I’m on the updates mailing list for Sojourners, a progressive Christian ministry and magazine. I’ve gotten three requests to add my name to letters to be sent to the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. The letters disagree with the stands that these pundits have taken on such issues as health care reform. I haven’t added my name but I did send this e-mail.
“ I have received your e mails asking me to sign letters to be sent to the like of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Hey, I don’t have a problem with that. I honestly believe that these pundits either don’t check their facts or are outright liars. I just don’t believe this tactic will work.
These commentators have built their business plan on a particular segment of the population. They aren’t going to abandon that audience. The audience that presumably listens to the commercials that pay for their airtime. They benefit from these advertising dollars. It would probably be harder but go after the companies. Without their dollars they don’t get airtime.
Hey, it’s perfect capitalism. The pundits have the right to say what they want. The companies have the right to spend their advertising dollars where they will. They just don’t have the right to do it with our dollars: the only votes we seem to have that count for anything.
I believe the message to the companies is simple. We find so and so’s views to be either poorly researched or out right lies. Since your company supports this programming with your advertising budget we can only assume that you either support these views or haven’t done your research either. It’s your right to do this. It isn’t your right to expect that you can do it with our money.
Heck, I’m probably not the first one to come up with this. And the word boycott has such negative baggage these days. From Irish home rule to Montgomery Alabama if the cause is just then God is with us.”
And the screams about censorship if such a campaign did work would be so, dare I say satisfying. And that’s one of the things that always bugged me about the likes of Limbaugh, Colter and Hannity. They claim the right to say whatever they want whenever they want. And nobody can say anything about it. Go after their advertisers and it’s “censorship.” As I said in the e-mail: you’ve got the right to say what you want. You just don’t have the right to do it on my dime.
So, I guess I’ll have to do some limited Fox watching with the mute button engaged. And be prepared to send some e-mails to their advertisers.