Thursday, August 20, 2009
A convincing but meaningless victory
There's no shortage of people on the right in this country saying stupid stuff right now. Repeating the death panel stuff, comparing Obama to Hitler, the birth certificate conspiracy theories, the list goes on and on, and so far there seems to be no price to be paid for voicing any opinion. The sole exception appears to be Glenn Beck.
Beck is an odd bird. Commentators left, right and center live on righteous indignation, but Beck gets weirdly emotional on camera. This isn't like Walter Cronkite choking up at the news of President Kennedy's death or giving out a little chuckle of boyish enthusiasm when we landed on the moon. Beck isn't that good an actor, and he usually gets worked up over dangers he merely imagines rather than major events in the real world.
Add to that the fact that Beck says things so stupid, even other people on Fox News sometimes take notice. He was with a panel of people when he said that Obama is a racist with a deep seated hatred of white people. Someone else on the panel noted how many of the people Obama works with that are white and moments later Beck was saying "I didn't mean Obama hates white people."
In other words, Beck was just having a bout of verbal diarrhea. Stupid stuff, but immediately recanted when another human being called him on it.
But that wasn't the end of it. Beck went home and thought about what he said, having a long conversation with the evil pixies inside his brain. On his radio show, he stood by the original statement.
Obama hates white people.
In effect, Beck said, "Yes, this is the shit that I shat, and I now stand proudly beside it."
James Rucker, founder of ColorOfChange.org, who blogs at several websites including the Huffington Post, sprang into action. He started a petition that asked advertisers to stop putting their spots on Beck's show. This protest gained immediate success and the successes kept coming. Among the advertisers who decided not to air their ads during the time Beck is on Fox News include Ally Bank, a subsidiary of GMAC Financial Services, ConAgra, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis, RadioShack, Men’s Wearhouse, State Farm, Sargento, LexisNexis-owned Lawyers.com, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, CVS, Best Buy, Travelocity, Broadview Security, Allergan, Re-Bath and Wal-Mart.
The thing is, this changes the bottom line at Fox News by the sum of zero. These companies still advertise on Fox News, they just air those ads during the twenty two hours every weekday when Glenn Beck's show isn't aired.
I am still convinced the real problem is the calls to violence from the media today, and the lion's share come from Fox News. We need to put pressure on advertisers to stop advertising on the channel and to publicize their split from the network. On MSNBC, Don Imus got removed from the air for calling the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy headed ho's". What caused the real ruckus there was people who work at MSNBC who didn't want to be associated with crap like that, including Keith Olbermann among others according to some published reports. From what we can see, Fox News is filled from head to toe with whores who don't care with whom they are associated. The closest thing we have seen to a person with conscience on the air at Fox News is Shep Smith, and when he says anything different from the company line, the hate mail pours in.
I ask you once again to boycott Fox News advertisers and send them letters and e-mails letting them know why. I hope the rhetoric can be toned down before there are more dead bodies. Human nature being what it is, I get the sinking feeling more violence is inevitable.