Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pulling the Plug on Beck: We've Got the Power!

A blogger friend who uses the pen name, Octopus, posted a piece on February 14 with the title, Help Pull the Plug on Glenn Beck, in which he proposed that it is time to "...serve notice to Fox News that partisan hate speech has no place in a free society. The strongest message you can send is to vote your pocketbook. Write letters to Fox News advertisers; tell them you will no longer patronize their products and services; and keep boycotting sponsors of Fox News until these outrageous partisan witch-hunts have stopped. Removing Glenn Beck from the airwaves will save lives."

What Octo proposes is not an attack on freedom of speech. The 1st amendment provides that Congress may not pass laws that restrict freedom of speech. 

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.

The key word is Congress. The 1st amendment has nothing to do with citizens critiquing the speech of other citizens. Nor does freedom of speech mean that a business, corporation, or any non-governmental entity has to support any particular ideology by providing a platform for that ideology. In other words, the government cannot silence Beck but public will certainly can without there being any violation of his 1st amendment rights.

Beck is free to express his ideas and we're free to say that we think that his ideas are full of crap. No network is under any obligation to provide any person with a public forum to express his/her ideas.

The following is from Octo at The Swash Zone (republished here with his permission):

As part of an ongoing effort to pressure Fox News into pulling the plug on the Glenn Beck Show, here is a standard petition letter addressed to Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. Please feel free to copy the text of this letter and paste it into your letterhead - adjusting type size and font style as needed (11 or 12 points should suffice):
Roger Ailes
Chairman and CEO, Fox News Channel
News Corporation
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036

Dear Mr. Ailes:

After the shooting rampage in Tucson that left six people dead and thirteen injured, you offered this appeal for civility: “I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually. You don’t have to do it with bombast.

Weeks after Tucson, nothing has changed.  Glenn Beck has turned up the volume on partisan hate speech.  The poisoned atmosphere unleashed by Glenn Beck means any citizen - Democrat, Independent, or Republican - can be defamed in public and targeted for persecution.  Beck’s messages provoke unstable persons to act on impulse, and events have shown that violent rhetoric leads to violent acts:

There is no plausible deniability that can wipe the blood off Beck’s hands or absolve the Fox News Channel of responsibility for reckless incitement.  Shooting sprees, murder, malicious defamations and infamous provocations … these have no place in a free society.  When toxic television threatens public safety, all citizens of all persuasions have grounds for alarm.

Glenn Beck has crossed boundaries that should never be crossed.  It is time to pull the plug on the Glenn Beck Show before more people are terrorized, injured and killed.

Sincerely yours,

(your name and signature)
The letter is short enough to fit on a single page (word count=265).


ernie said...

Very... Nicee... Blog.. I really appreciate it... Thanks..:-)

unmitigated me said...

And if that doesn't do it, his sponsors are Red Lobster, Walmart, Travelocity, and State Farm Insurance. Time for a campaign that hits 'em where they live: in the wallet.

Loulou La Poule said...

On this and need to post the second iteration of Octo's effort.

Thank you for the clarification. And for Joni Mitchell singing "River" as I read. When it comes to politics in America today, I wish I had a river I could skate away on.

jack-of-all-thumbs said...

Unmitigated Me,

Can you provide a source for the list of Beck sponsors?

Octopus said...

Here is a Boycott Fox News website. There is a list of sponsors tab and lots of resources.

Octopus said...

About this "Pull-the-Plug-on-Glenn-Beck" letter to Roger Ailes, I sent mine certified/return receipt, details as follows:

Label/Receipt Number: 7010 0780 0001 1418 8408
Expected Delivery Date: February 25, 2011
Class: First-Class Mail®
Service(s): Certified Mail™ Return Receipt
Status: Arrival at Unit

Detailed Results:
Arrival at Unit, February 28, 2011, 2:29 am, NEW YORK, NY 10036

Reason why I sent it this way: To underscore my concerns and serve notice to Fox News that the public will hold them accountable.

Octopus said...

March 12, 2011 - A minor news clip lost beneath the rubble of earthquake news from Japan yesterday: In order to make room for extended coverage of the disaster, Fox News preempted the Glenn Beck Show. I find this more than curious. Perhaps this is how FN intends to remove a a liability while saving face - preempt more Beck broadcasts until he fades away.