By Nancy K. Matthis | Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 7:34 am
Obama’s crew pressured advertisers to dump The Glenn Beck Program. Beck’s ratings soared, over three million viewers in non-prime-time by Wednesday. An appetite for truth has been rekindled in America. To put this in perspective, Beck left Anderson Cooper and Larry King in the dust, and they both air in prime time when the pool of TV viewers is much larger. (Big Beck)
The current flap began when Beck did a program exposing the communist affiliations of Van Jones, Obama’s “green jobs czar.” In 2005, Jones co-founded ColorOfChange, an African American political advocacy group. ColorOfChange sent a petition signed by some of their members to all of Beck’s advertisers, urging them to withdraw support from Beck’s cable television program.
According to news sources, some companies did pull their ads — Allergan (maker of Restasis), Ally Bank (a unit of GMAC Financial Services), Best Buy, Broadview Security (formerly Brinks), CVS, GEICO Insurance, Healthy Choice (a division of ConAgra Foods), the advertising service Lawyers.com (run by LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. and misspelled Nexus Lexis in news reports), Men’s Wearhouse, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, RadioShack, Re-Bath, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis (Plavix), Sargento Foods, SC Johnson, State Farm Insurance, Travelocity, Wal-Mart.
In response, Beck’s viewers organized a boycott of those companies. Websites supporting Beck sprang up. Two really good ones are:
- Defend Glenn, which got 850,000 page views during its first day online, and
- Support Glenn Beck, which includes a pro-Glenn-Beck petition to advertisers and great contact information.
There is just one problem for those companies that bowed to the pressure to suppress free speech. ColorOfChange claims that they have over 600,000 members, and that 75,000 of those signed their petition in response to an email request sent to all the members. Beck has over three million viewers, most passionately loyal. On top of that, ColorOfChange draws membership from a demographic that is on average less affluent than Beck’s largely middle class viewership. So advertisers who withdraw are shooting themselves in the foot.
And cost them it has. In the first three days of the DefendGlenn movement:
- 9,000 GEICO accounts gone
- 297 Ally Bank accounts closed
- 7,200 boycotting CVS
- 14,700 boycotting Sargento
- 10,000 Travelocity accounts cancelled
And now it appears that claims made by ColorOfChange about the success of their effort to silence Glenn Beck were somewhat exaggerated (I’m being kind here). Several of the companies they claimed to have influenced did not advertise on the Beck program in the first place. It appears that the mainstream media just accepted the list of companies in the ColorOfChange press release and reported them without checking.
Bond Action Inc., a black organization focused on supporting the family, traditional moral values, and positive and honest race relations has come out in support of Beck — Black Group Comes Out In Support Of Glenn Beck:
BOND Action, Inc., a national cultural action organization, has come out in support of FOX News Channel broadcaster Glenn Beck. Beck has been under attack from the radical left-wing group ColorOfChange.org after he said last month that he believes President Obama is “a racist.” ColorOfChange.org was founded by Van Jones; a self-described “rowdy black nationalist.” Jones now serves as White House environmental advisor (czar). So far advertisers including Geico, Ally Bank, and Sargento Cheese have been intimidated into pulling ads off The Glenn Beck Show. “BOND Action, Inc.,will be working to expose the source behind the boycott and counter it,” said Founder and President, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson.
“Glenn Beck is right, Obama is a racist!” added Rev. Peterson. “Where were the boycotts and outraged activists when President George W. Bush was being falsely maligned as a ‘racist’? This is a blatant double standard. This boycott is an attempt to silence Beck from continuing his expose’ of Barack Obama’s socialist agenda and his radical ‘green jobs czar’ Van Jones.”
ColorOfChange.org claims some 33 advertisers have pulled their ads off The Glenn Beck Show, but that number is reportedly exaggerated. ColorOfChange.org has a checkered past. The group reportedly endorsed outrageous statements by rapper Kanye West that former President Bush gave troops permission to go to New Orleans and shoot black people during Hurricane Katrina. Beck’s television program draws more than 2 million viewers and BOND Action, Inc., is calling on advertisers not to cave in to pressure.
Rev. Peterson said, “ColorOfChange.org claims that it exists to ‘strengthen Black America’s political voice’ — but it’s clear that they are a left-wing, racist political group that deal in lies. This attempt to silence Beck is an attack on free speech and must be countered.”
Discover the Networks — Van Jones
Newsmax — Backlash Against Boycott of Glenn Beck
Digital Journal — Supporters of Glenn Beck and Whole Foods Challenge Boycotts
New York Daily News — President Obama insult by Glenn Beck has advertisers boycotting show
Tribble Ad Agency — Buy your Glenn Beck Advertising Cheap!
The Powers That Be — I Love the Smell of Counter-Boycott in the Morning
REDSTATE — Obama Brownshirts Try to Silence Glenn Beck
Atlas Shrugs — Boycott GEICO
WorldNetDaily — War erupts over Glenn Beck TV show: Fans fight back
Nancy Matthis is the publisher and executive editor of the weblog format news magazine and multimedia outlet American Daughter Media Center.
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Tags: advertisers, Allergan, Ally Bank, Best Buy, Brinks, Broadview Security, ConAgra, CVS, Fox News, Free speech, Freedom of expression, GEICO, Glenn Beck, GMAC Financial Services, Healthy Choice, Media Bias, Restasis, Van Jones