Fox News Advertisers May Have Blood On Their Hands

The Mad BeckDrummond Pike, the founder and CEO of the Tides Foundation, wrote a letter to Fox News advertisers requesting that they withhold their ads from the network:

“I am writing to ask your company to take a simple step that may well save lives in the future. And it is not unimportant that taking this action will remove your company and its products from any connection to what could very likely be an unpleasant tragedy, should things remain as they are today. On behalf of my organization, and many others like it, I ask that you cease advertising on the Fox News Channel.”

This is a significant escalation from previous calls to withhold advertising from just Glenn Beck’s show. It is a much bolder strategy and long overdue. The wildly successful campaign by Color of Change and StopBeck has caused almost 300 companies to pull their ads from Beck. In the UK Beck has been running for eight months with ZERO ads, as all advertisers have abandoned the program.

However, none of this seems to have had much impact on Fox News and their decision to associate themselves with Beck. Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch have been unmoved by this demonstration of disgust for Beck’s hate mongering. It is, therefore, time to take it to the next level and demand that advertisers withhold their ads from all of Fox News and other News Corp enterprises. This letter by Pike is a good start that should inspire further action.

Pike is not a bystander in this debate. He was motivated to take this step as result of the constant hammering the Tides Foundation has endured from Beck. As a result of Beck’s dishonest and violent rhetoric, Pike and his staff nearly became victims of the inevitable result of such hostility. A Beck fan named Byron Williams was apprehended by police while he was on his way to kill people at Tides and the ACLU:

“Imagine, for a moment, that you were us and, had it not been for a sharp eyed highway patrolman, a heavily armed man in full body armor would have made it to your office with the intent to kill you and your colleagues. His motive? Apparently, it was because the charitable, nonpartisan programs we run are deemed part of a conspiracy to undermine America and the capitalist system, which is hogwash.”

Beck has not merely expressed a disagreement with Tides. He has attempted to associate it with a worldwide conspiracy against capitalism and freedom that includes ACORN, SEIU, health care reform, Eco-activists, Bill Ayres, George Soros, and of course, President Obama and his cadre of czars:

“Since his arrival at Fox in early 2009, Beck has repeatedly vilified Tides, suggesting we are intent on ‘creat[ing] a mass organization to seize power.’ He accuses the foundation of indoctrination and says we are ‘involved in some of the nastiest of the nasty.’ Beck tells viewers that Tides has ‘funneled’ money to ‘some of the most extreme groups on the left’ and that our mission is to ‘warp your children’s brains and make sure they know how evil capitalism is.’ In total, prior to the attempted rampage, Beck had attacked the Tides Foundation 29 times.”

There has been an enduring and sustained assault on people whom Beck regards as enemies of humanity. He calls them evil and associates them with Hitler and Stalin and Satan. He has called progressives a “cancer” that needs to be “cut out;” that they are vampires and that his viewers should “drive a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers.” He warns that his perceived enemies are deliberately going to fly the “plane” of state into the trees, and that they are “taking you to a place to be slaughtered.” He recently told his viewers that “violence is coming” and that there will be “nothing but ugly and destruction.”

And after all of this, Beck’s psychosis permits him to make disingenuous pleas for non-violence. In August of 2009, I wrote an article that noted how disconcerting it was that Beck has to so frequently admonish his congregation to refrain from violence. And if he is in a position to call on them to stand down, can he also order them to advance? But the main point I addressed is that Beck cannot be allowed to maintain that he is opposed to violence when he is inciting his disciples on a daily basis. It’s as if he were saying…

“HEY! There is a mob of rabid, pillaging, Satanists on their way to rape your daughters and kill the rest of you. It’s time to stand up and fight back against these hordes who threaten everything we hold dear. They have spit on your flag and blasphemed your God and now they are here for your honor and your lives. And, oh yeah, when they get here you should be ‘forceful, but peaceful’ with them. After all, I don’t believe in violence.”

Of course he doesn’t. He would never respond with force to an angry mob threatening him or his family. I wonder how then he would explain why he carries a gun with him when he goes to the movies. What does he intend to do with it? Would he use it on mugger even though he asserts that he would not use it on demonic hordes seeking to force America and the world into slavery?

