Company on Decision to Pull Ads from Beck TV Show: 'We Do Not Want to be Associated with Hateful Speech'
UPDATE: Sargento says Colors of Change did not influence company's decision (at bottom)
What constitutes â€śhateful speech?â€ť It depends on the views of the individual, or in this case the advocacy group propagating the claim.
Earlier this week,
Barbara Gannon, vice president of Corporate Communications & Government Relations for Sargento Foods Inc., told the Business & Media Institute why her company decided to stop advertising during the Fox News Channel program.
â€śI can confirm that Sargento has instructed our media buyer to not buy advertising that would appear during the Glenn Beck Show,â€ť Gannon said in an e-mail to the Business & Media Institute on Aug. 14. â€śWe market our products to people regardless of their political affiliations. As a business, we sometimes disagree with the administrationâ€™s policies. Yet we do not want to be associated with hateful speech used by either liberal or conservative television hosts.â€ť
Sargento Foods is a privately held company and one of the largest cheese manufacturers in the
â€śWe need to strike back and boycott these groups for ditching Beck,â€ť Erickson wrote in a post dated Aug. 13. â€śIf they are going to fold so easily in the face of Obama brownshirts, we must push back. If not, whoâ€™ll be next?â€ť
The group that has orchestrated the campaign to boycott Beckâ€™s show, Color of Change, was started by Obamaâ€™s Green Jobs Czar, Van Jones, according to Matthew Vadumâ€™s report for the Aug. 12 American Spectator.
â€śThe extremist racial grievance group [Color of Change] isnâ€™t happy that Beck did several news packages on Van Jones, President Obamaâ€™s controversial green jobs czar who describes himself as a communist,â€ť Vadum wrote. â€śJones is a founding board member of Color of Change, but Color of Change doesn't want you to know that. Maybe having an avowed America-hating radical on the group's board is bad public relations.â€ť
Liberal pundits have celebrated the successful tactics that have forced corporations to stop advertising on the Beck program. MSNBC â€śCountdownâ€ť host Keith Olbermann made a victory lap on his Aug. 14 program, calling Fox News â€śreactionary media.â€ť
â€śIf you appear on reactionary media and call a president of the
Olbermann likened Beck to conservative radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage and CNN host Lou Dobbs, suggesting they could be part of the next campaign.
â€śThe research into conservative radio listening habits, the more hate they hear, the longer they listen, the more money Limbaugh and Savage and Dobbs and Beck make â€“ explaining their health â€“ hate-for-hire stance on health care reform,â€ť Olbermann said. â€śExcept, you can still go too far. How much trouble is Glenn Beck in after a seventh, possibly eighth major advertiser cancels its commercials on his programs?â€ť
â€śDuring Fox & Friends this morning, Glenn Beck expressed a personal opinion which represented his own views, not those of the Fox News Channel,â€ť Shine said. â€śAnd as with all commentators in the cable news arena, he is given the freedom to express his opinions."
*****Update: Sargento VP Gannon Responds:
"I had never heard of the Color of Change organization until it was mentioned by a consumer who called us and claimed we were influenced by them, and I notice you have mentioned it as well. This group did not contact Sargento and did not influence our decision."