Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 15, 2010

TIDES FOUNDATION REACHES OUT TO BECK ADVERTISERS.... Over the summer, a man named Byron Williams loaded up his mother's truck with firearms, put on body armor, and headed to San Francisco with the intention of starting a violent rampage. He had an arsenal that featured armor-piercing rounds fired from a .308-caliber rifle.

After being pulled over for driving erratically, Williams, a rabid Glenn Beck fan, opened fire on Oakland police officers. They, however, weren't his intended target -- his goal was to "start a revolution" with bloodshed at the Tides Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports "sustainability, better education, solutions to the AIDS epidemic and human rights," but which Beck considers a cog in some larger conspiracy to destroy capitalism.

As it turns out, the prospect of a madman plotting a murderous rampage has left the Tides Foundation feeling unsettled.

In an extraordinary move to nip the inflammatory commentary coming from Glenn Beck, the founder and CEO of the Tides Foundation (a frequent Beck target) has written advertisers asking them to remove their sponsorship of the Fox News program or risk having "blood on their hands."

Drummond Pike, who along with his organization was recently targeted by an assassin inspired by Beck's program, penned a letter on Friday to the Chairmen of the Boards of JP Morgan Chase, GEICO, Zurich Financial, Chrysler, Direct Holdings Americas, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Lilly Corporate Center, BP, and The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.

In it, he detailed the alarm he felt over having a "person carrying numerous guns and body armor" attempt to start a "revolution" by murdering "my colleagues and me."

Pike's correspondence added, "I respectfully request that you bring this matter of your company's sponsorship of hate speech leading to violence to the attention of your fellow directors as soon as possible. I believe no responsible company should advertise on Fox News due to its recent and on-going deplorable conduct."

Time will tell whether this has any effect, but the Tides Foundation going directly to these companies, pressing them on the advertising on the Republican network, is clearly a bold move.

It also ties into Fox News' ongoing problem in this area: as of last month, "296 advertisers have asked that their commercials not be shown on Beck's show (up from 26 in August 2009). Fox also has a difficult time selling ads on 'The O'Reilly Factor' and 'Fox and Friends' when Beck appears on those shows as a guest."

This from a host who's lost more than a fourth of his audience since the highs of 2009.

It's something to keep in mind as those sponsors receive the Tides Foundation's request, and consider their next ad buy.

Steve Benen 3:05 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (15)

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Misreprentation of facts and outright lies in the service of creating fear should be recognized as irresponsible and socially unacceptable. To reward such behavior with advertising dollars should also be recognized as socially unacceptable. I hope this catches on.

Posted by: nerd on October 15, 2010 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Good on him! I recently let Amazon.com know I was finished doing business with them until they stopped funding Fox News. I'll be happy to let those other companies know that I support The Tides' campaign for responsible advertising. Fox News is a corrupt propaganda organization that harms America's interests.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on October 15, 2010 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

As the true nature of the Faux 'News' agenda sinks into the 75% of the country who don't pay as close attention to these matters as we do, we'll see more companies drop Fox altogether. Who needs to pay for that aggravation, right? Then we'll see if Fox is really committed to pushing the GOP agenda, when doing so costs them instead of generating profits. My guess is that they toe the line as long as Fox at least breaks even, all bets are off if they plunge deeply into the red.

Posted by: BillFromPA on October 15, 2010 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

-going directly the corporate sponsors? How Free Market of the Tides Foundation!

Posted by: DAY on October 15, 2010 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Beck can always sell gold along with his fear mongering.

Posted by: Lance on October 15, 2010 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

"296 advertisers have asked that their commercials not be shown on Beck's show (up from 26 in August 2009). Fox also has a difficult time selling ads on 'The O'Reilly Factor' and 'Fox and Friends' when Beck appears on those shows as a guest."

Check out this website and what they have done.


Turn Off Fox

Fox has divided America and smeared our communities for too long. Please join us in calling on business across the country to Turn Off Fox.


Posted by: flyonthewall on October 15, 2010 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Just to be clear, Mr. Pike's letter asks these companies (as it should) to stop advertising on Fox News, not just on Glenn Beck's program.

Posted by: eric on October 15, 2010 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Better yet, the Tides Foundation should have a well advertised fundraiser to afford its own ad to be run on FOX that lays out for everyone to see just what kind of man this Beck just happens to be! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on October 15, 2010 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Watch Beck start to whine again that the leftists are trying to "silence" him and take away his free speech rights.

Free speech for me ... on TV ... and none for thee!

Posted by: Bokonon on October 15, 2010 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Wait...Glenn Beck still has advertisers?

Posted by: Stetson Kennedy on October 15, 2010 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

I will gladly boycott these companies, but a comprehensive list of products they sell should be published so we know what NOT to buy.

Hopefully, someone has already done that. I will check that out later today.

Posted by: bdop4 on October 15, 2010 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

I fully support Mr. Pike and wish him nothing but success in ridding our media of Mr. Beck in particular and FNC in general, but I wonder if there's a response that would be more effective than hitting them in the wallet. Bokonon is right above when he says that Beck is going to "whine again that the leftists are trying to silence him". Isn't that what Mr. Pike is actually doing?

Wouldn't a potentially more effective response be to take on Beck's allegations directly and reveal them for how silly they are? Wouldn't that have the added benefit of possibly planting the seed of doubt in the next nutjob's brain before he fills up the truck with weapons and heads off to the nearest stripmall HQ of whoever Beck's next villain is?

Posted by: Will on October 15, 2010 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

The nutjobs can't be reasoned with. They are purely emotional in their own heads and external facts don't penetrate. They believe what Beck says and you can't argue with belief.
The problem with Beck is that he validates the feelings and beliefs of irrational people who tend towards violence.

Posted by: Maude on October 15, 2010 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

See Steve, this is what the honorable, public-spirited people are doing: they're calling out the rot of Beck and proclaiming the truth that he is an inciter "with blood on his hands." Kevin, indulging in the airy pose of the cooler and detached adjudicator (a lot like hippie punching) is wrong.

Posted by: neil b' on October 15, 2010 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Really wish you folks would give credit where credit is due. Those 290+ ex-sponsors of Beck are almost solely due to the diligence and hard work of @StopBeck (stopbeck.com)

Posted by: Greytdog on October 15, 2010 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK
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