no crazier than suggesting that President Obama wants to let terrorists loose in the United States, or that he plans to kill old people and disabled children, or that there's something sinister about his encouraging schoolkids to study hard."
Those latter three charges, of course, have been leveled recently by elected Republican members of Congress.
A Jones remark about environmental justice also landed him in trouble. He was accused of race-baiting for suggesting that "[t]he white polluters and the white environmentalists are essentially steering poison into the people of color's communities because they don't have a racial justice frame."
During the presidential campaign, Obama repeatedly threw aides overboard who became political liabilities; White House observers saw Jones' departure more as a matter of when rather than if.
His fate was sealed when Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs declined to defend him at a recent press conference.
QUESTION: Van Jones. I know he has issued an apology for his proctological remarks, but apparently there is also video of him accusing white polluters of poisoning people of color communities. Does the president still have confidence in this guy?
GIBBS: He continues to work in the administration, and I would refer you to the statement that CEQ put out last night about this.
GIBBS: That's the Council on Environmental Quality
QUESTION: Yeah, but Robert is that as far as you are going to go with this?
GIBBS: That is the statement that has been put out last night.
QUESTION: The stories on television have been pretty offensive.
GIBBS: And I think if you refer to the statement, he apologized.
QUESTION: Van Jones. His name appears on a 2004 petition, demanding to know the truth about 9/11, whether or not the Bush Administration played a role in 9/11 so as to justify a war for oil. He said in his statement yesterday that he doesn't agree with that, and an administration source said he didn't fully read it before he signed it, he agreed to have his name signed to it. Now it comes out today that in 2002 he was on an organizing committee for a 9/11 Truther march. Your administration has been very active in knocking down the so-called Birthers, the people who allege without any evidence, and despite all evidence to the contrary, that the president was not born in the United States. How can the administration tolerate somebody who subscribes to a different insane conspiracy theory, as a senior adviser?
GIBBS: Again, it is not something that the president agrees with, and again I would point you to the statement from CEQ.
QUESTION: How many past statements have to emerge before he no longer has the confidence of the president?
GIBBS: A good question for next time.
Jones' resignation, coming around midnight on the Saturday of a three-day weekend, minimizes the amount of time Beck and his allies can spend celebrating.
"It has been a great honor to serve my country and my President in this capacity. I thank everyone who has offered support and encouragement. I am proud to have been able to make a contribution to the clean energy future. I will continue to do so, in the months and years ahead," Jones said.
UPDATE: TWI's Dave Weigel has the tick-tock on the Beck Effect.
Ryan Grim is the author of This Is Your Country On Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America
For Immediate Release
September 2, 2009
Contact: Brandon Hatler – DumpGlennBeck at gmail dot com
11 New Companies Pledge Not to Run Additional Ads on Glenn Beck Program
Capital One, Mercedes-Benz, Discover Among Latest To Distance Themselves from FNC Host
OAKLAND, Calif.—Eleven new companies whose ads were recently seen during Beck’s program—Binder & Binder, Capital One, The Dannon Company, Discover, HSBC, ICAN Benefit Group Insurance, Infiniti, Jelmar (manufacturer of CLR All-Purpose Cleaner), Jordan McKenna Debt Counseling Network, Mercedes-Benz and Simplex Healthcare (creator of the Diabetes Care Club) —have pledged to ColorOfChange.org to take steps to ensure that their ads don’t run on Beck’s show. Fifty-seven companies have now committed not to support Beck’s show since ColorOfChange.org launched its campaign four weeks ago after the Fox News Channel host called President Obama a “racist” who “has a deep-seated hatred for white people” during an appearance on Fox & Friends.
“We applaud those companies that have recently pulled their support from Beck,” said James Rucker, executive director of ColorOfChange.org. “There are at least 57 companies who will not tolerate Beck’s race-baiting comments and we will continue to reach out to those who are still supporting him.”
Comments from advertisers recently distancing themselves from Beck:
Four weeks ago, ColorOfChange.org called on its members to sign a petition urging companies who advertise on Glenn Beck to cut off their advertising support of his work. Shortly after reaching 150,000+ signatures, ColorOfChange.org began emailing those who signed the petition, asking them to call five major advertisers who continued to refuse to pull their ads: Clorox, Experian (creator of FreeCreditReport.com), Lowe’s, Red Lobster and Vonage. To date, Red Lobster is the only company in the group that has not yet responded. ColorOfChange.org still continues to reach out to those companies found running advertisements during Glenn Beck’s programs.
