Glenn Beck returns to the air with slimmer ad lineup

By Ric Bohy

August 25, 2009 at 9:17am

At a time when cable “news” stations handle political commentary as a blood sport and the most airtime is given to the most outlandish claims – true or false – a recent comment by one Fox News Channel advertiser suggests it’s time for a return to reasoned discourse.

“We support vigorous debate, especially around policy issues that affect millions of Americans,” CVS Caremark spokeswoman Carolyn Castel told the Associated Press, “but we expect it to be informed, inclusive and respectful.”

Castel was explaining why her company, one among 36 and counting, has pulled its sponsorship and ad dollars from Fox’s “The Glenn Beck Program.”

The exodus was sparked by Beck’s July 28 appearance on the “Fox & Friends” morning show when he called President Barack Obama a “racist” with “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”

The black political activist group called on Beck’s advertisers to dump him, saying:

Beck is on a campaign to convince the American public that President Obama’s agenda is about serving the needs of Black communities at White people’s expense. It’s repulsive, divisive and shouldn’t be on the air. Join us in calling on Beck’s advertisers to stop sponsoring his show.”

Major names immediately began to withdraw, with varied explanations.

Some, like Best Buy, said they’d bought airtime earlier in the day and their ads mistakenly appeared on Beck’s show. Others, like CVS, explained why they were bailing on the controversial conservative. Clorox, the bleach-maker, told AP that “we do not want to be associated with inflammatory speech used by either liberal or conservative talk show hosts,” adding for good measure that it has decided to stop advertising on all political talk shows.

Most of the boycotters have specifically targeted Beck’s show. But Fox has lost no revenue, according to spokeswoman Irene Briganti, because virtually all of them have asked that their ads be moved elsewhere in the network’s lineup.

The Times also reported that, while Beck is losing sponsors, he’s drawing more viewers, averaging 2.25 million this month compared to 2.05 million in July.

Returning to his show Monday after a vacation, Beck spent no time on the ad boycott, but went after Color of Change co-founder Van Jones, now a White House special advisor on the environment, calling him a “radical” and one of Obama’s “czars” who “don’t answer to anybody.”

Among the advertisers not joining Beck on the air are ConAgra Foods, Geico, Walmart, GMAC Financial Services, Travelocity, State Farm Insurance, Broadview Security, Progressive Insurance, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis, Radio Shack, Men’s Wearhouse,, and Sargento.

Hanging in to back his bloviating, according to, are Extenze, maker of penis-enhancement pills; Egg Genie and Baconwave microwave cookers; The Jewelry Exchange; Smart for Life cookies; the Akin Mears law firm’s mesothelioma hotline; Rosetta Stone; and Oreck vacuums, among others.

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  • #1.   Rob 08.25.2009

    I support Glenn Beck even MORE now that the liberal attack machine is going after advertisers. I will avoid advertisers that pull ads and support those that don’t. I have already written emails to the ones that pulled and will do so to any more that do.


  • #2.   Michael the Conservative 08.25.2009

    I’m not an Obama fan, but that doesn’t make me a moron, willing to say anything no matter how ridiculous in order to denigrate him. Pulling all ads from both Fox and MSNBC — so the beasts could just die out — would be a major first step in getting the country back on track.

  • #3.   Morris 08.25.2009

    Hey Rob this will be the only advertiser left for you to support; Extenze, maker of penis-enhancement pills. No one will be mad when you continue to support them though…

  • #4.   Jerry Rivas 08.25.2009

    Censorship in any form is a threat to the rights of Americans. We have the freedom in this country to speak our minds, however unpopular, or even to listen, however inconvenient. If you don’t like what Beck says, don’t listen; no one forces you to listen. What’s really behind the boycott are people trying to dictate what I can listen to. What’s really behind the boycott are people trying to stop a message they don’t agree with from being heard by anyone. What’s really behind the boycott are people forcing spineless sponsors to pull their advertising to force Mr. Beck off the air. Shut him up at any cost. Why? If what he says is wrong the American people will decide. If what he says is dangerous, the American people will decide. Oooops, look at the ratings! Apparently, the American people are deciding and in larger and larger numbers. That’s why the boycott! Fear that the American people are agreeing with Mr. Beck, that he gives voice and support to what more and more Americans are sensing in this “change at all costs” government we have put in place with our votes. Wake up sponsors. 2010 will see a sea change in politics; you spineless wonders will see a sea change beginning now as Americans boycott your products and services.