These are deliberately mixed messages. Beck doesn’t want his words to result in him being blamed for instigating a violent revolution, although that’s precisely what his actions suggest he is doing. You simply can’t scare people into believing that they are being mortally threatened without expecting them to defend themselves. And this is something that Tides’ Pike recognizes when he concludes his letter by saying…

Starve the Beast

“The next ‘assassin’ may succeed, and if so, there will be blood on many hands. The choice is yours.”

It is now incumbent on all of us to require that the advertisers subsidizing Beck make that choice. The companies that pay for Beck’s divisive and destructive sermonizing, and the network that carries it, do not deserve our patronage. This is an argument I’ve been making for years (see Starve the Beast) and I am glad that the Tides Foundation is signing on, although I am saddened by the events that precipitated it.

[Update:] Media Matters has started a petition aimed at News Corp shareholders. Take a moment to sign it and then tell your friends. News Corp took a beating today at their shareholder meeting over the multimillion dollar donations to the GOP and the Chamber of Commerce.

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17 thoughts on “Fox News Advertisers May Have Blood On Their Hands

  1. Perhaps it’s time to start a petition or a letter writing campaign to Fox shareholders about all of this?

    It was a email/letter campaign to advertisers that got rid of most of the big advertisers on Beck’s show last year. And I know there were shareholders at today’s shareholder meeting that are not happy with the games Murdoch plays. Not happy about the money given to the Republican Governors Assoc and to the Chamber or Commerce.

    It’s worth a try- do you think?
    Once it got started and hit the blogosphere the media would pick up the story just like did with the Beck story last year.

    Just sayin’

  2. Good story, this has to be brought up again and again.

  3. I think progressives and this president do the same thing Glenn Beck is accused of doing – attacking those with whom they disagree – in the case of this President and progressives “going after” the evil rich people by saying they shouldn’t get to keep as much of their money because they make too much and they should be forced to share it with others through government programs. All play the same game, but refuse to admit it or just can’t see it.

    • That’s an Olympian stretch. How is a difference on tax policy the same as inciting people to kill other people?

      Obama has NEVER said anything about “going after” anyone, and he has NEVER said the rich are evil. He has NEVER portrayed his opponents as “cancers” or suggested that someone “drive a stake through their hearts.” He has NEVER used fear that they were planning to “slaughter” anyone.

      Beck, on the other hand, regularly uses such language. It is dangerous and has already resulted in violent activities. If you really think the two are the same then I see no point in debating with you.

      And your over-simplification of taxation as something that forces people to share their money with others ignores centuries of civilization. You are aware, aren’t you, that the Bush tax cut on income over 250k that Obama is proposing to allow to expire would only increase tax for those wealthy people from 35% to 39.5%? That’s still way less than it was in St. Reagan’s administration. And it would reduce the deficit by $800 billion. I thought you righties wanted to reduce the deficit.

      • Not to mention 40% of the much loathed stimulus was tax cuts and incentives. Isn’t that what they want? Also, my income taxes have only been cut under the president’s policies. Why should I vote republican???

      • I knew I should expand on what I wrote – the point I was trying to make – and obviously not so well – is that we are a terribly divided population – Based on what i read here about Glenn Beck – the position is that he is inciting people by stating things like Progressivism is a cancer…..and whatever other things he says per this site. With respect to the president – and most politicians unfortunately, we should fear “the other side” because of what they will do if they (whoever it is) get power. That line of rhetoric also extends to the “rich”, who the president feels make enough money and shouldn’t “need” all they get. This rhetoric is as divisive as anythign that Glenn Beck states in that it sets one group against another and it’s been happening for a very long time in every election cycle. Someone was bound to take it to another level at some point. So there is not much difference in my view. One just doesn’t sound as bad as another. But it has the same effect over time.