Previous companies who have corrected advertising errors and/or pulled their ads entirely include Airware Inc. (makers of Brez anti-snoring aids), Allergan (maker of Restasis), Ally Bank (a unit of GMAC Financial Services), Ancestry.com, Applebee’s, AT&T, Bank of America, Bell & Howell, Best Buy, Blaine Labs Inc., Broadview Security, Campbell Soup Company, ConAgra, Clorox, CVS, DirecTv, Ditech, The Elations Company, Experian (creator of FreeCreditReport.com), Farmers Insurance Group, GEICO, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson (makers of Tylenol), Kraft, Lawyers.com, Lowe’s, Men’s Wearhouse, NutriSystem, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, RadioShack, Re-Bath, Regions Financial Corporation, Roche, Sam (Store and Move), SC Johnson, Sanofi-Aventis, Sargento, Sprint, State Farm Insurance, Traveler’s Insurance, Travelocity, The UPS Store, Verizon Wireless, Vonage and Wal-Mart.
With more than 600,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the largest African-American online political organization in the country.
Big news today. We've confirmed that eight more major advertisers have pulled their support from Glenn Beck's show -- Wal-Mart, Best Buy, CVS, Travelocity, Allergan (maker of Restasis), Ally Bank, Broadview Security, and Re-Bath.
Overall, twenty advertisers have now ended their support of Beck. We're going to keep the pressure on Beck's remaining advertisers this week, and we'll let you know how you can help.
Details, including statements from these companies and links to media coverage, after the jump ...
From the press release we're sending right now:
Eight more Glenn Beck advertisers, including Wal-Mart -- the world's largest retailer -- have confirmed to ColorOfChange.org that they pulled their ads from the controversial Fox News Channel broadcaster's eponymous show. Allergan (maker of Restasis), Ally Bank (a unit of GMAC Financial Services), Best Buy, Broadview Security, CVS, Re-Bath, Travelocity and Wal-Mart join the dozen other companies who previously distanced themselves from Beck.
Twenty companies have pulled their ads from Beck's show in just the last two weeks. The moves come after the Fox News host called President Obama a "racist" who "has a deep-seated hatred for white people" during an appearance on Fox & Friends. Previous companies who pulled their ads include ConAgra, GEICO, Lawyers.com, Men's Wearhouse, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, RadioShack, Roche, SC Johnson, Sanofi-Aventis, Sargento, and State Farm Insurance.
"We are heartened to see so many corporate citizens step up in support of our campaign against Glenn Beck," said James Rucker, executive director of ColorOfChange.org. "Their action sends a clear a message to Glenn Beck: Broadcasters shouldn't abuse the privilege they enjoy by spewing dangerous and racially charged hate language over the air. No matter their political affiliation, hate language doesn't belong in our national dialogue."
"Walmart [sic] today confirmed the retailer pulled ads from the Glenn Beck show on August 3rd," said David Tovar, a spokesperson for Wal-Mart, in an email to ColorOfChange.org.
"While advertising on Fox is part of our communication plan, we had not requested time on Glenn Beck's show specifically," said Carolyn Castel, Vice President of Corporate Communications for CVS Caremark, in an email to ColorOfChange.org. "We have instructed our advertising agency to inform Fox to ensure Glenn Beck's program is not part of our advertising plan."
"Our position is simple," Castel continued. "We support vigorous debate, especially around policy issues that affect millions of Americans, but we expect it to be informed, inclusive and respectful, in keeping with our company's core values and commitment to diversity."
In an email exchange with ColorOfChange.org, Lisa Svac Hawks, Director of Public Relations for Best Buy, stated that any advertisements for Best Buy that were placed on Glenn Beck's show were done so in error. Svac Hawks pledged that Best Buy will correct any mistakes made.
"We did not specifically place our ad on the show," said Amanda Borichevsky, a spokesperson for Travelocity in an email to ColorOfChange.org. "We buy ads in bulk and then they are placed somewhat randomly. However, we have now specifically asked that our ads do not appear during this show."
"We reviewed our commercial schedule, and based on your feedback, we've put any programming featuring Glenn Beck on our "do not air" list," said Aziz Mottiwala, Senior Marketing Manager for Allergan, in an email to ColorOfChange.org. "This means that you will no longer see any Restasis ads during programming featuring Glenn Beck. Thanks again for bringing this to our attention."
