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UPDATED: As boycott continues, Glenn Beck's audience swells

An advertising boycott against Fox News host Glenn Beck has succeeded in keeping most major sponsors from running commercials on his show even as the controversial commentator's viewership has grown.

Beck attracted 2.81 million viewers Monday, his third-largest audience since his show launched on Fox News in January, according to Nielsen Media Research data provided by the network. On Tuesday, nearly 2.7 million viewers tuned in, his fifth-largest viewership to date. And the conservative host got a plug from former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, who urged people to watch his program in a post on her Facebook page.

“FOX News' Glenn Beck is doing an extraordinary job this week walking America behind the scenes of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and outlining who is actually running the White House,” she wrote Wednesday to her 800,000-plus supporters.

Color of Change, an African American political advocacy group, organized the boycott last month to protest Beck’s comment that he believes President Obama is a racist. The group succeeded in securing commitments from at least 36 companies that have pledged not to advertise on his show, including Wal-Mart and Sprint. Some, such as AT&T and Procter & Gamble, were not Beck advertisers to begin with, but their ads had mistakenly appeared on the program. Representatives from those companies reiterated their request not to have spots during his show. Later today, Color of Change plans to announce six more companies that also are declining to be Beck advertisers.

As a result, few major businesses remain as sponsors of Beck’s eponymous 2 p.m. PDT program. On Wednesday, the only big companies with a presence during his show were Bank of America and the Wall Street Journal, whose parent company News Corp. also owns Fox News. The rest of the commercials included spots for gold seller Rosland Capital; Ashley Furniture Home Store; Empire Carpet; Liberty Medical, a diabetes medical supplier; Johnson Law Group, an asbestos litigation firm; “Shadow Government,” a new book critical of Obama published by the National Republican Trust; and the anti-tax group TeaPartyExpress.org.

Fox News insists that the boycott has not affected its revenue, because advertisers have just moved their commercials to different time periods. And for his part, Beck appears invigorated by the challenge. “Even if the powers to be right now succeed in making me poor, drum me out … I will only be stronger for it,” he said on the air Wednesday. “And I will use American ingenuity and my ingenuity to pull myself up, and I will find another way to get this message out, on a platform that will be a thousand times more powerful. Because of my faith, I know how this story ends. The truth will set you free.”

Since returning from a weeklong vacation Monday, Beck has not explicitly addressed the boycott. Instead, he has launched a weeklong series called “Reasonable Questions for an Unreasonable Time,” in which he has argued vehemently that the Obama administration is being infiltrated by radicals seeking to undermine the U.S. Constitution.

“I have demonstrated that these radicals are not only instrumental in shaping legislation that is being jammed through at light speed, they are also by invitation personally advising the president of the United States,” he said Wednesday, calling them “radical wolves that are about to devour our republic.”

One of his most frequent targets is Van Jones, special advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.  In 2005, Jones co-founded Color of Change with James Rucker, the group’s executive director. Beck supporters have charged that Color of Change launched the boycott of Beck's show in retaliation for the host's criticism of Jones.

Rucker said Jones has not been associated with the group for more than a year and had nothing to do with the boycott. "I didn’t even know Van had been a subject of Glenn Beck’s sustained attacks until after we had launched the campaign," he said. "I can say absolutely there was no involvement by Van or the White House. Beck has made these claims that are not fact-based and he needs to change the subject, and that’s what this is all about."

Beck began railing against Jones earlier this summer, dubbing him one of 32 “czars” with unchecked power in the Obama administration. He has repeatedly called him a communist, citing a 2005 profile of Jones in the East Bay Express that described Jones’ shift from a radical-activist past to more mainstream politics. On Wednesday, he made reference to the fact that Jones named his son after African guerrilla leader Amilcar Cabral.

“Should you have a communist, self-avowed revolutionary who named his 4-year-old son after a Marxist guerrilla leader, should that person be advising the president of the United States?” he asked.

