Stop Beck may be ignored by the media but not by the people that matter – Glenn Beck’s advertisers
Over the past year the media has been infatuated with a “grass roots” movement, a voice that has been the focus of adulation or ridicule – but no matter what has had hundreds of hours of footage and hundreds of column inches devoted to – I’m talking about the Tea Party movement. But lets not forget the Tea Party movement has been helped along the way with high profile sponsors in Fox News, Dick Amery and the Koch Brothers. it is less grass roots and more Protest Corporation.
With less fanfare, in fact a virtual media blackout until the founder’, Angelo Carusone’s appearance on the Bill Press show in June 2010, StopBeck.com has quietly but effectively as a grass roots movement, put a major dent into one of the most viralent and dangerous voices of the Tea Party movement – it’s voice on TV Glenn Beck.
Founded in the summer of 2009, Angelo Carusone’s Stop Beck effort is largely conducted by a one man Twitter campaign, supported by loyal followers who retweet his requests to speak to and implore advertizers on Fox’s Glenn Beck show to rethink their endorsement. Without threatening or scaring, Carusone reaches out to companies and reminds them of the rhetoric that appears on the Glenn Beck show and asks if they want their brand to be associated with him.
And Angelo has been effective. As of today (October 29) Angelo has so far contacted (with support from followers) and convinced 299 advertizers to pull their money and products from Beck’s show. A UK partner of StopBeck.com (stopbeckuk.info/) has managed to conduct a campaign that has seen the show run ad free since 5 July 2010.
But why has there been little word from the mainstream – for sure now, Angelo has conducted some radio and online interviews, but depsite the resounding success mainstream media has been reluctant to show what a real grass roots movement is.
Could it be that Fox News has become such a powerful media group, that immediatley pounces on anyone that dare stands in its way that others are afraid, or is this an example of the effective laziness that has transpired in journalism over the last few years – the shriller it is, the more likely it will get press – the saner it is, the less likely people think it will make copy.
So why did Angelo start? A graduate law student, Carusone began his effort to campaign in June 2009. As he told the examiner:
[Beck]”validates the opinions of those who might incite violence.” (examiner)
Carusone does not say that Beck is directly inciting violence but when you hear on his show “There will be rivers of blood if we don’t have values and principles” (MediaMatters) you do understand why Carusone is concerned and concerned that people would happily sponsor the show.
And of course these words that Beck puts out nightly on his Fox TV show and on his radio show every weekday have inspired others. Just look at the case of Byron Williams, who was arrested in July, laden with weapons and shooting at law enforcement, while on his way to attack the ACLU and the Tides Foundation (both consistent targets of Glenn Beck’s divisional rhetoric). In an interview, Williams directly referenced Beck’s nightly sermons as the turning point for his plot. Media Matters conducted an interview with Williams:
MEDIA MATTERS: When you talk about how conservative values have been lost in this country you were talking before about the liberal media. You were saying maybe Fox was the exception. You think Fox is worthwhile?
BYRON WILLIAMS: Well, I’m not gonna say anyone is worthwhile. But [unintelligible] I would’ve never started watching Fox if it wasn’t for the fact that Beck was on there. And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed that blew my mind. I said, well, nobody does this.
Words have consequences and it is with this in mind that Angelo Carusone does what he does with a large support. As he says on his website, he is not trying to remove Beck from the air but remind him and Fox that words are effective and has consequences, whether they influence a man like Williams or spur on an effort such as StopBeck.com
… holding Glenn Beck accountable for preying on racial anxieties, employing vitriolic rhetoric, propagating sexism and disseminating willful distortions. Our purpose is to urge sponsors to stop supporting Glenn Beck’s brand of hate with advertising dollars. (StopBeck.com)
You only have to follow Carusone’s Twitter feed to see how he will talk with advertizers thoughtfully and with reason. You also only have to look at his feed to see the kind of hatred he has to put up with for his efforts. Angelo has had his sexuality used as a weapon against him, being accused of vile acts, and appears, as do many of his supporters, including myself, on Twitter Feed hate Lists.
There are Anti Stop Beck sites out there too. Ginned up by their favorite front many who likes to claim this is another ploy by President Obama to try and stop him as he continues his progressive movement to take over the US.
They’re [Obama administration] gonna need a cookie. Because, right now, blood’s gonna start shooting out of their eyes. Look what the [Obama] administration has done just to my sponsors. See my list of who supports me? The commercials. So, they have my list. We don’t have theirs. But, they have mine.
Beck never references the StopBeck movement – if he did people may see that this is truely a grassroots movement with ordinary people showing their disgust at a man who earns his millions by causing divisions and spreading hate. Instead Beck adds this to his ever growing list of conspiracies against him, his supposed detrators who are trying to stop him, silence him, so he can show to his followers that there is truth in his words – “Strike me down, you will only make me more powerful”! – Is this the words of a sane man – no this is the words of a man who has lost the plot and is now setting himself up as a martyr.
Angelo’s website has this simple phrase on it:
This accountability effort is fueled by people + persistence. So, big thanks to all those participating.
His efforts and those who follow him work tirelessly to remind that accountability is the course of a civil society, not one that trashes the President by calling him a “racist”, battles on night after night about a so called Progressive nightmare that wishes to see blood spilled on the streets.
Speaking to Bloggasm, Angelo goes further:
“The way I sort of looked at it was that appealing to Fox News wasn’t going to cause any results because they’ve already made their support of Glenn Beck very clear by hiring him and paying him,” Carusone said. ” … It’s about getting ad revenue, and part of the reason that he stands up there and says all these outlandish things is so that he can get attention and then try to translate that into advertising dollars. The way I looked at it is that companies, by supporting him through advertising, they’re continuing to support his platform. So I decided that they were the appropriate targets here.”
Fox can continue to absorb the losses or in Rupert Murdoch’s case ignore the massive loss and claim “That’s not true … Maybe four or five who have been moved over to Mr. O’Reilly’s program.” Murdoch added: “No one has taken any money off the channel.” (MediaMatters) But the simple fact is, the effort is working – just look at the StopBeck website for dropped sponsors: http://stopbeck.com/dropped-sponsors/
Mainstream media can ignore this effort as long as it wants, Fox can continue to take the hit and absorb the losses, lord knows it has the capital to do so, but with each ad break that runs with fewer and fewer advertizers, noteable brands missing from the commercial breaks and the number of sponsors dropped growing larger and larger, this is a sure sign that people want accountability, not media personalities being allowed a free and inconsequential platform to lay foundations of hate that influence nutters like Bryon Williams.
I support StopBeck because I support accountability in the media. I do not believe that because someone has a right to speak they have the right to spread hate and fear, division and lies.
For more information:
- David Brock, Media Matters Head: I’m Going To Call Sarah Palin About Glenn Beck (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Sorry Liberals, Glenn Beck Isn’t Going Anywhere (dailyfinance.com)
- Glenn Beck Boasts Of George Soros’ And Media Matters Failure To Get Him Off The Air (mediaite.com)
- David Brock: A Peace-Loving Sarah Palin Would “Refudiate” Glenn Beck (huffingtonpost.com)
- Byron Williams On Glenn Beck: He ‘Blew My Mind’ (AUDIO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Freeway Shooter Byron Williams Inspired By Glenn Beck, Fox News (nowpublic.com)