Couldn’t happen to more despicable folks
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?
[Click to continue reading Why Glenn Beck, and Fox News, can’t escape the “racist” trap | Media Matters for America]
Glenn Beck’s vile show may get good ratings, but if blue chip advertisers stay away from sponsoring it, what good does the high ratings do for the network? Money is king, after all. Can the Fox News division survive on a diet of penis enhancement pills and other bottom of the proverbial barrel fare? I doubt it, there are summer homes in Aspen to pay for, and times are tough for corporate executives all over.
Looking for a complete list of advertisers who’ve bailed, here’s a partial list:
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.