Advertisers Black Out Liberal Radio, Pay Up for Haters

Media Matters research director Jeremy Schulman (8/12/09) writes that “Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaughand Lou Dobbs have used their radio and television shows to incite hatred and push wild conspiracy theories, leading several of Beck’s advertisers to reportedly pull out of his broadcasts”–one of the hazards inherent in for-profit media.

But “many advertisers have nonetheless sponsored these hosts’ hate speech in recent weeks, including major corporations and organizations that, in 2006, reportedly requested that ABC Radio Networks not air their advertisements during any Air America programs”:

At the time,

ABC subsequently provided a statement to Media Matters, which read: “It is not uncommon for advertisers and/or agencies to request that their ads run or not run in specific programming environments or dayparts. ABC Radio Networks does not solicit nor encourage these requests from advertisers. If a request is made by an advertiser and /or agency we make our best effort to comply.”…

The New York Times reported at the time that “the advertisers’ avoidance of Air America‘s liberal programming seems pointed when contrasted with the commercial success of right-wing talk radio programs like those of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.” [New York Times, 11/6/06]

Indeed, Schulman tells us how, “despite their appearance on ABC‘s Air America ‘blackout’ list in 2006, a number of those same advertisers have recently run ads during broadcasts of one or more of the following: Limbaugh’s radio show, Beck’s Fox News show, Beck’s radio show, Dobbs’ CNN show and Dobbs’ radio show.” He then provides for your perusal a handy list of said advertisers, including–no surprise–General Electric.