Monday, June 15, 2009

Time for a boycott. Are you in?

It was eleven months ago when a 58 year old man shot up a Unitarian church because he wanted to kill as many liberals as possible. He really wanted to kill all the people in Bernie Goldberg's book 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, but that wasn't feasible, so he took a gun and a lot of ammo into a church where one of his ex-wives was a parishioner and started shooting during a play being put on by the kids. He killed two people before he was stopped.

This, of course, was just an isolated incident. So was the 51 year old man killing Dr. George Tiller and the 88 year old man killing a guard at the Holocaust Museum.

Except they are starting to feel less isolated and more like people being amped to act on hatred fueled by what I can only describe as crazy talk all over the media, especially on radio and TV. The most regular carrier of the crazies on TV is Fox News.

You might think this is just lefty jibber jabber, but something said by Fox News reporter Shepard Smith has made me think it's time to do something. Smith reads the e-mail the viewers of Fox send in, and he says it's getting worse and he's concerned.

Smith isn't just another water carrier for all things right wing. During Katrina, he reported from a bridge that connected American soil to American soil, only one side of the bridge was where the flooding was and the other side was the escape to dry land. The National Guard stood at the bridge and did not let people in the flooded area leave. Smith got visibly upset on camera, and when Sean Hannity told him he was lacking perspective, he in essence told Hannity to shove his perspective up his most easily available sphincter.

Blog buddy Karen Zipdrive proposed a boycott of the advertisers of Fox News. She put a list on her website and I will repeat it below. Fox News has the right to say what they want on the air, though the FCC can control content somewhat. We as citizens have the right to call on our fellow citizens to boycott businesses who do things we don't agree with. No one's First Amendment rights are even close to being violated. Fox News is also in business, and until that business suffers, we can't expect to see any movement from them, no matter how many dead bodies pile up.

Here's the list of regular sponsors of Fox News. As Karen asked, can you do without these products?

Crest Whitestrips
Mercedes Benz
GMC Suv's
Best Buy
New Phase
Gold Bond
American Express
Holiday Inn Express
M Professional

I am a customer of only one of these companies, Comcast Cable. Given my current circumstances, I may not be in a situation where I can use a dish in my apartment, and this will effectively mean no TV reception where I live. I'm pretty sure Comcast has a cable monopoly in this area, but I will do some research.

It's a sacrifice, but not a huge one. When I look at my phone/internet service from Earthlink versus TV from Comcast for about the same price, it's no contest as to which is the better value. I think it's time to pull the plug on cable again and to let them know why.

Like my blog subtitle says, we have to stop wishing people dead in public forums. We also need to calm down all the Hitler and Nazi references. People are still going to say these things, but there's no reason why they have to have a forum on TV or radio. There are plenty of other ways to make our points politically other than wishing people dead or comparing them to people that had to be killed to be silenced and stopped. If the employers of the right wing blowhards feel no responsibility about keeping sanity on the public airwaves, maybe their sponsors can be convinced.

So, I'm going to be without TV again for a while. I'll still have Netflix and I can watch stuff online if I can find it, but my conscience tells me I have to tell Comcast to take a hike, and I have to let them know why.

What's your position on this?


Bobmando said...

Ok, Excellent post Matty Boy... thanks for getting the word out on this. I have a Subaru and its 7 years old... It's already paid for and I plan to use it another 2 years (I presume it doesn't count). I have used the 3 travel sites in the past... can either buy from the airlines or use I really like for aggregation. AND I'll stop using BestBuy.... Some Activist could actually make a site like get signatures and get some media attention... Keith O or Rachel M and Huffington?

Matty Boy said...

You can't retroactively buy a different car seven years ago, so that's not a problem. The two important things about a boycott is both stopping buying stuff and letting the sellers know why you're stopping.

Ronda said...

Brilliant idea! Boycott a load of companies that are apparently thriving well enough to pay for nationwide television advertising in this economy. I hope their employees won't mind. Just tell them your politics was more important. I'm sure they'll understand.

Matty Boy said...

You're right, Ronda. We don't want to injure the precious and fragile economy. If it means just a few terroristic murders a year, or a month, or a week, that's the price we have to pay for progress.

It's like what Erin Burnett of CNBC said about dealing with China. Or economy can't survive without the low price stuff we get from China, so we should just shut up and take it when they sell us tainted goods.

Or maybe there's a better path.

Tara Mobley said...

Hmm, the only company on that list that I have any business with is Best Buy. I think we can boycott them.

Danielk said...

I'm a little uncomfortable with boycotts, if only because I don't like the idea of stifling the right wing just at the moment when they're revealing just how bat-shit crazy they really are. We as a nation are better served by letting the moderates see who was REALLY running the country for the previous eight years.

Karlacita! said...

Perhaps instead of boycotting, we could start another kind of campaign?

I don't know what it would be, but the right wing isn't only listening to fox - there's also lots of talk radio, e-mail, and so forth.

I think more polarizing is not the answer here.

I was very concerned about the right wing when Obama won, because, while the left wing went nuts when Bush was doing his thing, they tend not to kill people.

Or deny rights to minorities, or support racism and hatred of immigrants, etc.

They seem to be steaming up, though the media could just be jacking us up about what may be normal occurrences.

We need a sociologist! Lemme go talk to my professor and see what he says.

Ronda said...

Matty, I don't see anything wrong with not buying tainted products. That's economics. It's not buying products for political reasons that I have a problem with. That doesn't make us any better than the manipulative politicians out there. What's been doing the most damage out there? The politics.

dguzman said...

I'm IN!

Karen Zipdrive said...

Thanks for cross posting this, pal.
The thing is, you can own or use any of the products--just mention in a letter or phone call that you won't be buying or using the product again and you'll be advising your friends against them, too.
Look no further than David Letterman having to grovel to Sarah Palin and her slutty offspring after a boycott was threatened.

Matty Boy said...

Thanks for the advice, karen, but I feel that if I tell someone I'm not using their product anymore, especially my cable company, my message is somewhat undercut when they get my monthly check.

Lisa said...

Karlacita makes a good point about the breadth of this thing. Where we live, the only talk radio one gets is right wing or "libertarian." And even on the music shows during drive time, a lot of the DJs push out the right wing message.

Regarding this particular boycott list, it would be easy except for Toyota. We have 2 and are in no position to change them out.

And since I'm the person who books all the meetings for the association I work for, I can certainly let my Holiday Inn Express contacts know that I'm using another facility where available (sometimes in small towns there are no options) because of their corporate's decision to advertise on Fox.