"Ally advertises on a broad spectrum of programs to reach our potential customers," said a Customer Care Representative for Ally Bank. "Our advertising is not an endorsement of editorial content on any program. We have ceased to advertise on the Glenn Beck program."
In a phone conversation with Dwayne Sigler, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Broadview Security Systems, Sigler told ColorOfChange.org that Broadview's advertising is bought based on network, not particular programs, but that "given the considerations, we have requested of Fox News not to include us in the rotation that would have our commercials running on Glenn Beck's show."
"...We are no longer airing our commercials on the Glenn Beck Show..." said Mary Beth Mayer, spokesperson for Re-Bath, in a phone message to ColorOfChange.org.
As the list of advertisers who don't want themselves associated with Beck continues to grow, our campaign is also getting major media attention, which helps send a strong message to Fox and to Beck's remaining advertisers. Last week, our campaign was mentioned in several media and advertising industry publications, on MSNBC, in the New York Times, and by Stephen Colbert.
Thanks to everyone who has stepped up and joined this campaign (there are more than 145,000 of you now) -- this wouldn't be possible without your voice. What we've achieved so far is incredible -- it's rare for a campaign directed at a TV show's advertisers to be this successful.
But we won't stop here. We're going to continue reaching out to Beck's remaining advertisers, and we'll keep you informed on how you can help us escalate the pressure.
Tags: action, Afro-Netizen, color of change, colorofchange, fox news, glenn beck, petition, race-baiting
By Eric Boelhert
Republished courtesy of Media Matters for America
Have so many blue-chip advertisers ever fled a program as quickly as the who's who of corporate America that's sprinted away from Glenn Beck in recent weeks? I certainly cannot recall ever seeing a mass exodus of this scale.
The A-list collection of disgruntled Beck advertisers is staggering: Applebee's, AT&T, Bank of America, Best Buy, Campbell Soup, Clorox, ConAgra, CVS, Ditech, Farmers Insurance Group, GEICO, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Lowe's, Nutrisystem, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, RadioShack, Sprint, State Farm Insurance, The UPS Store, Travelers Insurance, Verizon Wireless, Vonage, and Wal-Mart, among others.
If any television program had lost just three or four of those types of high-caliber advertisers, it would be seen as an extraordinary move in a media environment in which grassroots attempts to pressure advertisers have traditionally yielded modest returns. But at Fox News, Glenn Beck is rewriting television history right before our eyes: four dozen lost advertisers and counting. All of Beck's big-time advertisers have fled. All of them.
As momentum continues to gather behind the unprecedented boycott effort led by ColorofChange.org, Beck and Fox News executives seem to be flailing around as they frantically search for a way to stop the exodus.
Despite media reports to the contrary, Fox News executives explicitly refused to distance themselves from Beck's claim that President Obama is a "racist," let alone reprimand the host for the shockingly hateful comments. Fox News' initial knee-jerk response of failing to question any of the gutter rhetoric Beck dishes out, and the cable news giant's decision to treat the transgression as a nonstory unworthy of a serious response, of course, is what led to the boycott drive.
The fact that nobody anywhere inside Fox News had enough sense to hold Beck accountable or to even suggest that calling the president of the United States (aka "this guy") a "racist" on national television was well outside the bounds of professional broadcasting -- the fact that Fox News could not even for a moment publicly contemplate that Beck had stepped over a glaringly obvious line of common decency -- is why those same executives have been forced to watch as an avalanche of A-list advertisers go public with their plans to make sure they are no longer associated with Beck.
Looking back, it's hard to imagine how executives at Fox News could have handled Beck's "racist" smear any worse. And it's hard to imagine how Fox News could have inadvertently cultivated the ground any better for a sweepingly successful advertising boycott than the cavalier way they dealt with Beck's presidential race-baiting.
And if you don't think the snowballing ad boycott has left Fox News suits stunned and knocked back on their heels, then I don't think you understand the kind of arrogance that runs through the water supply over at its Manhattan headquarters on Sixth Avenue. Execs there this year no doubt have been congratulating themselves on their ratings success and patting each other on the back for having the brilliant insight to unleash a hatemonger like Glenn Beck on the airwaves.
But suddenly, uh-oh, there's a price to be paid for peddling hate? And worse, it's a free-market penalty where blue-chip advertisers -- those bastions of corporate America that Fox News idolizes -- are deciding for themselves that they cannot afford to be associated with Fox News' wonder boy? Corporate America is turning its back on the new face of Fox News?