        Right now, with the debate over extending the “bush” tax cuts – a line has been drawn by the President and the democratic party that some – who make a certain amount of money – should pay more into the government and they hide behind deficit reduction as the reason. You’re right, us righties want to reduce the deficit, but reduce it by cutting spending primarily – if no totally. The deficit reduction argument – tax increases – always pissses me off because for whatever reason, no one actually wants to get the government spending under control – just keep spending – we’ll take more if we need to. The more the government takes from us – any of us – the more they control and the less freedom we have. I’m not interested in allowing that if I can, they have too much power already – in addition to abusing their posisions as representatives of the people they waste most of what of what they get, which really pisses me off.
        By the way if your taxes went up by 4.5% to nearly 40%, would you be happy? Ronald Reagan was cutting taxes from a totally different level – way higher – and he also didn’t cut spending enough to balance the budget with the revenue – whihc incidently went up quite a bit, but still the government couldn’t live within its means – and here we are today with the same problem except way worse.

        • First of all, I can’t fathom how you can assert that the President’s language is “as “divisive” as Beck’s, but I’m gonna let that go because it seems like a waste of time to debate.

          As for taxes, I will agree on one point – the government does not spend money wisely and there is a lot of waste, fraud, and abuse. I would love to see that addressed.

          That said, your facts are wrong about Reagan. He signed into law what was the biggest tax increase in history at the time (and it was sent to him by a Republican congress). True, he cut taxes at first, but his subsequent increase was greater than the amount he had cut and resulted in a tax rate almost twice what it is today.

          Nevertheless, he still ran the country into a crushing deficit, which Bush Sr. made even worse. Thereafter, Clinton raised taxes (without a single GOP vote) and by the end of his second term we had a budget surplus and thriving economy. Those are the facts. I challenge you to dispute them.

          Dems want to return to the policies that produced that boom-time economy. I think that’s a good thing. And, by the way, I would have no problem paying 40% in taxes if I were a multimillionaire. I’ve paid 35% as a middle-class earner, and if it would help to stabilize our economy and bring our country back to a healthy state, well that’s just how patriotic I am.

          The right, unfortunately, can’t say the same thing. They are more selfish and greedy than patriotic. Where’s all their pretend concern for our children and future generations? Why are they more concerned about giant multinational corporations than about regular people? We should shoulder the burden now and, yes, that does include responsible reductions in spending.

          Feel free to respond, you can have the last word if you want, but I won’t be continuing on this topic because it is not related to the article above. I’m sure I’ll have an article soon that is actually about taxation and then we can continue. But for now I';d like to keep this on the subject of Beck’s violent rhetoric and Fox’s responsibility for it.

        • Taxes are divisive? Interesting, seeing as every American pays taxes in some form. Taxes don’t incite hatred for anyone, taxes don’t hint at death being a result of any particular law or policy. Beck does everyday.
          And so what if some pay a bigger proportion of their income? 40% of a person that makes hundreds of thousands or even millions a year will end up being just fine. I have no sympathy for rich people bitching about not being able to live in extravagant luxury in the worst economic crisis in 70 years. I always hear this ‘cut spending’ argument from the right recently. Be specific, what should we cut? What do you want to see gone as a result of cuts? Cutting spending would (by your logic) be just as divisive as taxes, wouldn’t it? I can guess you would go for programs that do good for a lot of people, just not you. Ah, the class warfare argument. The same could be said about the rich against the middle and lower income population, in that they reap the benefits of what we sow, and would fire me and ruin my whole life instead of take a small paycut for a little while. I know why Beck defends them but not anyone else that isn’t rich, I seriously don’t get it. Rich people like Beck are dukes and barons and we’re all just serfs.

  4. Pike’s disgusting attempt to shut down Glenn Beck vis-a-vis FNC’s advertisers will not work. Get some things straight: First of all, Beck has said again and again that violence is NOT the answer. And Beck has every right to focus on what he thinks are nefarious organizations, just like the left keeps showcasing what they think are nefarious organizations (Halliburton, Freedom Works, Fox News, etc). We have no control over the fact that Williams is a nut (like Ted Kaczynski, Jason Lee, and others).

    Furthermore, why does the left refuse to use these same standards reagrding the filth spewed by Bill Maher, Keith Olbermann, Joy Behar, Mike Malloy, Randi Rhodes, ad nauseum? The speech paradigm being attempted here is sickening: Conservative talkers need to shut up in case some nut is out there, but liberal talkers can say any filthy thing they want and will never be condemned by the “tolerant” progressives. This is a disgrace, and it will be rejected.

    • Wow. You call Pike, who was the target of a murder attempt, disgusting for seeking relief from his tormentor? How despicably insensitive. Do also think African Americans are disgusting for complaining about a few lynchings?