Jones did not immediately respond to a request for comment made through the White House. Earlier in the week, White House spokeswoman Christine Glunz said in a statement that Jones has been lauded as an environmental hero and that his entire focus at the Council on Environmental Quality is on “building clean-energy incentives which create 21st century jobs.”

[Updated at 1:33 p.m.: According to Color of Change, 10 more companies that have recently had ads air during Beck's program have pledged not to run any further advertising on his show. The latest businesses to distance themselves from the Fox News host include Applebee's, Bank of America, Bell & Howell, DirecTV, General Mills, Kraft, Regions Financial Corp., SAM (Store and Move), Travelers Insurance and Vonage.

Bank of America, which had a spot on Beck's program Wednesday, pointed the group to a statement it gave Media Matters for America stating that its advertising had been placed on the program in error. Travelers Insurance, Bell & Howell, General Mills and DirectTV also told Color of Change that they had already placed Beck's program on their "do not air" lists and any commercials that appeared during his show were in error. Applebee's told the group that it was now dropping Beck's program, and Kraft said it had decided to stop advertising "on the more politically extreme programs on all networks."]

[Updated at 2:15 p.m .: According to a Fox News spokeswoman, the network has not run Bank of America ads during Beck's show, so any spot for the bank that aired during his program would have been a local cable purchase. In addition, the network said that Bell & Howell and SAM (Store and Move) were never Fox News advertisers.]

[Updated at 3 p.m.: SAM (Store and Move) is indeed a Fox News advertiser, a network spokeswoman clarifies. The company buys ads under the name Unigroup.]

[Updated at 4:43 p.m.: Beck posted his second-highest viewership ever Wednesday, attracting more than 3 million viewers for the hour.]

[Updated at 8:07 a.m., Aug. 28: Ashley Furniture HomeStore pulled its advertising from "Glenn Beck" as of Thursday, said Kendra Maggert, a spokeswoman for the company.]

-- Matea Gold

RELATED:

Glenn Beck goes after Color of Change co-founder Van Jones

 
Comments () | Archives (455)

"I consider Fox News one of the greatest dangers to this country. They have created a culture of hatred and fear that is affecting a lot of people -- particularly minorities."

I agree with this statement (posted by Jason). It seems that Fox News only employs loud overly opinionated white males, who have this goal of screaming their morals in your face and force feeding you thier endless bull.

The Last few years when the Dems organized rallies and held protests, Fox News called them all unpatriotic hippies. But now that their is a dem in office and the rallies and protests are pro-republican, the protesters are "good people" with rights.

Fox news is so onesided its ridiculous. To call it a News network is wrong. It's a Republican network! FAUX News.

My IQ is 143 and I listen to, respect and believe Glenn Beck and the other Fox staff.

You demorats need to wake up and face reality. Or maybe you are on too many drugs.

As Ann Coulter says, if demorats had brains, they would be republicans.

Nobody watches Glenn Beck anyway why all the fuss over ad money oh yea the ratings.

Walmart's, Sprint's, AT&T's, and Proctor Gamble's loss. We can boycott them too! Gloria

A fool will always have followers. Beck is not doing anything different than Adolf Hitler. Seriously. Hitler, as Beck, used propaganda and boisterous, rambling speeches to anger an anxious populous and attack the government, and government officials, during dire economic times. He espoused nationalistic views and inflamed racial antagonisms. Like Beck, Hitler had a sizeable following, eventually leading to the estasblishment of Nazi Germany and the eventual deaths of millions. Am I wrong?

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive...

Glen Beck speaks to the worst in America. Calling the president a racist, a black man who probably knows more about racism than Glen Beck ever will, is simply mean and vindictive. His vision of America is a dark world where hate and despair rule the day. You know what listening to him is like? He's the kid on the bike in "The Shining," all grown up, with no mother or father, still riding endlessly down the hallways screaming into American's ear: "Rudrum, Rudrum."

Beck is just an egomaniac who loves the attention. He has no interest in educating, just entertaining. And the problem is that his audience is too stupid to know the difference.

