Glenn Beck's Advertisers Dropped Air America

How could any major brand be tied to the right-wing extremist?

In the past few weeks, a Color of Change boycott campaign has prompted at least 4 companies to pull their advertising from Glenn Beck's Fox TV Show. But a ton of advertisers are loyally sticking around, despite the fact that Beck continues to unapologetically spew divisive hate speech.

Turns out, some of these very same companies dropped advertising from the progressive talk radio station Air America back in 2006. Megan Carpentier on Air America Media writes:

Three years ago, a group of corporate advertisers informed ABC that they didn't want their commercials run during Air America programming. Media Matters reports that those companies will run ads during conservative shows.

In 2009, General Electric, Farmer's Insurance and Office Depot have financially supported Glenn Beck's racism and threats against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the radio; Bayer, Chattem Pharmaceuticals and Wyeth have given Lou Dobbs money to continue his radio-based support for the Birther conspiracy theorists and his portrayal of the current Administration as alternately Socialist, Fascist and Communist; and Home Depot, JC Penney's and Office Depot are helping provide Rush Limbaugh promote his racist, divisive commentary on a daily basis.

That doesn't even include the companies that advertise during Glenn Beck's or Lou Dobbs' television shows, which additionally includes the likes of Bayer, Wal-Mart and Nestlé.

While advertising is supposedly just a way to convince consumers to purchase products, these corporations' histories of political contributions and advocacy--in addition to their stated preferences to have their products associated with Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh rather than Rachel Maddow or Ron Reagan--reflects less a clear-eyed view of consumer preferences than it does support for conservatives and conservative causes.

Take General Electric, a supporter of both Glenn Beck's radio and television programming. In the 2006 election cycle, when they first blacklisted Air America's programming, their PAC's political contributions were two-thirds in favor of Republicans. In 2008, after the takeover of the House by Democrats and while Barack Obama's win was clearly telegraphed, GE continued to favor Republicans with contributions disproportionate to their power in Washington, giving them 48 percent of the PAC's donations. Only now that GE has nowhere else to turn, their donations for the 2010 election cycle are going two-thirds of the time to Democrats. To the victors go the spoils, I guess--as long as they can spend at least an equal amount of money supporting media programming intended to derail the agenda.

Read the rest of Carpentier's post here.


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