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 August, 2009


 Fox News' Glenn Beck's Fleeing Sponsors

The Sky is Falling, The Sky is Falling

I just love capitalism – especially when it works. I have solid proof that capitalism is working the way it should.

Allow me to cite 21 examples: Allergan, a unit of GMAC Financial Services, Best Buy, Broadview Security, CVS, Re-Bath, Travelocity,
Wal-Mart, ConAgra, GEICO, Lawyers.com, Men's Wearhouse, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, RadioShack, Roche, SC Johnson, Sanofi-Aventis, Farmer’s Insurance, Sargento and State Farm Insurance have each decided to drop their ads from Fox News’ Glenn Beck program.

They’ve had enough of Beck’s silliness, and they’re taking their ads elsewhere.

Beck’s penchant for unfounded and inflammatory tirades has made him broadcasting’s Chicken Little.

The increasing number of businesses that don’t want to be associated with Mr. Little, er, Beck is a response to a vigorous call for them to absent his show, stirred by the web site ColorOfChange.org.

While Beck’s frequently insipid commentaries regarding the supposed impending doom of “America as we know it” have attracted many people who weren’t that pleased about government anyway, others (I’m one of them) saw him as a twisted performance artist, until July 28th.

That’s when his avowed antipathy for “political correctness” overwhelmed any fragment of good judgment that may have somehow found its way to his mouth.

"This president is a guy who has exposed himself over and over again who has deep-seated hatred for white people,” he matter-of-factly spouted that day.

Without proof that Barack Obama (who is half white) “hates white people,” a minute and 15 seconds later, Beck transformed himself from a petty provocateur to an out-and-out prevaricator.

He lied about what he’d said seconds before. “I'm not saying he doesn't like white people,” he added as if people weren’t really listening when he’d just claimed the president hates white people.

Most of that nonsense would have passed without any uproar if it had not been how he concluded it with “This guy is, I believe, a racist."

That’s what set off the current furor.

His defenders, who have a curious understanding of the U.S. Constitution, claim Back is having his “freedom of speech” denied by those 21 non-Beck advertisers.


“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” is the entire First Amendment.

Unless those 21 advertisers become CONGRESS, and unless they pass a law that specifically says Beck is prohibited from engaging in goofy-speech, his right of free speech is still in tact.

Beck’s obviously dishonest effort to inflame the passions of his followers has recently been exposed by his dubious stand on health care reform.

“America already has the best health care in the world. We do take care of our sick,” he claimed on June 4th of this year. He’d already issued his predictably questionable and sanctimonious proclamation that, “You’re about to lose the best health care system in the world,” on May 12th.

Oh Glenn, such folly. The World Health Organization has clearly stated that the United States ranks 24th in life expectancy and 37th in its ability to provide health care for its citizens.

Beck would never admit that.

What he did do, in January of 2008, was use his personal experience to denounce the American health care system. (In case you didn’t know this, everything looks different when you’re directly affected.)

He’d had a recent outpatient operation that he claimed didn’t go very well. That led him to complain he’d had a, “personal voyage through the nightmare that is our health care system.”

He went on to say that the health care system he now claims is near perfect, had brought about “a society or a system now of health care that is just trying to shove the patients out that door, as fast as they can.”

Of course, he was expressing his “free speech” while those 21 companies are now engaging in the highest form of “free enterprise.”

Go free enterprise!

Edward A. Owens of Uniontown is Webmaster of “Red Raider Nation: Where Champions Live.” E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net