If the boycott continues to gain momentum, Fox News won't be able to avoid writing down losses. Yes, the cabler claims it hasn't lost any money yet because nervous advertisers simply want off Glenn Beck, not off Fox News (i.e. advertisers are still spending money with the network). But the truth is, since Beck called Obama a racist, Beck's advertising base has been cut by 50 willing advertisers, and Fox News' need to find advertisers for the hour-long weekday show has not changed. And I'm guessing it's not having much luck drumming up new Glenn Beck business in this environment.
Honestly, if advertisers continue to abandon Glenn Beck, pretty soon the show's going to be forced to run more than the occasional free public-service announcement. Either that, or the advertisers willing to stick around are going to get some great deals or maybe even some free spots in order to make sure Fox News can fill the inventory.
Meanwhile, on air, the latest Fox News strategy for dealing with the never-ending "racist" controversy seems to revolve around amnesia. Seriously. It's like everyone at Fox News has been flashed by that light stick Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith used in Men in Black to erase the memories of unsuspecting UFO eyewitnesses. Suddenly at Fox News, nobody remembers that Beck called Obama a racist. Nobody remembers that that's what sparked the advertising boycott.
Despite the swirling controversy, and despite the fact that Beck is losing the type of advertisers that sales teams covet, the host's "racist" smear has become The Story That Cannot Be Mentioned By Name.
It's true. Last week, Beck appeared on Bill O'Reilly's show, and the two men bemoaned the attempts by nasty liberal "loons" to shut Beck up -- to snatch away his freedom of speech. What was odd was that while Beck and O'Reilly clearly made (indirect) references to the ad boycott campaign, they never explained to viewers what sparked the outrage. They never explained why. They never conceded the campaign was launched in direct response to the fact that Beck went on national television and called the president of the United States a "racist" and someone who flashed a "deep-seated hatred of white people."
At Fox News, that smear has been flushed down the memory hole, and all that's left to do is play victim. (Incredibly, O'Reilly and Beck appeared to be cribbing their amnesia shtick off The American Spectator. Never a good sign.)
But here's what I don't get: Why doesn't Beck go on TV every day and simply defend his "racist" claim? Why doesn't Beck stand up for the racist remark and stake his reputation on it? Because right now, the pathetic, squishy approach he's taking where he limply lashes back while pretending the ad boycott sprang from some mysterious place -- where Beck plays the victim and pretends he never made the "racist" smear -- is just too lame for words.
The host has never apologized, so it seems logical that he stands behind the claim. (And that's what he claimed one month ago.) And if he stands behind it, why doesn't he set aside a few minutes on each program to detail how Obama is a racist? Why doesn't he educate his viewers? In fact, I'm sure even folks who don't regularly tune into Beck would be fascinated to know how Obama, whose mother was white and who was raised by his white grandparents, suffers from an abiding hatred of white people and "white culture," as Beck claimed.
Hey, maybe if Beck does a good enough job, he'll even win back some of his lost advertisers. Maybe by talking the "racist" issue to death on Fox News every day, Beck can clear the air and the boycott will cease.
It's conceivable but unlikely. What's really going on here, of course, is that Beck has stepped so far in it with his "racist" crack that he can no longer see the tops of his shoes, and even his shins are starting to sink into the muck. The answer to Fox News' unraveling advertising problem is obvious. But neither Beck nor anybody else at the network has the decency to apologize, so they've decided to stitch together this fantasy about how the ad boycott was started because Beck said some nasty things about a ColorofChange.org ally, Van Jones.
Good luck with that. I'm sure that by playing dumb about the "racist" controversy, and by ignoring the comment while wallowing in a permanent state of victimhood, former blue-chip advertisers will soon come sprinting back onto Beck's show.
In the meantime, courage, Glenn Beck. Courage.
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Afro-Netizen on Tuesday, September 01, 2009 at 12:05 PM in Commentary/Opinion, Community & Consumer Activism, Media/Technology, Race, Culture & History, Television | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: advertisers, advertising, Afro-Netizen, Barack Obama, boycott, cable news, CNN, Color of Change, conservatives, Democrats, Fox News, Glenn Beck, GOP, Media Matters, racism, racist, ratings, Republicans, television, TV, viewership
More great news today in our campaign calling on Glenn Beck's advertisers to pull their support from his show. With more than 125,000 people now having signed our petition to Beck's advertisers, four more major companies have pulled their ads.