  • #5.   Bruce 08.25.2009

    QUOTE:” #2. Michael the Conservative 08.25.2009
    I’m not an Obama fan, but that doesn’t make me a moron, willing to say anything no matter how ridiculous in order to denigrate him. Pulling all ads from both Fox and MSNBC — so the beasts could just die out — would be a major first step in getting the country back on track.”

    So you’re a “conservative”, huh Micheal? In a pigs eye you are, and you are a moron despite what you may think. Exactly WHAT has been said by Beck that is ridiculous about Zero? Not a single thing that other real conservatives haven’t already said. You don’t have a problem with Zero appointing all these CZARS who answer to no one, have no input from Congress (who would be screaming if Bush had tried this), are privy to sensitive material without having been vetted by the FBI, etc? Then you are indeed very much a moron.

    It’s nice to see a conservative [sic] who supports freedom of speech and free trade like you do, btw. Real conservatism there.

  • #6.   Sunnyr 08.27.2009

    Glenn Beck has over 12 MILLION loyal fans and we are behind him 150%. I am even a stronger supporter now than the Obama Goon Squad has started trying to silence him. It won’t work. We are united in a common goal. To watch everything that goes on in this corrupt Administration, and to vote down every radical Government Power Grab that this President tries to pull off. When Government power grows, the PEOPLE’S FREEDOM RECEDES! God Bless the United States of America and the Constitution, which this Administration is usurping on a daily basis.
    We are watching! And we will be SILENT NO MORE!

  • #7.   Brian Buchanan 08.27.2009

    Sponsors are entitled to pull ads or not, and the viewing public shouldn’t care one way or the other. Bill payers look for profit, as they should. If Beck is bad for business, so be it.

    However, free speech rights should be indivisible, Beck and his fans should get to say whatever they like. The cold light of promulgation tends to wither imbecility; so let it shine.

    As a Canadian, I must confess that Beck’s popularity helps reveal how many dangerously ignorant and venal knuckledraggers make up the American population. Still, the stupid are entitled to their own entertainment, too, I suppose. But so much of it?

  • #8.   Mary Lynn 08.28.2009

    Free speech rights pertain to the government restriction of speech:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    It is the government that is limited by the above First amendment. The was exercising its free speech right to protest to the advertisers, while the advertisers were exercising their right to spend their advertising dollars as they wish. No one is saying Glen Beck can’t say what he wants (as long as he doesn’t violate the “clear and present danger” threshold, such as yelling “fire” in a crowded building or inciting the forcible overthrow of the government). It is just whether the advertisers want to be associated with his speech.

    Bruce, if you listened to someone else besides Beck and Faux News you might be surprised to know that Bush probably had appointed quite a few czars himself: Aids Czar, Bank Bailout Czar, Bioethics Czar, Bird Flu Czar, Budget Czar, Clean-Up Czar, Cyber Security Czar, Bioethics Czar, Drug Czar (goes all the way back to Reagan), Faith-Based Czar, Faith-Based Czar, Global AIDS Czar, Health Czar for WTC, Health IT Czar, Homeland Security Czar, Hurricane Katrina Recovery Czar, Intelligence Czar, Domestic Policy Czar, Reading czar, Regulatory Czar, Science Czar, Terrorism Czar, War Czar. Admittedly a few of these czars were confirmed by the senate or mandated by Congress but so were some of the Obama czars. The practice goes all the way back to Franklin D. Roosevelt who had 10 czar jobs. Maybe the use of “czar” is troublesome to those of you who still have the “cold war” mentality.

  • #9.   MaggieH 08.29.2009

    I support Freedom of Speech and Glenn Beck

  • #10.   Maddy 08.29.2009

    Glenn Beck is starting to sound like Hitler did when he came onto the public scene. He is NUTS!
    He is the KoolAid supplier and his listeners are the future KoolAid drinkers.
    OR, he might be on the verge of a nervous breakdown - something is very out of whack with him.

  • #11.   iom 09.04.2009


    Wow. What a bunch of goonie Right-wingers here!



    You think supporting Glenn Beck is supporting free speech?

    Wow, way to extrapolate a ridiculous correlation. NO ONE CENSORED GLENN, BECK YOU RETARDS! Companies are just voting with their money.

    Oh yeah, that’s too hard a concept for you to grasp. Just keep getting spoon-fed the vitriolic crap that Glenny-poo keeps feeding you, you little babies.

    It’s nap-time. Hush.



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