Looks like we were on track with a recent story that cited Media Matters’ “Twitter Bombing” as the driving force that’s scaring advertisers away from Rush, network radio newscasts and radio in general: Is the loss of advertisers really a reaction to genuine public outrage, or a coordinated plan from Media Matters and other left-wing groups waiting to be executed the instant Rush said anything remotely controversial? New evidence from Alana Goodman of Commentary Magazine and William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection suggests that the latter was definitely the case.
The Blaze reports Jacobson and Goodman fingered Media Matters for America as the culprits behind boycott. Their evidence is an interview with Media Matters’ Director of Online Strategy, Angelo Carusone, published in the Village Voice. Carusone is also behind the supposed “advertiser boycott” of Glenn Beck.
Said Caruso: “I was trying to figure out what I was going to do, and for me, it became clear that things were pretty messed up. Our policies are messed up, and didn’t think the conversation around them was going well. I started looking at the irresponsible, reckless pillars of the media. Beck represented the worst of them at the time. He was extremely reckless, and illustrated the very worst of the media abdicating their responsibility. That’s why I picked him as a first target. Things for him turned out to be bad business. I think people should have opinions, and express them passionately, but there is a responsible way of doing that. He was being completely irresponsible, and that’s why I started Stop Beck, in July of 2009.”
Here’s where Caruso said where the Limbaugh boycott originated: “Stop Rush, I initially rolled it out in late 2009 and early 2010. At the time, the Beck work was doing well. I thought that in dealing with advertisers, some really appreciated being educated about where their ads were running. The ad market took care of this. The word “boycott,” it’s very rare that I called for a boycott or attacked a company. For the most part, I let advertisers know where there money was being spent, where it was going, and what it was helping. They made the decision themselves….Rush had spent three full days digging in. I started talking to advertisers on Thursday, and got a lot of feedback on Friday, and I knew a lot of movement was taking place. This was important to think about from a business perspective. The very clearest example was when Carbonite came out on Saturday night. That was significant because they had been one of his biggest advertisers, and they announced their drop after the so called apology. They said the apology didn’t matter. Rush had exposed himself as too volatile to do business with.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Many may think Media Matters is what it says it is: A “media watchdog group dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.” These articles seem to indicate MM goes a bit beyond that—via premeditated, coordinated efforts to sabotage the ability to sign and keep advertisers on programming. It’s one thing to inform the public about incorrect statements and exaggerations from the media, but another thing to use a tax-exempt status to bring down media companies and show hosts.