From the press release we're sending out right now:
ColorOfChange.org this week received confirmation from four more companies -- ConAgra (maker of Healthy Choice products), Roche, Sanofi-Aventis, and RadioShack -- pledging to pull their ads from Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck show. These new defections come on the heels of reports that Men's Wearhouse, State Farm and Sargento also pulled their ads in recent days. They join LexisNexis-owned Lawyers.com, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, SC Johnson and GEICO, who all pulled their ads from Glenn Beck after the news host called President Obama a "racist" who "has a deep-seated hatred for white people," on "Fox and Friends."
"...Upon review of this particular program, we have discontinued our advertising for all ConAgra Foods products during its airing," said Stephanie Childs, spokesperson for ConAgra Foods, in an email to ColorOfChange.org. "We share your commitment to diversity in all areas of life and appreciate you sharing your concerns with us."
"We have specified that our ads will no longer run on Mr. Beck's show," said Sean Connor, Manager of Media Services and Purchasing for Sanofi-Aventis, in an e-mail to ColorOfChange.org. "We have included this show on a list of programming that should not be utilized within the Fox network buys. Thank you for drawing our attention to this matter."
"This confirms that there is no advertising we (RadioShack) [are] buying on the Glen Beck Show or anywhere on the Fox News Channel," said Dave Hamlin, Director of Media Services for RadioShack, in an email to ColorOfChange.org. "What viewers are seeing on FNC and Glen Beck is manufacturer advertising that has tagged their messages with "RadioShack" as the retail destination to purchase their product(s). In this most recent instance, it is most likely the product called magicJack that has tagged our name throughout their commercial."
"We've asked magicJack to immediately cease and desist running all commercials with our name tagged in the spot on FNC," Hamlin continued. "In fact, I just received verification from one our merchants that magicJack has confirmed the commercial will be pulled from the Fox News Channel rotation ASAP."
A spokesperson for Roche confirmed the company's decision to pull its ads during a phone conversation with ColorOfChange.org Tuesday, but the company has not issued a written statement.
"We are proud of all the companies who have stepped forward to pull their ads from Glenn Beck," said James Rucker, executive director of ColorOfChange.org. "It's becoming clear that many people feel the same outrage we feel and we applaud those companies who are taking a stand against Beck's hatred. We won't stop here -- we're going to continue our fight to see that as many of Beck's advertisers pull their support as possible."
Tags: Afro-Netizen, boycott, cable news, CCN, ColorOfChange, Fox News, Glenn Beck, James Rucker, Obama, politics, protests, racism, racist, television
Insurance Company Joins Lawyers.com, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance and SC Johnson in Distancing Themselves from FNC Anchor
OAKLAND, Calif.--Adding to a growing list of advertisers distancing themselves from controversial Fox News personality Glenn Beck, GEICO has pledged to re-direct their advertisements away from Beck's program on the Fox News Channel. The decision by GEICO comes on the heels of announcements made last week that LexisNexis-owned Lawyers.com, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance and SC Johnson were distancing themselves from Beck after the news host called President Obama a "racist" who "has a deep-seated hatred for white people."
"On Tuesday, August 4, GEICO instructed its ad buying service to redistribute its inventory of rotational spots on FOX-TV to their other network programs, exclusive of the Glenn Beck program," said a spokesperson for GEICO Corporate Communications in an email to ColorOfChange.org. "As of August 4, GEICO no longer runs any paid advertising spots during Mr. Beck's program."
"We applaud GEICO and all of the other companies who have stepped forward to pull their ads from Glenn Beck," said James Rucker, executive director of ColorOfChange.org. "Beck's rhetoric is dangerous to the fabric of our democracy, and we are heartened that so many big companies feel the same way. We won't stop here -- we're going to continue our fight to see that as many of Beck's advertisers pull their support as possible."
Two weeks ago, ColorOfChange.org called on its 600,000-plus members to sign a petition urging companies who advertise on Glenn Beck to cut off their advertising support of his work. More than 75,000 members responded to the call by signing a petition directed at advertisers.
Last week, ColorOfChange.org received confirmation from LexisNexis that they pulled their ads from Beck and have no plans to advertise on the program in the future. Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance and SC Johnson called the Beck advertising placements an error that they would correct.
The ColorOfChange.org email urged members to go visit http://www.colorofchange.org/beck/, where they could send letters to executives of target companies. With more than 600,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the largest African-American online political organization in the country.
Tags: African Americans, Barack Obama, Blacks, boycott, civil rights, Color of Change, Fox News, GEICO, Glen Beck, grassroots, hate speech, organizing, politics, protests, racial justice, racism, racist