ABOUT a dozen companies have withdrawn their commercials from "Glenn Beck," the Fox News Channel program, after Glenn Beck, the person, said late last month that President Obama was a racist with a "deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture."
I fail to see what is wrong with this statement. There is audio of Obama refering to his own grandmother as a "typical white woman". He attended a church run by someone who at best used racially charged language. At worst the Rev Wright used language that was the equivalent of what you'll hear at any Ayran church.
... In a statement that echoed the comments of other companies, ConAgra said on Thursday that "we are firmly committed to diversity, and we would like to prevent the potential perception that advertising during this program was an endorsement of the viewpoints shared."
I think there is a danger here. G.W. Bush was called a racist and worse. However he funnelled billions of dollars to Africa for things like AiDS erradication efforts. Hardly something a racist would do. Yes there was Katrina, but that was a total system failure that included a black Mayor failing to prepare adequately for the storm.
Yet calling him (Bush) a racist with about as much proof as Beck has about Obama is okay.
I'm uncomfortable with it being okay to label white people as racist all willy nilly...but a black president cannot have the same charge leveled against him with an equal amount of evidential voracity.
"We have TV today that's very polarizing and controversial," said Donny Deutsch, the advertising executive and occasional host on CNBC and MSNBC, a rival to Fox News.
Last month, Mr. Deutsch listed some of the "Glenn Beck" advertisers and told MSNBC viewers that people who objected to Mr. Beck's remark should write to the chief executives of the companies. In an interview, he said corporate decisions about where to allot ad dollars were the "ultimate check and balance."
This ironic and not a little hypocritcal. Deutsch's network, MSNBC, airs Keith Olberman who is probably more bombastic and polarizing as Glenn Beck and anyone else on Fox.
Also, I have a problem with using Mr Deutsch as a source in this article and it raises questions about Brian Stetler's journalistic judgement. MSNBC is Fox's compitetor and is its bombastic, ideological-baiting equivalent on the Left. Add to it that Mr Deutsch is MSNBC's advertising exec and well poised to present a rhetorical argument for undercutting a competitor. Had I been Mr Stetler (the author) I wouldn't have interviewed just Mr Deutsch, but maybe CNN and ABC as well...or instead.
But he went to the person least capable of presenting an unbiased opinion.
I would comment on the ColorOfChange interest group. But who cares? These groups are a dime a dozen on both sides and in the end don't amount to much.
In the end a few advertisers moving from Beck doesn't matter. They'll come back in a little while when ColorOfChange is satisfied with the publicity they've got. Plus letter writing campaigns work both ways. In this polarized environment, there are just as many people who will boycott advertisers for pulling support from Beck as those who would boycott for supporting him.