It's time to stand up to violent rhetoric and demand change. And that's exactly what Drummond Pike, CEO of the Tides Foundation has decided to do by going to the advertisers of Glenn Beck's program--the one that so inspired and motivated domestic terrorist Byron Williams (and yes, I'm going there)--and telling them their continued sponsorship makes them equally culpable:
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."
To say we were "shocked" does not adequately describe our reaction. 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.[..]
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.
While we may agree to disagree about the role our citizens and our government should play in promoting social justice and the common good, there should be no disagreement about what constitutes integrity and professionalism and responsibility in discourse - even when allowing for and encouraging contending diverse opinions intelligently argued. This is not a partisan issue. It's an American issue. No one, left, right or center, wants to see another Oklahoma City.
The next "assassin" may succeed, and if so, there will be blood on many hands. The choice is yours. Please join my call to do the right thing in this regard and put Fox News at arm's length from your company by halting your advertising with them.
Now, because I can already hear the pearl clutching from the right wing blogs: THIS IS NOT CENSORSHIP OF GLENN BECK. Glenn Beck can continue to say anything that floats through the transom of that brain of his and no one--including the government (which is how the First Amendment applies)--is stopping him from speaking. But Glenn Beck (or anyone, in point of fact) is not guaranteed a national platform with corporate sponsors. This, you right wing lurkers, is your vaunted free market at work. There's nothing wrong with pointing out that their advertising dollars is sponsoring rhetoric that is inciting violence. Those corporations simply have to decide if it's worth the possible business lost if they continue to do so.
There are multiple campaigns that reach out to Beck's sponsors. My personal favorite is StopBeck.com and they've been very successful. The NY Times reported a total of 296 sponsors have dropped Beck. In fact, they reported that due to combined efforts, Glenn Beck's program in the UK have not had a sponsor for almost EIGHT MONTHS. That should also give you an idea of how this is not a profit-driven move for Murdoch and Ailes, because there's no way they're making a profit off Beck's program. You can get a list of Beck's remaining sponsors here.