Boycott the Color of Change companies that are boycotting Glenn Beck! If I wasn't locked into AT&T I'd get out immediatly. What they do is ridiculous, politically motivated, and simply racist to white people. Racism is bad on both sides, not just towards African Americans. Conservaties who tell the truth about this administration are hounded, and yet who's approval rating (or for TV host, viewers) is going down, President Obama or Glenn Beck?

When not watching reruns of CSI, I sometimes watch CNN-HN and a little FOX news but decided to check the "talk show" out 'cause of all the hype. He seems to have a lot of "quotes and video" supporting his opinions. (Hmmm ... how come our Congressmen haven't don't quote the Health Reform Bill to prove their point)?

If we actually look at his questions and replace Pres Obama with Bush, these questions seem reasonable to ask? Why shouldn't we address them a get the truth out?

Come on everyone let get the Obama administration to answer these questions and make cable network look foolish.

Walmart/ Sprint/AT&T/P&G: get behind this
Applebee's, Bank of America, Bell & Howell, DirecTV, General Mills, Kraft, Regions Financial Corp., SAM (Store and Move), Travelers Insurance and Vonage - all of you too!

Color of Change leaders - get on board and prove FOX wrong! Since we're right, let's bury them.
(He is wrong ... isn't he?)

-- why won't this comment post w/o an email address?

Big Beck: Goes over 3 million viewers, beats O’Reilly in demo: Cable News Ratings for Wednesday, August 26, 2009
http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/08/27/big-beck-goes-over-3-million-viewers-beats-oreilly-in-demo-cable-news-ratings-for-wednesday-august-26-2009/25541

This guy is just a buffoon. Either that, or he's making buffoons out of his viewers who believe the crap he spews forth.

Glenn Beck = white version of Rev. Al Sharpton

The Palin Bump: Glenn Beck #1 Show on Cable News Last Night in Demo
http://www.mediaite.com/tv/the-palin-bump-glenn-beck-1-show-on-cable-news-last-night/

I think it's funny that the only thing the White House has disputed this week is calling Van Jones a "czar" instead of an advisor, but Glenn Beck--and Fox News--are being portrayed as liars and hatemongers. I have seen nothing--anywhere--that proves Glenn Beck is lying about anything, and I've seen a great deal of evidence that he's right. It's time for Democrats to wake up and realize that their party is being taken over by some very dangerous people.

Newsdope has no idea what he talking about...as allways...Im guessing that Rick Quinones gets his info from Newsdope....only there could he get all the facts so wrong!

A guy working for the Whitehouse trying to stop some one from telling the truth about the WH.....welcome to 1984!

The "boycotting" goes BOTH WAYS. I will not shop walmart, cvs,progressive insurance. sargento cheese, state farm insurance, proctor & gamble, radio shack healthy choice......get the idea, WE THE PEOPLE KNOW WHO THEY ARE. Just say'in....

Glenn Beck is a rabble rouser who is paid to be outrageous and his rhetoric is inflammatory. Until someone of importance in either the Democratic or Republican party challenges him on his dangerous remarks, he will persist. Surely even the Republicans have someone left that is sane enough to see that. Or maybe not--they're afraid of Limbaugh who is certificable.

So let me get this straight. You have people on tv calling President Obama and his family names and telling people to go out and get guns. It's ok to kill doctors who perform abortions,state representatives are for the Great White Hope and wear your gun to a debate on health care. You Beck,Limbaugh,Savage people are evil and sick. When I see you at the town hall meetings your faces are all contorted into grimaces like the lynch mobs in Mississippi. Ok if you don't like the word racist try TREASON or TRAITOR for size.

Please...Though Glen Beck is an entertainer at least he tries to put some truth out there. So just keep drinking the Obama kool aid and soon you won't be able to puke up your left wing crap because you wont have any free speach rights left.

I am a liberal Democrat and I am watching Glenn Beck every day. It is not because I agree with him. It is because he has the best comedy show on TV.

 
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