      Nobody is infringing on Beck’s rights. He can speak as much as he wants. But everyone else has rights too, and we can respond and advise his advertisers as to how we feel about their sponsorship. This is America. You apparently don’t understand how this free speech thing works. It isn’t just for Beck.

      Furthermore, I provided multiple examples of Beck’s grotesque rhetoric in my article (and in many previous articles). You haven’t provided a single example of Olbermann doing anything remotely similar. I haven’t listened to the others you cited enough to comment on what they’ve said. However, I would object to anyone spewing hate speech that has the potential (and now, the reality) of inciting violence. But the only person I have ever seen do this over and over again is Beck.

  5. “…seeking relief from his tormentor…”

    His tormentor was Williams, not Beck.

    • Williams was “inspired” by Beck, by his own account.

  6. I have never seen Mike Malloy on any of the SCLM outlets you speak of, mainly because of his rhetoric and, at times, his mean spirited language toward his opposition. The SCLM tends to censor there fringe, where as the right wholely celebrates those rightwing fringe elements in there ranks and is more than happy to elevate there status.
    “FoxNation” recently had a poster in the comments section call for Pres. Obama’s death, which was celebrated by other posters on the site. “FoxNation” obviously doesn’t censor any of the rightwing fringe posters to that site, but, god forbid if anyone from the Left tries to post a question wondering if that statement might have gone to far. The moderators seem to find that line of questioning way over the top.
    Beck mentioned the “Tides Foundation” 29 times followed by some nut-bag Fox viewer attempting to murder the Tides” CEO?
    O’Reilly mentioned Dr. George Tiller(referring to him as Tiller the baby killer) 29 times followed by the assassination of Dr. George Tiller by a Fox viewer?
    I guess 29 must be the Faux”News” viewers breaking point. Some watchdog media outlet might want to check to see if Van Jones, Bill Ayers, or any other Liberal person has been mentioned in the 25 to 28 range and make that person aware of what is likely coming, given Faux”News” penchant for “coincidences.”
    Seriously.

    • I recently wrote of how Fox Nation has been censoring my attempted comments. They really can’t handle debate, even though their logo says “All Opinions Welcome.” Yeah right!

      And you make a good point about the left not tolerating the fringe/hostile stuff while the tight celebrates it.

  7. “…the left not tolerating the hostile/fringe stuff…”

    Bill Maher went as far as saying that regarding that nut at the Pentagon who shot several employees before he was shot dead by police: “Why oh why couldn’t that shooter have been Glenn Beck?” He got laughs and applause for that hate speech. So you’re lying again.

    Mike Malloy’s quotes: “Matt Drudge should be hung by his entrails…Bush administration members should be drowned…Limbaugh should choke on his own throat fat…Hannity and Limbaugh and Beck should all kill themselves on the air…the founder of the Blogs For Bush website should get the crap kicked out of him…I have violent fantasies about Dana Perinno…” – and so on ad nauseum…”

    Randi Rhodes once “joked” that President Bush should taken out and shot just like Fredo in “The Godfather, Part II”. Ed Schultz said they should rip Dick Cheney’s heart out and stomp on it. Stephanie Miller laughed her head off when some “comedian” joked about kicking Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh in the crotch.

    When Gore Vidal Vidal was on the Joy Behar show, he openly fantasized about murdering President Bush. Behar just chuckled and said it’s a little too late for that to happen now.

    The left spews far more hate and far more evil. And they don’t get condemned.

    • I can’t speak to all of those incidents because I don’t know about them all. But I can tell you that the ones I heard about WERE condemned vociferously.

      But the big problem with your examples is that they are all jokes, albeit in bad taste. Beck’s rants are entirely serious. He means it when he says that progressives are a cancer or that so-and-so is trying to destroy America. And there is a big difference in the impact of such talk. No one is going to take Stephanie Miller seriously when she is joking about kicking someone in the crotch. But we already know that people take Beck seriously and they actually engage in real-life violence. That’s no joke.

      I’d also like to point out that I have conceded that hate speech is bad no matter who does it, but all you’ve done is defend it by saying the other side does it too. That’s a HUGE problem. We need to stop this shit.

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