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 ‚Äúhateful speech?‚ÄĚ 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.
‚ÄúI can confirm that Sargento has instructed our media buyer to not buy advertising that would appear during the Glenn Beck Show,‚ÄĚ Gannon said in an e-mail to the Business & Media Institute on Aug. 14. ‚ÄúWe market our products to people regardless of their political affiliations. As a business, we sometimes disagree with the administration‚Äôs policies. Yet we do not want to be associated with hateful speech used by either liberal or conservative television hosts.‚ÄĚ
Sargento Foods is a privately held company and one of the largest cheese manufacturers in the
‚ÄúWe need to strike back and boycott these groups for ditching Beck,‚ÄĚ Erickson wrote in a post dated Aug. 13. ‚ÄúIf they are going to fold so easily in the face of Obama brownshirts, we must push back. If not, who‚Äôll be next?‚ÄĚ
The group that has orchestrated the campaign to boycott Beck‚Äôs show, Color of Change, was started by Obama‚Äôs Green Jobs Czar, Van Jones, according to Matthew Vadum‚Äôs report for the Aug. 12 American Spectator.
‚ÄúThe extremist racial grievance group [Color of Change] isn‚Äôt happy that Beck did several news packages on Van Jones, President Obama‚Äôs controversial green jobs czar who describes himself as a communist,‚ÄĚ Vadum wrote. ‚ÄúJones 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.‚ÄĚ
Liberal pundits have celebrated the successful tactics that have forced corporations to stop advertising on the Beck program. MSNBC ‚ÄúCountdown‚ÄĚ host Keith Olbermann made a victory lap on his Aug. 14 program, calling Fox News ‚Äúreactionary media.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúIf 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.
‚ÄúThe 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 ‚Äď explaining their health ‚Äď hate-for-hire stance on health care reform,‚ÄĚ Olbermann said. ‚ÄúExcept, 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?‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúDuring Fox & Friends this morning, Glenn Beck expressed a personal opinion which represented his own views, not those of the Fox News Channel,‚ÄĚ Shine said. ‚ÄúAnd 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."