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Hullabaloo


Saturday, March 10, 2012

 
Pulling out

by digby

Slutgate seems to have been a crucible for American businesses:

Premiere Networks is circulating a list of 98 radio advertisers who want to avoid "environments likely to stir negative sentiments... They've specifically asked that you schedule their commercials in dayparts or programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity)."

John Avlon notes "the irony is that the same market forces that right-wing talk-radio hosts champion are helping to seal their fate. Advertisers are abandoning the shows because they no longer want to be associated with the hyperpartisan -- and occasionally hateful -- rhetoric. They are finally drawing a line because consumers are starting to take a stand."


I don't think they care about hyperpartisanship. They just don't need the backlash that comes from creepy middle aged men behaving like barbarians and insulting half their customers. It's not exactly an advertiser's favorite image.

Of course the perennial question is what's changed, since they've all been spewing hatred for ages. In my view, it's mainly a combination of a weakly recovering economy and feminists, both men and women, who were able to mobilize via social media to stage an effective boycott. But there's probably more to it than that. These things don't just spring up out of nowhere. In this case, we had a series of events over the course of a few months that were staggeringly insulting to women so maybe it just reached critical mass. Or maybe it's something else, some kind of a historical turning point that we can't see since we're in the middle of it. Or maybe not --- it's entirely possible that it's another in the series of fits and starts that mark women's progress in this world.

It remains to be seen if this will have any long term effect. But if it manages to break the two decade stranglehold of the right wing propagandists on radio, it will be a huge moment. These horrible people are a blight on the American political system and the path to a more civilized, decent society will be much clearer if their particular brand of rhetorically violent political "entertainment" is relegated to the past. The sentiments won't go away, of course, but there's no reason it has to dominate the airwaves of one whole media format.

Of course I've been thinking these creepy guys had to go out of fashion for the last ten years, so I won't be celebrating until the lights actually go out. Still, it's a hopeful sign.


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